|Loon, our resident house cat mans the front desk.|
|Dr. Morgan works her magic.|
I am completely determined to disrupt (also obsessed with that word) the current flawed system that discourages people from seeking, diagnosing, and treating their pets. I would normally place a current stat about what percentage of pet people I am referring to, but (small thanks from my soul) no one keeps track of that*. From my own clinic I would guess that 80% of my clients are reluctant to seek after hours emergency care, 50% refuse to ever go, (many based on previous experiences), 60% cannot afford specialty clinics, and when I speak about the entire pet population in my community I would estimate that 30% of the pets don't get any care outside of food and shelter and a rabies vaccine, and 20% aren't even considered a pet (feral cats).
That's a lot of pets falling through the cracks and in need of additional help.
|Coot, (Loons brother), strikes a pose.|
For my clients I have an ear, a hand, and options. It is very important to have a relationship with your veterinarian so your pet has an advocate in their corner. I now am seeking to extend this relationship to the other care facilities that we refer to. This referral network goes up the financial spectrum, for instance, specialty facilities like surgeons, cardiologists, dermatologists, and down the financial cost lifeline, like, rescues, shelters, fosters, etc. Between all of these there needs to be an open communication network AND a safety net.
Of course it's time for a disclaimer. I have many clients who are very happy with the care they receive elsewhere in the wee hours of the night when my clinic is closed, dark and quiet, or those who are seeking a specialist to guide their pets care. In fact, while preparing for this blog I asked my clients what their experiences were. I received many emails from clients who had excellent experiences at all of the facilities we refer to. Many felt that the emergency and referral clinics were compassionate, flexible, and provided outstanding life saving care.
Unfortunately, I also have a few clients who live pay check to paycheck. For those with disposable income there are more options and more favorable outcomes. Everyone might think that I am crazy to care, or chase the smaller spare change when there are enough big spenders out there.. But I see too many pets with neglectful parents who are stuck between being able to and wanting to and I refuse to believe that there isn't a way to make a difference in the life and health of every single companion animal.
|Finishing up a cruciate repair with a our amazing staff.|
I believe that all of us who love pets as family members need more options. I also believe that veterinarians are generous, compassionate, and genuine.
Here is the key; Figure out a way to disrupt the current system to provide better oversight and assistance for the people and pets that my clinic serves AND use that system to build global assistance. You see, I might truly be crazy, but I still care even after I turn on the closed sign. And, I care even if you live a continent away and think no one else does.
Stay tuned.. I have a plan....
So, I want to hear about your experiences. Your concerns, and where you think we need to be paying more attention so that we can help you take better care of your pet 24/7/365.
* There have been some studies done, most notably by Bayer, focused primarily on cats, but, I believe a HUGE portion of the cat population remains unclaimed, unseen, and certainly uncared for. Homed cats and dogs are not the only small animal companions that matter or deserve care.
I can be reached here, at the clinic, Jarrettsville Vet, on Twitter @FreePetAdvice, and anytime for any pet question, or pet health care epiphany at Pawbly.com.