Alert Pet Owner Guidelines

Any veterinarian attempting to pinpoint the root or cause of an animalís problem needs a "history," or a compilation of all the known information leading up to the present problem. Some information may be of great importance, yet is easily overlooked; for this reason, professionals in medical fields are usually trained in the art of asking questions. When reporting the history of a problem to a veterinarian, it is important to be brief, yet complete in answering questions. Occasionally, people become embarrassed at their attempted treatments of their pets and may not be inclined to disclose important information.

Important information for a thorough medical history can include the following:

  1. What is the specific problem?
  2. How long has this problem been present?
  3. Is the problem worse, better, or about the same since it started?
  4. What treatments have been attempted either at home or by another medical professional?
  5. What medication is the animal receiving for any reason, even if unrelated?
  6. Has the pet ever traveled out of the area, and if so, where and when?
  7. Has the animalís personality or attitude been affected?
  8. What other information do you, as the pet owner, consider to be important in this history?

Pet owners that are attentive and provide a good history can greatly enhance the likelihood of finding an accurate answer to a petís problem.

Following is a list of some of the specific problems commonly encountered in dogs. Detailed information pertinent to the following can be found on additional pages in this manual.

Appetite Changes
Behavioral Problems
Ear Infections
Hair Loss
Parasite Infections
Respiration Problems
Sneezing/Nasal Discharge
Thirst Changes
Urination Problems
Vaginal/Preputial (penile) Discharge
Weight Loss