Isn’t the www incredible? Information on practically anything you want to know at your fingertips. It provides a platform for anyone to be able to express their opinions and information that could otherwise have been suppressed can be disseminated rapidly. Advice that used to be “freely” available from family, friends, friends of friends, breeders etc is now available from everyone who has an internet connection.
It is therefore not surprising that all the information available is not accurate or objective and may be bias toward the negative or positive of a certain issue. Lets be honest, if we actually read the drug insert for aspirin most of us would not take it for fear of developing stomach ulcers and bleeding to death. It has been proved that people are more likely to accept an opinion as truth if it aligns with their already held beliefs on a certain topic. Also be aware of the latest “trends” which are often initiated and marketed by companies trying to sell a certain product. The pet industry is worth billions of dollars in Australia so there are going to be people who try to exploit the market.
As veterinarians we hear some strange ideas/ stories/ therapies etc which people have garnered from the “outside world” . I have often been informed that puppies should be eating weetbix soaked in milk for breakfast. Some advice dispensed through these sources can be valuable and I am not trying to suggest that the vet is always correct but we do need to be critical of all information. We need to evaluate any information objectively. Is the source trustworthy? Can the information be corroborated through another source? Is the therapy tried and tested? Do other people agree with you or not and if not, does their point of view, make sense?
We would advise that before trying any treatment, please talk to us first. If we have prescribed medication, for your pet, do not stop it on the advice from a “friend”. Rather discuss your concerns with us first. It can sometimes be dangerous to stop medications suddenly. This also applies to courses of medication. Please administer them for the full prescription course. We are often informed by clients that “not to worry” I already have antibiotics which were left over from last time.
We are bombarded by information all the time and it can be very difficult to discriminate between good and bad but when it comes to your pets health I would advise that the first person you should consult , and trust, is your veterinarian. Please call us with any concerns.