Purchasing Pet Drugs Online: Buyer Beware

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"Discount pet drugs—no prescription required" may appeal to pet owners surfing the Web, but FDA experts say it can be risky to buy drugs online from sites that tout this message and others like it."Discount pet drugs—no prescription required" may appeal to pet owners surfing the Web, but FDA experts say it can be risky to buy drugs online from sites that tout this message and others like it... FDA Consumer Update

"FDA has found companies that sell unapproved pet drugs and counterfeit pet products, make fraudulent claims, dispense prescription drugs without requiring a prescription, and sell expired drugs.

Pet owners who purchase drugs from these companies may think they are saving money, says Hartogensis, but in reality, they may be short-changing their pet's health and putting its life at risk."

Health Care Crisis.

From the Pet Health Examiner

"The crisis in pet health care"

by Liane Ehrich

January 29, 2014

The veterinary industry has been talking about it for several years now: there have been several studies confirming what many in the industry have seen: pets are going to their veterinarians less often, and when they are coming in, they are sicker.

The first study, which has been an ongoing multi-tiered study, was produced by Bayer. It showed that pet visits to veterinary hospitals were down across the nation — this is happening when pet populations are rising and people are spending vast amounts of money on other types of pet care. In another recent study by Banfield, the percentage of pets presenting with preventable diseases has risen.

Finally the mainstream media has picked up on this trend with a recent article in USA Today. The article said the same things that the entire industry knows already, but unlike insider studies it has produced a backlash (read the comments under the article). There is a rising tide of anger about veterinary costs.

So what are veterinarians to do to help pet owners understand the value of their time? The problem is that veterinary care is hard to compare to other services. Your own medical costs are hidden from you, so you have no idea what an exam, MRI, day at the hospital or even vaccines cost. Sadly that leaves dentists and car mechanics as points of reference.

Dentists do a fraction of what veterinarians do. In addition, and tellingly, people aren't emotional about their teeth. Dental care is seen as a necessary evil. You go once every six months and hope they find nothing. In most cases your insurance picks up the tab and once again your costs are hidden. Do you know what full dental x-rays cost? If you choose to skip something you probably won't lose your life or the life of a loved one. Fixing a crown for a $1000 can be replaced with a $200 extraction and the crown can come later.

That leaves the wholly inappropriate comparison of a car mechanic. People sometimes get emotional about their cars, but if a mechanic says it needs a new engine for $3500 no one accuses them of cruelty or extortion. No one tells a mechanic when he presents a $1500 bill for your car that he doesn't care about your car.

The issue with veterinary care is that it is medicine that you pay for, and it is medicine that you have an emotional attachment to. Unlike a mechanic, veterinarians are highly educated professionals with CE requirements and an overarching desire to prevent your pet's suffering or death. Your mechanic doesn't really have a dog in the fight about whether you junk your old heap or repair it — he doesn't care — nor should he, it's a car.

But your dog is not easily replaced, and when your veterinarian tells you that to save her life you will have to shell out $1000-2000, you become emotional. You feel like you're being held hostage. Your choices, unlike those concerning your car, are very limited due to the emotional bond you have with a living being. Medicine is also completely alien - how do you know that what your vet says your pet needs is really what your pet needs?

Veterinarians aren't greedy; they make less than most pharmacists, almost all human physicians and almost all dentists. Their hourly rate is lower than your plumber's. They went to school for half their adult life not because they want to be rich, but because they care abut your pets. The fact that everyone complains about unnecessary tests says more about the failure of the veterinarian to explain the necessity of these tests than to the veterinarian's supposed greed.

Having pets is an emotional commitment, and putting together and stocking a hospital with the equipment and people able to keep your pet healthy is a financial commitment. When your veterinarian tells you that something will cost $700, usually the cost was higher, and they discounted and cut-corners long before the bill was presented to you. Ask any veterinary hospital manager what their biggest headache is and they will tell you without pause and almost without exception, that it's discounting. Veterinarians are terrified that they will not be seen as compassionate, they are terrified that you will ask them to euthanize their pet because you cannot afford treatment. Your veterinarian wants to save your pet's life, she wants him to be healthy, pain free and free from illness. She will do everything in her power to make that vision come true, and all you have to do to help her is give her the benefit of the doubt when she tells you what it will cost, because, most assuredly the treatment plan she handed you has already been discounted and shaved of everything even remotely unnecessary — because above all, your veterinarian wants to help you help your pet.

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Pet Poison Helpline App

Download the Pet Poison Helpline App

"A perfect resource for pet owners"

Over 200 Potential Poisons

Possible Symptoms

Full color pictures

Descriptions of Poisons

Severity Indicator

$1.99 at the iTunes App Store

Currently on iPhone only

Grooming by Jamie

Our dogs deserve a day of beauty.  Grooming available every Tuesday and Saturday.  See special offers for $10 off coupons.

February is Dental Month

February is Dental Month!

Dental Problems are one of the most common health issues.  It affects at least 70% of dogs and cats.  Dental problems can seriously affect the overall health of your pet and could potentially affect quality and longevity of life. Symptoms of dental disease are bad breath, excessive drooling, decrease appetite due to painful chewing, and gum discoloration.  Stop in to receive you free vet tec dental check.  See special offers for 15% off coupon.

Canine Influenza

There have been confirmed cases of Canine Infuenza in this area!  Canine Infuenza infects the respiratory system and is extremely contagious.  Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, discharge from eyes and nose, fever, lethargy, and decreased appetite.  Treatment would include supportive care, rest, and a possible cough suppressant.  Isolation from other dogs is a must. Antibiotics may be used if there is a secondary bacterial infection. Severe forms need to be treated aggressively with broad spectrum antibiotics, IV fluids, supportive care, and hospitalization until the dog is stable. One of the biggest questions we get is can I catch Influenza from my dog and/or can my dog catch Influenza from me?   We know that the flu virus is capable of mutating and jumping from species to species.  This virus started out as the bird flu.  We can not be 100%  sure based on ongoing studies.  

We offer the Canine Influenza vaccine.  Please give us a call to set up an appointment.  Protect your pet today.

Winter Safety

Winter Tips for your Pet

Winter is upon us.  There is a common misconception that dogs will be "ok" if left outside.  This is absolutely not true! To ensure your pets safety this winter here are some tips from the veterinarians at the Central Veterinary Hospital. 

1.  Do not keep your pets outside for long periods of time.  They can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite.

2.  Keep indoors in extreme weather.  If that is not possible, a suitable shelter is needed to protect against the elements.  Insulation like straw and blankets will help keep in body heat. Do not use heat lamps, space heater, kerosene heaters, etc.  These can be fire hazards.  Heated dog beds and heated water dishes are available at most pet stores.

3.  Thoughly wipe off your dog's paws, legs, and stomach when he/she comes in from the outdoors.

4.  Use ice melt that is safe for you pet.

5.  Keep your cats indoors in the winter.  Outdoor cats can freeze, become lost, stolen, injured, and be exposed to infectious diseases.  During the winter outdoor cats will sleep under the hood of cars.  The heat from the engine helps them stay warm.  Cats can be injured or even killed by the fan belt when the car is turned on.

Any questions about winter safety please give us a call.

 

 

Why do dogs drag their butts?

Dr. Michel Hardaker gives you the story along with our friends at Pet Health Network

Are Human Medicines Ok for Pets?

From our friends at Pet Health Network.

Dr. Michel talks about the dangers of giving human medications to pets. Because human medications can be very toxic to dogs and cats, it's not a good idea to self-diagnose your pet and give him or her medicine without first consulting your veterinarian. 

Clients Beware!

Clients Beware!

Some "over the counter" flea & tick products have been causing severe reactions.  We have seen several cases in our hospital recently. These reactions include anaphylaxis, tremors, seizures, difficulty walking, vomiting, and even death.  Some of the more mild reactions are rash, blotches, scratching, and hair loss.  Please make sure you read the label, especially the precautions, on any product you are going to apply to your pet.  If you pet experiences any of the above symptoms please call us immediately. 

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