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Prescriptions For Your Pets

Pet prescriptions are in the cross-hairs at Wal Mart and elsewhere. Ever see me cringe when a client asks to get their prescription at 1-800 Pet Meds? Why? Honestly, stocking every medication I need takes time and effort, and I make little to no money on these items. Why do I want you to buy from me?
Reason #1 Because I appreciate your loyalty and because I need that couple of bucks more than Pet Meds. Wouldn’t you prefer to support your veterinarian, who cares about your pet, than to support big box stores? I would bet you did not know Pet Meds has been taken to court numerous times for illegally filling prescriptions. They continue to operate because their advertising is so effective that they can pay the fines and go on. Here’s another reason to buy from me: Because I am on call 24-7 to answer questions about your pet and your prescription. If your pet has an adverse reaction to a medication, you know I will follow up with the manufacturer, and report the reaction, not to mention your pet will get concerned follow up care from me. Try calling Wal Mart in the middle of the night for a reaction to a medication you purchased from them! My clients expect educated up to date advice from me. If they insist on shopping around for the cheapest medications, then I will be forced to charge them for every phone consult. No offense, but how many of us like watching the clock when we get a phone consult with our lawyer? There is always a ripple effect when change occurs.
Reason #2 I do really care for each and every patient, and I am very concerned about quality control with medications. I know the reputable distributors and companies who manufacture medications. I have years of experience and client feedback as to which ones are most effective, not which ones cost the least. Did you know that the counterfeit legal drug trade is bigger than the illegal drug trade in this country? Many medications have been found to be ineffective counterfeits, from flea products to cancer therapy drugs. These are sold to distributors at a discount and then on to you, the consumer.
Reason#3 Honestly, this is the biggest reason I prefer that you buy medications from me: The largest obstacle to successful outcome in veterinary medicine is client compliance. That means actually getting the medication into the animal as directed. Admittedly, not always easy! I have tricks and tools to help you. I know, for a fact, that if you have to drive to a pharmacy to collect your medication, there will be a delay in getting started. I can be sure that a certain percentage of clients will never fill their prescriptions. I can also be sure I will start giving more injections to patients in the office to get started on treatment, consequently, costing you way more than you’d have saved on that prescription. Many times I have sent clients to the health food store to get a supplement and about half of the time they never get there. I have learned, through the years, that when client goes to the vet to get some help, they need to have the medication in their hand when they walk out the door. It is truly not in the best interest of the patient to lengthen their trip from home, to leave them in a vehicle while the owner drives somewhere else to collect their medication, or to delay starting treatment. Not to mention the confusion that can result from having the medication picked up at a human pharmacy.
So, the truth is that veterinarians are already required by law to write a prescription if a client requests it. If the medication is something that is not available to veterinarians and is needed by the pet for treatment then we can call in to a pharmacy or write out a prescription. Certain antibiotics and chemo drugs would fall into this category. One of my favorite sayings is “ be careful what you wish for”, and this applies to clients who wish transfer prescriptions from their vet to their Wal Mart or pet meds internet pharmacy.
Products are available all over the place. If it is service and professional advice you need, please consult your veterinarian, not those whose primary interest is to sell you a product! Every day I am seeing more animals harmed by their owners’ attempts to get free internet advice. Truly, my clients are more educated and informed than ever before, thanks to the internet. At some sweet spot, the information stops and the “art of medicine” begins. There is no substitute for years of hands on experience! You know that in your own life experience! You and your animals deserve good solid service and current professional advice. You want one-stop shopping? That’s what you get at your veterinarian! My desire is for veterinary medicine to continue to be the personal, caring, and honest profession I have known it to be for my 30 years in the business. I would like to hear your input on the controversial internet pharmacy issues!

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February 20, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

February is Spay/ Neuter month

Let me tell you a true story: Once a client called and asked for an appointment to have her dog “hoed”. The patient receptionist said, “Do you mean spayed?” The client replied, “That’s right; I knew it was one of those garden tools!”

Here’s another true story: I worked for years with a wonderful humane society in New York state. Along with my duties of providing health-care for shelter animals, I was asked to assist the employees who took a class on euthanasia with their grim duty. Once a week, animals had to be selected for euthanasia to make room for those strays coming in from county dog control. Envision a small room with a table, a vet, a technician and a pile of previously healthy but now dead dogs (or cats if you prefer). Then, if that’s not bad enough, picture placing them into the incinerator for group cremation. That’s the memory I have to share with those who delay spaying and neutering. Interesting fact: it takes about twice as much euthanasia solution to kill a healthy animal as an old one who is ready to go.
It’s the horrific truth about a shelter that was truly a wonderful humane society. It raised funds to build its own spay/neuter clinic on the premises so that all adopted animals would be “fixed” before leaving. The shelter’s goal was not to recycle animals or to receive litters from well-meaning adopters back for adoption. Puppy classes were offered there in the Humane Education Center because good dogs are less likely to end up back at the shelter. Stray dogs were reunited with their owners or rehabilitated into wonderful appreciative companions. This shelter is now a “no-kill” shelter, which means space for incoming animals is only available when one is adopted. This is much more palatable, yet I have seen animal rescuers going from shelter to shelter finding no room for adoptable animals. Try finding room at a shelter for a springtime litter of kittens! Thank heavens for foster homes and pet stores who adopt shelter animals.
I acknowledge the information about hormones and healthy development, I acknowledge reputable breeders, and I acknowledge the health benefits and risks of not neutering. I still support spaying and neutering for every pet owner. The exponential effect of one accidental litter is undeniable if you have taken 5th grade math. ”We will get her fixed after her first litter” does not cut it with me. Will you require that all her offspring will be neutered, and how can you assure that this will happen?
Can you tell I have strong feelings on this subject? I have heard all the excuses in the book, but what happens behind closed doors is all our problem if we truly love animals. Until the shelters start to run out of animals to adopt, I will support spaying and neutering. There are too many good dogs and cats waiting for homes, to support purchase from puppy mills and backyard breeders. I have seen plenty of purebred dogs which have been discarded by their owners, including my own (neutered) German Shepherd. There are rescue organizations for every breed you want, and especially the Pitt Bull breed which has experienced such horribly irresponsible breeding practices.
I hope I have not offended reputable breeders, for this description assumes that you are not contributing to this problem, but are seeking to preserve and improve your breed. In fact, I am preaching to the choir, because you would not be reading this if you did not really care about animals! Just remember and support Spay/ Neuter month and World Spay day, the 4th Tuesday in February. Maybe offer to pay for someone to get their pet spayed this month or lend a helping hand to an animal shelter. Don’t support stores that sell puppies and kittens from questionable sources at exorbitant prices. This just encourages impulse buying and plants the idea that breeding is a profitable business. Become a foster home. Put your spare change in the shelter donation jar. Maybe do a program on responsible pet ownership for children you know. Send me more suggestions and ideas to prevent the needless death of millions of animals a year.
It’s like the starfish story, you can make a difference to “this one”.

February 6, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment