Some Veterinarians Sell Unnecessary Shots, Tests to Make Extra Money, Says Former Vet
Did you see this bit on 20/20 this weekend? Ah, media. Titled “Veterinary Confessions,” the piece follows a couple of dogs through a series of veterinary visits where different vets offer different services based on their clinical experience, interspersed with the contrite admonitions of a former veterinarian who says that he was, before he relinquished his license (more on that later), the medical equivalent of a used car salesman.
Look, I’m not going to tell you that every vet in the world is equal and that everyone follows the same recommendations every time, but if you think that was the real point of this piece, you’ve been duped. Citizens of Oz, let me show you the Wizard.
“The vast majority of vets are ethical” and don’t recommend what’s not needed, says Dr. Andrew Jones, who then goes on to admit he regularly practiced the most unethical practice of recommending what wasn’t needed, just to make more money, hence confessing that he personally was worse than the vast majority of vets. Sounds like a legit guy to speak on behalf of the profession.
Why is he a former vet, you may ask? Well, the excellent blog SkeptVet profiled him a couple of years ago, if you’re interested. Rather than stop his continued practice of talking smack about, well, pretty much any vet except for himself- he was great, you see, unlike the rest of us slobs- he voluntarily gave up his license to practice in Canada.
And what is the good Dr. Jones doing now? Championing the cause of the poor and underserved, fighting the good fight to educate consumers about the latest AAHA vaccination recommendations or raising money for all those people getting soaked by the rest of us unethical greedy vets?
Um, not quite. He has a website. On it, he offers a
which sounds nice and altruistic. Oh look, he’s pre-prepared for the website traffic he’ll get tomorrow:
So, if you continue to scroll down for 5 or 600 feet, you’ll see that yes! it’s FREE!
(save the $6 shipping and handling)
Hey man, sign me up! Only $6 for all this info! I’m going to CLICK!
Wait, what? In order to get the free $6 DVD I have to also sign up for the $10 monthly service in perpetuity? Isn’t that the Naughty Video Site approach?
So, in return for tossing me, and my friends, and the vet you hopefully like and trust, under the bus, the good doctor is already planning for the side bennie of all those new subscriptions (note the date on the website, and the date I’m posting this.) All in the name of altruism, you see. Behold the Wizard.
You know me, I don’t normally get this upset, but MAN, my hide’s a little chapped right now. Greedy vets? When’s the last time I’ve asked you for a credit card in order to peruse my website?
I will leave you with one last thought. In this piece, Dr. Jones called dental cleanings the “would you like fries with that” of veterinary medicine, a very often unnecessary bit of work. To illustrate the point, he used a little pit bull who was seen by several vets who said she was fine and didn’t need any dental work. Anesthetized dental cleanings, by the way, often allow you to do a closer examination than you can do on an awake pet and might let you discover something like
Yes, that’s the same dog.
But by all means, continue to compare me to a kid at McDonald’s. In the meantime, may want to get that looked at.
Megan Haskins says
Have no fear Dr. V. I for one thank you for pointing out yet another of the many something for nothing leaches that want to attach themselves to my meager pocketbook for a ride. I am very leery of these hucksters and their claims of all powerful knowledge. Its one of my personality traits that irritates my husband of 33 years the most. I’m skeptical of everyone and unless I know you personally or see your product in action I’m not buying in. My 5 pugs and I will continue to stand loyally by Dr. Leigh Meyer because not only does she rock, but she has pugs herself. I’m sure you’re a wonderful vet, Mommy, wife and human. So I wouldn’t put too much credence in that charlatans attempt to degrade you. I love your postings and the tales of being a vet. Keep making my day brighter…..please.
Dr. V says
Thank you Megan, that means a lot. 🙂
Megan Taliaferro says
Oh man, I knew that segment was going to be bad when I received the email from the AVMA yesterday morning. I decided not to watch it because I knew it would just upset me – when I work with and know so many veterinarians who work so hard for so little money. Ugh…
Stefani Olsen says
What i find really interesting about your post is that the AVMA emailed you to watch and comment on this. This goes to show the lobby that you have, which pet owners can’t begin to challenge when it comes to protecting our own interests and those of our pets when they diverge from what the AVMA is pushing, and they diverge every bit as much as they converge. It’s so interesting when the AVMA has to call out the troops to express themselves, yet with no lobby and no formal organization, many pet owners have comment on this. We don’t have henchmen like Adrian Hochstadt and Kent McClure and Mr. PIJAC whose name I’ve blessedly blocked out after hearing him give horrifying anti-pet testimony against a pro-animal bill. The lobby defends its economic and PR interests, and the buyer beware, but the pets . .. . ????? The poor innocent ones.
What did you expect the AVMA to do? That segment was directly relevant to us as a profession. If a national news outlet decides to paint us all as money-grubbing car salesman, shouldn’t we know about it? That way when Mrs. X comes in with Fluffy and gets unnecessarily angry at me when I recommend a dental because her dog has raging dental disease and is undoubtedly suffering discomfort and numerous medical ailments as a result, I’ll know why. It’s not her fault. She’s now been told by a supposedly reputable source that I’m only trying to make a buck and that I don’t actually care about what’s in her dog’s best interest. And you know what’s sad? The VAST MAJORITY of vets want to do what’s best for your animals. You’d be hard pressed to find a vet that doesn’t have pets of his/her own. You don’t think we’re empathetic to what you face with your own furry family members? You really think we took out $200,000 of student loans to make a pittance of a salary so that we could be the used car salesmen of medical professions? It is so unfortunate we’ve been portrayed this way by anyone, much less a former member of our profession. I think about the friends I had in college who went on to become vets. We were all so naive. We did it because we loved animals and we wanted nothing more than to help them. And then after all the blood, sweat, and tears it took to get to where we are, we are dropping like flies. I have one good friend who told me recently she wishes she had never done this. She is struggling to make ends meet with this career, and she gets yelled at daily about how she is conning clients out of their money by recommending unnecessary procedures, etc., when she is just trying (like the vast majority of us) not to LOSE money while doing what is best for your animals. I’m actually very fortunate to be one half of a married couple with a spouse that does well financially, but if you’re single you can forget it. Being a vet just isn’t worth it. Talk about disillusionment!
E.A. Summers says
I DO believe the majority of vets are ethical. And I also believe that there are more unethical pet owners than unethical vets.
I sit in the waiting room sometimes and hear people describing things and am amazed that the tech or vet does not come unglued as I get close to it.
I also sit in the waiting room and look at the number of front desk people, the number of techs, think about the equipment, the building… and I wonder how it can work finanancially. I am a small business owner myself for over 28 years. BUT, lest you think I am sitting in the waiting room overlong…I am not. My clinic runs on time barring an ER situation.
And while I have had experiences that caused me to get 2nd opinions and also to ultimately change clinics (and human medical clinic/Drs!), I also highly respect the profession and additionally…maybe most importantly, recognize that I also, have a part in how things go. I.E. COMMUNICATION! – I, as a client, have as much responsibility as my vet or any medical professional to speak, to ask questions and to listen.
I am fortunate to currently have a vet who encourages communication and takes time to explain things. The clinic also has a routine of presenting an estimate before anything is done, so I do not end up at the front desk holding my breath to hear the final tally. For my part, I am prepared with a list of things I want to ask, with a list of conditions and observations. My time is valueable and so is the clinic staff’s.
Bottom line, I think, as in all relationships – it is about communication, respect and thoughtfulness.
***a note/question about Discus…hey, is there a way to space the paragraphs??? I get spaces as I’m writing the comment but all run together after posting. I see others do as well – at least on my monitor…or is it just me?
LOL the veterinary lobby is STRONG.
Stefani Olsen says
I don’t believe the majority of vets are ethical. I think it’s at best 50%. And it’s not just selling unneeded and potentially harmful vaccines and procedures. It’s also incompetence, negligence, and even outright abuse. There are many vets that have hit, punched or hung their patients, it blows the mind, but it’s true — right there in public records. http://Www.badvetdaily.blogspot.com
I don’t believe the majority of pet owners are very good caretakers for their animals. I think it’s at best 50%. The majority of them complain about or even outright refuse basic preventative medicine like vaccines and yearly exams just to save a couple of bucks. Many of them are negligent, incompetent, or even downright abusive to their animals. Many of them prefer to listen to the internet or their next door neighbor for medical advice, and insist that vets are wrong because so-and-so said so. Then the vet is blamed when things don’t go well. Unbelievable but it’s true, right there in any practice’s medical records.
I don’t care about the reputation of the vet that “confessed.” But what I do care about (and having run a rescue for 15 years and having seen dozens of vets) is the fact that many of the vets I have seen over the years recommend elaborate testing and yearly vaccines without a word of explanation to the client. When questioned, many of them become defensive or just downright nasty. Three of the vets I’ve worked with out of 20+ have really talked to me, explained what they wanted to do and why, and involved me in the discussion. Three more told me that I was essentially a horrible person for not wanting yearly vaccines. One older vet told me he should turn me over his knee and spank me for challenging his recommendations–I am in my 60’s, hardly a child to be reprimanded. And another told me that I must not really care about my pet because I refused a very expensive MRI that would give information but no treatment options because essentially whatever the condition was it not treatable due to the dog’s overall health and very advanced age (17, large dog). The larger point is that we all have to be informed consumers about our pets’ medical treatment just as we would about anything else that we purchase. When you find a good vet who does not push vaccines, who listens to you, and who does not recommend expensive testing as the first step, you have struck gold. They are few and far between.
Richard Langley says
“They are few and far between.”
I doubt you have dealt with as many veterinarians as you say. How would you like it if I told you that because I’ve worked with rescues my experience with them is that they are cheap and try to skimp on treatments just to save a buck at the expense of the health of their rescue dogs and somehow can justify hundreds of dollars in “adoption fees” on petfinder.com? I’ve seen that. Does that mean all rescues are scams or running questionable operations?
When you find a good rescue who actually can show you where their money is spent, who doesn’t push adoption fees higher than the local shelter, and who actually vets adoptees by doing home visits, you have struck gold. They are few and far between.
science please says
Interesting. I would say that I have maybe met one bad apple out of about 20-25 vets I have worked with, who didn’t seem to care much about the problem with my dog. Others were very receptive to my questions, helped me address financial concerns, and otherwise did a wonderful job. I wonder whether it’s possible that one bad experience caused you to have a negative attitude that reflected in later interactions. With your negative view of vets, I’m guessing you will hardly ever meet any you like.
Sunny, you must still be angry because you didn’t get I to vet school 15 years ago!
Sunny: Nail on the head. We must all be better consumers, and for those of us with furkids, nowhere else is that more important than when dealing with a vet. Are all vets bad? Of course not. Are all of them good? Those of us with dead pets at the hands of a vet know that is not true either. Vets have to make money like the rest of us, and seven years ago I wrote an article called Beware of Dr. CheapVet, so I have no problem with vets as a business. (I just want them to not mistreat or kill my pet.) How is Dr. Jones’ method of making money any worse than any other vet’s? The problem for us consumers, as a fellow vet victim summed it up, is that the bad guys look an awful lot like the good guys, so the burden is on us to tell them apart, and that is sometimes a heavy burden. The other big problem is the lack of accountability at the board level to put a stop to the ones making the rest of you look bad. Go read the public records at BadVetDaily on some of your colleagues, and then check out Suki’s Safe Haven for some more charmers. I would love to read your take on those vets. http://Www.vetabusenetwork.blogspot.com
Seriously think I’m going to start my own blog about the abusive, ignorant, “believe anything the media vomits up”, non-compliant clients I’ve had over the years. Something like a Vet Abuse Network blog is just a bunch of blow-hard pet owners who think they know what the hell they are talking about but most definitely do not. Most sought their veterinarian’s advice, but when the answers/recommendations weren’t what they wanted to hear (or what their neighbor’s cousin’s friend Johnny told them last week at the feed store, and by God he’s had bulldogs all his life!).
Are there bad vets out there? Yes, of course. And bad physicians, teachers, ministers, police officers…..and probably your career as well. The way to fight against bad veterinarians is to file a complaint with the state licensing board and fight to get THOSE vets out. Sitting at home on your computer and posting on some stupid site like that? Honey, if you think that’s doing any good then you are a part of the PROBLEM — not the solution.
When I make recommendations to a client, I’m doing so on behalf of the animal. The only thing you are to me is their driver. I made no oath that states that I’m there to say what you want to hear, do what you (or Johnny) want done, or practice veterinary medicine according to your uneducated standards that you picked up off of the Internet (because I’m sure you believe all of that is true too, huh?).
So go out there and be a part of making it right, or sit down and shut up
Preach on Tennisvet
E.A. Summers says
One of the primary reasons I read this blog is because I trust you, Dr. V. …but the corollary to that is…I’ve had bad experiences. Just like I’ve had bad experiences with human Drs. The lesson for me is that I need to be informed and proactive and if what I’m hearing seems wrong, I get a 2nd or 3rd opinon and I trust my own intuiting.
But more to the point of your post…the guy was disrespectful of the many in his prior profession who work for the good of pets and the good of the relationship between pet and person. As you said, he threw all under the bus for his own financial gain.
we can all think: karma, karma, karma!
Dr. V says
I hear you. I would never (and have never) said that all vets are perfect and you should trust them all. There are bad ones, bad doctors, bad dentists, bad hairdressers. Absolutely. What I am saying is this: Most are not. Most have the best interest of their clients in mind. And if you don’t like or trust your vet (believe me, I’ve switched doctors in the past) I 100% agree you should change.
A good vet will always answer your questions. If you are not comfortable with a recommended treatment, they haven’t done what they needed to communicate. So I guess what I am saying is, I agree with this: “The lesson for me is that I need to be informed and proactive and if what I’m hearing seems wrong, I get a 2nd or 3rd opinon and I trust my own intuiting.” Yes!!
And the reason I linked to the AAHA guidelines, which I have promoted since I started the blog, is because I agree in client self-advocacy too. Be informed, yes. Work together. I *want* to have an excellent working relationship with clients!
E.A. Summers says
“I *want* to have an excellent working relationship with clients!”
That is why I trust you, Dr. V – THAT comes through loud and clear in your writing!!!
No one is perfect. I just ask for the best possible. What concerns me is that when I was a child our dogs lived to be 15, 16, 17 years old, cats 16 to 20 years and all died of old age. Last cat, died of cancer at 14, dog at 12. Prior dog at 13 – all cancer. We didn’t have heart worm preventatives, lyme disease preventatives, etc. It was a rabies vaccination and that was it. I don’t believe that all Vets “push” shots or other treatment to make money, but I do wonder if some of this preventative care is not encouraging the development of cancer. Furthermore, when I take an ill pet in, I am told that it could be something that I vaccinated against. When I say, but you vaccinated for that! The response is that sometimes the vaccination doesn’t work. So my quandry is simple, do I vaccinate and have fewer years (sorry but that has become 100% certain) or not vaccinate and maybe have fewer years – and in some cases significantly fewer years. This is why i have been dogless for 5 years with no intention of getting a new love, and have greatly reduced the cat’s treatments. In fact this is the first year I did not run down after my annual notice that “some” vaccinations were due. Got the teeth cleaned, but that was it. Cat’s happy – he hates the vet – although he is very good when there. –Amy
science please says
Amy: My dogs, foster and permanent, get all of the recommended vaccinations and preventives. Even my large dogs are living to be 15-17 years old. I think this underscores the point that large studies, done well, with controlled variables, are more reliable than our anecdotal evidence based on 20 or fewer animals. You’re “100% certain” based on two dogs and a cat? That’s really not how science works.
Dr. V, I raised a storm here and I apologize. But I think I need to address these postings.
Certainly, as I posted in reply above there are a multiple of variables. And I never stated I am “100% certain,” I stated that I am in a quandary (I see I missed the a, sorry). The vet must rely upon information given to them. I can not expect my vet to review every study personally, to examine the results of the tests, I can only ask that they review peer review articles and question their sales persons. But understand, they are being sold the drug. The drug companies are not nonprofit entities. It is the way it is, good, bad or indifferent. Mistakes happen, errors occur, and deliberate cruel callous behavior takes place, greed is not unheard of. No one is perfect and we all must review what our vets are telling us and question. Now I am questioning the need for 3-4 vaccinations every year. And I am questioning if by adding this into my pets system, it can be upsetting a delicate balance?
Tara Flynn says
“So my quandry is simple, do I vaccinate and have fewer years (sorry but that has become 100% certain)”
This sure looks to me like you said it was 100% certain that vaccines shorten lifespans.
Dr. V says
There is no need to apologize at all, and I appreciate you are here and part of the conversation. It is important. It is important for reasonable people to look and to question, and I include veterinarians as well as pet owners in that equation. That is how we went from the 1 year recommendation to the 3 year one, there was indeed pushback from the companies on changing that. We look at the information we have available and make decisions based on that.
Haha, “and all died of old age.” No… They likely died of cancer (as about 50% of pets do), but thanks to the advancement of science and diagnostics, your vets in more recent years have actually been able to diagnose the cancer in hopes of knowing how to best treat for it with today’s technologies. Before the days of being able to use chemo and radiation to prolong our pets lives (and though not everyone can afford it, many are thrilled with the option), I’m sure vets were much less likely to give you a diagnosis because it still couldn’t be treated. Sure, I agree, find a vet that loves to educate and obtain informed consent, but don’t enter the vet’s office on the defense as if you know better.
Hmmm, no, only one relative’s dog died of cancer. We put two dogs to sleep due to senile dementia and incontinence. They did not know where they were anymore, and the vet (with my brother’s agreement, a doctor) recommended that they be put to sleep. Cat was found on the driveway, dead and had just been in two weeks before for routine annual. Eating fine, no weight loss. As to entering the vet’s office on the defense, I am not sure what you mean. My concern has always been with my pet. I will admit that I failed one dog, a cocker spaniel. I took him in at 6 months because the pet store could not sell him (this is the only time I have purchased a pet – all the rest were given to me by people who did not have room anymore.) I did not realize he was a high maintenance dog, and that once he was on thyroid he was permanently on thyroid. He had hip dysplasia, allergies, skin ailments and multiple other problems. During his life on earth he was seen by many vets, all in an attempt to resolve or at least understand his medical issues.–Amy
Future Dr. Chelsea says
Have you ever got a flu shot and then ended up with the flu? Im going to say its probably happened to you or someone you know. A vaccination is only effective against certain strains that are contained in that vaccination – there are many strains of the same disease…just like the flu. A vet is offering you the ‘best possible’ when they recommend heartworm & flea/tick preventative, annual vaccinations, annual bloodwork, teeth cleanings, etc. Im sure you don’t take your cat to Walmart and if you did he would probably hate it there. I love my cats but they don’t like to leave the house, it doesn’t matter where I am taking them.
I have 10+ years in the Veterinary field as a technician in research, private clinics and university teaching hospitals. I have yet to deal with an unethical vet that recommends things that shouldn’t be done just to make a buck. If I ever dealt with an unethical vet, I would report them to the AVMA which is the governing body for the DVM license. I will graduate with my DVM in a few years and will be $300K in debt…yes you read that right, $300,000 in debt just for my degree to be able to practice veterinary medicine in the US…I obviously didn’t pick the field to get rich – I picked the filed because I love animals and I love to make a positive difference in the lives of the owners.
If you ever come across a research article that proves what you have stated, I would love to read it…there are not any that have been published proving that “vaccinations = fewer years”
Dr. V says
I’m so excited to see people who know what they are getting into and still choose to enter this amazing profession! Good luck to you in all your future success.
One quick note in case anyone is following along: The governing body that regulates licenses are the state veterinary medical boards. Just in case anyone calls AVMA and gets frustrated that they won’t take your complaint 🙂
Dr. V., I have never had a problem with a veterinarian. I do believe that they are doing the best that they can, and I admire anyone going into any profession wherein they are expected to be Gods and give perfect advice every time. My gripe is more basic and is not directed at vets. There is this belief that we can protect ourselves, our pets, our families from bad stuff happening. We can’t. When my cocker developed fatty tumors at the age of 9 where the annual vaccinations had been given, I didn’t assume that the vaccinations caused the tumors. But he had other chronic issues – where the annual vaccinations the final straw? I really don’t know and actually don’t believe that they did. I certainly don’t blame any of the numerous vets who saw him and did not “cure” him of developing fatty tumors. I am certain they can not.
As to the reason for your piece, well if you want to pay $10 a month to someone on the net, go ahead. Many sites charge a fee to be able to have access. I would prefer my vet and a physical exam, because you can not effectively diagnose anyone, anything, any pet without taking a physical history and examination. As to his claim that he was a used car salesman, well that says more about him than it says about the profession. There are people who will buy the latest quack cure based upon their gullibility and the skill of the salesman in persuading them to buy.
Furthermore there are a number of excellent sites that discuss veterinary medicine and animal health out there.
OK, I know that I started a bru-ha-ha and that no one will read these, but I had to respond. Thanks for letting me do that. Amy
Actually I have had a flu shot twice and did not get the flu. Other than the “Hong Kong Flu” when I was a child I don’t know that I have ever had the flu. I get a head/chest cold, but no fever, no aching muscles, which I understand help differentiate between the flu and a cold. — Amy
The vaccination conspiracy…one shot a year, or every three years, as the primary cause of a pet’s reduced lifespan from cancer? I’d worry more about the pet food conspiracy. Do you read the labels on the pet food that manufacturers put on the shelf? Your pets consume it daily; if you want to ponder what might be encouraging cancer in your pets, take a gander at the ingredients. The protein shell-game being played for profit at the expense of your pet seems a more likely culprit than a vet doing their best to prevent basic, mortal illnesses from affecting your pets (if you choose to let them vaccinate your pets). In my experience, the cats who had 20-year life spans were those who supplemented their diets with mice, chipmunks and birds, rather than potatoes, peas, soybeans and wheat.
Ah yes, but it is not one shot every 3 years. It is 2-3 shots every year.
As to the pet food issue, please do not go there. I am wrong if I feed my pet what I eat (and I don’t mean table scraps), I am wrong if I feed my pet wet food, I am wrong if I feed my pet dry food. If my cat catches and eats a rabbit, mole, vole, or bird, I am wrong because I am destroying the delicate balance of nature, and that my pet will get sick from eating those animals. Certainly if they have fleas he will get worms, I will accept that premise. So please do not get into the food debate with me.–Amy
E.A. Summers says
Good grief!!! This is a first. Vaccinations cause cancer??? vs all of the environmental stuff such as herbicides/pesticides/plastics ??
I am a baby-boomer and we are dropping like flies from cancer. From vaccinations?? I don’t think so. I’ve certainly never seen anything that suggests that we people should not be vaccinated.
“he hates the vet – although he is very good when there” – How the heck do you know he hates the vet if he is “very good when there”???
I am not a vet, but I’m getting a bit tired of vets being victimized in this post – actually shocked and dismayed! And although I have not had all good experiences, I still do not feel that most vets or even the standard protocols are wrong.
I do not victimize the vets. If anything I respect vets, but I do not expect them to know everything. Certainly I agree that we don’t know all of the causes of cancer, it is an extremely complicated issue. But if a vaccination does not protect my pet, why should it be routinely given to my pet? Why when I was first introduced to the Feline Leukemia vaccination was I not told that it has maybe a 75% effectiveness, or that it can cause cancer (vetinfo.com) Now this information I just found on the net, and who knows how reliable it is?
As to hating the vet, hmmm, perhaps I should have said the vet’s office? He shakes, he sheds, he tries to bury himself in my arms (and he is not an affectionate hold me cat), he tried to melt into the table. He is afraid. He doesn’t bite, he doesn’t claw. He lies very still when they are examining him. If they take blood they always tell me he was very good. And then he yells at me all the way home and won’t come near me for about an hour. A
A very important scientific tenet to remember is that correlation does not equal
causation. Stating that you are 100% certain that vaccines cause a decreased
lifespan in pets is a very sad and unfortunate example of a lack of general
scientific and medical knowledge. Spreading false accusations about vaccines
(or”big pharma” for that matter) based off of minimal data (aka n=1)
is dangerous and ignorant. The ignorance does not come from stupidity by any
means- it comes from a kneejerk emotional reaction which under certain
circumstances is understandable. It is very difficult to step away from your
own pain. Lets face it, statistics mean squat to you when something unexpected
happens to your own animal. But stating that the current vaccine
recommendations are inappropriate for dogs/cats in general is wrong and
dangerous. Fear mongering is a disingenuous way to gain support for a cause
especially when the scientific and medical data does not provide support for
the cause. The stance may have originally come from a genuine, caring sentiment but by ignoring the most recent scientific and medical data and yet still
proclaiming, “vaccines are bad”, you are actually putting more animals
(and possibly people!) at risk which is exactly the opposite of the intended
At a minimum, please know that there are rigorous studies to determine the safety of different vaccines, drugs, treatments, etc. In addition, history has proven
that vaccines save lives for both humans and animals. To be fair, ultimately no
vaccine, no medicine, no treatment will be without the potential for risk
(regardless of how small the actual risk may be). This is the reason
intelligent decisions/recommendations weighing the risk vs. benefit are made by
(1) governing groups (AVMA, CDC, etc) for generalized groups of animals/people
and then (2) your doctor for every individual animal/person. You need to
weigh the risk vs benefit with pretty much every decision your make in life.
Vaccines are no different. Which vaccines are appropriate for each of your
individual animals is a discussion you should have with your veterinarian.
Yes there are rigorous studies, but the very nature of this issue must be considered. This would entail a long term study that also would eliminate or greatly reduce other factors such as genetics, the immune system and potential effects of immunizations upon the immune system, breed standards and other factors that I can’t think of right now. I can not accept that these organizations are all knowing and all perfect. Every day new studies come out over something such as coffee. It’s good for you, It isn’t. Just yesterday we learned, courtesy of the French. that the day after pill is not effective for women over 176 lbs. The US drug company and the FDA have not issued any statement.
Most vets do not engage in ongoing studies, they can only tell us what they have learned. As to a discussion with my vet, the last time I discussed it (2 years ago) I was not given any empirical information as to the effectiveness of the vaccine, but simply told it was my decision. This after being told in the past that the vaccine wasn’t always effective, but no information given as to empirical studies. — Amy
I would also like to point out how sad it is that you have been so turned off by losing your dogs at an “average” age that you will no longer give unwanted dogs a loving home. Instead they will die in the shelter without even being given a chance at a life. Even if you get a puppy that dies of parvo because you didn’t vaccinate it, it’s better than no life at all.
I live with my 90 year old mother, who wants no pets because she can not stand having another animal die, it is too painful. When she dies, her large house and yard will be sold. I will be living in a studio apartment. Would you recommend that for a pet? Going from the country with fields and woods all around to one room? Also I am home about 11 hours every day, and when I am there I am doing things for my mother. I can not walk a dog on a leash as often as necessary. Because there is no fenced in yard – which I have discovered that most shelters now require. So even if I were able to overcome my Mother’s refusal to have a pet in her home, I could not meet the other requirements now so common. –Amy
David Kesler says
This vet on the segment is a vet standing up for animals and their humans. It is these humane vets that veterinary clients such as myself will seek.
You realize he’s promoting his business venture @ $9.97/mo., right?
Another great response to the 20/20 segment:
Such irresonsible journalism! the beginning of this segment made me so upset, saying he was scolded for telling a patient to wait in regard to a lump….how could they not also interview an oncologist for an opinion on that? If I had been told to wait, My cat Jill would probably no longer be here and she is now thriving on three legs and cancer free for eleven months……….this makes me SO ANGRY
Cathey Avery says
I “ditto” E. A. Summers on everything he/she said, ESPECIALLY the Karma, karma, karma!!!