Time for the vet?
I've noticed this in petcare forums. When someone posts about their pet looking sick, or looking like it feels sick (as in finding a pile of vomit when they come home, or dog hasn't pooped in 2 days, etc) there are two extremes in the type of advice the person is going to get. (I'm not talking about people who post that their pet is bleeding to death from a gunshot wound or who's pet has had their eyes torn out by a wild animal, etc. Those obviously need medical attention.)
1. Get to the vet immediately! Your pet is your life and if you want to be a good pet owner you will get them to the vet and spend the money even if you end up in a TON of debt because your pet deserves it!
2. What are the symptoms like? Have you tried <insert home remedy here> and see if it feels better? Take it to the vet if nothing works or if their condition worsens.
And I've noticed that owners who post that they are on a budget and would like some advice before taking their pet to the vet get jumped on because to some people it sounds like they are cheapskates who care more about money than their pet.
In my situation, a consultation at the vet costs $50, and I'm not too impressed with the vet's skills (that is another story). When Keesha started squatting to pee outside the apartment door, I immediately looked up the symptom on the internet and guessed that it might be a UTI and from what I read it required antibiotics to clear so I took her to the vet the next day. (On a sidenote, I've experienced UTI's 3 times in my life, it is extremely painful and uncomfortable so I knew how Keesha was probably feeling even though she didn't show it) I also read on some home remedies from homeopathic websites for dogs but I didn't think it's fair for Keesha to suffer my experimentation when her UTI was already that bad.
So I guess my question is, what do you think of pet owners who are on a budget and have to weigh their options before bringing their pet to the vet rather than running to the vet for every little thing and get charged $50 each time just to have the vet tell them that their furbaby is just fine.
I think it is dependant upon the pet owner. Some people are experienced in medical care and symptoms of their pets and are comfortable trying different home remedies when the situation is appropriate. Some folks don't know when the situation is appropriate for home remedies. Then there are those who fall somewhere in between the two extremes. It is difficult on a pet forum to know which type of person is seeking help and even more difficult not to judge a person by the words they present. I don't think anyone should be chastised on a pet forum unless there is a clear case of animal neglect. I don't believe you should run to the vet for every little thing just as I believe a parent should not run to the Dr. for every "little thing" exibited by their child. The problem here, I believe, is the interpretation of a "little thing" and everyone's opinion of what to do for this little thing. Sorry if this sounded confusing.
Okay, this is probably going to be long-winded and not really answer the question, but here goes...
I am in agreement with Cathy...a lot depends on the owner. Illness in animals can be very hard to catch...this is an adaptation and has little to do with the owner's competence. However, some owners are more observant than others. For example, if a cat has a suspected UTI, it can be an emergency (especially for males). That being said, some owners are very vigilant in checking the litterbox, monitoring eating habits, etc. An owner such as that probably wouldn't need to be referred to an emergency vet (let's say it's after hours) unless there was a change in the symptoms (ie. urine volume had decreased). I would feel comfortable telling them to stay home and wait to see the vet in the morning. On the flip side, if someone came on saying that their cat was straining to pee but they weren't sure when it started, I would tell them to get to a vet ASAP. The reason being that they obviously have not been monitoring their cat and I would question if they would be able to tell if symptoms changed. Myself personally, it really depends on what is going on. I usually call my vet and we will discuss what the options and treatments are. When I was new to cats, Syd was off to the vet almost immediately but now that I have more experience, especially with her condition, I usually wait, or visit the office myself to get meds, etc.
A lot depends on what the symptoms are. Diarrhea can mean many different things in animals. Max used to get bouts of diarrhea if he was fed treats (even just 2) and after awhile, we learned to put two and two together and not panic when it happens. However, if a pet has diarrhea, it is signalling something is wrong. I think that if there are no obvious causes and the diarrhea persists for more than a day or two, a vet visit is in order. Further, if someone says their pet has diarrhea and they are lethargic, I would be considering an immediate visit.
About being on a budget and asking for advice first...again, it depends on the situation. I've seen cat owners say, "I think she may have broken a leg, but I'm not sure...and I don't have money for a vet!" In that case, get your butt to the vet ASAP! I don't think that is appropriate. However, if someone comes on asking for advice on fleas before they go to the vet (or treat at home), I think that is just fine.
I usually go by the motto that it's better to be safe than sorry. However, I have never been on a budget (where my pets are concerned anyway ) and I have never been faced with the choice of having to go into debt vs. taking one of the brats into the vet. I paid Syd's vet bills in cash from my vet funds...something that I was thankful to have ($900 puts quite a dent in the chequing account! ). So, I guess I am not the best person to answer the question.
However, given that, I do understand that some people are not as fortunate and I do try to understand their situation. For the most part, owners who do not go to the vet immediately either do not know how serious the symptoms are or are wondering if they can wait until the morning (bad things always happen at night!) to see the vet. In those cases, I try to give advice on how to keep the animal most comfortable and/or if they can do anything in the meantime. What I do not have patience for are the people who choose not to go to the vet when their pet really does need a vet ASAP. I think it is selfish and cruel.
Well, that wasn't too long-winded but I didn't really answer the question.
this might be long winded and for that i am apologizing. i am not to sure how to answer the question,, but i have found in my expierence lately,,, many new and important knowledge.
first... i got joey from the humane society. he was 8 wks old and hand raised. he had excellent vet care his entire life ( an on-staff vet at the humane society) joey was a puppy about 3 mos old and he had a bad habit of jumping out of the car right behind me before i could shut it. i accidently shut his foot in the door, he limped that day and i immeidately took him to the vet the next day. unfortunetly for me and for joey, i took him to the vet my parents had always taken their dogs to, and he told me joey was fine, probably sprained something playing around "dont worry bout it" when i questioned him as to taking an x-ray he told me it was "too expensive and didnt think it was a necessary thing" well that came back and bit me. i didnt trust my instinct and followed a "expert's" advice.
two weeks later joey was still limping, i changed vets, and long story short ended up taking him to Michigan state university ( the best vet around) and was prepared for surgery of up to 1000 to replace bones...... an orthopedic surgeon finally diagnosed him with arthritis of the elbow, and because the injury occured and wasnat treated there wasnt anything to do at the moment. he prescribed exercise, watch his weight, and a lot of prayers. sure down the road if joey has problems i might have to have surgery and there is a possiblity of amputation but we arent thinking bout that right now..
now everything with pippin ( wood chips, uti, coccida etc etc) you all know,,,, has me a little paranoid about my dogs, if they get sick i instantly call the vet. i observe EVERYTHING, how much they eat, did they have a bm today, are they urintating ok, i think i am little anal, but hey i think it boils down to being observant and doing some research. i have a few books around here for emergency measures and common ailments. that is my bible lately. lol, but it always ends with call your vet...... i dont have a budget where my pets are concerned. that is what credit cards are invented for.. i just take them, bite my lip and eat the cost. their health is much more important to me then the money,
sorry it was soo long.....
I think that I am anal too but in a good way. If Syd even looks at me funny, I think something is wrong. If she sleeps too long, I think something is wrong. It's good for her but bad for my nerves.
We discussed this in another thread but I don't really like it when vets advise against a diagnostic test or treatment simply because of money. I want my animals to feel better ASAP and if that costs me more $$$ then so be it.
I also agree that it depends on the owner, but it also depends on the animal and the vet as well. I trust my own judgement for my rabbits more than I trust my local vet (Oh, I wish I could find a good rabbit vet here!), and pretty much the only time I take them to the vet is when I need labwork or prescription medication. Rabbits are one of those "lesser" animals, as far as vets go. They do not have nearly as many knowledge vets as dogs and cats do. Even birds seem to have more. Many vets consider rabbits to be exotics, though they are the third most popular house pet in the USA. They are small, have delicate systems, and are not a cat or a dog. Therefore, they are not "normal" to vets.
I had a sneezing rabbit, which I suspected may have contracted Pasteurella multicoda (a deadly bacteria in rabbits which can cause resperitory disease, abcesses, twisted neck, and severe tissue damage to many areas of the body). The vet should have done a culture, but he just put the rabbit in Baytril (a broad-spectrum antibiotic). What if the bacteria was resistant to Baytril? What if it was not even a bacterium? Sometimes the same symptoms (sneezing) can be caused by allergies or even something up the those (which is what it ended up being).
Sometimes my dogs get diarrhea, and they say wait for a day or two and it should clear up, I always try to wait it out but just can't. Two times I saw a little bit of blood in Turbo poop and right away at 2am I went to the emergency vet. He just gave me some pills and said that it's nothing serious, the blood is probably from him pooping so much it made his bum sore. A long time ago Rusty had colitis from feeding him canned food with his kibble (I guess his tummy couldn't handle it) so now I am so paranoid when it comes to diarhea.
I have a few books on first aid for my pets (deals with choking, poisons,cuts, etc.) I think that is a must for any pet owner!! Usually in these pet books it tells you whether something is very serious or not. Vet bills can be very pricy though, that trip to the emergency vet cost me like $180. The vet only looked at my dog for like 15 mins. WOW!! when u think about it thats like $720 p/h. I wish I made that kinda money.
i agree on having books, even if something serious is going on with your pet, it is a good reference point. i never knew the normal temp of a dog, i can tell you all the normal vital signs for a human he he but doesnt help me with my animals. now i know and i can check to find out what is going on. i feel sorry for my dogs, having some medical background any time i see something out of wack they instantly get a full physical assessment. the knowledge helps me and hinders me at the same time, while i know something is wrong, i instantly can think of ten worst case scenarios
I'm w/ you Diana, being an intelligent person on a budget myself. There is no need to take a pet to the vet for every little thing unless the pet is already suffering an underlying condition that makes a little problem dangerous: eg. advanced age, kidney disease, diabetes, etc.
with me it depends on what the problem is........whenlinus had an yey infection i too k her immediately as i knew it would ned ABX drops.....when she had runny poops i tried yougurt and kaopectate as i know runny poops can be from a virus or a bacteria....i monitored her and had she become more lethargic i wou ld have taken her in as diarrhea can be life threatning.
i did not understand the reaon behind having to take linus in for a physical as requested by the vet as all he would see was a soiled bottom....all the trip did was stress her out and put another 47 bucks in the vets pocket....i think a stool sample wpuld have been enough....so being a nurse and knowing a little about illnesses i tend to wait in situations where there is no urgency.....but on the other hand....i would spend what money it would take to get a chin or bunny cured
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