Thursday, February 26, 2015

Musings of Dr Liz - Open Letter - to Pet Owners who don't visit the vet

 Before you read on, this is not for those of you (which is virtually all of you) who realise that all pets need vets.  This is for those, who aren't likely to read this anyway, who ..... well, read on what they do and don't do!

Dear Pet Owner whose pet does not visit a vet,

I am writing this letter to you to introduce myself, and of course, a group of very special people who care for animals.

I am a vet, and I feel a deep sadness in my heart to know that the only times that you need me is to desex your pet when it is young, and to euthenase many years later when it is old.

And if you  are really unlucky, you may need me in between when your pet gets very sick. At this time, you often say to me "I can't afford that".

What gets me wondering is, why do you think your  pet does not need a vet at all during their life?  Why do you feel a vet is only good for three things - to vaccinate (when they are young only) , to desex and to kill?

Did you know that there are many loving pet owners out there who would be shocked to know that you, who they thought loved their pets, never took their pet  to a vet for regular check ups? or vaccinated them? or even give them basic stuff such as worming or flea control?   

Day in, day out, they see you play with them, take them for long walks, spend lots of money of leads and toys at the pet shop, thinking that you truly love your pet with all that you buy.

Yet I know.the truth... (for if I do get to see them).. when I ask you when their last vet visit was, you say "I can't remember", or you say " they have been perfectly OK until today, never needed a vet". 

What makes me sad, as an animal lover and vet?

I hate doing the full physical examination on your pet,  and finding a range of issues, many of which are preventable.  That's right, 90% of the problems I have found in your pet were preventable.

And then to go through the cost of getting your pet back to normal, the discussion just ends up, well, let us not mince words ..... unpleasant.

Look, I am not saying that you don't love your pet, nor do I doubt how important they are to you. As an animal lover myself, I do understand that love...that bond.

Your pet is also very very important to me.  But to be able to do my life's passion and work, which is to keep all of my animals happy and healthy, I need you to  rethink your vet's involvement in your pet's life.

I know that this letter won't change your mind, and I know it will be a situation that we will have to agree to disagree on the importance of veterinarians in your pet's life. 

Sad, but true.

The Mad Vet, Dr Liz

PS On the off chance that you do get a change of heart, know that your vet, including us, will always be here to help your pet..  All veterinarians are hard wired that way, it is part of our DNA.