Monday, 11 February 2013

"I've been doing some research"

"I've been doing some research and......"

The few words fill me with dread every time I hear them mentioned, as I'm sure they do to many other Doctors, Vets & nurses in the UK. For this simply means that the owner of an animal has 'googled' or 'researched' their pets ailment and as a result feels that they are now qualified to diagnose their animal.
Don't get me wrong now, I am not from the dark ages and some times (very few I might add) this can be helpful. But more often than not it just fills the head of an animal owner full of nonsense.

Take this week for example....I have a cracking telephone conversation for you:

'I have been doing some research on line about my cats body weight. When I came in last I was told by the vet that my cat is a bit over weight. However after doing some research on line I believe that my cat is actually a Norwegian Forest cat and therefore weighs more than other breeds.'

- Whilst I can't comment on a vets opinion during the consult, weight is determined by body score not just weight. Therefore they would look at the whole of your cat determining whether they can feel ribs, whether the abdomen is tucked in or enlarged etc. Therefore your cat could well be overweight and they were merely advising you of this.

'Well yes but I don't think my cat is overweight. Also after phoning my insurance company they have told me that if I get a letter stating that my cat is in fact a Norwegian Forest cat then I can get an upgrade on my policy. I re homed that cat from a charity and it was actually my brother that saw the cat on 'youtube' and thought how alike they were.'

- Bare with me whilst I just discuss this with my head nurse. Yes it's as I thought since you re homed they cat from a 'welknown charity' you will not therefore have any paperwork with the cat, IE its pedigree lineage. Because of this without doing full DNA testing your cat will always be put down as a Domestic Long Haired because without appropriate paperwork we cannot just guess.

'Well that's not good enough I spend a lot of money on a weekly basis with you, and your just not willing to write a tiny letter and have the vet sign it.'

- I'm afraid the vet will not put their name and their MRCVS against something that you are not willing to prove and will therefore be liable by an insurance company.

There commenced another 5 minute conversation with the owner having a general rant at me over the phone for something I could not do anything about.

Research! After coming off the phone and letting off a bit of steam I did have a chuckle about identifying your cat through 'Youtube'

If you're in any doubt about your pets health, please bring it in don't just research it. And also be warned that if you start the consult with I've researched this condition and I believe it to be that (and I won't hear anything else) you may get the back of a vet up, after all they did study medicine and veterinary science for 5-6 years.

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