“I will not believe everything I read online, and I will call my dog’s veterinarian if there are any immediate health concerns or issues that arise with my dog’s health.”
The above is the one resolution we ask all Fidose of Reality readers, followers, and dog parents to make from this moment going forward.
Above all, we are a health and wellness blog. We are also a blog of dog parents, for dog parents, and by dog parents. Rule number one: Never substitute an in-person visit or phone call to your dog’s veterinarian in place of something you read online. So when do you call the vet versus believe dog health information online?
Check out the list below and see if you can guess how many of these reasons warrant a call to your dog’s veterinarian and/or an emergency room visit.
1 Diarrhea or vomiting
2 Lack of appetite/drinking water
3 New or unusual behavior
4 Sudden appearance of lump(s)
5 Limping or change in gait/walking
6 Urinary issues
7 Breathing issues
8 Ate something he or she shouldn’t have
9 Pawing at face, eye, or ear
If you guessed ALL nine of these reasons, you are correct. There are even more reasons to call the veterinarian, but you get the idea: Dogs cannot talk, so it’s up to their owners/parents to be the voice of wellness. Even if the website or blog is credible and sources are revealed in conjunction with statements about health and well-being, this is not a substitute for seeing a veterinarian who knows your dog, has his records, and can determine what tests, if any are necessary.
As a health and wellness dog blogger, we use the Internet all the time: We also use trusted resources in sharing the information we do with our readers. We are not a substitute for the veterinarian.
How and When to Use Dog Health Information Online: FROM CREDIBLE SOURCES
1 To research a topic more in-depth to be a better informed dog parent and facilitate a conversation with the veterinarian. Case in point: When my dog tore his ACL, though our veterinarian shared information about custom leg braces, credible online and in-person resources guided our decision;
2 To garner more information about a topic or diagnosis made by your dog’s veterinarian. Proceed with caution: A few clicks of the mouse, a half hour online, and your dog sounds like he or she has every possible problem known to mankind;
3 To join a dog-centric online forum and engage with dog health-related topic(s). Case in point: When my previous Cocker Spaniel was diagnosed with mast cell cancer, I learned more about this “great imposter” of cancers than I ever imagined. I asked the oncologist questions;
4 Access to reviews of products and to gain insights from others who have used them;
5 To seek alternative medicine options to discuss either with your vet;
6 To find out of area, specialty, or new veterinarian;
Former vet tech, Rachel Shephard of My Kid Has Paws, has further coverage on the topic of “when to call the veterinarian” here. In our continuing Medicine Versus Mom twice monthly feature, we explore topics from the dog mom and the vet tech perspective;
Did we miss any reasons to use dog health information online?
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