Should pet owners rely on Dr Google?

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ACCORDING to a recent survey, 95% of vets in the South East say pet owners consult ‘Dr Google’ before bringing their animal in, with 80% of vets seeing pets brought in too late.

The research by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) revealed that pet owners are heavily influenced by what they find online resulting in 80% of vets in the South East having clients bring their pets in later than they should.

Most vets suspected financial reasons and a lack of understanding were behind the delay. Attempts to self-diagnose and treat pets – through medication kept at home, bought online or in supermarkets – were also reported as problems.

“It worries me to hear that so many people are relying on guesswork or unverified internet sources for health advice for their pets,” says BVA President and small animal vet, Robin Hargreaves. “While there is some useful information about pet behaviour and health available online, particularly from the established animal charities, the best source of information for animal health concerns will always be your vet who knows your pet.”

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