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2nd Opinion Needed, How to Ask 1st Vet for Records?

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  • 2nd Opinion Needed, How to Ask 1st Vet for Records?

    How does everyone go about getting a second opinion from a vet and dealing with the first vet to get all medical records?

    The animal in question is a cat in this instance, but I'm sure this can be used for all animals. I feel like I've exhausted my current vet's resources and need to see a feline specialist for this condition, but in order to save time and money the previous medical records would be needed, or at least have copies made. I really like vet #1, they are very good, close and even economically priced (a bonus!) and would like to stay on good terms.

    The only other time I haven't used my primary vet was when she was injured and was not physically able to treat my horse. Her office referred me to another clinic, which was happy to help out.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I just ask for it and tell them (nicely and respectfully that for xy reason I would like additional input/expertise).
    My primary equine vet has never had a problem with me getting a second opinion and in each instance in which I have gotten a second opinion, my primary vet either gave me copies of the relevant records or talked directly with the second vet or both (and the second vet has reciprocated by providing copies of their test results to my primary vet).
    Any vet worth their salt should not have a problem with you getting a second opinion especially when that vet has not come up with a diagnosis/treatment unless of course you tell them you need a second opinion because they suck
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)

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    • #3
      You can ask yourself or you can have the new vet ask for the records.

      Dalemma

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      • #4
        Legally, the owner has to release the records to another clinic, so sometimes evn if another clinic requests the records the first clinic will have to verify that with the owner. That being said, the first vet should have no problems releasing the records to you, the owner. If they do get upset about you seeking a second opinion, then they aren't very professional and I (personally) would re-think my relationship with them. You can say something like "I really appreciate all the work you've put into Fluffy's care; I have the opportunity to take her to a feline specialist and I'd like to take advantage of that. Would it be possible to get a copy of her records?"

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        • #5
          Just ask for the records - you don't need to provide a reason unless you want to. The records belong to you - the vet's office is essentially just storing them for you. Good luck!
          I'm not one to say I toadaso. But I toadaso. - Ricky

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          • #6
            If you want to be covert just say you need an extra copy - for yourself, to keep on record

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Hillside H Ranch View Post
              Legally, the owner has to release the records to another clinic, so sometimes evn if another clinic requests the records the first clinic will have to verify that with the owner. That being said, the first vet should have no problems releasing the records to you, the owner. If they do get upset about you seeking a second opinion, then they aren't very professional and I (personally) would re-think my relationship with them. You can say something like "I really appreciate all the work you've put into Fluffy's care; I have the opportunity to take her to a feline specialist and I'd like to take advantage of that. Would it be possible to get a copy of her records?"
              This.

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              • #8
                Just ask the vet for the records. They probably won't even ask you why you want them. If they do, you can either be honest (which reallly should NOT be a problem) or just say you'd like a copy for your records.

                I would have a huge problem if my vet got upset because I sought the opinion of a specialist or got a second opinion. My vets have always referred me to specialists or others when warranted, so I wouldn't maintain a relationship with a vet who got upset if I felt the need for a specialist or second opinion.

                I have never lied or hidden from my vets that I have gotten or want a second opinion, mainly because I want my original vets to be part of the team working for the animal. I want them in the loop, not out of it. If I felt I had to hide the need for a second opinion from my vets, they wouldn't be my vets.


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                • #9
                  Don't tiptoe around. Just tell them you'd like to get a copy of the records to get a 2nd opinion. Any vet that is even halfway professional will not be offended by that. In fact, most would actually be pleased, if you both haven't been able to solve the issue. I'd probably ask the vet if, after the 2nd vet reviews the records, and they have any questions, would they mind him/her calling them to discuss the case.

                  The only time I think a vet might get somewhat annoyed would be if the owner had refused certain tests that the primary vet recommended, and is now trying to get the 2nd vet to diagnose cheaply/by phone, etc. But if you've given your vet a fair shot, and are not making headway, definitely get a 2nd opinion.

                  I hate seeing people pussyfoot around when dealing with professionals. People don't mind honesty. They don't like being lied to, or blindsided. Don't lie and say the records are for yourself. You will lose a valuable resource in being able to have the 2nd vet call and talk to the first vet about the case.

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                  • #10
                    Yup. Just ask.
                    If they have xrays and such, be sure to get either the originals or at least copies.

                    As a frequent second opinion vet, it really does help to have all the previous information.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                      Don't tiptoe around. Just tell them you'd like to get a copy of the records to get a 2nd opinion. Any vet that is even halfway professional will not be offended by that. In fact, most would actually be pleased, if you both haven't been able to solve the issue. I'd probably ask the vet if, after the 2nd vet reviews the records, and they have any questions, would they mind him/her calling them to discuss the case.
                      This is exactly what took place with my vet. He was quite open to a 2nd opinion and conferred with the second vet. And in another instance, another vet has encouraged me to get a 2nd opinion if/when we are unable to solve horsie's issues.

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                      • #12
                        If you like and trust your vet, I would be direct about it. When I wanted a second opinion with my horse, I told my vet I was worried something very serious was wrong with my horse. I asked him my options for getting a second opinion. He happily listed the veterinarian specialists/clinics he thought were most likely to be helpful, and what diagnostic testing they could offer that he could not offer. He made sure I had copies of all of the tests that had been done. Then, he offered to help in any way he could.

                        The second opinion vet who I selected did a megaworkup, but did not find anything my vet didn't find. She called a friend who was an academic vet in another state to see if he had any ideas. None of us were able to save my horse, but at least I felt like we had made every effort. When things aren't going well, it is good for the owner, good for the horse, and good for the vet, when a consulting vet is brought in for a second opinion.

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