Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Media Veterinary Medical Advice

It's a big thorn in most of our sides when we hear non-veterinarians giving inappropriate (read: wrong) veterinary advice, but in reality most of us are used to it and we usually just roll our eyes and  move on to the next problem when we hear the incredibly stupid things people say.

But, this was on the news recently, and the advice is so... how should I say it?  STUPID???  That we had to share this link and make sure that we get this incredibly important information out there for all to hear.

Don't worry about zoonotic disease or not having a clue about vaccine schedules or any silliness like that.  I mean, vets don't know anything.  We stand there talking about this stuff cause we just want that paycheck, not cause we really *know* anything about any of this stuff or because we actually care if little kids go blind from zoonotic disease or any crazy talk like that.

Veterinary Medical Advice by Non-Veterinarians

I can say a few positives, though.

1.)  At least they said that animals are expensive and you should be able to care for them.   (and saving $10 on those vaccines by doing them yourself is really gonna help when your puppy gets parvo because you were clueless about how to vaccinate and the clerk at Tractor Supply told you to give 3 vaccines 5 days apart)

2.)  They are trying to help stray animals.

3.)  Canned pumpkin is useful for SOME things.  Just not for intestinal parasites.

4.)  Molasses does taste good.  OH maybe they meant pumpkin pie?   I dunno.

But dammit, why do they get to be the heroes and those of us who DO actually "save" animals are always the bad guys?


  1. Geez and when people find out I have had cats all my life or a dog much of my life, they ask for free advice.

  2. You know what the problem with the responses to this piece are? They reinforce the notion of "veterinarians believe they know it all and don't allow other viewpoints." The statements to seek veterinary advice for vaccinations / dewormings get translated into "vets want my pets to go to vets so they can take my money." Exasperating, but true.

    The number of cases of skipped vaccinations / self-administerd vaccinations I've seen end in tears are already high in my short veterinary career at what would be, in America, termed a "low cost" clinic. But there are people out there who can vaccinate their own pets correctly, with a bit of education.

    1. There are absolutes, and veterinarians do know more than the general public about these topics, sell-out homeopaths and anesthesia-free dental types notwithstanding.  What's wrong with pointing out erroneous and dangerous information where it surfaces?

      For too long veterinarians have been passive about stuff like this.  Sure, anyone can stick a needle in an animal, but veterinarians are more than just simply vaccine-givers.  Well, at least most of them are.  If any party here is truly holistic, and interested in the whole of the animal's health, it is the traditional veterinarian who performs complete physical examinations prior to even the "simple" things.

    2. Even if some owners can give vaccines with education, what about the tractor supply stores and the quality/storage of their vaccines? When owners ask me about self vaccination I usually ask if they would buy their child's vaccines at the tractor supply store and give them at home. If not, why is that?

      It's a medical product which should be stored and administered by a medical professional and yearly exams are important to make sure the animal is healthy enough to handle it. Typically the owners who hear me say this and still think I'm trying to squeeze them were owners that I couldn't reach no matter what I said.

    3. I don't disagree with anything said above. I just know in an age of scientific relativism it's hard to convince anybody no matter how watertight your argument is logically... Mostly, the self-vaccinators here get from the same place that sells cattle vaccines: co-ops. I assume from their end they know how to store/handle them. Whether the uneducated clerk behind the counter knows to pass on to the buyer is a whole 'nother story!

    4. I am positive that they do NOT know how to store/handle vaccines because most can't even make sure food for humans is stored properly. I know in my area code enforcement keeps finding problems at the local store of a large regional company.

    5. I have had to correct feed store employees when they were telling clients the vaccines didn't require refrigeration if used within the week. REALLY? Does that mean y'all aren't refrigerating either if sold within the week? I agree that many clients are competent with education to give the vaccines, but there are more factors to it than just a needle stick. When clients ask about self vaccinating, I ask them if they know the people at the feed store enough to put their dog's life in that employees hands. If not, then perhaps it would be better to see a person who has spent the last umpteen years studying how to handle vaccines from the distributer through the possible vaccine reaction.
      Also, as a side note, based on our clients (we are a mixed practice), clients tend to get more emotional if their dog has an adverse vaccine reaction versus if their cow does. We don't recommend buying any vacines from a feed store, but Large animal owners as a whole tend not to be as emotionally charged by a death due to failed vaccine.

  3. I would love to see their reaction to the $700 blood transfusion that would be required after the pumpkin/molasses dewormer didn't pan out.