I’d Like Some Veterinary Medicine, Please


After having a medical issue of my own recently, I had an epiphany: I’d rather see a veterinarian than deal with the human medical system.

The usual routine with human medicine: If something serious happens suddenly, you have to go to the emergency room; your own doctor can’t see you right away for anything serious.

The ER patches you up enough to be released and tells you to follow up with your own doctor. At the day of the appointment, your doctor decides you need an xray or ultrasound or other test – and sends you to another clinic or testing laboratory where this is done. It takes days for the results to get back to your doctor, and then he gets them, he sends you elsewhere for treatment. At least, that’s what happened to me, recently.

I’d Like Some Veterinary Medicine, Please

If the same event had happened to my dog – although, I don’t know why my dog would have been on a ladder cleaning gutters – my veterinarian would most likely have seen my dog that day unless it was after hours, in which case I would have taken the dog to the animal ER, a 24-hour clinic in the next town over. They, too, would have patched up the dog and told me to follow up with my regular vet.

But when I would have followed up with my regular vet, if she thought my dog needed an ultrasound or xray, she would have done it. And if she thought that my dog’s massive hematoma needed to be aspirated, she would have done that, too. And if she thought my dog needed an antibiotic or something, that, too, would have been dispensed right there at the veterinary clinic.

My husband once had an ugly cyst develop on his neck. His doctor, too, referred him elsewhere to have it lanced and drained. Again, if that had been my dog and my veterinarian, it would have been one-stop shopping.

I wouldn’t expect my “family veterinarian” to also treat my dog for an exotic eye disease or even cancer; I’m happy with the idea that there are veterinary specialists that one can see for special health problems. But boy, am I grateful for the fact that most veterinarians are both fully prepared and fully capable of triage, diagnosis, and hands-on treatment of our animal companions.

Are there still doctors out there who work like vets, diagnosing and treating problems on the spot?

Are there vets who don’t?

All I know is, I’m sending my vet some flowers.



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