You’ve probably seen the TV ad where the doctor rushes across the ball field trying to make a catch.
“You wouldn’t want your doctor doing your job, so why try to do his?” It’s about folks trying to diagnose themselves and treat with over-the-counter remedies.
Some do this because they want to save money (and who doesn’t?). Some do this because they don't want to think about how serious the problem might be.
I have a family history of heart attacks, so when my cholesterol began creeping up, I probably should have taken my doctor’s advice to start statin-type drugs to get it down. I wasn’t enthusiastic about the side-effects, or about taking medicine in general. Since I eat a pretty Spartan diet and exercise vigorously on a daily basis, I felt like I’d be in better shape than my father and his siblings.
Besides, some folks couldn’t get their cholesterol as low as mine when they ARE taking medicine. I mean, mine just wasn’t that high, right?
I didn’t exactly ignore my doctor’s recommendation. I more disregarded it (okay, that’s not much different, is it?).
And then I began having chest pain. I couldn’t ignore THAT. A dye study showed that I had an 80% blockage in a major coronary artery. Fortunately, it was readily treated with a stent. I narrowly avoided a massive, probably fatal, heart attack. I sent my doctor this text: “You were right, I was wrong, and I almost died. What can I say?” I can say I’m very happy to have dodged the bullet.
So, I don’t have the moral high ground when I get frustrated by clients who either ignore the pet’s problem or my advice. I’m no better as a patient, myself.
Still, I DO get frustrated by this. This is really common with dental problems. I’m really happy that I was able to extract two teeth yesterday. Six months ago, we found that the dog had two broken teeth, with the pulp chamber (the NERVE) exposed. I don’t know how long they had been that way. I’m just glad that the situation has been handled.
It was a major oral surgery, and a major bill. I can see why people would put it off.
Imagine that you’ve had two teeth broken open to expose the nerves. Now imagine that it’s been six months and you couldn’t do anything about it. Now for the hard one: imagine that it doesn’t hurt.
Dogs and cats are pretty stoic, and often don’t exhibit pain in the way you might think. Sometimes you’ve just got to put yourself in the animal’s place. If you know you’d be hurting, then so is the pet.
You and your veterinarian have the same goal: for you and your pet to enjoy life together as much as possible for as long as possible. When he/she recommends something, it’s about helping your pet and helping you.
I know that we all have limitations on our resources, and we cannot always go with “Plan A”. The important thing is confront the situation and deal with it in the best way that you can.
Don’t wait until you have chest pain. And if you do, don’t ignore it.