(Editor's Note: The Boxer Mailing List is an excellent forum for Boxer enthusiasts. Many times members have questions regarding health matters, including experiences with veterinarians. Carole Stein has shared her experiences with the group several times, and contributed this article to help people understand their relationships with their vets. The goal, of course, is more effective communication between humans -- and better health care for our Boxers.)
1. Just like any doctor, there are good vets and bad vets.
2. There are some vets who are comfortable referring people to specialists; there are others who are not. YOU want one that will refer.
3. There are some cities that have referral practices with specialists, while many do not.
4. If you live close to one of the 22 vet schools and/or Angel Memorial Hospital in Boston, consider yourself VERY fortunate.
5. Most people are fairly knowledgeable about people medical problems (at least to some degree). They can ask reasonable questions of their doctor.
6. Most pet owners, however, know little or nothing about diseases of their animal. Most pet owners don't have a clue what questions to ask and are 100% dependent upon their vets for ALL the answers.
7. YOU, as a member of the BML, are different. As a member of this list you have more than a casual interest in your Boxer and specific health problems.
8. Many vets are not used to knowledgeable pet owners. Unfortunately, you must assert yourself. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
9. If your vet doesn't like the fact that you are knowledgeable, find another vet.
10. If you don't develop a trusting relationship with your vet, for whatever reason, find another vet.
11. Your dog can't talk......YOU see how the dog is acting. The vet can only observe what he/she sees at that particular time. YOU must be your Boxer's health advocate. Provide as much information as you can. In fact, you may want to provide your vet with a written chronicle of the symptoms, behaviors, etc. -- the more information, the better.
12. There have been huge advances in veterinary care. Many are expensive. MOST people will not spend (or do not have) the funds to pay for such care. There are many, many more options available today. Ask.......often a vet will not bring something up because his/her general population is not interested. YOU are special, you just might be.
13. There is a lot of very sound information on the Boxer Mailing List and on BoxerLife. Take advantage of it -- share it with your vet! Consider yourself lucky that the list has at least two veterinarians who share their expertise and knowledge with list members.
Copyright © 2012 Carole S. Stein and the Boxer Mailing List