Let’s face it; trips to the veterinary office can bring out a range of emotions. Many visits are not “happy” ones. You’re rushing in with an emergency, Fido is sick, and you don’t know why. Depending on the outcome of the medical visit you could be leaving with a horrible prognosis or even worse – without your pet. That loss most often will produce our normal grieving process. Emotions ranging from guilt, sadness, and anger will all be felt, many times resulting with a written review lashing out at the vet. Have you ever stopped to wonder “How accurate is this review?” or “Is there something else at play here?”
Some of the many thoughts that pet owners face after a visit to the vet with either a sick pet or an expensive outcome can have the already stressed out pet owner thinking:
1. I can’t afford to treat my pet.
2. I should have come in sooner.
3. I should have gotten a second opinion.
These thoughts that stem in guilt are oftentimes turned back towards the vet clinic, placing blame on them and again, resulting in a poor review.
Not uncommonly, pet parents don’t want to “hear” what the vet is saying. They bring Fido in, asking for their help and many times the vet is unable to simply look at your pet and magically ascertain what the issue at hand could be, or testing could be inconclusive and require further examination. Tests, lab work and x-rays must be done, and many pet parents are uneasy or even completely put off by the costs of these items.Yes, in some cases pet owners may run all of these tests only to bring their pet home and find out he passed his hair ball and all is well. They proceed to write a review saying, “That Dr. charged us all of that money and look, it took care of its self.” But consider this, what if the tests were not performed and you took Fido home without any treatment? You would be put off by the vet not doing his job and putting your pet’s health at risk.
Petful’s website has a great article written by a vet that goes through how to better communicate with your vet and avoid leaving the clinic confused or unprepared.
Second opinions are great and many times, advisable. However keep in mind circumstances vary. The first vet you see is presented with an entirely different circumstance than the second vet you may see. That first vet did what you can consider “The Leg Work”. He ran tests, did an exam and maybe even x-rays. He (or she) saw you while you were frantically begging them to save your pet. Upon your visit with the “second opinion doctor” you have now had time to digest or process what your first vet uncovered, plowed through the test results and now off you go for the second opinion. Fido may, or may not, be suffering to the extent he was upon the visit to the first vet. Ordinarily, by this point, you are more in control of your emotions and the initial blow of the possibly bad news may have passed.
Something else to consider: many online reviews these days are written by former co-workers who may be disgruntled or even working at competing offices. There is so much anonymity with these review writing sites that it’s difficult to be sure how credible each reviewer is. What better way to do harm than to smear a company with a bad review? You know that old saying “You can hear 100 compliments but it only takes one negative one to erase those previous positives.”
Try to remember, pet ownership is a huge responsibility. It can be expensive, requires time and commitment and quite a bit of compassion as well as patience towards the pet care professionals that we entrust with our fur babies.