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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Please Come In!

Here's something I can't emphasize enough:  If you have any concerns about your pet, take them to a vet!

Today I saw a cat that I spayed last Saturday.  By Monday the incision had started to slightly open at one end.  The owner looked on the internet and determined that it wasn't anything she needed to be worried about and that it was normal to do this.  Today she brought the cat in because the incision had become infected and was looking rather nasty.  Luckily, the abdominal wall was still in good shape and a cat spay incision is pretty small, so with some antibiotics and time she should be fine. However, she should have brought the cat in much earlier.

Later in the day I vaccinated a kitten.  A couple of hours later the owner called, worried that her kitten was having a reaction to the vaccine because it's eye was closed.  We recommended bringing her back in, though it didn't sound like a typical reaction based on her description.  When we rechecked her it was obvious that she wasn't having a reaction and had some hair in her eye.  A little saline flush and she was fine.  But this way we could be sure to document the incident and make sure there wasn't anything serious going on.

I am always quick to tell my clients that if they ever have any concerns, come in and let us take a look at their pet.  I would rather they take the time to come in and us tell them that there isn't anything serious than to have them wait it out and something worse develop.  It's always better to see a problem early when it's easier to treat.

People also need to be very, very careful about advice they seek on the internet.  And yes, I say this having had a blog for three years that involves giving advice and recommendations.  If the first client above had not listened to something on the internet maybe she would have brought her cat in sooner.  No matter what you say, read, or do, there is no way that something found via a computer can take the place of a skilled vet actually looking at the pet.

I know that many people don't want to take their pet in for something trivial, pay the office visit, and then be told that there's really nothing wrong.  But take it from me, there are times when someone comes in for something "simple" and it turns out to be anything but.

If you get nothing else from my blog, remember this.  Any time you have any concern about your pet, go in and have a vet take a look.  NOTHING takes the place of doing this.


  1. I go through periods where it seems like we are at the vet every week for a while. I'm fairly certain the vet staff thinks I'm a hypochondriac where my dogs are concerned. lol Actually, no, they are great and we all have a great relationship.

    I always go with "better safe than sorry." Earlier this year I found a small mass in the neck of my eldest dog. With so many friends that have gone through cancer with their pets this year, my mind immediately jumped to the worst (especially with the help of the internet!). While it was small, I knew if I didn't have it checked out I would make myself sick with worry. We aspirated it and determined it to be a reaction from a vaccination a few weeks prior. Definitely one of those situations where I was happy to be wrong!!

    Acting quickly likely saved the life of that same dog a couple of years ago. He was just mopey one weekend and I noticed that he sure was drinking & peeing a lot. When he wasn't interested in eating Sunday night or Monday morning I took him in and left him at the clinic for observation. He was on the brink of what would later be determined to be an Addison's crash and my vets were able to stabilize him and diagnose him within two days. So yes, if anything is off, get it checked out!

  2. Karissa I hear you. I have taken one or two of my three dogs to the vet 4 times in the past month and a half. Pup due for a spay shortly. I fear the vet is going to think I have a crush on him ;) Kidding.

    They are our family members and deserve proper care and medical attention. And it kills me they can't tell us what is wrong. So off to the doc we go.

    If you can't afford to take care of your pets don't get one. Unfortunately so many people fail to understand that. Pets are not CHEAP!


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