If you have a dog, you should have a vet. Let's discuss health & medical issues.

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Latest Activity: May 17, 2013



Chronic Ear Infections in Canine

Started by LM Fowler - Admin Jul 11, 2012. 0 Replies

June 2004 IssueChronic Ear Infections in CanineSometimes, old-fashioned care is better than the newest antibitoic.…Continue

Tags: chronic, ear, infections, dog, whole

Veterinary Bills Financial Assistance Info

Started by LM Fowler - Admin Dec 31, 2011. 0 Replies

I ran across this article online today in American Dog magazine and thought I would pass it along.  With the state of our economy no one is immune to hardship and "downsizing" it seems.  You never…Continue

Tags:,, vet, charity, assistance

Mood swings and unexplained aggression?

Started by LM Fowler - Admin. Last reply by LM Fowler - Admin Aug 16, 2011. 6 Replies

Help for Canines With HypothyroidismMood swings and unexplained aggression can be caused by low thyroid.By Shannon WilkinsonMany people are aware that hypo-thyroidism (low thyroid function) is a…Continue

Tags: swings, wholedog, mood, health,


Started by LM Fowler - Admin. Last reply by LM Fowler - Admin Jul 10, 2011. 5 Replies

   The days of the yearly "booster shot" are long behind us. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), and most veterinary colleges agree…Continue

Tags: labradoodle, goldendoodle, doodlerescuecollective, oodlesofdoodles, doodle

Calming Collars

Started by Susan D.. Last reply by Joann Gracki Jun 24, 2011. 2 Replies

Has anyone tried Calming Collars?Here is the link... like a thundershirt but easier to put They…Continue

Tags:, Collar, Calming

Bordatella Vaccination for Dogs: Fraud and Fallacy

Started by LM Fowler - Admin. Last reply by LM Fowler - Admin Mar 15, 2011. 2 Replies

Bordatella Vaccination for Dogs: Fraud and FallacyJuly/August 2010 Issueby: Patricia Jordan DVMBordatella or Kennel Cough is commonly required by boarding kennels and veterinary hospitals. These…Continue

Tags:,,, fraud, fallacy


Started by LM Fowler - Admin Jan 31, 2011. 0 Replies

Dear Readers: As Dr. Khuly works on an in depth assignment, we are taking today to revisit one of her previous columns on pet health. She will be returning with a fresh column tomorrow.Everyone's…Continue

Tags:, medical, health, remedy, home

How to Save a Choking Dog

Started by LM Fowler - Admin. Last reply by Jeannine, Gamine & Thalie Aug 25, 2010. 3 Replies

Knowing how to help a choking dog is a basic – and critical – aspect of dog first aid. Dogs can choke on food, toys, or any number of things they put in their mouths. They can also choke on their own…Continue

Tags: dog, first, aid, cross, red


Started by LM Fowler - Admin Aug 18, 2010. 0 Replies

Information courtesy of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association ( pet isn’t acting quite right but you’re not sure what’s…Continue

Tags: signs, vet, when

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of HEALTH AND MEDICAL ISSUES to add comments!

Member Since 2009
Comment by Jeannine, Gamine & Thalie on August 6, 2010 at 2:40pm
Dog Crazy Newsletter

Every once in a while, when a professional or other person of interest is in the public eye, we listen to their story, but we can't help but wonder if we're hearing the whole truth. How do we know if they are telling us the whole story ... or only the parts they want us to know?

A while back, a popular magazine ran a story that really caught my attention. It was entitled, "What Doctors Don't Want You to Know". That issue of the magazine was very popular. 

The story was not about veterinarians. It was about "people doctors" (physicians that treat humans). But apparently it got a lot of people thinking about how that same question applied to vets. After the article ran, I had a few friends ask me,  "If there are things that physicians don't want you to know, then what is it that veterinarians don't want you to know?"

That question really got me thinking.

This is a question that veterinarians may not want to talk about, but one that pet owners really do want to have answered. So, I asked our very good friend, the Irreverent Veterinarian columnist, to consider this important topic and tell us what he thought.  Actually, I think the Irreverent Vet thought I was crazy because my phone call wasn't returned. But I was persistent, and a few days ago this article arrived in my inbox. Check it out and find out What Veterinarians Don't Want You To Know.  

Give it a read and let me know what you think.

All my best,

Dr. Jon 


If you have a minute - take our survey and tell us what you think it is that vets don't want you to know. I'd be interested to get your thoughts on this issue. Go to:  Survey - What Vets Don't Want Dog Owners to Know.

This is a touchy topic. I hope we don't get tons of hate mail from vets. 

PetPlace asked me to write an article about this difficult and controversial topic. In this article, I'd like to address this issue of what veterinarians may not want you the pet owner to know. I'm the Irreverent Veterinarian. I give you my opinion and speak the truth regardless of if pet owners or other veterinarians like it or not. The question that I'll address today is...What do veterinarians not want you to know? 

So...what is it that veterinarians don't want clients to know? This does not apply to all vets but here are some things that come to mind....

1. A Veterinary Hospital is a Small Business – Most vets don't want to talk about this – but a vet hospital or clinic is a small business. It is like any other business that requires money for services rendered. It is sometimes hard because vets love animals but they also have bills to pay.
They can't give away services and still be able to pay all the bills and employees.

2. There is a High Profit Margin on Vaccines – Veterinarians don't want to say but there is a very good profit margin on vaccines. However the margin on treating a sick pet is much lower and the vaccines help to balance that part of the practice. Also, the overhead on a veterinary practice is higher than most people would realize. Another important point is that veterinarians are very careful on where they get their vaccines, how they are shipped, stored and given. Some pet owners and breeders turn to less expensive feed store vaccines which can be associated with vaccine "failures". These vaccine "failures" are attributed to poor quality products, products given improperly, and/or inadequate storage (refrigeration requirements).

3.They Want to Sell You Preventative Medications – There is also a good profit margin on some of the preventative medications (flea control/heartworm prevention, etc). They would prefer that you buy them from them as opposed to over-the-counter or mail order services. They generally feel that the quality of their products are superior.

4. Vaccines Can be Dangerous – There are some reactions to vaccines that can be life threatening. They are reactively uncommon but when present can be significant. Some pets will have mild allergic reactions and other can have an immune mediate response or develop a tumor (cats). In general, most veterinarians believe that vaccines do way more good than harm and they often don't emphasize the uncommon reactions as they should. I think they don't want to scare people away from something that has clear benefits.

5. There is No One in Our Hospital Monitoring Pets at Night – Some hospitals have 24-hour care but most do not. Every hospital has a slightly different situation. Some have staff that live above the clinic and do nighttime treatments and walks/monitoring. Others have no one but have an early shift that walks pets early. If your pet really needs 24-hour care – ask what they offer. Most areas have a local emergency clinic that does offer 24-hour care.

6. Vaccine Recommendations Have Changed – Most veterinarians are up-to-date and have changed with the times. Fifteen years ago – the recommendations for vaccines was yearly updates for both dogs and cats. Some vets still practice this recommendation. However, recent research has indicated that most vaccines last longer than 1-year and most recommendations are to give vaccines every 3 years. Titers (a blood test to determine if a vaccine is needed) are a good option to yearly vaccines.

7. Vets Often Don't Agree with Breeders – There are often very different opinions about certain issues between veterinarians and breeders. The differences are especially true regarding nutrition.

8. There are Some Things Some Vets are Better At then Others – For example, some practices don't do many ear cropping and have a lot of complications from a procedure they don't do that often. Ask the technicians and vet how often they do a particular surgery or procedure if you have any question.

9. You Have Referral Options – Some vets are very eager to refer a complicated medical or surgical case and others are not. If your pet is not improving or you have any question – ask about referral options to seek an opinion from a specialist.

10. I'm not that Familiar or Fond of Alternative Medicine – Most veterinarians are very educated in traditional medicine. Most alternative natural solutions are not proven and some have been harmful to pets. There are some veterinarians that have educated themselves in natural therapies but the majority doesn't believe in it.

11. Most Vets in General Practice are "GP's" – A GP is a general practitioner – a doctor with a general ability to treat just about anything. However, this is NOT the same thing as a specialist. A specialist ahs at least 3 years of advanced training after which they take an exam that identifies them as having the board certification. It is impossible to know everything about everything. If you have a critical or complicated cardiology case – it may be best for your pet to see a cardiologist.

12. Vets Have a Low Tolerance for Aggression - Most vets have seen enough nice dogs put to sleep that they have developed a low tolerance for aggression. They have also seen technicians and pet owner unnecessarily injured. Personally, I have no problem euthanizing a healthy aggressive dog.

13. Vets Get Attached – Vets may be professional and try to act as though certain things don't bother them but often they do. For example, when a patient they have been seeing for years dies – tears are shed. Often in silence or on their own. It is almost as though they have become their family too.

14. Vets Have Bad Days Too – Vets are human too. They can have bad days. I recall having an appointment for which I was running late because I took a friend for a chemotherapy appointment – she was doing poorly and I was upset. I was late. The client was upset. I did apologize but I didn't explain the situation to the client. I could tell they were mad the entire time. I had my mind elsewhere and probably didn't care as much as I should have. Vets have bad days too.

15. Cats May be Happier as Indoor/Outdoor Cats – Some cats may be happiest as indoor-outdoor cats. Their life span may be less and there are inherent risks of being outdoor cats. However, a balance of food, shelter at will with the stimulation of outdoor life and make for a very happy at. Based on the outdoor risks, most veterinarians recommend that cats be kept indoors.

16. Your Dog Doesn't Need Vitamins – If you are feeding a good quality premium food, you don't need to give your dog vitamins. If you are feeding a supermarket brand of food or lower quality food – you should give your dog a vitamin. 

17. Not all Foods Are Created Equal – Most vets don't want to debate with you about what food you are feeding. However, most vets believed in the premium proven food brands such as Iams, Hills Science diet, and Eukanuba to name a few.

18. All Drugs Have Side Effects – Often medications are prescribed without detailed discussion of side effects. All medications have side effects – which you know if you have ever gotten a prescription filled and received a handout on that medication from the pharmacist. 

19. If Your Dog Acts Aggressive, We Muzzle – If your dog acts aggressive in any way – most
They use a variety of muzzles but most common muzzles are soft nylon. This is for the protection of staff from bites.

20.Even if Your Dog is Really Bad – They May Minimize It – Veterinarians and their staff generally don't want to tell you that you have a bad dog, even if you do. I've seen vets deal with terrible dogs and later tell the other they were "pretty good".

21. No House Calls – Vets that have a practice generally don't want to do house calls (unless house calls are a part of their business). Pets often will act more aggressive at home, the lighting is often poor, and no competent support staff to "hold" the pet for procedures or evaluation. In general, house calls can be a big headache.

22.Many Pets Do Better When You Aren't Around – Some pets actually do better – are better behaved with its owners is not in site or in the room. I don't know if this is because they are trying to protect you or you the owner actually get in the road...but it's true.

23. We are Often People People – Most people think vets are just "about the pets". For some, this is true and they are better animal people and not so good at people socialization. However, it doesn't matter if the pets like us or not – what matters is the pet owners like us. It is the people that bring the pets to the veterinarian's office to make us successful at what we do.

24. Vets Hate Talking About Money – Veterinarians are trained to in medicine and surgery. Not business. That is a weakness in the veterinary curriculum. And most vets are happy to talk to you about what is best medically for "Fluffy" but hate to talk to you about what it is going to cost to help "Fluffy". They would rather just do what is best but are forced to talk about money in order to keep their doors open and bills paid. Most vets I now really dislike talking about the money part of their work.

25. Vets Aren't Always Right – Vets don't know everything. If you are not comfortable with a diagnosis or treatment – it is okay to disagree or see a second opinion.

26. Pets Can Change - Pets can change their symptoms and condition in a matter of hours. Just because they show one set of signs one day, they can look different the next day. Things can change frequently- so repeat testing is often helpful as a pets condition progresses.

27. Vets are Not Nutritionists – Most vets are not that familiar with all the minor dog food companies out there. They are familiar with what dogs need and generally recommend one of the big high quality premium foods.

My Final Thoughts – On What Veterinarians Don't Want You To Know

Most veterinarians want and try to do the right thing. They want to care for their patients and to provide a good quality successful service to clients. Most try to do the right thing. However, some veterinarians are more current on their medicine or more eager to refer to specialists than others. And...just like in any profession – there are bad eggs. However, out of the different professionals that I know – most vets are just darn right good people.

Find a vet that you believe in and have a good relationship with.
If there is any question or concern about your vet or what he is doing - ask. It is important that you are comfortable with the care that your pet receives.

What are your thoughts?

What do you think your vet doesn't want you to know about your dog? Or about your cat? Take our survey and fill out your comments at the end.


The Irreverent Vet is a columnist that regularly contributes to The goal is to add a balanced and alternative view of some controversial pet issues. As happens with all of us, veterinarians can't say what they really think without offending some clients. This commentary allows vets to say what they think and give you, the pet owner, the opportunity to consider another view. All opinions are those of the Politically Incorrect Vet and not the views of and are not endorsed by

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