Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

Here's Why All Pet Owners Need to Avoid Chain Vets & Find An Independent Veterinary Practice

Corporate control of veterinary care is not a good thing for our pets or for our wallets. Mars Pet Care, which already owns Banfield, has now purchased the VCA vet hospital chain. An explosive article in Bloomberg Business Week goes into detail on the questionable practices of these types of vet clinics, including unnecessary vaccine schedules and testing, as well as conflicts of interest, and how they adversely affect our pets' health as well as our pocketbooks. Here's a link to the article. It's long, but well worth reading: The High Cost, High Risk World of Corporate Pet Care

For a shorter summary of the article, here's a link to Bark Magazine's brand new article on this: 

Pet Health Care Monopoly

Please share this with every dog owner you know.

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See, Bordatella is one that I question the need for. I'm pro vaccination. Less vaccination, yes. But in general I want my dogs to be protected against everything that they can be. But I am not sure that bordatella is very effective and every 6 months seems like overkill. My dogs do get it, yearly, give or take. But in the 18 years I have had dogs none of them have ever had it. And I had a lot of strange dogs with questionable backgrounds come in and out of the house. I know it's out there, and maybe I have just been lucky, but I feel like in general, in an otherwise healthy dog it's more of an annoyance than a life threatening disease. And it's a risk that I'm somewhat willing to take. 

Despite our huge incident, I do still love my vet. There is never an exam fee for anything. So I could take them in to get bordatella whenever and it wouldn't be a huge expense. But now that he's a 50 mile round trip it does take a little more of an effort to just pop in. I wish they would move their practice to my new neighborhood. He used to be a mile and a half down the road. But I don't think I can find another vet like him in this area. 

That's one of the reasons why I would never use Banfield. I have pretty strong ideas about the treatment and care I want for my dogs and I don't think they align well with the Banfield philosophy. I had a friend who used them and they would have to make an appointment and drop them off for most of a day for their annual (or maybe it was even semi annual) checkup. I won't even drop the girls off at the groomer for the whole day. There is no way I could leave them alone all day, locked in a cage for a wellness exam. I barely let them take Ava in the back without me at the emergency vet.

I agree with you completely. 

JD did have a mild case of bordatella when I first adopted him, which the vet thought he probably picked up at the shelter. I agree that the vaccine isn't all that effective and might not give it myself if I had a healthy dog, but for JD, anything that would require more meds/antibiotics is kind of a big deal. So he still gets the vaccine once a year.   

Learned this hard lesson with Sassparilla when she had pneumonia. Only local emergency vet was vca who left us waiting for hours which went from weekend call to holiday to after hours each with a price increase then they wanted to keep her for a week at a cost estimate of $18,000 minimum! I asked to make her comfortable overnight then went to my vet the next day (small private practice, wonderful man). We set up a game plan, i stayed home to care for her and we had daily checkups (most of which he came to us in the car so she didn't have to be drug in and out of the office). Full week home with her, daily meds and shower treatments (steam) and it was less then $1000, almost what i paid to sit for hours and leave empty handed from vca! Never again!

So sorry you and poor Sassy had to go thru that! 

Thanks, fortunately it's in the past but i still kick myself for not catching it before our camping trip. I was so busy packing, getting the boat in order and loading everything i didn't see the signs. By day two of our trip she was wheezing so bad i thought she was gonna stop breathing! Days in the heat she was quiet and rested but evening's were the worst, and i didn't sleep a wink. My mom and daughter both have asthma so i knew it was respiratory. So thankful everything worked out, she is my world!

Vets are the same as our medical clinics.  I have a wonderful vet at All Pets which is a VCA vet chain.  Many of us use her for surgeries as she is wonderful.  Other than that, we use a local vet.  She knows the problems with a vet chain.  And yes, all vet care is costly.

UPDATE:  FTC’s Concern about Lack of Competition is Requiring Mars to Divest 12 Vet Clinics



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