Is the BRAN test suitable for a veterinarian’s client?

Doctors’ patients should question their doctor on the drugs and treatments offered using the BRAN test. The aim is to reduce overmedication and decrease interventions. GP patients like to come away with something when they visit their GP’s surgery. Often it is antibiotics which are inappropriate but some need to be more inquisitive and less passive in the surgery.

Cat at veterinary clinic. The cat is Dewey. Photo: Pinterest.
Cat at veterinary clinic. The cat is Dewey. Photo: Pinterest.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

I wonder whether veterinarians’ clients should adopt the BRAN test, which asks about the Benefits, Risks and Alternatives to treatment offered to a cat owner and whether the better course of action is to do Nothing.

The BRAN test is about empowering patients to give them a sense of ownership of the way they are treated.

I have long felt – and I practice this myself – that cat owners should gently challenge where appropriate the veterinarian’s diagnosis and proposed treatment.

A veterinarian’s client is in a position of trustee to her cat. In the consulting room she is tested on her cat guardianship responsibilities. The client should own the treatment and be fully informed as to the risks and possible consequences.

Two typical operations come to mind immediately although there are many more. Dental cleaning carries a risk of brain injury by the anaesthetic. The vet should provide full details on the degree of the risk together with supporting documentary evidence. As to declawing in the US, often vets do not disclose what the operation entails and neither to they discuss alternatives. The client has an obligation as a cat guardian to enquire and challenge to obtain full details so she can make an informed decision. Her decision will be No when she finds out.

Vets can be overzealous with prescribing antibiotics. Once again the vet should explain why they are being prescribed and the downsides.

Vaccinations are another important area where a veterinarian must provide neutral information about the risks and benefits. Sometimes vaccinations are inappropriate and vets should explain this and the client should challenge on the subject. BRAN should work well at the vet clinic.

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5 thoughts on “Is the BRAN test suitable for a veterinarian’s client?”

  1. ME I am so sorry that happened to Kitten. Some vets are just gash, and should not be around any living being, even themselves.

    BRAN, definitely. I’m delighted to leave the vets or human docs with no need to treat, no medicines or maybe use something I have at home, something simple.

    Yes, ask, ask, ask, ask then ask some more.

    Asking questions and insisting on helpful, informative answers is a very good way of weeding out crap vets and doctors.

    If they get pissy when you ask a question, how are they going to cope when you start discussing differential diagnoses’ or object to them trying to stick a vaccine needle in you cat’s neck? Not very well, and that can impact on your cat

    So, for the sake of your cat, to give them the best chance, learn, bone up, swot away, question always. If you understand what has gone wrong for your cat, what the treatment is and how it works, you stand a better chance of complying with medication doses and spotting when something is amiss.

    If you gain as much knowledge as you can when your cat is unwell, then you can also feel as if you have some control over the situation. Frustration, lack of control & lack of understanding make things much worse when your cat is sick or injured.

    • I am pleased that you are an advocate of BRAN! It’s the best way. I had a bit of a bust up with the vet who I had to use because I adopted my cat from a rescue and they have their own vet. The argument was over when to neuter. I won the argument.

  2. I totally agree with employing the BRAN test. Regarding antibiotic usage, actually many low grade infections are self healing, for felines as well as humans. Dental cleaning and anaesthesia is definitely a debatable issue surfacing on the forefront. Declawing for any reason is just a no brainer…a big NO.

    • As we the cat guardians become more informed about the special health risks associated with cats there are occasions you may find yourself more knowledgeable than the DVM. Cat owners should always look for a feline certified clinic and read the reviews carefully.
      The real relevance of the antibiotic overdose that killed Kitten is that almost no vets even when handing you that clipboard to consent really discuss what is going to happen to your pet, the qualifications of the staff involved and the drugs used.
      I agree many infections are self resolving with supportive care. Because with everything else a cat that fails to eat becomes at risk for fatty liver in a relatively short time that may not always be the best course. I believe that within a few years the treatment courses for cats will be changed dramatically instead of simply based on this is what we do for dogs.

  3. When the negligent DVM injected Kitten with enrofloxacin she never even said what she was doing. She just walked back into the exam room and jabbed her death sentence into her leg. Had she spent 30 seconds explaining the dangers of this antibiotic and the warning about blindness I would have caught the math error. I spent many years working with precise calculations and this wasn’t rocket science. It’s been my conjecture since that many disasters could be thwarted with mandatory consent to treat forms that were specific and must be in plain English with warnings clearly listed.
    BTW it took a long time to connect the dots to this and her liver failure with finally killed her. Since DVMs do not like to use enrofloxacin on cats because of the threshold of safety vs the efficacy of the dose it’s a poor choice for cats when other antibiotics are safer and just as capable of treating the condition.
    I also have a lifetime of handling and treating livestock so I’m not uneducated in the methodology DVMs use when deciding to treat or not to treat.
    With URI cats are generally given an antibiotic to prevent secondary or treat secondary infections.
    All of my claims are backed up by ER DVMs 3 days later. She never needed that type of antibiotic and they even sent her emails stating that fact that I came into possession of during the discovery process.
    So in summary all guardians need to ask questions but we need to learn the right questions. In order to do that we need to be presented with reliable information before treatment. If there is a drug you are especially concerned about you can request you be notified before being used.
    We don’t just need information we need laws that demand all DVMs give full disclosure before treatment.


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