Vets across Australia are appalled by media stories claiming they are recommending unnecessary treatments, says Australia’s peak veterinary association. “Recent stories in the media implying the cost of vet services are excessive and that vets are engaging in “over servicing” couldn’t be further from the truth. Vets want to offer their clients the best options for care – doing so shouldn’t be seen as a guilt trip,” said President of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), Dr Ben Gardiner.
“Take the example of dental care. It is a privilege not a right to own a pet, and so you need to be prepared to provide routine healthcare which involves dental care.
“Just as with humans, it costs a lot more to treat a serious health problem than it does to prevent it, not to mention the pain and suffering involved when something goes badly wrong.
“For example, if dental problems aren’t addressed either before they take hold, or treated afterwards, there are risks of infection in the kidney, heart and liver, even fractured jaws.
“And you can’t compare the cost of human dental health to veterinary dental care. You can’t treat a pet safely or humanely without a general anaesthetic for a start—it’s under the gums where the real problem lies.”
“A $310 dental procedure for a dog can include the cost of a day stay in hospital, pre-anaesthetic drugs and anaesthetics, placing an intravenous catheter, use of anaesthetic equipment nursing care before, during and after the procedure, the vet’s time to fully examine the animal and perform the procedure, and cleaning up afterwards,” he said.
“Vets put their heart and soul into their work so it’s very upsetting when negative stories about vets appear in the media that don’t represent the facts.
“You don’t become a vet unless you really care about providing excellent care to animals, and you certainly don’t do it for the money. Vet’s want to offer clients a choice, including the best available care option.
“It’s clear that sometimes there’s a misunderstanding between vets and clients and there’s room to improve communications. But it’s a two way responsibility and we encourage pet owners to ask their vet questions when they’re uncertain so they can better understand the reasoning behind the options and recommendations.”