The Veterinarian's Files
AUTHOR: Claudia T. FROM: The FerretPaw Print, November/December 2000
Do you have more than one type of pet? Maybe you have a cat or two, a dog, a rabbit, a guinea pig, or heaven forbid a ferret or two. Do you take them all to the same veterinarian hospital? If so, what is their filing system like? Are all your pets in one folder or does each pet have its own folder? If you don't know, call your veterinarian's office and ask how your file is set up.
I have a friend who has a cat and a dog and also has our favorite pet of choice. The cat has been red flagged because it is a biter and does not like going to the vet at all. She reminded the technician of this before they took him into the backroom for shots, telling her to be careful and put on the gloves; the cat bites. Well, the back office of most practices are very busy and somehow the warning was forgotten. The technician was bitten by the cat.
She went to the hospital to have the bite looked at and animal control was called. Animal control requested and was given a copy of the owner's file. The vet had one file for all the family pets. Now the panic starts. The ferrets charts are in there. What is animal control going to do? Where can the fuzzies be taken before animal control shows up to see the cat? What is going to happen to the cat? Now that they know she has ferrets, are they a department that will want to do something about it or will they deal only with the issue at hand - the biting cat?
The ferrets "went visiting," their bags packed for an overnight visit. Animal control came and gave the cat 14 days quarantine. To date, nothing has been said by animal control about the ferrets. But you never know - the fear of discovery is something that will stay in the back of your mind always.
The cat has been asked not to return to the practice, but the ferrets are welcome. You can be sure that my friend has now asked her veterinarian hospital to set up separate files for each of her pets. If the authorities request a copy of a file, they will receive a copy of just that pet's file, and will never now how many other cats, dogs, or ferrets she has.
So please, as a precaution, call your veterinarian's office and make sure your vet maintains a separate file for each pet. Explain to the receptionist why you are making the request for separate files. Then, maybe, in their spare time, they may understand the importance of this issue, and help their other clients with fuzzies by setting up some new files for them also.
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