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The Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship

What is the Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR)?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship (or VCPR) exists when your veterinarian knows your pet well enough to be able to diagnose and treat any medical conditions that may arise in your pet. As a pet parent, your part of the VCPR is trusting your veterinarian to make clinical judgments about your pet's health, asking plenty of questions to ensure you understand our recommendations, and carefully following your veterinarian's instructions. Your veterinarian's part of the VCPR involves making those clinical judgments; advising you about different treatment options, including their benefits and risks; providing medical care to your pet; overseeing the chosen course of treatment, including your compliance with our recommendations and their outcomes; keeping a record of your pet's medical care and history; and helping you access emergency care for your pet should you ever need it.

Is it important for a veterinary hospital to have a VCPR policy?

Yes! Here are some of the reasons why:

  • In many states, including Texas, the VCPR is required by law in order for a veterinarian to diagnose or treat your pet, or prescribe or dispense medications. 
  • The AVMA's Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics, a progressive code of ethical conduct to which all veterinarians are expected to adhere, also requires a VCPR for a veterinarian to prescribe medication or treat an animal.
  • Most importantly, the VCPR is in your pet’s best interests. Your veterinarian must be familiar with your pet’s medical history in order to provide them with the best possible care. 

What do I need to know about the VCPR at Shadow Creek Veterinary Hospital?

Our VCPR policy specifies that a pet must have been seen by one of our veterinarians within the previous twelve (12) months if they wish to have a prescription filled. An exam by a veterinarian is also required once every twelve (12) months for pets who are seen for technician appointments. If you have any questions about the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship at Shadow Creek, please call us at (205) 964-8866 and ask for Nancy. Thank you for allowing us the privilege of providing care for your pet.

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