The biggest barrier any animal hospital will face is the assumption that all care is good care when it comes to family pets and other animals. When you consider emergency situations, choosing the vet that is closest makes sense on paper.
And yet, you’ve probably seen us promoting ourselves as a Turramurra vet when we’re actually in Wahroonga or referring to our ability to service any pet owner in the Ku-Ring-Gai area.
That’s because there is a lot more to being a vet than simply being the one that’s most convenient.
Here are just some of the things pet owners should consider when weighing up the ‘local vet versus right vet for the job’ equation.
Special ailments and veterinary specialities
Watch an episode of Bondi Vet and you’ll see Doctor Chris regularly refer animal patients to SASH. Fox Valley Animal Hospital also regular refers patients to SASH. SASH is clearly closer to us, being in Ryde, but why would a Bondi vet refer patients to an animal hospital half of Sydney away?
It’s because SASH has specialist surgeons who have spent their time as a vet looking after particular animals and/or aspects of animal healthcare. They know how to work with deformities, severe accidents, and have emergency specialists.
The same is true for Fox Valley Animal Hospital. We offer general care, but if you have a family pet that has skin issues, Dr Katie is an amazing skin specialist. Dr Alex is a preventative medicine expert. He works tirelessly with animals and humans alike to avoid serious illness through diet, exercise and medicine.
So what does that mean for you as a pet parent?
Not all animal healthcare is the same. You may end up with a pet that has a particular problem due to genetics. They may have an accident that seriously impacts their health. Or you may be in a position such as carer or rescue organisation where prevention against illness and disease matters most.
Your pet’s personality also influences the kind of care they receive. For example, if your dog is a natural adventurer who shows no fear, sticking close to the vet that has a mix of behavioural know-how or is a great bone setter and rehabilitator is your best bet. If you’ve got a sluggish cat that doesn’t like much movement, you can bet obesity and muscle wastage will be issues you’ll face.
Finding the right vet for the job is paramount because what one vet will see can differ to another.
For example, an itchy cat may mean a change of flea prevention to one vet. To Dr Katie, it may mean looking at diet for potential digestive problems. Or investigating what you have in the yard that may be causing a contact allergy. That’s because Dr Katie knows there is so much more to skin as an organ than ensuring the bugs aren’t biting.
Similarly, you come in with a limping dog, some vets may issue you with pain killers and tell your best buddy that certain activities are off limits in future. Dr Alex will check out the hips and the bones for issues. He’ll check the dog’s weight to see if any genetic issue or injury can be given some breathing space by shedding a few kilos. And he’ll put together a routine of exercise, medication, and activity that will help alleviate the symptoms while minimising the impact on your dog’s life.
The care your vet can provide is determined by what they are passionate about. And in most instances, matching the right care with your pet is paramount.
Profit before pets
A growing number of consumers are turning green, organic and ethical in their choices. The same thing is happening in animal healthcare.
People are starting to realise that independent vet clinics are the way to go because we put pets before profits. We provide care not based on our parent companies wishes (after all, there is no parent company!), but on what is going to promote the best outcome for your family pet.
This is not always true. There are chain vet clinics around that give your family pet treatments based on which drug companies they have partnerships with. Or provide advice based on where they can upsell to other products. And because pet care and medicines are hardly things the average human being discusses at dinner parties or blogs about in their spare time, pet parents often have to take the solution without question.
Independent vets don’t have the shareholders or the headquarters to answer to. And in that, we have the ability to offer treatment options, explain the outcomes, and move you towards the right program in terms of treatment and future prevention.
Plus, because an independent vet like Dr Alex and his vet clinic staff are focussed on patient care, we’re not pushing you out the door without the right information. Nor are we scrimping on our ability to help you stay informed via the blog, newsletter and social media. And Fox Valley Animal Hospital has one of the best vet nurses to patient ratios in Sydney so that proper attention and care can be given to your family pet.
And that’s why we reach out to people in the entire region. Because we know that to devoted pet parents, keeping a happy healthy family pet around for as long as possible is paramount. And that when a crisis happens or a health issue arises, you want to have faith in the information and the treatment your pet receives.
Geography be damned- it’s your family pet!
Family pets are wonderful. They comfort you on sad days, give you something to laugh about on the others, and provide you and your family love, affection and memories. Giving them the right healthcare day to day and the best fighting shot when accident or illness strikes is what all animal hospitals and vet clinics should be about.
At Fox Valley Animal Hospital, we always refer our patients to the right vet and course of treatment. Even if that means it’s not us. We do this because we know what is more important in your life- and that is making sure that your pet gets the best possible care and the best possible shot at enjoying their time with you.
In an emergency, time does matter. It’s one reason why we have ambulances and urge you to bring in your pets when you suspect a tick, a chocolate binge, fall or heatstroke- among a myriad of other things. It’s also why we maintain an excellent relationship with SASH, so that you are suitably covered when we are not available.
However, what use is going to the local vet if they are contributing to your pet’s health problems? Or they aren’t providing the right kind of care for your pet’s ailment? Who cares in an emergency situation about the speed in which you arrive if the vet at the other end doesn’t know the best course of treatment?
So when you are choosing your Turramurra vet, Warrawee animal clinic, Thornleigh animal hospital or great Aunt Judy’s herbal remedies for pets, make sure you are 100% sure the animal healthcare you are being offered is good enough for your family pet.
Ensure they are addressing their ailments and planning for your pet’s future.
And forget about the distance from your animal hospital and start focussing on the health of your animal.