Wait, is there a written exam too?
There are many ways a veterinarian learns about our animals. Observing how our animal is behaving, a thorough physical exam (complete with lots of petting!), and lab work such as a blood test or X-ray are all super important to helping determine what’s going on. But there are some things that no amount of testing or examining can tell a veterinarian, and that’s where you come in! Vets need our help to know what’s been going on at home, and since our pets can’t speak for themselves, it’s up to us to tell the vet what’s happening. Even if our animal is feeling great, it’s important that the vet understand the whole picture to help us keep our animals happy!
Here are some examples:
First, a lot of pets behave differently at the vet as they do at home. Animals at the vet can get a surge of energy, and a dog who has been extra sleepy at home might be bouncing off the walls at the clinic. On the other hand, a dog who has been running around at home 24-7 might be very shy and quiet in the clinic. In both cases, what we are seeing at home is very important to help the vet!
Or say my cat has been throwing up in my shoe; the vet will want to know if my cat just threw up in my shoe today, or if my cat throws up in my shoe every day! (I hope not!)
How well a pet is eating at home is also important, as not every animal will eat treats in the clinic (this may be hard for some dog owners to believe!). The vet will want to know if a pet is avoiding food at home, finishing their meals, or finishing their meals and trying to finish everyone else’s food too (personally my cat tries to steal pastries when I’m not looking!).
Speaking of eating too much, a vet will always want to know if your pet got into the Thanksgiving turkey, or if any socks have gone missing!
Of course these are just a few of many questions a veterinarian might ask you when you bring your pet to the vet, but you can see there is a lot of information a vet can only find out from you! Since our pets can’t talk, we have to answer the questions for them!
Thank you for reading!