Dr. Google and the Perils of Online Pet Health Advice

A woman with her tablet petting a dogConsidering much of our day is spent connected to some device, it’s no surprise we turn to Google when a mysterious illness or symptom strikes. The same can be said for information about online pet health resources.

However, there are many concerns with this method, including the level of accuracy and validity of information. Isolated symptoms can allude to any number of health problems, and online sources are often written by lay people with no training or background in veterinary medicine. Attempting to “vet” what you find can be difficult (if not impossible), and bad information can seriously endanger a beloved pet.

Symptoms Not to Ignore

The team at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital want to stress that time is of the essence in a veterinary emergency. If your pet is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, seek care immediately:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea for more than 12 hours
  • Car accident
  • Animal bites or injuries
  • Disorientation
  • Fall from a height
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Tremors
  • Excessive panting and/or drooling

These signs represent a significant threat, and you should bypass the internet, and get him or her to the vet right away!

When Online Pet Health Resources are Encouraged

There are times when seeking pet health information online can be educational and beneficial. It’s natural to want to look up common problems or ways to make your pet’s daily routine healthier. Focus your search using these reliable, informative sites:

While it’s tempting to do your own online sleuthing, the internet can never replace the training and expertise of a real veterinarian.

Ensure your pet’s health and safety by taking symptoms seriously and following up with emergency veterinary care or a physical examination.