Some veterinarians, pressured by the need to meet overheads and their substantial salary (which of course they deserve), either willingly or because they feel they have to, do the kind of selling in their clinics that is pretty much an exact replica of the person serving you at Macdonald’s when you order a burger.
You go to McDonald’s and order a burger. The sales assistant behind the counter is trained to up-sell to encourage you to buy something with your burger.
You go to your veterinary clinic and you ask for a checkup for your cat or dog. All you want is a checkup. Some veterinarians, pressured by the owner of the clinic, will sell you dental treatment for your dog or cash. In respect of cats and dogs and veterinary clinics, dental treatment for gum disease, is the equivalent of french fries in a McDonald’s. Periodontal disease (gum disease) is perhaps the most common health problem amongst dogs and is certainly very highly ranked amongst cats.
In a veterinary clinic the equivalent of coleslaw in a McDonald’s restaurant is unnecessary vaccinations. When the recommendation is for three-yearly vaccinations the up-selling veterinary surgeon will sell you annual vaccinations. Not only does this make bread and butter income for the veterinary surgeon it may well harm your cat or dog.
Vaccinations and dental treatments are the bread-and-butter income of the veterinary practice and you cannot exclude from that list, declawing. The beauty of dental treatment for a dog or cat is that it requires a full anaesthetic, which pushes up the cost to a substantial level.
Once again, the customer is, of course, able to say, “No, I don’t want what you suggest for my cat”. But the veterinary surgeon relies upon his trusted standing in the community to almost guarantee that the customer will agree with him.
When you visit veterinary surgeons’ clinics you should remember that you are walking into a business environment. There are two criteria upon which a veterinarian will make a decision in respect of treatment: financial profit and the animal’s welfare. There is a fine balance between these two often competing and conflicting objectives for a veterinarian.
Please note: this video may well be removed on YouTube because I’m not sure that it should be on YouTube. If it is removed there will be a black screen and I apologise if that is the case.
The AVMA states, in defence of their veterinarians, that the client always has a choice to accept the veterinarian’s recommendations or not. With respect, that is a hopelessly inadequate response because they know very well that nearly every customer will not wish to go against their veterinarian’s recommendations particularly because they are emotionally concerned and attached to the companion animal and in an environment which puts them on the defensive and where they are almost certain to go along with what is suggested.