Hamptonville, North Carolina (PressExposure) April 04, 2008 -- You have a new puppy or kitty or perhaps you are a seasoned pet owner. You want the very best care and medical attention for your little people in fur coats that you would expect or demand for yourself. Do you find a Veterinarian in the phone book, rely on recommendations from friends, or visit some yourself to find the perfect doctor? Well, these are some ways, but can you be sure that the Vet you decide on has Fido's best interest at heart OR is he just interested in his bank account?
I am a breeder of AKC Yorkshire Terriers and have a burdening desire to insure my little ones are taken care of properly. I have moved all of our dogs from a vet that cost me three dead puppies from a caesarian birth and then charged me $400.00! When I called to have their records moved, they had the nerve to ask me why! DUH! A little preface before getting into the meat of this article as provided by some of our friends.
A friend of ours recently had a 6 month old Yorkie that got sick. The poor little fellow started vomiting and having diarrhea, wouldn't eat, drink water and just wanted to lay around. Our friend rushed him to the vet that normally attended him to determine what the problem was. At the vet's office, the technicians, NOT the doctor, came outside to the car to examine the dog. Now I can understand not necessarily wanting the dog inside the office if it had something contagious, but at that time, they knew nothing other that the symptoms. Our friend asked if it could be Parvo. After taking a stool sample and checking it, the technician came back out and told her that it definitely was not Parvo. The dog was taken back home with some medication for diarrhea and that was that. The symptoms persisted and she took him back to the vet the next day. This time they gave him some IV fluids because they said he was dehydrated, and sent him back home. The next morning, the dog was found dead at the back door!
Our friend immediately called the vet and told them what had happened and again asked if it could have been Parvo. Again, she was told that it definitely was not Parvo. We happen to live in a community when there is an Infectious Animal Diagnostic Center. Well, our friend had an autopsy performed on the dog and after two weeks, the results showed the dog had died from, you guessed it, PARVO!
Now this wouldn't be quiet so alarming, if it was just one instance. However, just today, one of our neighbors told us she had lost her youngest Dachshund to Parvo! And can you guess where she had taken him? Yep, same Vet. Same questions were asked about Parvo and the same answers were given, this time by the doctor, it was definitely not Parvo. Three days later, after the dog suffered extensively, she took the dog back to the vet and THIS time she was told that it was Parvo. The vet prescribed some medication and when our neighbor was checking out she told the receptionist that she could not afford the price just then. They took the medicine back from her and told her that when she got the money she could come back and get it! WHAT!
Are Veterinarians that strapped for cash? I was under the impression that they took an oath. So, I did some research and this is what I found. This is taken from the American Veterinary Medical Association's Web-Site:
(Adopted by the House of Delegates, July 1969, amended by the Executive Board, November 1999)
Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.
I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.
I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.
Now we're not certain whether this vet belongs to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) or not, but I'm sure he had to take this oath at some time or another. Are our Veterinarians taking this oath too lightly? Is it just another business to make money, and lots of it? Have you seen the prices they charge? Some of the times, you feel as though you need to apply for a second mortgage just to pay their fees! AND, it is always up-front payment, check, cash or credit cards!
I don't want to even get into animal rights at this time, but what about all these agencies that want the public to adopt these poor animals and take care of them? People that do adopt, and want to provide care for them, can't always provide the best care because the Veterinarians are either miss-diagnosing the problems or charging way too much for their services. I know that Veterinarians incur a lot of expense in their training, office rental, supplies, etc., but it seems to me, that if you have been in practice for a number of years, you should have that training paid for. And, have you seen some of those offices? Is it really necessary to be that lavish and extravagant, or is it status? And, I order my vaccines from the same sources that they do, except Rabies vaccines which I cannot give by state law) and I know the prices. There is an average markup of about 300% on just one vaccination! Then there is the office visit charge. What exactly is that for anyway? If you can at all avoid it, don't have an emergency or take you pets after hours or on weekends. You ain't seen such charges until you do!
I guess what I'm really trying to get across here is the fact that our pets are suffering unworthily at the expense of some of these veterinarians. I happen to be very fortunate to have two of the very best Veterinarians that I have been able to find. Some of the prices are a bit more than I would like, but they really care about me and my Yorkies. Yes, I have had to use their services after hours and on weekends, but I don't want to lose any of my Yorkies either. And no, we don't make a lot of money breeding them. Ask any breeder and they will tell you, there is not a lot of money to be made. We have had to let some things slide till next payday and our Vet is gracious enough to hold checks for us between paydays. And, I know that if I need them, they will be there for me and my Yorkies.
AVMA Oath from http://www.avma.org/