Pet owners have to choose vets before they really get a chance to know them. Since “behind the scenes” is well…behind the scenes, how can a layman know if a vet and staff are capable? Here are things that are telltale signs that your vet is doing a great job:
Veterinarians are not left to their own devices to decide what is best for your pet and the best ones make an effort to stay abreast of the latest recommendations. He or she should follow published vaccine guidelines, but make sure they are tailored to the individual needs of your specific pet. This means questions are asked about the lifestyle of your pet and your input is valued in the decisions.
He or she does a physical exam on your pet with an emphasis on the reason for your visit that day. Veterinary medicine is not a one size fits all program. Your pet should be examined before any prescriptions are given. This means that a good vet is going to want to see your pet and not just fill prescriptions by phone. Sometimes it is frustrating to call and be told that your pet must be examined because you are busy, but be aware that just filling prescriptions without an exam is not “best medicine”. Even though you think that you know what is wrong with your pet, without a veterinary exam, things could be missed or inaccurately treated.
3. Medical Care Plans
An able vet wants to have a partnership with you to care for your pet. That means that he/she wants you both to have your needs met. If you are unable to pay your bill after the treatment, it is a stress for all involved. You should get a medical treatment plan with a cost estimate before anything is done. Because pet insurance is not like human insurance, you may be responsible for the cost of the treatment and proficient veterinarians want to be sure that you know what you are getting for your money.
4. Pain Control
If your pet is undergoing any procedure that is painful, pain control medications are given. Just because your pet will not complain about pain doesn’t mean that she doesn’t feel it. Empathetic and competent veterinarians are sure to consider this component of treatment. If your vet is willingly to perform surgery without offering (or even requiring) pain coverage, find a new vet. May vets include the pain control in the cost estimate, but make sure you ask if pain is being addressed.
The best vets are empathetic to your pet and sympathetic to you. There will always be personality differences that might mean even a great vet is not a good choice for you. The important thing is that you find one that you trust that is able to be your partner in making sure that your pet gets the best care you can afford.