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The Do’s and Don’ts of Your Veterinary Appointment

  1.  Do not give your dog aspirin, including “doggy” aspirin.  Aspirin does not effectively control pain, causes GI irritation, and prevents veterinarians from using proper pain medications due to drug interactions.
  2. Do not clean out your pet’s ears before coming to the vet for a check ear appointment.  Though ear cleaning can help treat your pet’s ears, we need some of the debris to properly diagnose the source and degree of your pet’s ear disease.
  3. Do bring a urine sample if you are seeing the vet for urinary problems.  Use a clean disposable Tupperware container to collect your sample the day of your appointment.
  4. Do not bandage your pet’s legs.  Bandages can cause more damage to your pet if they are not applied correctly.  For example, imagine how often you have to re-wrap an ace bandage on your own arm before it is not too tight.
  5. Do let us know every item you want to address when scheduling your appointment.  This way we can schedule a proper amount of time for your appointment and allow us more time to look through your pet’s history for patterns or additional concerns.  Often before the veterinarian walks into the room, their mind is already focused on your pet’s needs and concerns.
  6. Do not wait until late in the day or week to schedule your sick animal’s appointment.  The earlier you schedule your sick pet to be seen the quicker we can get them on the road to recovery. If your animal requires intensive care during closed hours, your regular veterinarian may not be able to provide it.
  7. Do secure your pet safely in your vehicle on the way to the office so as not to be a distraction for the driver.
  8. Do have your pet properly secured on a leash or in a carrier while in the waiting room.  Make sure your dog’s collar cannot slip over their head.
  9. Do know what medications, including heartworm and flea preventative, your pet is currently on when they come to the vet.  This is particularly important when the family member who is bringing the pet is not the same as the one who gives the medications.
  10. Do take the scale seriously when your pet is weighed.  Minor losses and gains are significant.  Think of the numbers as percentages rather than pounds.  A 50 lb. dog who gains 5 pounds increased their weight by 10%.  That is the same as a 130 pound person gaining 13 pounds.
  11. Do ask questions.   Do not be embarrassed.   We have heard just about every question you can imagine.  We often give a lot of information in one appointment and often talk too quickly.  We also forget that our normal lingo is not the normal lingo for owners.  Even when I speak to my sister who is a human doctor, we often ask what certain words mean because they do not translate between our professions, let alone if I tried to communicate with a computer scientist or they with me.  So please don’t be embarrassed to ask for clarification or for us to repeat ourselves.  When it comes to your pet’s health, they have two voices they depend on, their owners and their veterinarian’s, it is imperative they are able to communicate.  If you do not feel comfortable asking questions, seeking a different veterinarian may help.           Dr. Andrea practices at Pleasant Valley Veterinary Clinic, located at 211 East McMurray Rd.  PVVC has been providing full service veterinary care to the Peter Township area since 1973.  To make an appointment, call 724-941-5484.