A recent letter to clients served by a clinic in Melbourne. Recession driven pricing and marketing wars, provoking (un)professional argy-bargy……
Regrettably we have recently seen a number of clients confused by information from a new, local, discount veterinary practice. Their newsletter questioned the frequency of vaccination, the need for some preventative medications, and the relationship between veterinary GP’s and specialists. While not wishing to enter into an unprofessional, public debate on the merits of various treatments or case referral, we feel it necessary to emphasise a few points.
Yes, there is a vaccination that protects against Distemper, Parvovirus and Hepatitis for three years, saving some of the expense of yearly visits. We regularly administer this product once dog owners are informed of it’s cost and limitations:
1) It does not protect against the most common infectious disease, kennel cough. Annual boosters for this disease are necessary for dog’s who board at kennels;
2) Infrequent examination of older animals can result in hidden cardiac, abdominal and hormonal diseases becoming more advanced before detection. We recommend an inexpensive annual check-up, to monitor for these, and discuss other matters of concern to you.
The recent advent of monthly spot-on products that protect against fleas, worms, heartworm, and ear mites, have been welcomed by many owners seeking convenience and simplicity. It is possible to economise, by reverting to separate products given less frequently, but again, this may not suit your unique situation – your flea sensitive dog, or pill intolerant cat. We are happy to discuss these options at vaccination.
While the vast majority of our patients are cared for in-house, we value our relationship with the local specialists – on the phone, working here in our clinic, or caring for referral patients. Ranging from eye and skin, to heart and bone, they bring to our team a level and breadth of knowledge and experience that no vet alone could ever achieve in general practice.
In summary, while it may seem there are short-cuts for slashing veterinary bills, there are often trade-offs in terms of less convenience, higher risk or poorer outcomes. Every owner’s situation and pet’s problem is unique; listening and tailoring our recommendations to your individual needs and resources is as much in our interest as it is yours.