So I don't want to be the client that's like "I know you're the expert that went to school for this, but I read about it on the internet so I know more than you." But I also know that sometimes I've disagreed with a vet on something that I'm PRETTY sure I'm right about (declawing, for example). How do I tell a good vet from a bad one? I go to one now that I think is pretty good, but I just wonder if I only think that because they agree with my preconceptions.
In medicine there are many shades of gray and multiple ways of doing something. Without the proper training it can be difficult to determine if something is “right” or not and the internet more often than not gets it wrong. Unfortunately now days it is very easy for something to get put up online that spreads and gets taken as gospel when it is far from the truth. I applaud people that take time to read up and learn but it isn’t the same as being trained in that subject. Reading something on the internet does not ever make anyone more knowledgeable than someone that went to school for a specific degree. Ever.
There a few things to look for though. Does your vet at least offer the very best medicine? That means if your dog is vomiting, a good vet will take a thorough history and suggest blood work or maybe radiographs.
A good vet always provides pain relief when an animal might be in pain.
A good vet will recommend testing a lump and not just look at it and say it’s fine. This is often where the internet and reality diverge. To most people the better vet is the one that simply gives medications and doesn’t bother with “expensive testing”, however without knowing what is wrong with your pet they are actually doing harm. Often the cheaper vets are truly not the better ones, they are simply perceived that way.
Good vets take time to answer questions and make you and your pet feel welcome and cared for. Good vets do this for all of their patients so sometimes will run late because they are helping a client or have to ask you to email or call in with your other questions so they can move on to the next.
Good vets will refer you out to a specialist if they know they are not the best person to take care of your pet.
Good vets recommend preventative medicine like vaccines, fecal tests, annual blood work, etc.
Good vets truly care about your pet and when they know there is no other option, will suggest euthanasia to end any suffering.
Good vets don’t provide treatments or advice over the phone or internet without seeing your pet because they know they could do harm.
Good vets are often the ones that commit suicide because they simply cannot deal with the hatred and vitriol they are all too often treated to. Instead of sacrificing their morals ,they sacrifice themselves.