There have been numerous times that I’ve been asked for an opinion about some medical condition of my family members and friends’ pets. We’ve always been taught that we could never make medical decisions without physically seeing the animal. That’s why I would only give very general opinions whenever asked. I understand that people can get lost and have no idea what to do when their pet is sick. They need guidance, which is going to benefit them more if it’s from a medical professional rather than from the internet. Nearly every time my main point would be to have them bring their pet to the vet as soon as possible. I keep trying to teach them that getting the appropriate medical care in time is worth one thousand times more than just sitting there worrying and waiting.
However, as I was asked again and again, I became disappointed at this kind of practice of “kindness.” Most of the time, people who ask are pet owners. The description they give may not be accurate, which can be frustrating as it takes you down the wrong path. Interpreting the wrong message does no good to anybody. Another classic scenario is that people will still keep waiting with fingers crossed and hope the pet can get better on its own. Sometimes they just think animals can heal everything or that time will take care of it. Those who ask may initially look or sound very concerned, but once they get your opinion they still choose to do nothing… I don’t see the point of explaining everything wholeheartedly and then getting a response that only devalues my knowledge. I have been heartbroken many times when I follow up and they say they are still monitoring or plan to wait longer to see if the animal gets better.
Telemedicine can be very handy and I am still willing to provide instructions to whoever asks, but I need to learn how to do it more wisely.