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    Selecting A Veterinarian

    Selecting A Veterinarian

    Choosing a veterinarian is similar to selecting a family doctor or dentist. It is a very personal choice, and the same criteria apply. Many people choose a veterinarian based solely on proximity. However, there are many factors to consider when choosing a veterinarian, including the services offered, the cost, and the doctor's bedside manner. Personal referrals are an excellent way of finding a good veterinarian. Before simply consulting the Internet or Biblechecking local Yellow Pages for the nearest clinic, ask your cat-owning friends, relatives, or neighbors for recommendations (make sure they are satisfied with the veterinarians they recommend). If you have a specific breed of cat, contact the local breed club for recommendations for veterinarians familiar with your breed; breed clubs can be a good all-around source of information. Cat owners may want to consider going to a feline-exclusive veterinary facility because the doctors there will be more familiar with feline disorders than those at a general veterinary practice.

    Once you have the name of the recommended veterinarian or veterinary clinic/hospital, pay a visit to meet the veterinarian so you can discuss your cat and your expectations. Ask for a tour of the facilities. The clinic should meet your standards for cleanliness and organization, and the veterinarian should be someone who makes you feel comfortable and who is willing to answer all of your questions. The technicians, receptionists, and other staff should be friendly and professional. You may wish to visit several practices before making your final decision.Pets don't always get sick between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to deal with a veterinary emergency, it's important to know where to go for help. Not all veterinary clinics offer twenty-four-hour or emergency care. If your veterinarian does not offer emergency services, ask him or her where to take your cat in the event of an emergency. Although veterinary clinics offer a name and phone number of a nearby emergency facility on their answering machine recording if you call after hours, you should be familiar with the location before any emergency arises. Don't squander precious time searching for the facility if your cat is in dire straits.

    Choose your veterinarian carefully. You need to be comfortable with the vet, his or her staff, and the office environment.

    From The Cat Bible, Copyright by Sandy Robins, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with I-5 Press

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