I’ve discussed in previous posts why it’s important to see your veterinarian on a regular basis and what we look for during an examination. An equally valuable part of the visit is what we refer to as “history-taking.” I rely on your observations and descriptions in lieu of being able to ask your dog or cat how he or she is feeling. It’s been my experience that the more “in tune” you are with your animal companion and the better you are able to express your observations and concerns, the more successful we will be at achieving a positive outcome. Conversely, discussions with someone who is not familiar with the animal are often less helpful.
The person who knows the most about the animal’s behavior should be the one to meet (ideally) or speak with the vet. If another family member is asked to transport the animal companion to the vet’s office, it would be great if he or she provided the phone number of the primary caretaker.
A complete set of questions that may be asked in order to figure out what’s wrong with your animal companion could include the following:
The following are some secondary questions:
Try to be aware of your animal companion’s “normal” behavior so that you’ll be able to answer the questions outlined above as accurately as possible and identify any unusual behavior, which could be a symptom of illness. This will be a big help to both your vet and your animal companion.
Improve your health, save animals, and protect the planet.