Terrierman has a post up about Veterinarians pushing for twice yearly well pet exams. One justification is the idea that every year is actually 7 “dog years” so you’re really only bringing your dog in every 3.5 years. No sale there:
Question: Do you think this vet tells hamster-owners that because their animals live for only three years, “every month in a hamster’s life is really two years in human years, so you need to bring in your hamster every month just to see what’s going on.”
I tend to agree with much of the post although I don’t get my dogs’ teeth cleaned at the Vet’s under anesthesia. That’s not to say I wouldn’t if some situation ever arose where my dog needed to have a veterinary teeth cleaning in order to maintain a good quality of life. It’s just that situation hasn’t presented itself yet (knock on wood). I don’t brush my dogs’ teeth either. File that under Things-I-haven’t-found-the-need-for too. I’m not knocking anyone who does provide veterinary and/or at-home dental care for their dogs. My motto is Do whatever works for you and your pets.
I do think vaccines probably last for the life of a dog (except in cases of vaccine failure) and I don’t revaccinate mine as adults, except as required by law for Rabies. I wish there was a more reliable and cost-effective means of testing how long vaccines remain effective. My Vet requires titers if a dog has to be hospitalized and the owner doesn’t revaccinate. Titers give us only limited info and really don’t answer the question of whether the dog still has any immunity from a prior vaccine. But I understand she has liability issues as well as other clients who follow her yearly revax protocol.
Needless to say, I don’t bring my dogs to the Vet for semi-annual well pet exams. For starters, I can’t afford to do that. And that pretty much negates the need for providing any additional reasons. But even if I win the lottery tomorrow, I don’t envision myself changing on that point. A visit to the Vet means stress for the dog. And I’m big on minimizing stress. I tend to think stress contributes to the deterioration of otherwise healthy animals in a much bigger way than is often considered. That’s just my opinion, not based on scientific studies of the effects of stress on pets or anything like that.
Anyway, I enjoyed the post and thought many of you would as well. Plus with so much bad news in the media this weekend, it’s good to laugh and read a little plain talk.