Interesting Information: February 4, 2017
The High-Cost, High-Risk World of Modern Pet Care
This article is fascinating, whether or not if you own pets. It’s all about consolidation in the veterinary business–and yes it is very much a business.
I would also point out that consolidation is also going on in mainstream medicine. Businesses are buying up hospitals and private practices, so medicine is, often, now about making money, not about either people or science.
What results is a “one size fits all” practice that is not good for either humans or pets.
Here’s a quote from the article:
An annual postcard reminding you that your dog or cat is due for its shots—“it’s time for the tough love”—is the main way veterinarians get pets in the door each year. That’s why many animal doctors, at every kind of practice, have chosen to ignore guidelines from the AAHA, which since 2003 has recommended dogs not be given what are called the core vaccines—for distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus—more often than every three years. Indeed, the guidelines say a single series of these shots is probably enough to provide a lifetime of immunity.
Dog vaccines are NOT scaled to a pet’s weight.
Here’s another quote:
A pet may receive dozens of shots in a lifetime, at a cost of hundreds of dollars, but surprisingly little research has been done to find out how safe they are, and there is wide disagreement among experts. A 2005 study by Purdue University using Banfield data from more than 1 million medical records found 38 adverse reactions for every 10,000 shots, a rate of about 0.4 percent. Schultz and a research partner, Jean Dodds, argue the numbers are much higher, more like 3 percent or 4 percent, with about 1 in 200 dogs experiencing life-threatening reactions such as anaphylactic shock. “Vaccines can kill,” Schultz says. “If you don’t need to vaccinate annually and you do, you’re taking unnecessary risks.”
One size does not fit all. Not for pets, and not for people.
This article, however, is much more about consolidation. Treatments, like pushing vaccines, are just examples of how industry is trying to get more money from each person or pet that walks through the door.
Source: The High-Cost, High-Risk World of Modern Pet Care – Bloomberg