2012-02-17 / Columnists

Paws For A Moment

Is There A Doctor In The House?
Commentary by Karina B. Salvo, MS, DVM, Belle Harbor House Calls

Back in the day, medical doctors would travel to the home when patients were either too sick to travel, there were no hospital facilities nearby, or, nowadays, for those who chose to be treated in the comfort and or discretion of their own home! Historically there has not been a great demand for the house call veterinarian ... until now. With the advent of better medicine, comes the education and knowledge of further understanding our pet’s behavior. Although pets respond differently in different situations, some can become very stressed within the setting of a veterinary facility. Within our community here, many of us have more than one pet. This can make it quite difficult to manage the trip to the veterinary office. There is also a great convenience factor. We all lead busy lives with even busier schedules, some of us do not travel by car or are homebound. House calls are the solution!

So what happens on a house call visit? First thing’s first ... getting to know one another! Seeing your pet in their own environment can give me a significant amount of information; it allows me to watch their interaction with other pets, people and those they do not know (me). Why is this helpful? It is who they are! Are they fearful? Protective? Playful? Highly Excitable?

All this information helps me to better understand how to interact with your pet ... in their home and on their terms ... without the stress of a strange environment. History is one of the most important parts of a physical exam! What your pet eats, if they are or were on any medication, previous hospitalizations or surgeries, any supplements, preventatives, etc. And if you forget, it is as easy as a walk to where the medications or food is kept! Physical examination (usually occurs on the floor or wherever the pet is most comfortable); the nose to toes and tail to ears check! Until our pets talk, physical examinations can be quite tricky. This is where the veterinarian must use all their senses; we look, touch, feel, push, extend, pull, listen and smell ... yes, smell ... many diseases (dental, infection, asthma, etc.) are first detected by smell. After the physical examination, a discussion about findings and recommendations follow. Keeping an open communication about the owner’s concerns, questions, the pet’s health, lifestyle and available therapies are as individual as each of us is. If your pet is in need of specific medication or prescription diets; home delivery at no charge is also an option for all clients.

Here are just a few more reasons to choose a house call visit: There is enough STRESS in Life!

Want more? Probably not!

Your dog may love to run along the beach ....

But put her in a car?

“OK, Yippie! We get to go for a ride!”

Then the excitement changes to shaking and nervousness the second the turn is made toward the office!

Should I continue about the crowded waiting room? slippery tile floor? or cold table?

I am sure your cat, like mine, would rather stretch out in the sun on the couch than get tricked into a carrier, only to be put into a car, sit next to a barking dog in a waiting room and be examined on a cold steel table!

Minimizing stress in any and all patients is crucial to their overall wellbeing ... just as it is to ours!

We all want happy, healthy pets and patients! Can you hear me now?

I promise to not bring an entire network with me ... besides, not that many people would fit in my car!

But, I do promise to give you and your pet, or pets, the individualized attention you deserve and need. I will not just hear your concerns, but listen and discuss each one of them with you.

Before I leave, you will have all your questions answered ... to the very best of my abilities.

If you have questions, or concerns after I leave, never hesitate to call me! At your beckoning call... well, almost:

Late hours at work, kids need to be picked up, dropped off, dinner plans, grocery shopping, emergencies, vacation, business meetings, etc., etc., etc. You know ... Life things.

Can anything be easy? Yes, having the veterinarian come to you. When your schedule is convenient, and not have to bend, delay, rearrange and miss your prearranged plans.

Now, there is no need to worry about late vaccines, delayed heartworm or flea and tick prevention. It’s on your time ... in the comfort of your own home! Simple. Most Importantly ...

I will treat your pet as if he or she were my own ... no exceptions!

Why would you expect or accept anything less?

If you have any questions, please feel free to call. 718-474-PAWS, where when you call, you will experience professional courtesy and receive the best of medical care and compassion. Most importantly, where every staff member believes in my simple philosophy: “We treat every patient as if he or she were our own ... no exceptions!”

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