The realisation that hit me not so long ago is the need to also judge the characters holding the lead, rather than just inspecting those tied to it. We must be psychologists, family planners or even clairvoyants in under 10 minutes. Much like we interpret an animals physical signs, we must interpret the owners psychological signs that they are capable. Making the decision whether this person really will be able to give a tablet 3 times a day, if they can’t, our treatment is can be seriously undermined.
Beyond judging the individual with us, will their partner end up doing the job and if so, can they really be relied upon? What are their future plans? Are they going on holiday and is a neighbour going to be looking after the pets?
Obviously, this isn’t always possible, so we must motivate the client, developing a relationship and understanding. In a consult there are few better ways to motivate a client to control parasites than showing them wriggling fleas under a microscope.
In a case of atopic dermatitis you could engage a client by providing different shampoos on consecutive visits, dependant on the the severity of the issues at the time. The owner then has the ability to adjust the treatment at home and be proactive on their own.
Beyond all this however perhaps the best piece of advice I have been given, is to make sure the owner knows they are welcome to ring any time, for any concerns.
Joe Barrington – Writer, adventure sports lover and Bristol Vet student. Having taken a year away from Veterinary studies to work in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya, Joe enjoys life away from the tarmac roads. He is currently planning an adventure motorcycle trip after qualifying next year with the aim of exploring and filming the variety of human animal interaction.
If you want to keep up to date with or contact Joe have a look at www.VetsTail.com alternatively tweet @VetsTail