Translate This Blog

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Catch-up Blog #4: Don't Use The Internet For Emergencies


Since I'm open about being willing to take emails and questions from readers, I will from time-to-time get someone asking about a sudden problem with their pet.  Here is an actual question (name withheld):

My houndog was chewing on a medium sized rawhide strip, she choked on it and then swallowed it ( about half of it) before I could get it out! Will it hurt her??? What do I watch for? Bloating? I'm worried!   Thanks for your time! 

I am very careful on my sidebar and disclaimer to note that my advice or comments do NOT take the place of a veterinary visit, and that any response I make can be very delayed.  Yet I still have people contacting me during a possible emergency.  I know that this is because people want free advice and don't want to have to pay for a veterinary visit.  I know that people like me are partially to blame for the "Dr. Google" phenomenon so common nowadays.  But I still don't get the lack of urgency and common sense in sending a small-time blogger like me an email.  


In the time it takes someone to do an internet search, find my blog, read a few posts, discover my email, and send me a message, they could have already been on and off the phone to their local veterinarian or veterinary emergency clinic.  And they could have spoken to a real person.  Now, that person would likely have told them that a diagnosis could not be made over the phone and the would need to bring their pet in, which would have cost money.  But you know what?  That's what I would say also.  If one of my readers were able to get me immediately and chat with me online, my response would be "Call your emergency vet."  I would say that every single time.  I've even told friends that over the phone, since I can't be there to see their pet.  

Does that mean that sometimes you're going to pay the vet and it turn out to be a minor issue?  Yes.  But there's no way to tell if it's a major or minor issue without the exam.  I know that personally from a few days ago when I had to have surgery for acute appendicitis.  I thought it was just gastroenteritis, but I ended up at the ER and in surgery within a few hours.  There is no way to know what's going on without an in-person visit.

So here's the bottom line.  If you have a simple question, it's okay to look on the internet.  But if you have a possible emergency, call someone.  Don't take the chance of waiting for a reply online that may or may not come, as a delay could result in a health risk for your pet.  It's worth paying a little money to have the best possible outcome.  And when you're contacting someone on a blog, read ALL disclaimers and don't expect to hear back right away.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for making a comment on my blog! Please be aware that due to spammers putting links in their comments I moderate every comment. ANY COMMENTS WITH AN EXTERNAL LINK NOT RELATED TO THE TOPIC WILL LIKELY BE DELETED AND MARKED AS SPAM. If you are someone who is posting links to increase the traffic to another website, save me and you the time and hassle and simply don't comment. To everyone else.....comment away! I really do enjoy hearing from readers!