From this you can see that the more information you can provide your vet the more likely you are to obtain a diagnosis and positive outcome without extensive diagnostic and laboratory testing. The option you choose as a pet owner depends on both the severity of the illness of your pet and your ability or willingness to pay for diagnostic procedures. In some cases there just are no right answers and you, the pet owner, have to make an informed decision based on your understanding of the problem. Don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian a lot of questions. Question your vet until you fully understand your pet's problem or at least the "likely problem". Ask your vet to explain all of your options and work with your vet to help you make the right decision for your pet. If you decide to proceed with diagnostics ask your vet what those tests will reveal and how it will change your pet's treatment and likelihood of recovery.
Always remember this when you bring your pet to the vet. You know your pet better than anyone in the whole world. You are more likely to notice signs of problems in your pet long before a clinical examination may confirm your suspicions. Your vet may not find anything wrong with your pet on your first visit but don't hesitate to return if you feel your pet is still unwell. Remember no one knows your pet like you do.
The next step is a complete physical examination. The veterinarian may be able to make a diagnosis or will narrow down your pet's problem to a list of potential problems -- what they can a differential diagnosis, an educated quess based on the veterinarian's training, experience and expertise. There are typcially three options available:
Getting the Most out of Your Time
Ah... the age old question, and the best answer - Be Prepared. To most effectively treat your pet it is important that you can answer as many of the questions the vet has about your pet since they can't answer for themselves. The more you can tell the veterinarian the fewer tests or diagnostic procedures may be required to isolate and ultimately identify your pet's problem(s). Here is a sample of the questions the vet will ask when you present your pet.
We value your time as much as you do and strive to provide the highest and most efficient level of personalized patient care. In our never ending effort to improve customer care we ask that you review this section carefully to help obtain the maximum benefit from your visit to our facility in the most efficient, timely, and enjoyable manner!
If you and your pet are visiting for the first time, please bring any previous medical record, radiographs (x-rays), or test results with you or you can have them emailed to us
We would encourage you to visit the forms section of our website and fill out the necessary check-in forms so we can expidite that portion of your visit.
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