Do You Do What The Vet Says’

The other day after a ride, my sister asked how my hips were doing.? they’ve been hurting for quite some time now (after sitting, but not riding, thank God!),?and I finally went to the doctor. She said I have trochanteric bursitis, and she offered me cortisone injections or, if I prefer, I could try a course of exercises to see it they help. That was an easy decision,?and I’ve done the prescribed exercises every day.? I’m noticing some improvement, too. My sister was stunned that I was doing the exercises.? ?Why wouldn?t I’? I asked, thinking that was bizarre reaction. ?Well,? she said, ?I learned in vet school to expect most people to not take your advice.? She went on to say that she sees it over and over again. Sometimes, she’ll tell a new client what’s wrong and what to do, only to be told, ?that’s what Dr. Jones told me, too.? Apparently, there are people who don’t like the treatment advice Vet 1 says, so they go to Vet 2 to see if it’s easier. Not a second-opinion type of visit, but a full new workup without letting on about the other vet to the new vet. My turn to be stunned. ?Why on earth would you pay someone for their opinion and then not take their advice’? My sister just shrugged. Then I thought back to Dr. Grant Miller?s Veterinary Viewpoints article in our September issue. In that piece, Dr. Miller wrote about 10 ways to make your veterinarian happy. One of them said: ?Follow our advice. Many times I’ve been befuddled to learn I prescribed a treatment that the owner didn’t follow correctly. When vets make recommendations, we expect the horse to respond in a certain way. If you call a week later to say the horse is no better, we assume our treatment didn’t work.? ?The consequences are a prolonged problem for your horse, more expense in time and money for you (since we have to do more work), and frustration for us because we have to figure out why your horse didn’t respond.? If you’re uncomfortable with your veterinarian?s recommendations for whatever reasons, please say so immediately. it’s better in the long run.? That doesn’t mean don’t?get a second opinion if tHere’s question over the diagnosis or the suggested treatment is extremely invasive or expensive. But if you do want a second opinion, be up front about it to both veterinarians. It?ll save you money in the long run, and you might be surprised that they may collaborate on the case, giving you even better suggestions. No good veterinarian will be upset by it.

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