Veterinary Care: When To Seek A Second Opinion
If your pet is sick, you want a diagnosis quickly. Sometimes, however, the diagnosis or treatment options that your pet's vet comes up with may make you feel uneasy or unsure. While you can seek a second opinion for your pet whenever you want, the below three situations call for an immediate second opinion and treatment should not proceed without one.
The Diagnosis is Rare
While rare illnesses certainly do occur, it's always best to get a second opinion.
A number of common illnesses can mimic the symptoms of more rare and life-threatening ones, so before proceeding with treatment, it's important that a second opinion be sought after for the well being of your pet. Tuberculosis, for example, is very rare in dogs and presents with lethargy, weight loss, and diarrhea. These symptoms, however, are common to a number of other, less-fatal illnesses. If your pet has been diagnosed by their primary vet with a rare illness, it's a good idea to seek out a specialist in said illness for a second opinion.
The Suggested Course of Treatment is Invasive or Costly
Whenever you're facing an invasive or costly treatment plan, it's best to seek a second opinion.
If your cat is diagnosed with lung cancer, for example, treatment may include surgery and chemotherapy. Not only are these procedures costly, but they're also extremely invasive. In an instance such as this, seeking the second opinion of a veterinarian oncologist would be your best course of action. Even if cancer is the diagnosis, there may be more treatment options available that your primary veterinarian isn't aware of.
Your Veterinarian is Unsure How to Proceed
There are some symptoms and conditions that stump even the best veterinarians. In this case, it's good to get a second pair of eyes to help diagnose and treat.
Each veterinarian you see will have a different set of experiences. These experiences can help to shape diagnostic procedures and treatment routes. If your primary veterinarian is unsure of what's causing your pet to be ill, calling in another professional is best. Another veterinarian may have seen your pet's symptoms before, or they may know of different tests to help diagnose the illness that your primary vet isn't aware of.
If you're unsure of a diagnosis or treatment plan, or simply want another set of eyes, consider seeking a second opinion for your pet. While it may cost a bit more and take a little extra time, the second opinion can offer you peace of mind and maybe even better treatment options.