Monday, February 2, 2015
The over use of worst- case- scenarios when communicating with pet owners about their pets’ health
Too often I encounter from owners that come to see me with their pets, a history of gloom and doom as it refers to their pets’ health unless hospitalization for a few days is accepted and multiple tests and treatments are accepted as well.
I deeply believe that frank, truthful and open communication with the owner is a must.
I find, sadly, that too often words like—if you take your pet home and not leave him with us he might die—are being used.
True, it is, at certain times a true scenario, but at times it is used to generate fear and guilt with the owner so the pet is hospitalized and higher revenues created.
I believe that if a true danger to life is possible it should be communicated immediately. I also believe that if treatment as an outpatient care is possible that should be communicated immediately too.
The only guideline should be the patients’ wellbeing and comfort, and if a positive outcome is possible as an outpatient, then it should be advised and used. The hospital environment can be very stressful to our pets and their emotional wellbeing should also be part of the equation.
In conclusion: open, truthful and frank communication with pets’ owners is a must and a guideline that I always follow in my over twenty five years of experience in Veterinary Medicine.
The pets’ well being, both physical and emotional, should be the only factor used in determining the best veterinary healthcare.
Dr. Ehud Sela
The Gentle Vet
Gentle Vet Animal Hospital
© Dr. Ehud Sela. No work herein may be reproduced in any way without expressed permission from the author.