Should you seek a second opinion from your vet?

Sometimes as pet parents, we need the comfort of knowing that we can get a second opinion on our pet’s diagnosis. But is it always necessary?

The reality is that when your pet has an unusual limp, strange eating pattern or even a small wound, it’s natural to seek out professional help. That being said, sometimes we will head to the vet in an absolute state of panic only to be told that our pet is perfectly fine.

On some level, you believe your vet (they do have a medical degree after all) but to truly help ease some of that anxiety you decide to get a second opinion. Now, this isn’t to say that you don’t trust your primary veterinarian but sometimes we just want to make extra sure that we have received the most educated and accurate treatment advice possible.

But when should you seek the help of another vet and when should you just exhale?

When to seek a second opinion

Being a pet parent comes with a lot of stress. One minute our pet is being adorable and overexcited and the next we’re panic calling the vet. Now, there are moments where it is totally okay and even appropriate to seek another consult from a different vet.

Here are a few examples of when you should totally call on the help of another vet.

Related: How to Calm Your Dog at the Vet: 7 Simple Tips

A poor prognosis has been given

If your fur baby has been diagnosed with a terminal or serious life-threatening illness, they will need a custom treatment plan. That being said, your regular vet may not be qualified to help create a proper recovery plan for your pet.

By going to a specialist, you will be able to get a more defined prognosis and medical opinion. Your specialist is also knowledgeable on the disease or illness at hand, meaning your pet will be receiving the best of the best!

Expensive treatments

There are a number of conditions like cancer that require very complicated and costly treatments. Most of these costs are way above the annual income of most households.

While you should never skimp out on your pet’s overall health, consulting with a specialist can save you a lot of money. They may be able to offer you a more holistic treatment plan or something that is more targeted, which could end up a lot cheaper for you!

Opinion from an unfamiliar vet

There are a number of reasons why you might not be heading to your regular family vet. From it being an emergency to your regular vet being booked solid, you might have to consider seeing someone else.

That being said, this means that you haven’t been able to establish a relationship with a new veterinarian yet. Consulting with a second veterinarian may give you some comfort and help you to establish trust with your new veterinarian.

Your gut is telling you to

At the end of the day, you should always trust your vet – they have gone to medical school after all. However, sometimes the reality is that no one knows your pet like you do. If your gut is telling you that something is definitely wrong with your pet, even though your vet says they’re fine, then it’s okay to seek a second opinion.

Discover: 5 major signs your cat is sick (& how to afford vet visits)

How to best prepare for a second opinion

Let the record show that seeking a second opinion for another vet doesn’t have to be a big secret. You can totally tell your regular vet. Just be upfront with them and let them know that you will be consulting with their peers.

Most vets actually understand this and might even be able to give you the number of somebody they trust. When you call for a consultation with a new vet, they may ask for your pet’s medical history. This way they are able to better diagnose and assess your fur baby. You will be able to get copies of these records from your primary vet, so don’t forget to ask them to provide you with these copies.

It is also helpful to know the basics when it comes to your pet. Knowing the following information may help speed up the process and lead you to a more accurate physical exam:

  • Your pet’s age
  • Tests that are relevant to your pet’s medical condition
  • Last full body check-up
  • Underlying issues they may have
  • Blood type

Having these notes will help you to give the consulting veterinarian as much information as possible.

Final words on getting a second opinion

While it will cost you more to go see another vet, we totally get it. When you are worried about your fur baby you will do anything to see them happy and healthy. And so, if it will help ease your stress and ensure the health and safety of your pet, then by all means go and seek out a second opinion. Just make sure you have comprehensive pet insurance to help cover the cost of these consultations.

Read next: Why Oneplan’s Pet Super Plan is the Top Pet Insurance Plan for Boujee Pets

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