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DR. GOOGLE. QUALIFIED OR NOT?

Posted by petemergencyclinic on


 

Dear Fellow Pet Lovers,

 

Dr. Google is the new authority on veterinary medicine in our area.

 

Ever heard of him? He is the first guy you can ask about a pet problem. Always gives you literally hundreds of answers and usually at no up-front fee. What a guy! What's not to like?

 

During the past several years of practicing veterinary medicine, I have come to know the famous Dr. Google very well. At times, I have been very exasperated with him, as he has maybe delayed my clients from seeking proper treatment.

 

I am not sure what med school Dr. Google attended, but I have to say that some of his advice is just crazy. When that advice is followed by a well-meaning pet owner, it may be at worse disastrous or at best may delay proper care. Of course, it can make my job more difficult.

 

But what about the GOOD Dr. Google accomplishes? (Do not worry, fellow DVM's. I have NOT gone crazy)

 

What good does Dr. Google accomplish? I have found, that in many cases, a caring pet owner sees pet medical symptoms, Googles them, and then determines that he must seek care. This results in a pet being seen by a DVM who may not have otherwise. This is a good thing and I literally see it all the time.

 

So, no, I am not ready to banish Dr. Google to a remote island with no internet service. But, of course, I will give you some tips to help you use the sometimes glib and misleading Dr. Google for a good effect. Here you go.....

 

1- If your pet is REALLY ill or injured, just get it seen by your own DVM. Skip Dr. Google.

2- If your pet is showing some vague symptoms and you want to get a better idea, searching with Dr. Google may be helpful. You should still seek competent care from a DVM who will actually LOOK at your pet.

3-Remember this about Dr. Google; a large percentage of the "data" given is with the goal of selling you something, and it will be presented in a way that makes you want to buy it.

4-Another large percent of Dr. Google's data is not written by knowledgable people. Nobody checks it. If it is wrong and you harm your pet, TOUGH LUCK, Charlie! [An example of this that I see is the multiple crazy-high doses of a particular cattle dewormer for preventing heartworms in dogs]

 

So, what to do?

Use Dr. Google to get a general idea of what is going on with your pet if the condition is not immediately life-threatening. Always take the data with a grain of salt.

 

Have a relationship with a veterinarian (DVM) so that you may get the problem handled by YOUR OWN expert. (If you do not feel that your DVM is your own expert, I suggest that you find one who you do. There are lots of great ones around)

 

Remember, handling problems early in the course of illness is usually much cheaper and is definitely easier that waiting until it progresses.

 

As always, you CAN do something about pet illness.

 

 

That is all.

 

 

Dr. John Emerson, Pet Emergency Clinic

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