An Elwood Vet consult
We consult from 8 am until 7 pm Monday to Friday and from 9 am until 4 pm on Saturday.
Compared to most vet practices, our appointment times are quite long. This is because we know that good quality care takes time. We allow 20 minutes for a standard appointment and 40 minutes for any new patient appointment (and no, there’s no extra charge for the longer appointment, it’s still $75).
What to expect in a consultation?
A vet will perform around 200,000 consultations in a professional lifetime. So it's no surprise that we often forget that the consultation process isn't familiar to everyone.
While every consultation is unique, there's a standard structure. During a consultation you can expect:
to be asked why you've brought your pet in (identifying the presenting problem or problems)
to be asked to talk more about this problem such as when symptoms started and your pet in general (gathering a history)
your pet to be examined (performing a physical examination)
to discuss the physical findings in relation to the presenting problem and history (creating an accurate problem list)
to be given a diagnosis or potential diagnoses (determining differentials)
to discuss what happens next, which may include medical or surgical treatment, further investigation or no treatment (shared decision making and treatment planning)
to talk about what to expect, what to watch for and what to do if worried (safety netting)
It can be a lot to take in
We know from studies of people seeing their doctor that when we walk out of the consultation room most of us forget what we've heard.
That's why we offer additional ways to take the information in. We can:
give you access to your pet’s medical notes via our secure client portal
email the medical notes from your consultation (note we have to have your email on file for this)
provide other information (eg fact sheets, websites)
have follow up discussions on the phone or in person
Questions to ask
Although these come from human medicine, here are three questions every pet owner should ask when offered a treatment or investigation:
What are the options?
What are the specific benefits and harms to my pet?
What happens if I do nothing?
Different personalities and communication styles
All our vets are highly qualified and very experienced, so you can be sure that the quality of care doesn't depend on who you see.
But we're different people with different communication styles and you might find that you just gel with Donald or really like the way Deb explains something. That's great! We encourage you to see whoever you feel most comfortable with – and none of us mind if you want to see someone else.