“The Good Word” by Dr. Carol Good – Rockford Animal Hospital

Does Your Pet get “Chauffeured” to the Veterinary Office?

     You don’t have to be famous like “Morris, the cat or “Eddie” from the TV show “Frazier” to get chauffeured to the veterinary office. I see pets all the time that get this luxury. Well, maybe not the way you think it means. You see, anytime someone brings a dog or cat to my office and they don’t know anything about the pet or its medical condition, I consider that person a “chauffeur”. They just drove the pet to my office and that’s almost all they know about what’s going on.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Life happens and dogs and cats don’t get sick at convenient times for our schedules. So sometimes, just getting your pet to my office is the best we can both do. But, since your pet can’t tell me anything, I really rely on the person who brings them in to tell me as much as possible about the situation.

To help make sure I can do my very best for you both, I’ve come up with a list of information/questions to answer that you could write down and give the “chauffeur” to bring in with your pet.

  1. If this is your pet’s first visit to my office or you haven’t brought this pet to see me in a number of years, please send your pet’s medical record from your previous veterinarian or have them fax or e-mail the medical record to my office before the appointment. If you can’t do this, at a minimum, write down some notes about your pet’s health and medical history. The type of information to include would be: What kind of vaccines where given, when they were given and if they are up to date; What medical problems has your pet had in the past, how were they treated and did they resolve; Has your pet had any tests in the last year such as stool parasite testing, heartworm testing, Feline Leukemia virus and AID’s virus testing and what were the results?
  2. Write down a list of medications your pet is taking (including parasite preventatives and supplements), as well as how much, how often and how long it has been given, and/or send the bottles with your chauffeur.
  3. Write down when/what your pet last ate or drank. What do they normally eat (brand of food or home cooked). Has there been any food changes within the last 2 weeks. Has there been any recent change in amount of water or food your pet wants to eat? Has your pet eaten anything they shouldn’t have, like garbage, human food, or a toxin?
  4. Write down if there have been any changes in the elimination habits of your pet (stool or urine). What does it look like, how often do they go, are they successful in eliminating? Do they go in inappropriate places?
  5. Write down any observations or concerns that you have about your pet. Especially the ones that prompted you to send your pet to me today. For example, if it’s a limp, which leg do you think he is limping on, how long has he been limping, is it getting better, worse or staying the same? If it is a lump on the body, use a marker to circle it or cut the hair off over the lump to identify the area. When did you first notice the lump/is it getting bigger/does it bother your pet?
  6. Make sure the chauffeur has your phone number and you plan to be available to be contacted around the time of the appointment. That way, I can call you to discuss my findings and recommendations. If I can’t reach you, this delays moving forward in treating or diagnosing your pet.
  7. Finally, plan ahead on how the bill will be paid. Give the chauffeur cash, provide us with your credit card over the phone or send your card with your chauffeur, along with permission to use it and for how much.

You and I both want your furry buddy feeling better quickly. So, if you’re going to chauffeur him to my hospital, send me all the information listed above and I’ll give him the “royal care” he deserves.

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