We all do it, I did it most when I was pregnant with my daughter, I felt silly bothering my doctor about every tiny little thing that I was worried about, so I would pull out my phone and type in the google search bar. The internet is full of wonderful things and I am so happy I live in a time where I can pull out my phone and have everything at the touch of my finger tips, but NOT EVERYTHING ON THE INTERNET IS TRUE! (Say what?!)
Veterinarians have 4 years of undergrad and 4 years of Veterinary Medical School, MINIMUM, some go on the complete residencies and specialize. Veterinary Technicians have a minimum of a 2 year Associates Degree, some do go on and complete further schooling as well. Veterinarians AND their technicians must complete continuing education courses to keep their credentials. I say this because we in the vet field are as well educated as those in the human medical field. Our job is to answer your questions and make sure that your pet can be as healthy as they can.
I am a member of a few animal related groups on social media, for the most part I love being a part of these groups as it brings us animal loving people together. But on a daily basis I see people who ask for medical advice when they should be contacting their vet (or emergency vet if it is after hours). I have seen some people who’s pet is in crisis such as high fever, vomiting, fainting, seizing, go to the internet before contacting a professional. I get it, I honestly do, taking your animal to the doctor costs money and sometimes we just don’t have the money to spare (I myself have had to bring pets to after hours clinics when the vets I work with are unavailable and I do know how much it costs!), but, sometimes waiting can cost more money or even a life!
If you are going to look things up on the internet, first you need to make sure this is not a medical emergency. If your dog is having difficulty breathing, excessive vomiting, temperature over 103 degrees F, pale gums, collapse, having a seizure, or anything similar you need to contact a veterinary professional right away! If it is not an emergency you need to use research techniques you learned in school. Pay attention to the source of your information, is this a blogger with no credentials? (yes, that includes me, most of my posts are opinion I will fully admit, but I try to add my sources that give me the opinions I have so hopefully you can make a more informed decision.) Is this somebody who has experience in the field? Is this somebody who feels like they have been wronged by the thing or person they are trying to write information on? I always try to follow up on sources. Make sure that research and life experience has proven these things. Make sure that the author actually has experience and research to back them. Plus I make sure there are not multiple (trustworthy) sources discrediting the one or two sources that say one thing.
Please take this to heart. Veterinary professionals love your pet, they got into this field because they love animals so much they wanted to dedicate their lives to making sure they are happy and healthy. I know this because I am one of those people, I love what I do and without you and your pet I would not have my job and I would be a lost soul who had no purpose in life. Please utilize us and let us help you, help your pet! We live in a world where all of human knowledge is at our finger tips, lets try to use this to our advantage!