We hear from a lot of pet parents that have trouble communicating with their veterinarian. Some feel their concerns are not heard and their questions are unanswered. Yet we strongly believe we should question our veterinarians in order to better understand the true nature of our cat’s health. So why the communication problem?
Do you fear questioning your vet?
Many medical professionals aren’t used to being questioned about their practice and procedures. For generations we’ve learned to follow their advice, whether we understand it or not. It’s easy to do because many times their language is so complicated that you need a degree to get it. Veterinarians who are rarely questioned will sometimes get offended if asked to explain their diagnosis or prescription.
I once took my cat to the vet for a constipation problem. He had a small hard turd stuck in his anal canal. The doctor was able to work it out with her finger (gross, I know) and then proceeded to prescribe an antibiotic for him. I questioned that logic. “Does he have an infection?” I asked. “No, but sometimes there can be a secondary issue and this could help prevent it from happening” she responded. Knowing the side effects of antibiotics, I didn’t understand why we would put chemicals into his body when the problem turd had been removed. I opted not to take her advise or the antibiotic and she became offended. It happens!
But don’t let the fear stop you from questioning your vet.
This kind of real conversation needs to happen more often, in our opinion. We must approach our questions humbly, however. If your veterinarian says something that you don’t understand, politely ask them to explain it in laymen’s terms. Most vets won’t be offended if they feel like they have a teaching moment instead of feeling like their professional integrity is being challenged.
Find a veterinarian who is willing to teach you what you don’t understand about the health of your cat. Not only will it help strengthen the relationship you have with your vet, but it will also help you be more informed about your kitty’s wellness – leading to you making better decisions for your feline’s health.