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Doggie Day Fair 2

Pet owners: Consult a vet, not the internet!

This post was filed under Dog Ownership.

When I first started this blog, I expected to receive comments and messages from readers asking advise regarding their pet’s health. I’ve made the necessary disclaimer on my site that I am not veterinarian, and that this blog is purely a chronicle of my life with my dogs. But still, I still keep on getting messages from people seeking answers regarding their pet’s condition. I don’t mind, honestly, as I’m ok with recommending vets I know anyway. But lately, I seem to be getting one two many questions on what to do about their pet’s condition that I find it quite disturbing already.

I understand that times are hard, and whatever you can save, you keep it. Consulting a vet or any of those pet health services don’t come cheap, and I know sometimes it’s tempting to simply search the net and try to discern for ourselves what our dog’s symptoms mean. But don’t forget that when you decided to keep a pet, you understand the responsibilities that go with it — and that includes vet expenses.

I don’t mean to sound preachy, but really… When you think your dog isn’t breathing properly, or that something is out of the ordinary that got you worried in the first place — bring your dog to the vet. ASAP. The time you spent scourging the net for answers or asking every Joe Schmoe you know could cost your dog his life. That’s a bit exaggerated, but really, every minute counts to ensure your dog’s recovery.

I made that same mistake with my baby Sheero before — I should have brought her to the vet sooner, and it didn’t occur to me that there might have been another reason why she got sick again. I just assumed that if she continued with the meds prescribed by the vet, it’ll be fine. It was only after few days that it became apparent to me the meds aren’t working because of a different problem — and that was the only time we did take her to the vet. Sheero passed away due to a heart attack that led to a coma. Together with our vet, we did everything we could to save her, but still… There’s this question of what-could-have-been had we brought her to the vet sooner.

I hope nobody goes through what I did — Sheero’s passing really broke our hearts. It took a while to recover. And while we’re learning to accept the fact that we did everything in our power to keep her alive, there will always be the nagging feeling that things could have ended differently if we didn’t hesitate.

Remember, when you decided to take a pet, it’s assumed that you know what you’re getting into. I’ve said this more than twice but I’m going to say it again: bring your dog to the vet immediately if he seems sick and don’t play vet unless you really are one. Even if your pet’s symptoms “seem to match” a general article you found on the internet, or that you feel that you’ve told everyone every single detail of your pet’s condition in the hopes that some tech-savvy vet will advise you online — there could have been something you missed that only the trained eye of a vet can see. It’s always better to bring your dog to the vet for an actual, face-to-face consultancy.

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