Yesterday, Dec 1, 2011, a mother and young daughter came specifically to see me with a newly purchased mini-Maltese. She was given 24 hours for vet examination of this Maltese which cost $1,500.
I did the case with Dr Vanessa as I want to standardise the procedures in the post-purchase examination at Toa Payoh Vets to ensure a high standard of care and medical recording. Basically to be able to defend the practice in the event of litigation and complaint investigation.
As in the medical profession, each doctor has his or her own approach to post-purchase exam of a puppy. I want to make sure that Toa Payoh Vets' approach cover the bases and be able to be defended in the event of litigation and this is where I have to implement the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). In equine medicine pre-purchase examination, the SOP is quite well defined but I don't find them commonly available in canine medicine.
The SOP is as follows:
1. Use the General Examination form and fill up the details of examination of the major body systems. Dates of the 3 vaccinations to be recorded. The vet is to be meticulous in doing the examination and recording all questions asked in the form and write remarks/comments. He or she is to sign and date the form. One copy for the owner and one copy to be kept at Toa Payoh Vets in the medical case file.
2. Do a Parvoviral test. This is mandatory for Toa Payoh Vets as parvoviral infections are common in breeders and pet shops.
3. Other tests are optional and must be explained to the owner. This includes complete blood tests, urine test, faecal test, ultrasound and X-rays whenever necessary.
4. Record house-training technique of new puppy - paper-training or grate training. The vet is to advise if he or she is able to do so. Most first-time owners appreciate this advice but not all vets can advise as it is a more complicated subject and needs reading up first.
5. Inform the owner that the Seller may have given medication to the puppy to suppress coughing (Kennel cough) and it will take at least 7 days to know if the puppy has viral and bacterial infections acquired at the Seller's premises.