Nice photo nice cat- by pantagrapher
I am frightened to take my cat to the veterinarian. Why? Possibly the only difference between the majority of British veterinarians and the American veterinarians is how they make the extra pound or buck, not whether they make it. It is just a question of style and method. But one thing for sure, there is little in the way of ethics in the money making formulas. You can go wider and think of dentistry as well. Dentist have become inordinately greedy in the UK. I'm talking about private dentists of course. But where are the NHS ones and how many decent NHS dentists are there? In fact most so called professions that used to be held in esteem are now reduced to commercial enterprises to be avoided if possible.
My colleagues and I have written a lot on declawing cats. In the USA, this is the de facto standard method for raising a sharp buck while completely disregarding the cat's welfare. Correction, while brutally assaulting the cat. What do they do in Great Britain? Well it's a bit more subtle as it would be. Of course is has to include doing unnecessary surgery or treatments but the treatments are not so obviously objectionable as declawing.
Take one example. You take your cat in for a vaccination. Most vets insist on yearly boosters as it gets you into the vets surgery where the sales talk can begin. And the veterinarian has a head start over the average salesman or women because your trust him don't you?! No, I don't! Vaccinations are important but they are not necessarily needed each year especially when the cat is old and lives mainly indoors. Vaccinations are about risk. Although relatively uncommon, vaccinations can cause cancer, which you may have heard about.
Anyway you have been indoctrinated into thinking that your cat must have a yearly booster vaccination and low and behold your trustworthy vet finds one or two little things that might need a bit of treatment when he does the obligatory health check1. And one thing leads to another and before you know where you are, you are facing one of those "vet's bills".
The worst of it is this. Your cat receives unnecessary treatment and so suffers unnecessarily. And to put a cat through that is against the vets oath, which is to to ensure the welfare of animals committed to the vet's care.
Lets keep this in balance. Not all vets in either Britain or the USA are greedy but there are a good number of them and the numbers are growing as the world gets greedier. It seems that there are more in the USA than anywhere else.
I just ask all people with cats to think about cat vaccinations. Don't stop going to the vet; just assess it carefully and wisely. And I would question your vet, which means going to the veterinarian armed with a bit of knowledge (yes I know a little knowledge is dangerous but in this instance it at least helps to raise question marks and queries). It's a bit like going to the garage to have the car fixed. If you know a bit about cat maintenance you can query and politely challenge assessments for work required and if the person comes back with a poor answer or attitude go somewhere else the next time. Vets are a bit like car dealers these days.