Doctor Google

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The Internet is an incredible thing. Speaking as someone who grew up with a set of  encyclopedias, I find it remarkable that I can access hundreds of pages of information on just about any topic imaginable with just a few keystrokes. There are very few of us (myself included) who have not done a quick search on a pesky symptom of their own or their pets. But what do you do with the flood of information that results? A quick Google search for “limping dog” gives over 500,000 results. Human nature often makes us zero in on the worst case scenario, which can lead to needless stress and worry. For example, could a dog’s limp be caused by cancer? It is possible, but there are numerous other causes that may be much more likely depending upon the circumstances. Part of the art of practicing medicine is evaluating each unique patient and working through the long list of possible causes of their symptoms.

The other issue with the all of the information available on the Internet is it can be difficult to judge the reliability of the sources. It can be difficult to tell if someone is truly an expert on a subject, or if their advice is based on something they heard from their friend’s next door neighbor’s cousin.

Some trustworthy web pages include: (nutrition) (behavior related topics)

Without a doubt, though, the best source of information about your pet is your veterinarian.

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