Message in a bottle - from a vet Advertorial

2016-04-05 06:00

I CAN’T take credit for this – I saw this posting from a colleague – so I’ll just give my tuppence worth, in italics.

Dear Client.

• The estimated cost of your pet's treatment is not inversely proportional to the length of time it takes for you to debate whether or not to treat. The longer you wait, and the sicker the dog and/or cat, the more needs to be done to reverse the damage.

• No, we cannot give you a discount because you "rescued" him. When did your good deed become ours? Every vet I know does good deeds that are not publicised, some are, like Dr Lowry’s township sterilisation campaign. Don’t ask us to take on your burdens, that’s chutzpah.

• Yes, this is our "best price”. We don’t sell cars or Tupperware or frivolous tzatskas, this is medicine.

Asking the same questions over and over again will not change the estimate or prognosis.

• Telling me how your neighbour's pet had exactly the same thing last year and it cost a quarter of this estimate will not change the estimate or the prognosis. No two pets or disease or circumstances or practices are the same - this isn’t a car, it’s biology and that is messy and complicated; that’s why it takes seven years of heavy study to be a vet.

• Asking me my age will not change the estimate or the prognosis. This may be considered rude in any one of a number of ways.

• Long pauses and staring at me mutely will not change the estimate or the prognosis

• Swearing at me will not change the estimate or the prognosis. Quite the opposite. You get more bees with honey and all that.

• Lying to me about the duration of your puppy's illness will not change the estimate or the prognosis. Surprisingly, vets know when a tumour hasn’t been there two days, and can tell when a leg has been broken for two weeks - honesty just speeds up everything.

• Vaccinating and deworming your puppy and treating it for the seething mass of ticks and fleas, on the other hand, would have vastly changed the estimate and prognosis. As I said in my last column – prevention, prevention, prevention.

- Dr Anthony Zambelli

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