An overwhelming number of British veterinarians – 98 percent of them in a survey of 1,208 – say that clients who search the Internet for advice before visiting a veterinarian are more likely to diagnose and treat their pets themselves.
One result is that professional care is delayed; 81 percent of respondents in the survey by the British Veterinary Society say clients brought their pets in later than advisable. Dr. Google often results in owners misdiagnosing conditions, followed by the client being led to believe that there is a cheap and effective treatment obtainable online or from a pet shop, one veterinarian says. And thus animals suffer far longer than need be.
Society President Robin Hargreaves, BVSc, MRCVS, concludes: While some useful information about pets is available online, particularly from the established animal charities [societies], the best source of information for animal health concerns will always be your vet, who knows your pet.”