Monday, May 23, 2016


What proper health care in veterinary medicine should consist of? Seems like a simple rhetorical question, doesn’t it? Of course, you would say, and me too: good and loving and caring health care; first and utmost.
Sadly, as over the years big nationwide corporations infiltrated the profession, the answer is far from obvious for these companies. For example: look at Banfield Pet Hospitals. Do scratch the surface of your internet search engines a little deeper and search under law suits.
It seems that financial gains come first! Like so called wellness plans with so much fine print and such difficult escape clauses that would make even a lawyer blush—and I do have great respect for the law professionals, the majority does their job diligently and ethically.
Examples in my profession that disappoint me, to say the least:

I) Why to perform a nail trim, or advise a nail trim on every or most patients? If it's needed, yes, of course, but if it's not truly needed, and in some cases, in stressed pets, it can be harmful. Why to do it?

The answer, sadly, to the above question is financial gains. Let's do some simple numbers here: if the national company makes a 1000 nail trims per week--a not far fetched number-- at a minimal cost of $10.00 per nail trim, that comes to $10,000.00 per week. Multiple by the number of weeks in a year: 52 weeks, that comes to $520,000.00 per year, just for nail trims. But I believe that the numbers are significantly higher than that. 

II) Why does a sick pet need to be vaccinated? Why does a pet need all vaccines available regardless of health status and regardless of the pet’s life style? The answer, sadly, is financial again.
III) Why do simple procedures such as vaccines or blood draw need to be done away from the owner? What is there to hide? I actually find that pets are so much more comfortable with their owners present.
IV) Why to have incentive programs that reward the selling of products and expensive diagnostic tests? The answer is, sadly, financial gain. A reward should be given for excellent care that makes a pet feel better. That’s it!
Veterinarians should have only one guideline and goal: make the patients feel better, help and improve the bond of pets and people, and comfort and help at times of severe illness that cannot be helped.
Trust is the key word. Trust in our true love as veterinarians for pets and their wellbeing.
And if we do offer wellness preventive plans—as I do and believe in—make them transparent, make them a good value—and value that goes beyond monetary value—make them flexible, make them common sense and not a contract replete with smoking mirrors.
Dr. Ehud Sela-The Gentle Vet
Gentle Vet Animal Hospital, Margate Florida
Phone: 954-972-5900.

© Dr. Ehud Sela. No work herein may be reproduced in any way without expressed permission from the author.

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