When people get sick, it’s common to get a second opinion when faced with the prospect of a big surgery or a persistent ailment that doesn’t resolve. The same is true for our pets. You may have a favorite veterinarian, but sometimes it’s worth going beyond the fear of upsetting or hurting the feelings of that veterinarian and seeking out the opinion of another doctor to make sure you’re on the right track.
At Village West Veterinary, we see a lot of pets for second opinions, so we understand this situation. We want to pass on some suggestions about getting a second opinion for the four-legged members of your family.
When to Seek a Second Opinion
When you are told there is only one treatment, or worse, no treatment at all, it may be time to get a second opinion. A different veterinarian, possibly a specialist, may be able to offer other treatment options that will provide a different or better outcome.
Lack of a clear option
If your veterinarian hasn’t given you a clear option to resolve a health issue, you shouldn’t hesitate to get a second opinion. Sometimes a second pair of eyes will see something new or different and provide a clearer path to resolve your pet’s problem.
Complicated or expensive treatment
Some conditions – cancer, orthopedic injuries or abnormalities – require complicated and expensive treatment. A different veterinarian may be able to suggest a more targeted or less complicated and less expensive treatment plan.
An unfamiliar veterinarian
For any number of reasons, you may be seeing a vet for the first time. Perhaps you’ve just moved to a new area or your regular vet has retired, and suddenly you find yourself faced with an unexpected, and perhaps serious, diagnosis or prognosis. Seeing a second veterinarian may give you some comfort and help you establish a bond of trust with your new veterinarian.
Your gut tells you
Living with him or her 24/7, you know your pet better than anyone else in the world. If your gut tells you something is wrong and your veterinarian can find nothing after an exam and basic screening tests, it may be time to seek a second opinion.