PDA

View Full Version : advice on seeking second opinion


Joseph O'Brien
August 3rd 06, 09:37 PM
Hello. I'm debating whether or not to take my cat for a second
opinion. Can anyone give me advice on a polite way to do this?

Here's the background. I've always felt a little uncomfortable with my
vet, but he's done a good job in the past, he's been around forever, he
saved my cat's life, etc., so I figured I should stick with him, right?

Over the last 2 months, I've taken my cat in twice for lethargy, weight
loss, inability to jump, and apparent pain. The vet ran blood work the
first time and prescribed antibiotics for a high white count and a mild
fever. The second time, he tested for leukemia and took x-rays and
more blood samples. Everything was fine. More antibiotics. I
couldn't think of any good questions to ask, so I took the meds and
left, feeling a little uncomfortable about the situation.

Just recently I noticed that the cat's left hip was kind of sticking
out a little. After doing research, it sounds like hip dysplasia.

So, do you think I should stick with the same vet, or go to a new one?
If I get a second opinion, what is the proper way to get the paper work
for my cat and still leave the doors open for a good relationship with
my current vet? Regardless of which I choose, what are some questions
I should ask? Should I expect my vet to sit with me and go over
options, answer my questions, take phone calls, and really work with me
on helping my cat, or is that too much to ask? I know hey're busy, so
it's hard for me to judge how much to push.

Thanks for your continued advice,

Joseph

Outsider
August 3rd 06, 10:09 PM
"Joseph O'Brien" > wrote in
oups.com:

> Hello. I'm debating whether or not to take my cat for a second
> opinion. Can anyone give me advice on a polite way to do this?
>
> Here's the background. I've always felt a little uncomfortable with my
> vet, but he's done a good job in the past, he's been around forever, he
> saved my cat's life, etc., so I figured I should stick with him, right?
>
> Over the last 2 months, I've taken my cat in twice for lethargy, weight
> loss, inability to jump, and apparent pain. The vet ran blood work the
> first time and prescribed antibiotics for a high white count and a mild
> fever. The second time, he tested for leukemia and took x-rays and
> more blood samples. Everything was fine. More antibiotics. I
> couldn't think of any good questions to ask, so I took the meds and
> left, feeling a little uncomfortable about the situation.
>
> Just recently I noticed that the cat's left hip was kind of sticking
> out a little. After doing research, it sounds like hip dysplasia.
>
> So, do you think I should stick with the same vet, or go to a new one?
> If I get a second opinion, what is the proper way to get the paper work
> for my cat and still leave the doors open for a good relationship with
> my current vet? Regardless of which I choose, what are some questions
> I should ask? Should I expect my vet to sit with me and go over
> options, answer my questions, take phone calls, and really work with me
> on helping my cat, or is that too much to ask? I know hey're busy, so
> it's hard for me to judge how much to push.
>
> Thanks for your continued advice,
>
> Joseph
>
>


Joseph,

I am by no means an expert in any of this but having a terminally ill cat I
have had to deal with some of these same things myself. I tried to tap
into how I would act if it was ME seeing a human doctor.

I would tell your vet that you want to become more involved in you cat's
care and hope they (the vet) don't mind spending some time discussing the
cat's care. Ask "what else could cause these blood numbers?" "How certain
is this diagnosis?" "What treatment would you use if this was your
spouse's cat?". Ask about prognoses.

Doctors are expected to handle requests for a second opinion with
professionalism and many do but they are also human so I feel your
trepidation at asking the vet. This is why I think you need to increase
the information flow between you and your vet; it may make you decide to
stay or give you solid reasons to not. Not all vets are a match for all
pet owners. Talk more to the vet; if they can't deal with that level of
communication they are not the right vet for you and your cat.

Andy

Phil P.
August 4th 06, 12:22 AM
"Joseph O'Brien" > wrote in message
oups.com...
> Hello. I'm debating whether or not to take my cat for a second
> opinion. Can anyone give me advice on a polite way to do this?
>
> Here's the background. I've always felt a little uncomfortable with my
> vet, but he's done a good job in the past, he's been around forever, he
> saved my cat's life, etc., so I figured I should stick with him, right?
>
> Over the last 2 months, I've taken my cat in twice for lethargy, weight
> loss, inability to jump, and apparent pain. The vet ran blood work the
> first time and prescribed antibiotics for a high white count and a mild
> fever. The second time, he tested for leukemia and took x-rays and
> more blood samples. Everything was fine. More antibiotics. I
> couldn't think of any good questions to ask, so I took the meds and
> left, feeling a little uncomfortable about the situation.
>
> Just recently I noticed that the cat's left hip was kind of sticking
> out a little. After doing research, it sounds like hip dysplasia.
>
> So, do you think I should stick with the same vet, or go to a new one?
> If I get a second opinion, what is the proper way to get the paper work
> for my cat and still leave the doors open for a good relationship with
> my current vet? Regardless of which I choose, what are some questions
> I should ask? Should I expect my vet to sit with me and go over
> options, answer my questions, take phone calls, and really work with me
> on helping my cat, or is that too much to ask? I know hey're busy, so
> it's hard for me to judge how much to push.
>
> Thanks for your continued advice,
>
> Joseph


You should always get a second opinion anytime you have a doubt- or feel
uncomfortable with a vet's diagnosis or treatment.

Its always a good idea to get a copy of all your cat's medical records- not
only to avoid uncomfortable situations, but also to save precious time in
the event of an emergency.

Phil

Gail
August 4th 06, 12:29 AM
Yes, and a vet that is secure and professional will not mind that you are
getting a second opinion (the same as an MD).
Gail
"Phil P." > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> "Joseph O'Brien" > wrote in message
> oups.com...
>> Hello. I'm debating whether or not to take my cat for a second
>> opinion. Can anyone give me advice on a polite way to do this?
>>
>> Here's the background. I've always felt a little uncomfortable with my
>> vet, but he's done a good job in the past, he's been around forever, he
>> saved my cat's life, etc., so I figured I should stick with him, right?
>>
>> Over the last 2 months, I've taken my cat in twice for lethargy, weight
>> loss, inability to jump, and apparent pain. The vet ran blood work the
>> first time and prescribed antibiotics for a high white count and a mild
>> fever. The second time, he tested for leukemia and took x-rays and
>> more blood samples. Everything was fine. More antibiotics. I
>> couldn't think of any good questions to ask, so I took the meds and
>> left, feeling a little uncomfortable about the situation.
>>
>> Just recently I noticed that the cat's left hip was kind of sticking
>> out a little. After doing research, it sounds like hip dysplasia.
>>
>> So, do you think I should stick with the same vet, or go to a new one?
>> If I get a second opinion, what is the proper way to get the paper work
>> for my cat and still leave the doors open for a good relationship with
>> my current vet? Regardless of which I choose, what are some questions
>> I should ask? Should I expect my vet to sit with me and go over
>> options, answer my questions, take phone calls, and really work with me
>> on helping my cat, or is that too much to ask? I know hey're busy, so
>> it's hard for me to judge how much to push.
>>
>> Thanks for your continued advice,
>>
>> Joseph
>
>
> You should always get a second opinion anytime you have a doubt- or feel
> uncomfortable with a vet's diagnosis or treatment.
>
> Its always a good idea to get a copy of all your cat's medical records-
> not
> only to avoid uncomfortable situations, but also to save precious time in
> the event of an emergency.
>
> Phil
>
>

Rene S.
August 4th 06, 09:59 PM
> You should always get a second opinion anytime you have a doubt- or feel
> uncomfortable with a vet's diagnosis or treatment.
>
> Its always a good idea to get a copy of all your cat's medical records- not
> only to avoid uncomfortable situations, but also to save precious time in
> the event of an emergency.
>
> Phil

I agree completely. If you are uncertain or have concerns, it is your
right to get another opinion. In fact, it is your duty, as your pet
can't speak for himself.

Call your current vet and request a copy of all medical records. Ask
them to fax it to XXX number, or say you'll pick them up at XYZ time.
You do not need to say any more. If they do ask, you can reply "I'd
like to have copies for my records." (Then make another copy before
giving them to another vet. You may need them again.)

Rene

August 5th 06, 09:10 AM
Phil P. wrote:
>
> You should always get a second opinion anytime you have a doubt- or feel
> uncomfortable with a vet's diagnosis or treatment.
>
> Its always a good idea to get a copy of all your cat's medical records- not
> only to avoid uncomfortable situations, but also to save precious time in
> the event of an emergency.
>

I agree. I always ask for a copy of the bloodwork results. They really
don't make much sense to me, but I can look up the numbers to see what
the mean, and if I need to go to an emergency vet in a hurry, I can
grab the info I have and take it with me.

If you have copies, you don't even need to tell your vet that you are
going for a second opinion. Just take what tou have to the new vet, ask
for an exam, and let them look over what you have so far. If you like
the new vet, great. If not keep looking or go back to the old one.

I have tried a couple closer vets on several occasions. My old vet is
further away, and I was hoping to find a closer vet I like. They were
okay, but I liked my old one better. They never asked why I didn't do
everything there. They've been great. I found out today that the vet
and a couple of the techs drive further than I do to get there.