Santa Fe Scoop

I was very impressed with Dr. Schrempp, oncology vet at VCA Hospital in ABQ (9901 Montgomery).  When I took my 13 year old black lab in for liver cancer treatment in 2013 she sent me home with a 10 page document specific to my dog, lining out my dog's health history, spelling out everything, and a very thorough explanation including all the Rx of the 3 possible treatment paths. 

I have never seen anything like this since, in animal or human care.  This year I have had 2 dogs with health issues and each time I struggle to take notes and spell all the guesses at conditions as the vets talk to me and tell me the various treatments to try out, and when I get home I think, did I catch everything?  They didn't tell me the dose of Vitamin E....

So I have to call back, and it's phone tag, or they don't call for follow up when they say they will.  Why couldn't they just type it up in a document like Dr Schrempp does? Why isn't this common practice?

And when I take my dogs in for vaccines they are supposed to get an exam which often I find I miss because they have taken my dog in the back hallway to give them the shot.  And then as I am paying my bill I have to ask, did you find anything?  Did you check their heart, eyes, temp?

I of course need to be my pet's advocate and I need to put my foot down while I am there and say, please do the exam in this room while I am here.  Please spell out what you think it is because when you tell me it might be OCD I think you are telling me my dog needs ritalin (but then I Googled it and found in dogs it means Osteochondritis dissecans).  No wonder us pet owners go to the internet to look up ailments, because I feel perplexed at the vet's office.

Maybe this needs to be addressed in vet school, that the extension of care to include the owner and ensure they thoroughly understand what the vet is telling them is also important.

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Comment by Julie L on September 9, 2015 at 4:24pm

Shari that is great you have a Dr that does this.  Maybe offline you could tell me who it is sometime.  I'll just have to keep asking the vet to slow down and spell things out for me. 

Comment by Shari Shantasi on September 9, 2015 at 8:54am

Thank you, Julie, for letting us know your experience with Dr. Schrempp. Good info to have for future reference.

Though my vet is good at explaining things to me, I, too, search online for further explanation. My problem is thinking I understood everything in that moment, but when I try to remember later... poof! it's gone.

My personal doctor enters everything that happened in each of my visits and the report, as well as instructions, is given to me when I check out. That might be a good idea for vets as well. I know I'd love to have something to refer to when I have those "senior moments"!

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