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True Confessions from a Veterinarian

Veterinarians dedicate their lives to improving the health of pets. That is our education, training and reason we show up at the clinic every morning and sometimes late at night.

In the old days, like ten years ago, we thought that a pet’s immune system didn’t respond to vaccines as long as us humans. We thought pets needed yearly vaccines to assure protection against communicable diseases. This made our lives simple. Our patients would come in for their yearly “shots.” While there we could do what we were really trained for, that is, give your pet a thorough physical examination. The State of Oregon feels the exam is so important that they require an exam with vaccines.

 We have since learned that your pet’s immune system imparts longer protection than we once thought. Now many vaccines need only be given every three years. But what about those yearly exams?

The confession is veterinarians aren’t good business people. We should have been communicating to you the value of what we found during the most important part of getting “shots.”  We should have emphasized how the yearly physical can detect health problems before they become serious. But we knew you’d be back next year for more “shots” and your pet would receive its needed exam.

Unfortunately many people now feel their pets only need to go to the vet every three years. That’s at least twenty-five people years. And many people miss the value of a thorough exam by going to parking lot vaccine clinics where their pets receive needless vaccines while only getting a wisp of an exam.

Do your pets a favor. Have them examined yearly by an established veterinarian who truly cares about their health.

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