Analysis of “50 Secrets Your Vet Won’t Tell You” Part 2

  • October 1, 2016

You may want to read part one first here.

16. “Sometimes we do things for free, just because we want to help the pet.”  Again, not a secret. In fact, clients use this against us as a strategy. This comment also reinforces that we are pushovers because animals are involved. Don’t do something free and watch how fast a client will whip out something like, “You obviously don’t care about animals!”

17. “New staff or training students sometimes practice injections or catheter placements on your pet. If you’d rather not allow your pet to be used in this way, make sure you say something beforehand.”   Yes, this is a secret. But a secret makes it sound nefarious when all this is is just common practice. However, it is done under controlled conditions and supervision, or should be. If we start asking every client if it’s ok, no one will get training.  In fact, just calling it training is a lot different than “practicing” on a client’s animal. This statement is already prejudicial toward a negative response and makes it sound like you’re keeping a secret from people.

18. “I’ll let you in on the secret of no-kill shelters: We had a contract with our local Humane Society that stated we’d euthanize the animals in their care that needed to be put down. One Sunday, they sent us 72 cats to put down. By the end, we were all emotionally devastated.”  Best kept secret (I would say lie) ever! You may have a no-kill shelter, but trust me, “someone” is killing animals that come out of that shelter. Yes, a secret, but not one your vet isn’t telling you. This one is a secret no-kill shelters are telling you.

19. “Behavior issues are the number 1 cause of pet re-homing, euthanasia, and death. Yet because it’s not medical, most of us don’t learn much about it in veterinary school.”  Um. No. Not sure what school you went to, but I’ve got a pretty good grounding in behavior. This makes it sound like a deficiency on our part when the truth is that owners come months to years late in bringing up behavioral problems. By that time they are usually reluctant or too exasperated to do anything once the problem is brought up. They want a pill and don’t like behavioral advice that requires them to actually do something.

20. “Your vet may not have gotten into vet school! Vets who can’t get into traditional U.S. veterinary programs due to bad grades and poor test scores often go to for-profit schools in the Caribbean, where, basically, if you can pay the tuition, you can get in.”  Wow! Another opinion and judgment on other vets. And very unfair. Not a secret. The fact that anyone disparage and look down at vets that have gone to Ross, St. Kitts, etc. is a condescension problem that some vets need to get over. And this one again by anonymous vet in California.

21. “No regulation says vets have to check certain lists before they euthanize an animal, and lots of vets still do convenience euthanasia for owners who prefer the easy way out. We see a lot of euthanasia in November and December, for example, just because people are getting ready for the holidays. I refuse to do it.”  May be considered a secret and if you do convenience euthanasia, I would keep it a secret, because it’s a deplorable way to practice. The vet making this statement is quick to identify that they don’t do this. I think the real secret however is more the lie of how much people are attached to their pets. Yes, some people, maybe even most people, but not all, as can be seen by the practice of convenience euthanasia. And this is ignoring the owners that just take their pets to the local pound.

22. “I hate to break it to you, but your $2,000 for designer dog is a mutt. Puppy stores and and breeders have created these cute names like Morkipoos and Puggles, and now people are paying $2,000 for a dog they couldn’t give away at the pound ten years ago. Whoever started the trend is a marketing genius.”  Yes, this is a secret because none of us want to have a conversation that will only serve to have a negative viewpoint aimed at us and is worthless in caring for the pet.

23. “I hate retractable leashes. The stopping mechanism pops open so easily, and suddenly the pet is flying to the end of it, and maybe into the the street or into the jaws of another dog. I’ve had people bring in a pet who got hit by a car because they were using a retractable leash and the stopping mechanism broke.”  Uh. Only a secret if you aren’t telling your clients about the dangers of retractable leashes. And I’m pretty sure you should be or are telling them because you’ve a got a strong opinion about it.

24. “Even though you see vitamins on the shelves in pet stores, healthy pets don’t need them. The pet food companies have spent billions of dollars to make sure their food is properly balanced with every vitamin and mineral a pet needs.”  Again, you should be telling clients this. I do. Not a secret. Not a bad comment by anonymous vet in California.

25. “Some people are really into a raw-food diet for pets, but it’s a huge public health hazard. Think about it: You have raw meat, you’re touching it, your dog touches it, and then your dog goes and licks the baby. I’ve had two patients die and two patients get really sick from it .”  Again, only a secret if you don’t tell them. Tell them. Not a secret.

26. “The cheaper, over-the-counter spot-on flea and tick treatments are extremely dangerous. I’ve seen animals having violent seizures after using them; I’ve seen animals die. Ironically, most of these animals have live fleas crawling all over them.”  Not a secret. Really not a secret for those who have been affected by these products. Again – good observation by anonymous vet in California. I suspect collusion between this person and the article writer since they liked their statements so much.

27. “After their kitten vaccinations, indoor cats don’t really need to be vaccinated. They’re not going to get rabies sitting inside the house. Vaccines have the potential to create alot of harm for cats, including possible tumors at the vaccine site.”  Holistic vet opinion. This only seems like a secret because alt-therapy doctors want to make it seem like they’re shedding light on something that still remains conjecture. And obviously not a secret since I’m pretty sure these practitioners are telling people all about it.

28. “A cold, wet nose on  a dog does not neccessarily mean he’s healthy. I’ve seen plenty of sick dogs with wet noses.”  See 24 – 26 above.

29. “The biggest mistake pet owners make is calling the vet too late. Pets rarely get colds or the flu, and they almost never get food poisoning. So if they’re sick for more than a day, call us.”   Getting a pet in sooner rather than later? Just good advice. Not a secret.

30. “If your animal is really sick, it’s better to bring him in during the morning. A vet I once worked with would do a huge workup when a sick animal came in early. But if the sick animal came in late in the day, the vet would actually encourage the owner to euthanize. But I would add that this is not common.”  Not a secret. More like advice based on one vet’s experience. No, people shouldn’t get different advice or care based on the time of day (before lunch or before closing). Getting in in the morning does allow an average veterinary practice to have more time to take care of things and assess a problem, rather than calling just before close and possibly sending them to an emergency clinic so that full follow-thru care can be addressed. If there is no emergency clinic, then they should certainly get the same advice and care as if they came in in the morning. This assumes, too, that number 29 advice was taken, which is often not the case and the owner has waited as late as possible to seek care.

Go to part 3

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