The Importance of Sticking to One Vet

August 12th, 2014

Stick to one vet

Many Pet owners use multiple vets for the care of their precious pets; however, this practice could be detrimental to your pet’s health and well-being in the case of an illness.

At Petplan we are on a campaign to get pet owners to stick to one or two regular vets or vet clinics for their pet’s veterinary needs. This can better ensure fast and accurate diagnosis and treatment when your pet is ill.

The 25% Who Go Missing

This move has come about after a survey revealed that on average 25% of a vet clinic’s client base is lost annually.  There can be very valid reasons why clients move away for a clinic; some attrition is attributed to a pet passing away, or that the pet owner has moved to another suburb and is using a vet clinic that is closer to their new home.  However, this only accounts for a small portion of the 25%.  The remaining loss could be a result of another vet clinic being easier to get to, having more parking, more amenities, or friendlier staff.

Whatever the reason for the shift, it means that in many cases the pet’s veterinary medical records are left behind, so the new vet has a gap in the pet’s profile, which could be disadvantageous if having to treat the pet in a crisis.

The 20% Who Can’t Commit

Cat Long Term TreatmentThe survey also showed that around 20% of pet owners use two vet clinics interchangeably. This can mean that the owner is using a regular vet normally, but using and 24 hour Emergency Hospital in times of when their regular vet is unavailable or not open, especially over weekends and public holidays.   Emergency hospitals are a life saver for pets in many circumstances and typically send details and records of what treatment they have performed to your regular vet and will discuss any ongoing concerns and further treatment.

What is worrying is that our survey revealed that 11% of people said that they use more than two vets simultaneously!  There are many reason why this happens. One reason is that today’s savvy shoppers want to maximise their money and may research the cost of vaccinations, worming tablets or even pet food at various clinics and choose to visit whichever clinic has the cheapest prices for the product or treatment they need.  Also following on from this, elective procedures like spaying may be cheaper at some clinics than others, which may encourage pet owners to stray from their regular vet.  This occurs particularly in highly populated areas where there are many vet clinics in close proximity.

Petplan Promotes Sticking to One Vet

While these percentages may not seem high, Petplan hopes that we can get more pet owners to stick to the same vet or clinic.  Having a regular vet is important to especially for aging pets who are more likely to develop chronic diseases, such as diabetes, renal or kidney conditions, or even arthritis, that require lifelong or long term veterinary management.

A regular vet can play a major role in effectively managing the pet’s condition through regular monitoring, as well as ensuring appropriate and timely veterinary treatment along with the pet’s lifestyle and dietary changes.

Build a Relationship

Besides having all of the pet’s veterinary records in one place, having a regular vet also allows a rapport to be built up between you and your regular vet.  This can be essential for your regular vet to detect changes in your pet’s condition, that will make for faster and to introduce treatment in a timely manner.

It also allows you to establish trust with your vet and; hopefully, your dog or cat will trust the vet and feel more comfortable receiving check ups and treatments. Trust is a two way street and knowing that you’ve shown your vet that you are a loyal client may lead to some perks. At Petplan we are proud to offer our clients the convenience of paying claims directly to veterinary practices, meaning you will never be out of pocket. To arrange to  have your claim paid directly to your vet you will need to make the appropriate arrangements with your veterinarian prior to filling out your claim form. Your veterinarian will need to contact Petplan to confirm the proper arrangement has been made.

Effective Long Term Treatments

Dog Trust Your VetThose pets with chronic illnesses may be tempted to ‘vet-hop’ when the condition seems not to improve, however, vets who see such ‘transient’ patients tend not to get a full picture of what is happening, or know the full extent of treatment that has already been undertaken or in progress, so may not be able to truly investigate why the illness is not improving.  By the time the right diagnosis is made, it may be too late.

Pet owners need to be better educated on the benefits of sticking to one regular vet.  A ‘new’ vet may not know what treatment or diagnostics have already been done means that it may actually cost owners more and cause the pet unnecessary stress if diagnostics are re-done.

If diagnostics need to be redone, having the previous results to compare to could assist in getting on top of, or diagnosing the problem.  This cannot occur if parts of the pet’s records are spread around several clinics the pet has visited.  Without a full picture or profile of the pet, is only giving the vet half of the story and expecting him/her to work a miracle.  In some cases it could affect the outcomes or in serious cases it could even be detrimental to the pet’s life!

So for the best for your pet’s well-being, stick to one regular vet. Click here to find a Petplan IVC Vet in your area.

Still not convinced? Check out our “Top Six Reasons to Stick to One Vet!” – Coming Soon!

This Blog was written by the furry family at Petplan Australasia. Petplan Pet Insurance specialises in animal and animal industry insurance. Our practices keep the role that pet insurance plays in responsible pet ownership and the health of the pet at the forefront. For tips to keep your pet healthy, make sure you follow us on Facebook.

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