Your primary vet may refer you to a veterinary specialist if they believe it might help your dog. Sometimes diagnostic tests are needed that they do not have the equipment to provide or expertise to interpret. Other times treatment protocols are needed that they do not provide.
Or you may decide to see a specialist on your own without a referral. Either way, if you do decide to see a specialist, Guide Sheet #2 will help you know what to ask at your first appointment.
Benefits of Seeing a Vet Specialist
A specialist can:
- Confirm Your Primary Vet’s Diagnosis
- Verify Your Primary Vet’s Treatment Plan
- Provide Specialized Treatment such as Chemotherapy
- Handle Emergency Medical Care
- Offer End-of-Life Care
- Grant Yourself Peace of Mind
Risks of Seeing a Vet Specialist
Many of the Dog Parents we interviewed chose not to pursue a second opinion from a vet specialist for a variety of reasons. Sometimes working with a specialist can:
- Keep You in a Treatment and/or Trial-and-Error Loop
- Cost More than You Can Afford
- Compromise Quality of Life/Prolong Your Pet’s Suffering Buy You Extra Time But Compromise