This was taken from Women's Day magazine and written by: Beth Levine
1. Keep your pet close in the waiting room.
Even though your Fluffy wouldn't hurt a fly, letting your pet wander is bad ettiquete when you don't know the other animals or owners. "Plus, animals that are in pain or ill may react differently than they normally would," says Julie Legred, CVT, interim executive director, National Association of Veterinary Technicians in American. Kep pets on leasshes or in carrying cases, and everyone will get along fine.
2. I need the truth - the WHOLE truth.
You be embarrssed that you don't brush your dog's teeth or that you share your nightly Ben & Jerry's with your kitty, or more seriously, you forgot to give you pets his meds or left a poisonous holly bush within reach. Try to remember that the vet is there to help your pet, not to judge you, and withouthoding facts to save face can be dangerous.
3. Regular checkups are critical.
Yearly physical examinations are provide vital information about your pet's health. Considereverything your vet does - vaccinations, nutrional counseling, and hearworm and intestinal parasite prevention - as investments to prevent deadly (or at least costly) diseases. Plus, when your vet sees your pet regularly, he is more likely to catch any potential health issues early, which can also mean a better chance of recovery.
4. Unusual behavior may be serious.
Don't wait to call if you see changes in your pet's routine, lack of appetite, lethargy, a bluging abdomen, trouble breathing or signs of pain. "With those symptoms, your pet could be bleeding interlally or be critcally ill," says Wendy Hauser, DVM, board member, American Animal Hospital Association in Lakewood, CO.
5. Please don't play doctor.
Never give your pet medications, particualary ones meant for people. Ibuprofen for example, can be life threatening to a pet. Even homeopathic therapies are problematic, as they can interact with a drug the vet may have already prescribed. "I love when clients want to educate themselves about pet health care," says Dr. Hauser, "but there are a lot of unrealiable sources out there.
6. Be detailed about symptoms.
Before you show up, explain your pet's symptoms as best you can - it helps vets determine if an animal is contagious. "If your pet is sickwith, say ultra-contagious kennel cough, he can infect other pets," says Legred. What's more, waiting rooms often have pets that are too young to be vaccinated, so if they become ill it can be fatal. "If need be, we can hav eyou come in after hours or thorugh a side entrance.
7. Have the number of your 24-hour animal hospital handy.
Your vet wants to be there for you as much as he can, but after office hours, this may not be possible. Ask for th4e closest and best emergency facility before you need it. That way, you're not panicked if something concerns you late at night.