You receive a phone consult from a worried pet owner about their pet who has symptoms of a chronic disease. You assess that the current condition is not an emergency but rather one that needs further scrutiny of previous veterinary care and the current pet in question.
You convince the owner of said pet that as housecall exam would help to shed light on the current situation. The owner may ask a myriad of questions armed with internet hearsay, conjecture and rumor rather than fact. The owner seems to really want to know YOUR opinion. But alas never takes your advice. This person is well educated. This person is well-versed in veterinary medicine. This person KNOWS their animal. This person desires “holistic, natural, toxin-free treatments” that fit in with their natural philosophy.
The owner is worried about the side effects, the unnatural nature of the medication. The owner is learned and astute and WILL NOT take your advice. The owner is a paradox wrapped in a riddle deep fried in conundrum. The owner knows too much, reads too much and has actually BECOME an authority on the subject of veterinary medicine to the detriment of the patient.
This person wants to hear your advice. They process and modify and rationalize major changes on radiographs. They want to see the bloodwork results. They want to be the second opinion. They want to have a voice regarding the medical treatment. They are what we call: Askholes. They ask and ask and ask and do not EVER take your advice. THEY know what’s best for their pet.
You are routinely questioned by owners in regards to a holistic and natural approach non-toxic foods the fear of medication and its side-effects pesticides and the toxicity of flea control, hearsay, urban myth and the strong opinion of telephonic animal communicators. Oooooh. This is a good one. You have quietly scoffed at the thought of animal communicators guiding your clients into a decision rather than utilizing your professional assessment. You have fought the feeling that these “charlatans” are lurking about preying on the sentiment of hopeful, agonizing pet owners in deep distress over the situation with their beloved pet. It seems to you that these scams are similar to those selling “proven” products which are guaranteed to cure the typically fatal disease now afflicting their pet. You ponder over the millions of dollars spent on snake oil and psychics and discover that all these modalities really are are simply a form of therapy. Therapy designed to help the struggling human cope with the loss of their animal.
If it helps them, that’s all you care about.
Post by Dr. Weinberg