Wordless Wednesday: When Puppies Kiss
That's So Cleo: Influence Positively Demonstration

Deciding to see a Vet Specialist

When is it the right time to see a Vet Specialist? 

Just like with people doctors, you need a referral to see a specialist. We don't have pet insurance, though I doubt our visit, and any future meds that came as a result would have been covered anyway. We clearly love our dog, and will do everything we can to keep her safe, happy and healthy. Like many people though, we sometimes struggle with our decisions where she is concerned. Do we treat her like a dog or a baby? Do we go overboard with our care and attention? Are we helping or exacerbating the situation?


Vet specialist visit or self-treatment? Honestly it took us awhile to go through the thought process. We love our dog but at the same time we don't want to take her to the vet for every little anomaly. I'd like to consider myself a competent pet parent.

Given our love for Cleo, I could see myself overreacting to a bump or new behavior. But how do you know when you are actually not being overreactive, but are being preventative in your decision to seek professional help?

Considering Cleo is my first dog as an adult, I'm sure my worries are normal and commonly heard by experienced vets. Like people doctors, most of the vets we've been to nod their heads a lot and say, "uh huh. yep. uh huh. okay. let me make a note of that in her file. uh huh."


We had hoped that once we learned of her food and inhalant allergies after the blood test, she would get better. With her new diet, Cleo did get better. Her immediate suffering ended but after six months she began intensely scratching and worrying at her skin again. With Cleo's long term skin issues showing no signs of abating, we chose to take that next step and get a referral by our vet to a specialist, Dr. Susan Reinke. And we're glad we did.

We hoped for a miracle, a "Oh I've seen this before and know just what you need", but this is real life so we got a sensible solution instead. Dr. Reinke gave us meds for Cleo that will likely be part of her routine the rest of her life. Dr. Reinke appreciated our concerns and desire for more homepathic remedies. She also understood the need to contain cost. After our visit, I secretly wished that my own medical doctor communicated that well. We drove home feeling empowered. Dr-Susan-Reinke

When annual check ups aren't enough. So when is the right time to go to a specialist? If your pooch seems to have never-ending seasonal itching, I'd go. If like us, the stress of do-it-yourself home remedies becomes overwhelming, go. If you are tired of doing research on your own, and don't feel confident in what you are finding anyway, go.

Our dogs appreciate the effort. A dog can sense when you are upset because of your voice or manner. I believe that when they sense you are doing the right thing for them they'll trust you, even if you are taking them to a vet specialist.

For more information visit:

AAHA Healthy Pet 

FDA Animal Health Literacy

Central Animal Hospital - Petaluma (Dr. Reinke visits twice weekly)



Subscribe to the blog here and never miss a post!