The Dangers of Dr. Google

Why checking the internet when your cat is sick might be a bad idea.

Have you heard of Dr. Google? This is a "doctor" that many people consult when their cat is showing a sign that something may be wrong.

It's as simple as punching your cat's symptoms into your computer's search engine and hitting "go," then reading what comes up.

The problem is that Dr. Google can be dangerous for your cat's health.

What's Wrong with Dr. Google?

The problems with using the internet to research your cat's conditions are many. They include:

When the Internet Can Be Helpful

Finding reliable sites with cat information that you can review routinely is a great idea. Knowing as much as you can about various feline conditions and their signs helps you identify when you need to take your cat to the veterinarian. Understanding what substances, foods, and plants are toxic to cats helps you keep your cat safe.

Also, once your veterinarian makes a diagnosis for your cat, reading up about that condition on reputable sites can help you understand it and prepare you to ask your vet more questions as you proceed with treatment.

So if you are concerned that something isn't right with your cat, call your veterinarian first. He or she is still your best source of feline medical knowledge. And if you do decide to consult Dr. Google first, do so critically, keeping in mind its shortcomings.

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