To The Vet, Or Not To The Vet?

That is NOT the question!

Good intentions are one thing, poor judgement is something altogether different.

It is quite a common thing to find on forums, especially pet related forums, backyard vets and other wannabe medical professionals hiding behind the screens of the Internet.  Now that is an extreme point of view and fortunately it also seems to be a cyclical event on forums. Also, fortunately there are many rat community members that have many years of experience that they are willing to share in attempts to help another rat keeper bide their time until their next vet appointment.

It also does not help that new, and old alike, rat keepers tend to find themselves weighing the cost of a vet visit versus the welfare of their pet. I’m not singling out rat keepers, it just happens my family has had pet rats for several years and we are familiar with them and some of the online rat communities.  Nor am I saying all people that chose rats for pets are this way.

It is also a sad fact of life that people will try to find the easiest way to do something, which includes the care of their pets.  Easy may mean less expensive; maybe not having to leave the house; or, simply not having to bother with the issue at all and hoping that if ignored it will go away. Sometimes easy is just another word for excuses.

Instead of getting a professional opinion from a qualified veterinarian many people simply ask randomly on forums or other venues their questions and then quite simply most will then follow the strongest reply, or the most well written answer, or judge the merit of the person’s suggestion by how many thousands of posts they have made on that particular site.

Good intentions are one thing, poor judgement is something altogether different.

If your rat is not well, or you believe your pet is feeling ill, then all the research you do as a lay person is most likely just going to allow you to either ask a more intelligent question of your veterinarian, or allow your veterinarian to use more succinct wording with their explanations.

BUT, with emphasis on this point, the key here is take your rat to your vet if it is not well; or, even if it is doing just fine and you want your vet to have a benchmark for future reference. All the suggestions in the world from well meaning forums members, and yes even the harsh and rude ones, will not replace a proper exam by a qualified professional.

At we strive to have our members share first-hand experience about their rats, especially when it comes to their welfare, but we also recognize that the diagnosis from a qualified veterinarian is one of the most important things when treating a sick pet.

© 2008 – 2009, Mr.Rattitude. All rights reserved.

One thought on “To The Vet, Or Not To The Vet?

  1. This is so true … I hope more people see this and realise nothing can replace a vet’s opinion and diagnosis.
    I would never put the benefit of one of my rats at risk just for it to be “cheaper”. There life means more to me than a strangers opinion.
    I hope more people read this and take notice. Forums are good for general chat and wellbeing but can NOT replace a professionals opinion.
    Ive had alot of experience with my rats and sadly alot of common illnesses and some major but my advice to others is to see a vet.
    You may think they will be ok but can develop to something worse … Early treatment is always better 🙂

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