Why is my veterinarian referring my pet to a specialist?
We want our patients to have the best possible outcome. This is why we sometimes make the decision to refer patients to veterinary specialists or specialty clinics when advanced training or equipment will be beneficial. Our veterinarians make every effort to stay current and skilled in many aspects of animal health. However, board-certified specialists have extensive experience and training in a particular area of veterinary medicine or surgery. And specialty clinics and university-affiliated referral centres have specialized equipment to perform procedures that are not routinely undertaken by general practitioners.
Be assured that when we refer a patient to another hospital, we continue to stay involved with his or her care, consulting with the treating specialist and often providing any needed follow-up care and rehabilitation.
Which pet food should I feed my dog/cat?
The answer is different for each pet, although many commercially available foods are fine to feed healthy dogs and cats. You can look for a nutritional adequacy statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), as well as the words “complete and balanced.” Pets’ nutritional needs do change, depending on their life stage and health. Your veterinarian can recommend a pet food, as well as give you advice on deciphering ingredient lists and determining how much to feed your pet.
Why does it cost so much to provide veterinary care for my pet?
The fees you pay for veterinary services take into consideration a number of factors, including the costs to compensate your veterinarian and veterinary team for their professional services and the expenses involved in maintaining the hospital and equipment. When someone decides to adopt a pet, he or she needs to be prepared to include annual veterinary care in the overall cost of owning the pet.
Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer, which means you may be spending more over the lifetime of your pet. However, in general, the annual cost of caring for a pet hasn’t increased much over the past several decades. (Consider how much the costs of many professional services, such as human healthcare, have risen over that same period!) Certain advanced procedures may come at a higher cost, but as the owner, you decide what care you want to provide your pet.
It may seem like you’re paying more for your pet’s care than for your own, but that perception may stem from the fact that you’re paying the entire cost of a service or procedure, rather than a percentage or set fee determined by an insurance company. If you want to save money on your pet’s care, there are several pet insurance plans available. These plans may cover or help keep costs down for many routine veterinary services, prescriptions, medical conditions, and diseases. Your veterinary hospital may also offer a third-party healthcare line of credit as an option. Be sure to ask at your hospital if they accept any of these plans.
Why can’t my pet see the same veterinarian/veterinary technician each time we visit?
We make every effort to accommodate our clients’ requests. However, there may be circumstances that prevent a certain veterinary team member from being available during your pet’s visit. Scheduling conflicts, emergency situations, and vacation schedules all play a role in their availability. Please feel free to ask for a specific veterinarian or veterinary technician when you schedule your appointment, and we will do what we can facilitate your request. However, please be understanding if we can’t. All of our team members are skilled professionals who look forward to your pet’s visit.
I recently lost my pet, and I’m having trouble dealing with the loss. Where can I find help?
Losing a pet can be extremely upsetting and hard to move beyond. We have such a close bond with our pets, so letting go is never easy. Many veterinary hospitals offer grief counseling, as do some veterinary colleges and professional organizations. You can contact your veterinary hospital to find out who they recommend to help you through this sad transition.
My pet has the same thing wrong that he/she was just treated for. Can the veterinarian just prescribe the same medication that he/she did the last time?
Even though your pet may be showing the same symptoms as he or she did the last time, the problem may be different. Many diseases have similar symptoms, and your veterinarian needs to examine your pet to ensure that he or she correctly diagnoses the cause.
What toys/accessories are appropriate for my pet?
Many clinics offer veterinary-approved toys and accessories for pets. With all the options out there, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s safe. Your veterinary hospital can also recommend toys based on your pet’s age, breed, needs, and interests.
My pet won’t stop chewing/digging/barking/scratching/spraying. Where can I find help?
Certain behaviors can be frustrating and difficult to overcome. Many veterinary hospitals offer behavior counseling and obedience training. Call your clinic to set up a behavior assessment.
My pet needs to have surgery. Should I be worried about the anesthesia?
Modern anesthesia is generally quite safe. Most veterinary hospitals perform a physical examination and run blood tests before all procedures requiring general anesthesia to make sure your pet doesn’t have any hidden health issues. In addition, a veterinary technician should be monitoring your pet’s vital signs during the procedure, to ensure your pet’s safety or to catch and treat any potential concerns as quickly as possible. Anesthesia and patient monitoring vary from clinic to clinic. Ask your hospital what they do to protect your pet before, during, and after the use of anesthesia.
My pet’s just been diagnosed with a medical condition/disease I’m not familiar with, and I want to find out more about it. Where can I find information I can trust?
You can turn to the Pet Health Section of our website, which offers information on a wide variety of topics. In addition, many veterinary colleges and professional organizations offer excellent resources online. Your veterinarian can discuss your pet’s health in more detail.
Will microchipping hurt my pet?
Not any more than a regular vaccine injection. The chip is inserted at the back of the pet’s neck, where the skin is loose. Microchipping is a safe and effective way to identify your pet in case he or she becomes lost.
After I have my pet microchipped, is there anything else I need to do?
You pet’s microchip should continue to function over your pet’s lifetime without any maintenance; however, the system won’t work unless you keep your contact information current. Whenever you move or change your phone number, make sure you update that information with your pet’s microchip manufacturer. Remember to also get your pet new ID tags at the same time.
What is a veterinary technician?
A Registered Veterinary Technologist (RVT) is a person who has completed a minimum 2 year accredited program approved by the Manitoba Animal Health Technologists Association and has passed a national exam to earn their registration. Technologists wear many hats! When comparing a RVT to similar careers in the human medicine world, an RVT is an X-Ray Technician, Pharmacy Assistant, Laboratory Technician, Nutritionist, Nurse, Surgical Assistant, Anesthetist, Dental Assistant, and even Janitors! They devote their careers to ensuring your pet is in optimum health and assisting the Veterinarian in diagnosing and treating your pet’s condition when they are not.
I’ve seen a lot of information about supplements and nutraceuticals. How do I know what my pet needs?
Supplements, and nutraceuticals in particular, are becoming very popular with pet owners. Your veterinarian can help you weed out confusing and conflicting information and advise you on any supplements your pet might benefit from.