HOW TO TALK TO YOUR VET
Written by Guardian Angel
Torrez and Kirk, the Epi English Setter
an Epi pup requires a good relationship with your vet. This is a
street and a relationship that requires mutual respect.
Remember, though, you are paying for your veterinarian's services.
One thing I try to remember is that my Epi does not have a voice, so I have
for him. What I have found, is that it is how you speak that can
difference between getting what you want and need and alienating
Have you ever wondered just HOW to talk to your vet about your
cares/concerns/worries and get them to listen to you? Conversely, one of the
concerns of the vets I spoke to was that pet owners listen to them
the treatment plans laid out for them. They all also said that
immense respect for those clients whose care for their pups is
obvious. Each of them said a well cared dog for is a pleasure to treat.
Partnering is what we all need to strive for, to achieve a good relationship
the owner, and your veterinarian. Your Epi pup will benefit from
effort. Remember, you both have the same goals, your vet wants your
pup to be
as well as he or she possibly can be, as do you.
Most of us, myself included, when faced with caring for an Epi, were
worried and concerned about our pup, wanting the best care for
not knowing what to ask, where to turn for advice, finding that
diagnostics and testing can be staggering, where to buy the AED's,
where to get Valium, etc. These are all part of caring for an Epi.
I talked to four veterinarians in informal "interviews," about this subject,
will read is a compilation of their thoughts.
A common thread in caring for an Epi is compliance.
This means following treatment protocol, giving medicines, in correct doses
meds on schedule, getting regular drug level tests, bile acids,
pet owners, when they leave their vet's office, don't follow
treatment plan laid out by their vets. This, for an ill pet, can cause a
recovery, in an Epi, it can cost the pet their life.
Next, was honesty and clear and concise record keeping/medical history. One
that came up over and over again was the frustration a veterinarian
a patient presents with a specific problem and the owner is vague
onset of the symptoms/disease. It could be because you simply
it could be because you are upset due to the condition of your pup,
have an Epi, good record keeping is imperative, keep a seizure log,
the things out of the ordinary that occur, take it with you when
appointment. Diet, exercise levels, family history and more all
part in the total picture you present to your vet.
Anti Epileptic Drugs are regulated by the government. Every prescription a
for a controlled substance is
by the DEA. Some states
veterinarians' prescription writing very closely. Don't put your vet
of losing his/her license by not documenting your use of controlled
When your pup has a seizure, make sure that your vet knows of every seizure,
so that it
may be charted into your pup's medical record. Make it easy for
staff, fax, mail or hand carry a copy of the seizure log so that
be added to your pup's chart.
What I do is jot down the duration/number of seizures while they are
when it is all over, I tally up how much Valium was used, then
permanent entry into our seizure log. I then fax a copy that is
dated to my vet so it may be inserted in my pup's chart. This
as documentation for both you and for your vet and since it is not
for your vet to see your pup after every seizure, it serves as a
make certain that your pup's chart is kept up to date.
When you want to discuss a particular treatment protocol, be honest and be
For example, if you want to use the Valium Protocol, take the
works of Dr.
Podell with you. Medical professionals
published articles that have research to back them up. If your
suggests some new treatment, discuss it with them and get their
Communication is the key to understanding and mutual respect.
When I first found the Guardian Angels, I discussed the Valium Protocol with
my vet. I
took him the stack of published articles on the subject and asked
read it over. I offered to pay for an office visit, to afford him the
sit down and read the information, as I felt it was that important.
charge me to go over the protocol and he later thanked me for the
information and he willingly prescribed the Valium that my Epi needed.
I have learned that most practicing veterinarians are not experts in caring
Epileptic. The vets I have come in contact with, for the most part,
and very dedicated men and women. They realize their limitations
refer you to a specialist when they feel the need to do so, has
When you look at the practice of most non specializing vets, you
a variety of ailments that they see every day, most will have only
of Epileptic patients. Most vets will welcome the information you
provide on treatments for an Epi.
Ask questions: All four vets said the same thing. If you have a question or
ask a question if you don't understand a treatment plan, medicine
testing/results. If you don't understand medical measurements, ask
explain; yes, they are busy, but they want you to be an informed
Caring for an Epi can be an expensive proposition. If finances are a
let them know that, too.
All four of the vets I spoke to were in agreement that one of the most
frustrating aspects of their practices was putting down a pup with a medical
that was treatable and the family could not or would not bear the
treating their pet.
All said that they would allow a family to make payments (though their
says they won't) for a client that has unexpected large expenses, but
clients are either embarrassed or simply won't ask. Be honest about
situation, there might be an alternative to the situation, such as your
medicines you need directly from a veterinary supply company.
might be a charge for writing the prescription, but in the long run,
you money. If you want your vet to call in a prescription to a
company, give them the phone number, make it easy for them to say
be afraid to ask why if your vet says no to the prescription.
thing I have learned, is to speak to the vet directly, don't rely on
his or her
staff to pass on a message.
When I asked my vet to send the processed and spun blood samples to Jean
DVM, we had a discussion about my reasoning for wanting this done. I
pay for his staff's time to draw and spin the blood and for the
needed to package it. My point, to him, was that I was not doing
because Hemopet's prices were so much
than the lab he
I used the
very logical and real argument that Dr. Dodds is a specialist in
of Hypothyroidism. Dr. Dodds also offers a more personalized
interpretation of the test results, his lab did not do that. Just based on
argument, he agreed with me and he appreciated the logic, in that Dr.
Dodds is a
respected researcher in her field.
If your pup is doing well, make and keep regular appointments for bloodwork,
diagnostics and a wellness checkup.
If you don't like your vet, (face it, this might really happen), if you
see eye to
eye, if you feel that your relationship is not a good one with
staff or the vet, talk it over with your vet and if you can't
the situation, change practices. No one will benefit from a poor
Finally, if you appreciate your vet, their staff, tell them so. If you have
to make a
late night call to them, make it clear to them that you appreciate
that they are available to you, say, on a Sunday night at 11 p.m.
say "thank you for taking the time to speak to me," then, even if
down, you have said thank you for their time in speaking to you.
kindness can go a very long way.
Contrary to popular belief, a veterinarian in practice today, is not making
They have incredible expenses, both in office and staff, equipment,
insurance, utilities, etc.
I do hope this has helped you, I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to the caring
practitioners about this
They were most gracious and willing
their thoughts and the common thread throughout my research was
wants the same thing as you do, for your pup to have the best
life that is possible for them.