Things we love our clients to do: by Dr Elizabeth Collins
1: We love it when you call to let us know you may be late for your appointment. This allows us to try to rearrange the schedule, maybe see someone early, or reschedule the appointment. It is not uncommon to hear stories of cats that have hid under the bed or puppies that have slipped their leash and of course there is always traffic. We also sometimes run behind schedule due to dealing with ill or injured animals, or with a client or patient that needs a little extra time and attention. When someone arrives 15 minutes late for their scheduled 20 minute appointment this sets into motion a chain reaction of our staff trying to catch up. If we are running behind and you don't have time to wait, (have to pick up children, get to work, or a meeting, etc) please let our receptionist know so we can work with you to find a solution. If we don't know there is a problem, we can't help.
2.We love it when you are kind to our staff . The people that work here do so because they like to work with pets and their owners. They are all important members of our team. When they are on the receiving end of a nice word or compliment, it can really make their day, especially if they have spent the day cleaning up "accidents" left behind by their furry charges, or had to deal with growling, nippy patients or owners.
3 We love it when you bring your pet's previous vaccine and health history with you. This is especially important for new patients, it saves a lot of time and guesswork and can save money if we aren't duplicating vaccines and blood work. We accept faxes or emails from other clinics. If your pet has a complicated health issue, it is especially helpful to have the history here before your appointment so we have time to give it a thorough read through .
4. We love it when you bring a list! If there is multiple concerns or things that need done, having a list can make the appointment go smoother. It is very easy to get distracted during an appointment. Having something to remind you about the refill of medication you need or to ask about the cough he does only at night can be a big help.
5. We love it when you ask questions. If you don't understand or are confused, don't hesitate to ask. We deal with animal health, medicines, treatments and medical jargon on a daily basis. Sometimes we don't realize when our clients are not following what we are saying. If you have questions later after you return home call us. If you don't understand the medicine label call us. Help us help you.
6. We love it when you contact us if you are having trouble getting prescribed medications into your pet, or if your pet is not tolerating the medications. If the medication is making them worse instead of better we need to know. We may just need to change medications or it could be an indication that more testing needs to be done. If a pet refuses to take their meds we can sometimes make changes to the delivery system of the medication such as liquid instead of pills or it may be as simple as trying a different technique of giving the medication. Our staff has lots of experience in giving medications and will be happy to try and help you.
7. We love it when you bring stuff! Stool samples, urine samples, videos of that weird thing your pet is doing, the worms that they passed (in a plastic bag of course). Bring anything that helps us piece together the puzzle of what is going on with the patient. If your pet is ill or if it is having urine accidents in the house please bring a urine sample, or don't let it urinate before coming into the clinic, so we can collect a sample. We will most likely need it to determine the cause of the problem. A stool sample should be brought along for every puppy and kitten visit and once yearly for adult animals.
8. We love it when they let us know if their pet has aggressive tendencies towards other animals or people. There are things we can do to lessen the risk of anyone getting hurt if we know before hand. We can get the pet directly into an exam room so they are not exposed to other pets if that is a problem. There are ways of handling nippy pets that do not hurt the patient but can keep the staff safe so that they can do their job.
9: We love it when we ask for a pet to come back for a recheck and you actually do! This allows us to make sure the prescribed treatments are actually working, and if not change the treatment. This gives us the option of continuing a bit longer so your pet is not right back where they started from in a few days or weeks. Believe it or not in most cases a recheck could save you money.
10: We love it when you are honest and upfront about costs and commitments. Please don't ignore the elephant in the room or me! Please just say, I don't want to spend that kind of money or I just don't want to pursue treatment. We will understand! You are here and seeking answers and help for your pet, we will help guide you to a plan of treatment or care that you are happy with and able to live with if you let us know where you stand. We can read the pets emotions much better than yours so please help us out :)
11: We love it when you send us Pictures!