Andrew’s Top 10 Tips for a Successful Consultation

Apart from making sure you have your pet with you, what else should you do to ensure the trip to your veterinarian as worthwhile as possible for all involved? Our chief vet Andrew Bucher gives his top 10 tips…

1) Control your dog in the waiting room – if using a retractable leash, keep it locked in the shortest position. There is no need to explain why, I hope.

2) Please bring your cat in a carrier, not in your arms. Cats MUCH prefer being enclosed and safe (i.e. inside their carrier with their favourite blanket), especially when they’re somewhere unfamiliar. As vets, we’re also legally responsible for the safety of your pet once you’re registered and inside the building, so please meet us halfway.

Make sure your pets feel as safe and comfortable

3) Please listen to, and believe, us! Saying “that lump isn’t really bothering him, “his teeth are fine”, “he’s too old for surgery” doesn’t help you or your pet. PLEASE also follow the aftercare advice we give you – without you, the treatment won’t work.

4) Tell us if you’re struggling – we’re pet owners ourselves and we totally understand that feeding a tablet to a cat twice a day is not an easy feat. Plus, we have plenty of tricks up our sleeves to make life easier so it’s worth asking!

5) Come prepared for your visit. Before you arrive, write down all the important observations you’ve made, such as when you first noticed the problem, how it has progressed (e.g. slow onset and then faster?) is the intensity changing, does it happen at a particular time of day, and so on.

6) Don’t wait. “What do you mean he has been lame for 3 days? She has been losing weight for how long? He’s been vomiting for how long?” All questions which go through our minds on a regular basis. Be observant and if something isn’t right, act immediately.

7) Product knowledge – make sure you are as informed as can be on the products you use for your pet’s health. Know what to look out for regarding the side effects of under and over dosing and educate yourself regarding your pet’s condition as there are many products out there that can be used as supplementary therapy. If in doubt, always ask your vet!

8) Consultation time – if you have not been to the vet in a while and are concerned about more than one issue with your pet, please do ask for a longer initial consult. Normally a double consult will do (20-30min). This allows your vet the time to carry out a thorough initial consult without the need to rush. This is especially important for you as well as there will undoubtedly be much information to absorb, digest and enquire about.

Come prepared for your visit and follow the aftercare advice given.

9) Revisit appointments– please turn up! Even if your pet “looks better.” If not, you risk returning weeks or months later because the problem has recurred, and the very unfortunate thing about this is that most conditions are harder to treat the second time round… you have been warned.

10) And finally… if you know your dog has a tendency to bite (i.e. a fear biter) when in stressful or unfamiliar situations, please tell us first and not just after we are bitten.

That’s it really, and in return we promise to give your pet the best care it can possibly receive.

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  1. Very good site – but cannot believe rabbit is left unrestrained on a table. My vet would consider this very dangerous as the rabbit could easily jump or run scared and break its back. My rabbits are totally tame but this would still be wrong.

    1. Thank you for bringing this to my attention and you are absolutely correct, I would never also leave an unrestrained rabbit on a consultation table and using this picture was an oversight on my behalf.
      Delighted you enjoy our site and hope you found the tips useful 🙂

  2. What do you recommend for a cat with a bad aversion to vets and being handled. I have an indoor cat so obviously she needs to have her claws trimmed regularly. As soon as she is in her carrier and then the car the hissing and spitting starts. And once inside the consultation room is really difficult to handle. It usually takes 3 or 4 staff to hold her including wrapping her in a towel in order to trim her claws, and in her last visit drew blood when the vet momentarily had her attention diverted. I had thought of home visits for this in order to make this a less stressful treatment for her, but as she needs her claws clipped every 6 weeks is cost prohibitive. Help please.

    1. Hi Doreen,
      Thank you for your question and yes I can totally imagine the scene in your vet consult room. It does seem such a huge ordeal for something so minor (in theory anyway!) and we both know that it just awful to watch one’s cat go through this. Have you ever tried a home visit (with plenty of Feliway before or even constantly!) with your vet? How does she react with you holding her paws at home? If she lets you do it, the cat nail clippers are actually really simple to use.

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