Published: Jul 06, 2008 12:25 PM
Modified: Jul 06, 2008 12:25 PM
New home, new vet
Ask the Vet
Q: We are moving to another state soon and would like to know if you have any good ideas for finding a new veterinarian?A: We are always sad to see a patient and owner leave our area. The friendships we make with our patients and our clients enrich our lives and make our jobs fun. Moving can be an ordeal for both owners and pets. Here are a few ideas that may make the move a little easier.First and foremost, ask your current veterinarian if he or she knows anyone in the area where you are moving. Veterinarians often keep up with classmates around the country. We also see each other frequently at conferences.My class from Texas A&M has a listserve that we post on frequently. Often your current veterinarian can give you some leads or names to begin your search.Another good resource is the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Web site. You can type in your zip code and find hospitals that are AAHA certified in your area. AAHA certification ensures that a hospital prepares for and passes rigorous inspection on a regular basis. If you already have friends in the area they can be an invaluable source of information. Ask them where they take their pets and why. A personal recommendation is often the best starting point because you can ask specific questions before you ever schedule an appointment.If you are struggling to find information you can consider calling a specialty practice in the area or the local shelter or humane society. This can be a way to ask some questions and receive an opinion from a source with local knowledge. Before you move or shortly after you arrive have your records transferred from your previous veterinarian to your new veterinarian. This is easily accomplished by asking your new veterinarian to call your previous hospital and have records faxed. Make sure that you have local emergency veterinarian information (hospital names, phone numbers, maps) before you arrive. Shortly after you arrive schedule a "get to know you" visit with your new veterinarian. This will allow them to meet your pet, make sure they have received complete records, and go over any current concerns or medications for your pet. You can take some of the stress out of your move by preparing ahead of time for routine and emergency care.
Erik Dorsch is a veterinarian at the Animal Hospital in Carrboro.
2008 The Chapel Hill News