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When your pet is treated on an outpatient basis (i.e. sent home after the treatment visit), the doctor will often request a progress report before the next examination visit. Determining the next step in your pet’s treatment will be assisted by your observation of your pet at home.

So what should you report about your sick or injured pet, and why is it important?

Let’s break down the possibilities, following outpatient care for illness or injury.

Here is what to look for:

A. Your pet recovers fully / its condition significantly improves and does not relapse.

*In this case, further treatment may not be needed; however, always check with the doctor.
*Do not assume that treatment has ended and do not stop giving your pet its medications just because it appears to feel better.
*Some drugs need to be tapered off, while others – such as antibiotics – should be given for the entire course, to prevent relapse or resistant microbes.
*In the case of chronic illness [diabetes, renal failure, etc.], treatment is ongoing to provide your pet with the best chance of a happy life and reduced symptoms of illness.

B. Your pet’s condition improves somewhat, but without complete recovery.

*Further diagnostics and treatment may be needed to give your pet the best chance at a full recovery, if possible.

C. Your pet’s condition improves and then deteriorates.

*Further diagnostics and treatment are needed.
*Sometimes, medication provides temporary relief, and then signs return after medication is finished.
*The doctor will need to determine if a different course of treatment is appropriate, or whether the pet has a chronic condition, which would require long-term treatment.

D. Your pet shows no sign of improvement or your pet’s condition worsens.

*Further diagnostics and treatment are needed.
*If your pet shows no improvement with any treatment method, it may be an indication that recovery is not possible and humane euthanasia may be elected.

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It is vital to your pet’s health that you report your observations to the doctor or a staff member. If your pet does not recover or show significant lasting improvement, further steps can be taken, which may include referral to a veterinary hospital or appropriate specialist.
Remember, your pet’s doctor sees your pet for a very limited time in the veterinary clinic and has no information on your pet’s behavior or activity at home — where your pet spends the majority of its time — unless you share that information.
Together, we can work toward improving your pet’s health.

 

Questions about your pet’s condition or treatment regimen? If you are our client, please Contact Us. Otherwise, please contact your pet’s veterinarian, as we are unable to provide advice on cases outside of our clinic.

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