I've been to a number of veterinary clinics to work or interview or spent time there as a student, etc. I've also spend time reading on a popular veterinary forum (VIN). And it seems that there are some vets who give just about every patient a "shot" of something, no matter what the pet has or if it really needs the injection or not. The reason is often that the owner likes to see you do something, not just prescribe medication, or it helps the pet start to get better right away, or they want to "jump start" the medication.
I agree that there are a number of situations where injectable medication is valid and warranted. A vomiting pet who can't hold down medications, a pet in severe need of pain control, a pet who can't breathe because of fluid in it's lungs, high fevers, etc. And some owners request an injection even though they know they need to give the oral meds as well.
But if the injection is not medically necessary or not even indicated (like random vitamin shots?) do owners really want to pay $20-$30 or more just to see the vet "do something?" Some pets don't like getting shots, and some medications burn or sting when injected. I don't believe it's common practice in human medicine to get an antibiotic injection for a sinus infection or UTI before getting sent home on a prescription. I tend to think a lot of this is bill padding but I want to know what the pet owning public thinks so please leave your comments!
Another disagreement I have is with excessive diagnostics. There are doctors who want to do bloodwork and x-rays on every pet with vomiting and diarrhea. Let's be real-most of these pets are going to get better if you don't do anything. Most of the rest will get better with pulling food and water for 12-24 hours and starting back with small meals or a bland diet. In vet school they emphasized how important a good history and thorough physical exam is in determining a diagnostic and treatment plan. If you run every test on every patient then you really dumb down the importance of the history and exam. You may as well not even do them in my opinion. I don't think there is anything wrong with offering them, but what I feel is wrong is where owners are made to feel like they are absolutely necessary in every case. I think the owner wants an honest opinion of what you recommend so they can decide what they want.
So again I ask the pet owners-which do you really prefer. Do you want all tests run every time to minimize the chances of something getting overlooked or do you want a reasonable recommendation based on your pet's individual presentation. Knowing what pet owners really want helps us better serve you and your furry family!
1 day ago