Vail Pet Talk column: Be honest with your vet | VailDaily.com

Vail Pet Talk column: Be honest with your vet

Elizabeth Foster
Vail Pet Talk
Veterinarians want to know what scraps your dog eats; if your cat is an outdoor or indoor animal; and what an average day for your pet looks like. Answers to these questions and others help vets care properly for your animal.
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When you take your pet to the veterinarian, it’s important to remember that we are interested in nearly anything you have to say about them.

From what an average day looks like to what their favorite toy is, we want to know. We consider ourselves your pet’s family doctor and it’s important to remember that you as the owner are their advocate. Now, sometimes it’s understandable that you may not want to talk about some things out of embarrassment or uncertainty, but remember that we want to know everything — it’s the only way we can be sure we are treating your pet in the best way possible.

Here are some common things that you may not want to talk about but should. A common reason we see dogs and cats is because they have an upset stomach and may be throwing up with diarrhea. If you know what your pet got into or may have gotten into, then it’s important that you speak up. Your pets are unable to fill us in on the pork ribs they stole from the counter, but this is important information for us to know.

Medication and food

Even though we recommend that dogs don’t receive table scraps and other things to eat outside of their own dog food, we know that they do anyways. Telling us what they got into (if you know) is crucial so that we can put together a treatment plan based on this. It’ll also allow us to get to the bottom of the problem a lot faster than if we are left guessing.

Another important piece of information that is crucial to share with your veterinarian is if you gave any over-the-counter medication at home already. If you give your pet things at home such as pain medication, a supplement or some of your own medication, then this can change what we are able to dispense to your pet moving forward.

Pets do not process medication the same as we do and cannot have a lot of the same medications that we can. We need as much information as possible to properly treat your pet.

Problem solvers

Does your kitty go outside? We want to know. Even if it’s to sun bathe in your yard, this is important information to share with your vet. Indoor cats tend to lead longer, healthier lives with much less risk than an outdoor cat. When your cat goes outside, there are certain preventative care recommendations your veterinarian may make such as a feline leukemia vaccine, de-worming as well as flea and tick prevention. Plus, it’s nice to know what a day in the life of our patients look like, especially if that includes the unexpected.

One of the most important things we want to know when you come in with your pet is if you have a specific budget in mind for that day. We are very understanding of the fact that pets don’t always pick the best time to get sick, we all have budgets, too. If you communicate to us that you are only looking to spend so much, then we will do the best we can to pick testing and treatments based on that budget. Alternatively, there may be ways in which you can split payments or apply for something like Care Credit.

Veterinarians are problem solvers and we love to fix things, but we need your help so that we can be as efficient as possible in doing this. Be open and honest with your veterinarian so that your pet can live as long and as healthy a life as possible.

Elizabeth Foster is an associate of Sheila Fitzpatrick, DVM, owner of Mountain Mobile Vet and The Animal Hospital Center. You can reach Fitzpatrick at 970-328-7085.