Don’t you know it is against the law to impersonate a professional? This isn’t a game you know! The advice you give to people could harm their animals!
@CTU: While I have no doubt that the occasional vet/veterinary assistant does make a professional appearance (I’m a former relationship counselor and I answer in the marriage section after all), by and large I agree with you. I’ve seen some pretty daft advice come out on this board, and it’s not right that pets pay the price of their owner’s gullibility.
@Cornelius: As I said, I’m sure there ARE some vets, but temper those with the statements a la, “yu need 2 squirtz teh flee medications on her eyes lolz!!1! I”M a VET!”
Bear in mind, CTU is addressing the fakes. He’s NOT telling vets not to answer. Any actual professional will simply disregard his post.
@Horseplay#9: You have 25 years as a vet tech? then you’re exactly the type of person we’re NOT referring to here! The complaint is with people with 15 years of life experience offering opinions as though they were expert advice, NOT experts with 15 years of experience offering advice and with the caveat that they’re opinions! Please, DON’T stop answering if you know what you’re talking about; that’s what makes this service so great! The fact that people in need can get professional information for free (Just don’t pretend you’re a arc-welding expert, okay?)!
@Cadsuane Sedai: I think what we’re collectively saying here is that if you intentionally spell over 80% of your words wrong, use more numbers than letters, or have an overactive penchant for ALL CAPS, then you might just be a redne- err- teenage impersonator.
@Lioness: It DOES make one wonder where the money goes. It’s clear where the education goes (in one ear and out the other). The weirdest part for me is that I AM one of those oldschool computer nerds. I was BBS-ing and Telnet MUD-ing back in ’89.
I remember when l337 came into being and how proud we all were that our parents couldn’t understand a word of it. What made that impressive though was that it was a skill: transposing letters with symbols and numbers while ones spelling and grammar remained correct. It was a status symbol back then during the early days of computers, showing ones facility with a keyboard (“Look! I can type as fast as you while simultaneously transposing 80% of my characters!”)
I don’t understand the whole, “Look I can spell every word wrong, have no comprehension of vowels, and am in the dark about sentence structure!” philosophy. It just makes them look DUMB. Hell, maybe my parents thought the same thing back then and I was just too dumb to realize it. Food for thought, I suppose.
@Animal Lover: Way back when. Right, ‘chilli’?
Yes I have seen this a lot. Im 18 and I am a Vet Tech going to school to become a Vet. It is against the law like everyone above has said and it is annoying. I agree stop trying to be someone your not, it could harm someones animal or possible kill them. The best advice a 14 could give someone having problems with there pets is to CALL the VET not to be online. The vet can help you over the phone. And suggest if they think you should bring your animal in. Thats part of my job at work. So to all you kids, who think you are vets direct them to a real vet.
On top of this I am not legally aloud to give help online without a license. I will recommend what I know but I never say Im a vet Tech. I
I like this question. I’ve been amazed in the short time I’ve been on YA by the number of questions posted involving serious injuries or sicknesses. I can’t imagine a person with bloody diarrhea waiting several days and then asking for and trusting the advice from a bunch of strangers over the internet, and yet they do exactly that with their pets.
I did work at a clinic for several years, and thanks to my freakish memory, I learned a lot and believe I’m a better pet owner because of it. But I would never want someone to simply accept my opinion as truth, which is why I always tell people to consult a vet, trainer, or product manufacturer (depending on their situation).
In addition to the fact that I’m no expert, I also remember the number of clients at the clinic who would call in and list their pet’s symptoms, wanting a diagnosis over the phone. We would insist on an appointment, and almost always, when we actually saw the pet it would have some huge, glaring symptom that the owner had failed to mention because he or she hadn’t thought it relevant. Only by physically examining an animal can a vet properly assess and treat its condition. The average pet owner’s lack of knowledge about animal health means that their assessment of the situation will never be reliable enough to provide the basis for an accurate diagnosis.
I wish a few of the kids who have nothing better to do than misrepresent themselves and offer bogus advice would get off their butts and try to make a worthwhile difference in the world. I know our local humane society is always in need of a few more volunteers. Guess scooping poop would be considered too “demeaning” for the average teenager. They’d rather hand it out instead.
I was afraid that maybe I was the only one who noticed that something’s strange with some of the answers given by “vets.” Believe me, having worked in a veterinary clinic and currently working in the human medical field, I can tell the difference between the real thing and a fake. What really broke my heart is a post that I read a week or so ago from a child (12 or 13 years old) who said he took the advice of a “vet” on YA and sprayed Lysol and several other substances (all of which were toxic) in his cat’s eyes! Naturally, after what happened, he was panicked. I felt so bad for him and his cat! I just wonder what can be done to stop people from being so cruel and immature.
I agree. Sometimes kids or people who don’t know any better take this advice in desperation and could end up seriously hurting their pets. Whether it’s done for points or as a joke, the results could be devastating. It is illegal to give medical advice under the statement you are a vet unless you actually have credentials. I have seen people recommend giving garlic for flea control (garlic is toxic to cats) and advise them to give an aspirin to the cat which can shut down the liver. Even if I know a homemade cure my vet has recommended for my cat, I advise the asker to ask his cat’s own vet as there could be an underlying condition which would cause my remedy to be unsuitable for that particular cat. Even a seasoned vet can’t diagnose or treat a condition based on info given over the internet. An in-person exam is always called for when it comes to a sick pet.
@ Cornelius: Just a few weeks ago I reported a kid who was claiming to be a vet. I looked on her profile and she had also posted a question stating she was 15 years old. Like Luminous said, you can usually tell but some folks will still take the advice-especially kids.
I sincerely hope that no one on here decides how to treat their cat based solely on anyone’s answers.
I try my best to answer questions based on my own knowledge but also try to explain where that knowledge comes from — that it is not by any means a professional opinion and that everyone should get a professional opinion. As much as people hate hearing “Go to the vet!” as an answer, that is the best answer. The most we can do is offer up possibilities that can be discussed with the vet.
It really bothers me to see so many horrible ideas stated by people claiming to be professionals. Unfortunately you cannot assume the best about people. It is everyone’s responsibility to check the accuracy of someone’s statements before taking their suggestion. A simple search can identify a lot of information as false and visiting a vet is the only way to pick the right treatment.
It may seem funny to some kids and teens to throw out lies to unsuspecting pet owners – but if someone takes those lies seriously you could be a part of killing their pet. There are plenty of fun things to do that don’t hurt people or animals, so please try those instead.
I am so glad I found this “topic” because it does frustrate me and worry me to no end when I see those that are so eager to hang out shingles saying they are “experts” based on being Vets and Vet Techs.
You guys may very well be just what you say and God bless you for what you do. I retired from the clinic I worked for 5 years ago and I miss it every day.
But I was well trained and even at the vets office we weren’t allowed to just blab advice freely to clients that called and wanted us to give them a diagnosis over the telephone.
Even if we knew the pets medical history, most times the best we could do (or were allowed to do) was tell them they had to come in and see the vet. We were allowed to determine if we thought it was an emergency, but to give our client a diagnosis…..better not where my vet was concerned.
And any smart (reputable) vet, isn’t going to hang out his shingles and offer a diagnosis in a place like this. My vet wouldn’t have the TIME to set and read all these questions for one thing, and certainly wouldn’t be able to stand the ignorance that is still so evident in some of these questions when it pertains to even such simple things as spaying and neutering your pet. If he follows his own code, all he can do is set here and tell these people…..”Go To A Vet”. Why would a vet have a desire to set and do that multiple times a day. It makes me nervous, and it makes me question the validity of their posted claims.
I’m much more comfortable with those who “can spell” and claim to have nothing more than experience to back up their answers. Experience is a great teacher and for some of the people that ask the questions here, that is about all the level of information that they should be given, or act like they are capable of handling anyway.
For those of you who are “true” Vets and Vet techs that advertise it proudly I do worry that even if you are only trying to help, your stepping out a little too far on that “proverbial limb” and that you will get hurt or unintentionally mislead someone if your not careful.
Proceed with caution everyone!
Note! Dr.Laura Vet….I’m curious. What does bring you here as a reputable vet? Despite your anonymity do you not fear that you will give too much info or can’t give enough to some of these people. Or do you just feel pretty safe that your identity is protected and that’s why you say you don’t care if people believe that you are who you say? Sometimes your comments sound “believable”, but then you come off a little strong at times and its an attitude that I wouldn’t expect out of a vet who is aware of the situation they are putting themselves in by advertising their title.
When i was around that age i gave answers about what people should do in those situations with their pets, I never lied EVER i only gave info i knew were facts after having researched them thoroughly on other web sites to make sure I was giving the right info, I think you are so right to post this question! People need to know and realize how gullible they are!
The askers these days have been falling for fake “vets” waaaaaaaaay too easily at the expence of their pets! I don’t completely blame the owner but i do completely blame those reckless idiots for posting fake advice just for laughs! And again it is at the expence of the pets!
(Although back when I was around that age my opinion was still the same as now so there might be some, if very little responsible kids out there)
Thank you for getting the people on yahoo more aware of this CTU!
I agree with you 100% Its frustrating when people are truly worried and are in great search of some answers, and then these poor people get answers that are completely wrong, but then belong to a so called “professional” Hopefully these children and impersonators are not like this in their real lives otherwise they are in for a big surprise!
You can tell when an answer is Legit, or at least well though through. While some people aren’t able to give the “best” answer, they are at least honest about who they are and that they are answering from their experience.
I was on the Adolescent section a few weeks ago (I love to go and see what teens now are facing in their lives) and some one asked what she needed to do to go to law school someday. I answered the answer the best I could having just watched my fiancee go through the Getting into law school process. Some one claiming to be a lawyer gave her a TERRIBLE answer, and when I looked at her profile, she had posted a question about how to convince her mom to let her cut her hair! Clearly a teen impersonator.
Even a licensed veterinarian are not supposed to be answering questions and giving any kind of advise over the internet without an existing veterinarian-client-pet relationship (VCPR).
All veterinarians are bounded by this Veterinarian Code Of Ethics.
A VCPR exists when all of the following conditions have been met:
1. The veterinarian has assumed responsibility for making clinical judgements regarding the health of the animal(s) and the need for medical treatment, and the client has agreed to follow the veterinarians instructions.
2. The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the animal(s) to initiate at least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the animal(s). This means that the veterinarian has recently seen and is personally acquainted with the keeping and care of the animal(s) by virtue of an examination of the animal(s), or by medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal(s) are kept.
3. The veterinarian is readily available, or has arranged for emergency coverage, for follow-up evaluation in the event of adverse reactions or the failure of the treatment regimen.
And because of this restriction, everyone should not assume anyone to be a vet, with or without credentials.
And as CTU mentioned, it is worst when someone pretends to be one and started dispensing advise.
A very troubling thought indeed.