October 6th 2021

Case Study: How can the VCMS Bring Clarity to a Situation?

As part of the VCMS’ ongoing series where we examine how the VCMS assists pet owners and veterinary practices to resolve issues collaboratively, we look into how our team of Resolution Managers brought clarity to a situation and helped to find a mutually beneficial outcome for both parties.


The pet owner contacted VCMS as he was concerned about the thoroughness of the clinical examination that his puppy received when the dog was presented for its first vaccination. Now five months old, the dog has sadly been diagnosed with an eye condition which may have been hereditary.


In engaging in discussion with the owner, it became evident that he believed that any eye issue would be apparent and identifiable at the health check conducted as part of the first vaccination appointment.

Underlying his complaint was a feeling that the practice could have possibly missed a serious condition at that examination.

This is where the impartial position of a Resolution Manager for the VCMS can really help. The Resolution Manager explored the owner’s concerns and what had led him to believe that the eye condition had been missed.

During the discussion, the owner and the Resolution Manager explored how this condition would be diagnosed at that stage in a puppy’s life, and the owner then appreciated that only a scan would have been able to detect the eye condition at that time.

As the appointment was for a vaccination, a scan would not have been part of the examination and the owner would not have wanted one to be done at that stage. The owner appreciated that he had assumed the condition could have been diagnosed earlier without the need of an MRI scan.

Process Towards Resolution

In an impartial and balanced way, the Resolution Manager spoke with the practice and was able to explain where the owner’s beliefs and concerns had come from, and this then unlocked an open and collaborative dialogue.

The practice confirmed that the vet had conducted a full clinical examination and that the puppy was, at the time, showing no signs of visual impairment.

What’s more, the practice went on to reassure the owner that alternative tests to confirm the diagnosis could not have been performed on a puppy of this age due to reflexes not being fully developed.

The owner was grateful to the Resolution Manager for breaking down the clinical history and gaining an explanation into the components that aid diagnosis. He realises that the practice could not have diagnosed his puppy’s eyesight issues when it was presented for first vaccination.

The VCMS was able to assist the owner in gaining a better understanding of the approach taken by the veterinary practice, and the options that were or were not available at that stage of the puppy’s life.

Engaging in dialogue and clear communication, the VCMS team was able to get to the crux of the complaint and use this to explore concerns in a balanced fashion.

Misunderstandings can occur in any area of life and when our pets are involved it can be particularly worrisome or troubling. Through gaining clarity, the VCMS team helped to allay concerns and restore trust in the client practice relationship.

For more information about how our mediation service may be of assistance, contact the VCMS on 0345 040 5834 or via enquiries@vetmediation.co.uk.

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