Managing Your Pet’s Health Records – How and Why
Keeping health records for ourselves and our loved ones is important and something that we all should do. As a pet owner, do not inadvertently overlook keeping track and documenting your four legged family member’s health information.
Do not wait until an emergency happens to get your pet’s veterinary information organized and at your fingertips. Getting organized and compiling vet records is easy. Get a binder for each pet and label it with their name. Put the binder somewhere that is convenient to access and easy to spot. Start collecting past health information from your vet. Going forward request copies of vaccinations, tests, medicines, etc.
Your pet’s health binder should include the following basic information for each pet:
- A Name, birth date, and gender.
- A Breed and general description including color and approximate weight.
- A A recent photograph.
- A Microchip or tattoo information.
- A Name of your vet, veterinary clinic, and phone number.
- A Name and number of your local emergency vet hospital.
- A Names and numbers of specialty clinics you have visited.
- A Vaccination history and an up-to-date rabies certificate.
- A Results from physical exams.
- A Medications and their dosages.
- A Major illnesses and surgeries, plus dates.
- A Any test results, biopsies, etc.
- A Any allergies, hypersensitivities, or adverse reactions, especially to anesthesia.
- A Diet regime.
- A Your pet’s insurance policy, if applicable.
In the case of an emergency your stress level will be lowered and valuable time and money will be saved when you have your pet’s vet records at your fingertips. Your pet’s health binder can assist you in keeping track of scheduling appointments and keeps important information in one place in case you move, change vets, travel or board your pet and need proof of vaccinations.
The future is in online vet records. Ask your vet if they offer this option but do not be disappointed if they do not. This is not yet common but be aware that the technology is out there. For example, the University of California, Davis, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital has created its own web-based electronic medical record system to track the 30,000 plus patients seen there each year. The treating veterinarian can enter information about the animal and the referring vet can access the file to see what the clinician did and view any test results. Pet owners will be able to access this information in the future.
Whether you are using paper or an electronic record keeping system the most important thing is to have everything in one place. It is your responsibility to ensure your pet’s healthcare provider has the most current and accurate information possible. This will improve the outcome of the care provided for your beloved pet.