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Web Emergencies
As wonderful as the web is, it is not a substitute for "real life" veterinary advice,
diagnosis, and treatment. Read his comments for more insight.

It's Craig from Rescue Critters!®. I read your piece on your web site regarding people using the web for diagnosis and emergency related pet problems. I completely agree with it. We run into the same problem with our Ask Dr. "Razz" section of our website. Dr. "Razz" is Lara Marie Rasmussen, DVM (Dr. "Razz") she is an Assistant Professor at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine in Pomona, CA - USA.

Let me copy you on exactly what our website says as an opening before people can ask a question:

Dr. Lara Marie Rasmussen, DVM is an Assistant Professor at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine in Pomona, CA - USA. Ask Dr. "Razz" is an informational website and should not be considered a sole source of veterinary information or advice. Ask Dr. "Razz" is not a substitute for emergency care! Your own veterinarian is the best source of advice for your individual pet. Veterinary treatment and opinions can vary from doctor to doctor and veterinarians are not able to give definitive information without a physical examination. There are often several perfectly acceptable ways to treat the same condition. You should consult your own veterinarian as well as ask lots of questions as to what the best treatment is for your pet!

You would think that the above would make people pause and reflect before e-mailing us. WRONG! Even though we try to be as clear as possible, we receive about every 6th e-mail someone asking a question which is considered an emergency case that should be taken to the closest 24hr. veterinary hospital ASAP.

Let me give you an example:
"Cat with swollen paw 3 times the size of the other - could not find a sliver. But there was a little drainage in between the large pad on the foot. Would it be safe to give him 1/2 of an aspirin?"

Dr. "Razz"'s reply:
It seems very clear that your cat needs to be seen by a veterinarian. If your foot was 3 times larger than normal, there would be no question. Internet advice is no substitution for proper medical care.

Aspirin can be dangerous in cats when given in the wrong dose. It can be lethal. Do not give any medication without the direction of a veterinarian who has seen the patient.

Please feel free to post this on your website if you wish. Even though I recognize that pet owners are attempting to seek help for their animal, the web is no place to seek emergency care for your pet!


D. Craig Jones
Rescue Critters, LLC - USA

Click here to read the review for the Rescue Critters book: Pet First Aid -- For Kids!

Related Reading
Veterinary Q & A - Aspirin use in dogs and cats
- Question & Answer format about Aspirin and other pain relievers for pets.
Emergency! Are You Prepared?
You can't always prevent and emergency, but you can be prepared.
The Web is Wonderful, but....
The importance of a "real life" veterinary exam.

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