What Happens When You Take Online Veterinary Advice?
We use the internet for nearly everything these days, and we rely on it to tell us exactly what we need to know – and fast. Few could argue with the convenience, but despite all the advantages, the available information isn’t always correct or necessary.
As for pet care, there are countless websites that aim to help owners. But some online veterinary advice should only be taken with a grain of salt.
Generally, pet health websites seem to have your pet’s best interest at heart. You may conduct a Google search for symptoms of a sick cat or dog, and you’ll likely find a list in a second or two that leads you to conclude that your pet is, in fact, sick.
Instead of falling down the rabbit hole of online veterinary advice even further, do a quick internet search to see whether or not you need to seek emergency care for your pet.
While there are many websites that publish facts, they aren’t a substitute for in-person veterinary care. Sure you can gather up information, but diagnosing your pet at home with the help of “Dr. Google” can place your pet at risk.
Furthermore, some symptoms may be obvious to you but they’re potentially linked to something you cannot see. Vomiting, for example, can simply be gastrointestinal upset, an allergic reaction or a symptom of poisoning.
A thorough examination is required. We also conduct in-depth conversations with pet owners that uncover behavioral, dietary, or environmental changes. Diagnostics and lab work are indispensable to diagnosis and treatment.
There are phenomenal online resources available to pet owners that should not be overlooked. The following are considered reputable sources from which you can conduct helpful research to benefit your pet’s well being:
- AAHA (the American Animal Hospital Association) Lifestyle Blog
- AVMA (the American Veterinary Medical Association)
- Cat Friendly Homes created by the American Association of Feline Practitioners
- Pet Poison Helpline
- ASPCA Poison Control
- Veterinary Partner
These websites can help pet owners learn more about disease prevention, behavioral health, nutritional, dental care, exercise, and more.
Online Veterinary Advice
Because we understand the value of immediate information, our Harris Parkway Animal Hospital Blog is always available to answer potential questions. We try to stay current with pet care trends while emphasizing the range of the ownership experience. Searchable by subject matter and categorized, we hope you’ll lean on us for accurate, relevant online veterinary advice.
Websites that claim they can diagnose or treat medical conditions are unethical and potentially dangerous.
Trust Your Gut
Most pet owners are highly intuitive regarding how their pet is feeling. If you aren’t sure that your pet needs care, but have your suspicions, it’s best to err on the side of caution. The safest approach is through professional veterinary examination, diagnostics, and treatment. Responding quickly (instead of poring over dubious online veterinary advice websites) is one of the best ways to safeguard your best friend’s health.
As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.