Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Can I Talk to the Vet Please?

Have you ever called a veterinary office to inquire after a situation your pet was in? You may have been intercepted by a receptionist, or you may have gotten a direct line to the vet himself.

But how do you know that the person who answers the phone is the one you’re looking for in a pet emergency? Or how do you know they’ve got the best info for your circumstance?

Listen closely and ask a few questions.

The Pickup
Did you know that you can call your vet for free advice at any time? That’s right—it’s just like calling the nurse at your doctor’s office when you have an ailment you can’t fix on your own. And just like the nurse does, if there’s a situation the vet can’t address over the phone, she’ll recommend you come in and be seen.

But the key here is that it’s your vet. It is in fact illegal for vets to give advice without an established doctor/client relationship. If you’ve been dallying about committing to a veterinarian, this is another reason you need to get one and keep seeing him.

So when you call a vet’s office, someone is going to answer your call. The receptionist, the vet tech, the vet, who ever is closest and has the time. You can dive right in with your complaint, or you can be polite and ask to whom you are speaking. This will save confusion and wasted time—especially if it’s the receptionist!

And keep in mind that even if you call your vet, you might be asked to bring the pet in so as to avoid lawsuits related to misdiagnosis. Read this bold article by a veterinarian to see how vets view the free advice phone call.

The best info?
Once you’ve determined who you’re speaking with, how do you know they’ve got the best info? For starters, as long as you’re talking to a professional—either a tech or the vet—you’re pretty much safe.

Most veterinary offices, like Nashville-based NippersCorner Pet Medical Center, train their staff well to handle incoming calls. You can imagine that they run the gamut—from horses throwing up to constipated dogs and cats, vet techs are trained just as much as vets with advice for paying patients.

And don’t be alarmed—most, if not all, vets are not out to get your money when they advise you to come in. Most have an overload of patients and don’t really need the extra income—but they do want to help, so follow their instructions.

Is it the vet or a vet tech?
Finally, if you get the veterinary technician on the phone, you are automatically in safe hands. They will give basic advice, which means peace of mind for any pet owner. Vet techs have received at least a 2-year associate’s in veterinary technology, plus they are trained by their vets.

But you can also look at some things online regarding symptoms. This Banfield Pet Hospital database has tons of FAQs you may learn from. You can also (and we advise this) call your vet after reading the website to confirm that what you read is best for your pet. A vet office with which your pet has a relationship is going to be better than the internet any day of the week.

Have you ever called your vet?
Have you ever called the vet in a panic? Perhaps your dog came running inside with a wild carcass in his mouth. Or perhaps he started vomiting out of nowhere. What did you do—pick up the phone or tap the keyboard?

Leave us a comment with your story! Our readers would love to hear!

This article was provided by guest blogger: Sally Baggett. Sally holds a master's degree in literature and has been a copy editor and blog writer since 2009. Not only does she also teach writing at the college level, she is a busy mom to two precious little girls.

1 comment:

  1. Yes. I have called the vet in a few emergencies. Once, my dog was very lethargic after being in my garage. I called them and they got me in right away. I was puzzled as to why she was acting this way. Turned out she had gotten into some rat poison in the garage and ate some.