Thursday, January 21, 2010

North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, FL

The NAVC is the largest veterinary continuing education meeting and this past week hosted almost 6,000 veterinarians from all over the world. The meeting covers all species of animals, even camels and donkeys, birds and fish. I saw a great T-shirt there that read: "REAL doctors treat more than one species". It was tempting to spend the time at Disney, but there was so much new information and excellent university speakers that the draw to "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" was no match.

One of the most interesting topics is one referencing the vaccine dilemna. There are more than 70 vaccines available now for prevention of disease in animals, some diseases I never heard of. It's a vaccine manufacturer's fantasy: just make more vaccines and they will come. The speaker I heard is renowned in the topic of immunity and immunizations. She supported my view that we are over-vaccinating. Her pets, once they reach the age of 8 only receive Rabies vaccine as mandated by law. I was shocked as I have
never heard anyone propose such restrictions. My experience of 35 years however, tells me this is factual: once animals have had a series of distemper and other vaccines they have permanent immunity. Doing vaccine titers which has been the recommendation to people who want to minimize vaccines for their pets, is useless. A positive titer does not prove immunity and neither does a negative titer prove none. These are expensive tests that veterinarians are recommending and they are absolutely of no value and certainly not worth the expense. Each pet should be evaluated on their exposure threat. For instance if you never go to
Africa, you might not want to get vaccinated for African diseases. The same is true for animals. If your cat never goes outside its chances of getting Feline Leukemia are zero. Why vaccinate?

I am dedicating my blog to help people understand the real needs of pets and what their options are. No need to feel guilty for declining flu vaccine or Lyme vaccine. You know your pet and most people are realizing that somethings are just available and not always required. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What You Want to Hear From Your Vet--The Truth

I'm getting settled in at Companion Animal Hospital in Springfield. It's great because we have similar philosopies that I am more accustomed to. For instance, my view is not every dog and cat should have
every vaccine known to veterinary medicine. Every pet is an individual and certain situations deserve
individual consideration. This is quality veterinary medicine. People in Northern Virginia are for the
most part educated and understand over vaccinating. As Charlotte says "it's all about the animals" .
That's why we are here. Furthermore, having been in practice for 35 years, it is clear to me that when
you treat animals and clients with respect, do the right thing and give them options rather than demands,
you build a great, loyal clientele. You practice medicine with a clear conscious, knowing that what you
are doing is what you would do for your own pets. Veterinarians who are doing this work for the
business aspect will always be struggling and burning out personally because they know that what they
say are lies and misrepresentations. Thankfully, these vets are few and far between. But when a vet says
to you, your pets needs DHLPP and Rabies vaccines every year, that's a lie. When your vet says
your dog needs flu vaccine, corona, etc., etc. or that your cats need 4 distemper vaccines as kittens they
are nursing your wallet, not your pet. It's such a relief being here at Companion Animal Hospital in
Springfield, because they always do what's in the best interest of the pet and not in the interest of their
net income. You can be sure that here, we are animal lovers and not solely businessmen.