Idiopathic epilepsy is a prevalent canine condition that can be challenging to manage. A positive vet-owner relationship contributes to satisfaction and compliance, but its impact on management is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate owner perspectives about the impact of veterinary surgeons on decision making and management.
Qualitative methods were utilised, and semi-structured interviews were completed with 21 owners of dogs with epilepsy who lived in England. Transcripts were thematically analysed, and this study discusses the theme ‘influences of the veterinary surgeon’.
Many owners felt that more precise expectations could have improved interactions with their veterinary surgeon(s), and their experiences of caring for their dog. Most owners referred to a specialist reported a positive experience, often due to specialists being perceived to have greater experience or knowledge. Owners who reported predominantly negative experiences were often less trusting of the veterinary profession, and more likely to perform self-directed research.
These results represent the experiences of a small subset of owners, and larger scale studies are required to support these findings.
Owners appear to value the formation of partnerships of care with their veterinary surgeon, and greater availability of educational resources could further improve owner satisfaction.

© 2022 The Authors. Veterinary Record published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Veterinary Association.