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The Right Veterinary Doctor
For You and Your Pet
Choosing Your Veterinary Doctor:
Interview with Dr. Becky Wind
Rebecca Wind, a veterinary doctor in practice in Montgomery, Texas with the Lake Conroe Veterinary Group, P.C. She lives with her husband Derek and daughter Audrey. She has a Cocker Spaniel, a Dachshund, and two cats. Dr. Wind obtained her bachelors degree in Biomedical Science and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M University.
Since her graduation from veterinary school, Dr. Wind has worked for an equine practice and a small animal/exotic practice in the Conroe, Texas area before joining her current practice. When not working, she enjoys being a mom, horseback riding, and outdoor activities.
Veterinary doctors are as unique as people themselves. Choosing the right fit for you and your pet's and their long term care, calls for careful consideration. Whether you're moving or you've just brought home a new pet, choosing your veterinary team doesn't have to feel like picking a needle from a haystack.
If you live in a rural or isolated area, you may not have many choices available. In remote places there may only be one veterinarian servicing an area. But if you live in a more populated area, your choices may be overwhelming. First ask yourself what your needs are? What are the needs of your specific pets? Do you have a limited ability to get around?
You may need a veterinary doctor who provides mobile service for routine exams or makes house calls. Have an aging dog or cat? Then your needs may be better met in a larger veterinary clinic which is equipped with the ability to perform diagnostic procedures and surgery. It's also beneficial to ask about any extra services offered such as boarding or grooming.
So what should you be concerned with when looking for a new veterinary doctor? Let's ask an expert on the subject!
Q: Dr. Wind, what made you decide to become a veterinary doctor?
A: It's what I've always wanted to be, ever since I can remember.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your career?
A: The animals of course! Especially when I can help them; and their owners who count on me.
Q: What would be important to you when choosing a veterinary doctor?
A: Good communication between the vet and the owner is very important. Obviously your vet should enjoy animals - but they need to have good people skills as well; this is very important to the relationship between veterinarians and pet owners.
Q: What should a person look for the first time they visit a new vet clinic?
A: Well the office should be clean, organized, and smell good. If it smells bad, looks untidy or is otherwise unprofessional, that could be an indication of how the overall practice is run. Also the support staff should be friendly to the animals and helpful to pet owners. Good customer service is essential in developing trust for a good on-going relationship that benefits everyone.
Being greeted when you first come in the door, concern for your needs and the needs of your pets, these are all very important qualities to look for. Being able to talk directly to your veterinarian about test results or procedures in case you have questions would be important also.
Q: What types of questions would be appropriate when interviewing a perspective veterinary doctor?
A: The questions aren't as important as simply being allowed to ask questions of your vet. If a veterinarian or the staff are unwilling to answer your questions, then you may want to keep looking. Again, good communication is foundational. Also asking what types of animals they treat is important. If you own a horse for instance, then you would want a vet who treats equine. If you have a pet with special needs, then make sure your new vet can accommodate those needs.
Q: How important is it for a veterinary doctor to be available after hours for emergencies?
A: Some are available, especially if they care for horses or livestock or live in a remote area where there may be only one vet and no emergency services. However, in most populated areas today there are veterinary hospitals or clinics for after hour's emergencies. Emergency clinics are important because they're set-up and ready for any situation. Your vet should have that information available to you, but if not then you should make it a point to locate one in your area before there's a need.
Q: Why is it important for pet's to have regular preventative care such as exams, vaccines, and dental cleanings?
A: It's extremely important! Serious diseases or conditions can be discovered through routine exams. I once uncovered cancer in a patient through an annual visit. If you can catch something early enough it can often be treated before it becomes serious or life threatening. Also things like heartworm or parvovirus can be avoided by regular check-ups and the proper preventative medications.
Q: What can pet parents do to help their veterinarian better care for their animals?
A: Good question! It's about relationship building. By developing trust and good communication with your vet, it insures that any take-home instructions we give will be better carried out. Such as asking that an animal finish an antibiotic completely, even if the animal seems better.
When a pet owner lets you know what their needs are up front, such as a limited budget for instance, then the veterinarian can tailor treatment to best utilize your resources when planning treatment and care for the pet's needs.
Another important thing pet owners can do when getting started with a new vet is to collect all their pet's medical records from their previous veterinarian, along with a complete list of the pet's medications and the type of flea & heartworm product they use. This helps us get right on track with their pet's normal care.
Q: What are your thoughts about pet health insurance?
A: It's important! It saves people a lot of stress and heartache if they don't have to worry about the budget over treatment. It's also important for their pets because it insures they will receive the treatment they need, when they need it most.
Q: Any thoughts or advice about holistic veterinary medicine?
A: Holistic practices have a place alongside traditional medicine as long as there's a balance. Traditional veterinary medicine shouldn't be replaced, but many holistic practices today can be complimentary to traditional medicine.
If you find yourself looking for a new veterinarian, start by making some phone calls. Ask friends or family who live in the area for referrals. Contact an organization that lists veterinarians by geographic location. It's important that you play an active role in choosing the right vet for you and your pet's before you have an emergency.
* A very special thank you to Dr. Wind for her
valuable help and advice.
Lakeview Veterinary Clinic, P.C.
17156 West F.M. 1097, Suite 12
Montgomery, Texas 77356
Phone: (936) 597-6039
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