What Does Low Cost Really Mean?
Please remember not to expose your new puppy or kitten to other animals until they are fully vaccinated. Often times we see new puppies being walked or held while shopping with their owner at pet stores. By doing this you are putting your unvaccinated puppy at risk for diseases such as parvo and distemper. These diseases can be life threatening and are definitely expensive to treat. Low cost vaccinations can turn out to cost you more if your pet is exposed to a disease while standing in line with other owners and their pets. Remember puppies and kittens love to eat and play! If your pet acts unusually tired or stops eating, contact a veterinarian immediately. You do not want your puppy or kitten to dehydrate or get low blood sugar! We understand that puppies and kittens are family members, not just toys. We want to help your pet live a long and healthy life.
Low cost vaccination clinics are popping up everywhere. We understand the need for everyone in these hard economic times to save money. As our valued clients we want to help you understand the possible problems involved in choosing a low cost clinic or weekend shot clinic. As your regular veterinarian we establish a relationship with you the client and your pet. We hope we earn your trust, and you will continue to visit us for your pet's needs throughout the lifetime of your pet. Our vaccination protocols are individualized for your pet's specific needs. Vaccines are purchased only from major manufacturers, and needles and syringes are never reused. Your records are always updated and available. Patient records are backed up and stored through a secure off site service. We value our clients and understand that a pet is a family companion. We do not want to see you once, but we want to be there for you anytime you have a concern.
When you make an appointment with us, it involves more than just choosing a day and time. Our receptionists are trained to look at the appointments before and after your pet's. We do not want to expose healthy pets or unvaccinated young pets to pets with potential airborne viruses. The technicians and receptionists know our specific protocols for a suspected parvo or other extremely dangerous disease. Your new puppy or kitten will not be scheduled next to an appointment for a pet with no vaccination history. The problem with low cost vaccination clinics is the potential exposure for your pet to other illnesses from just standing in line with strangers. Is your pet going to get a thorough exam or is it just getting a quick exam with shots. Vaccinating a sick pet can cause more expensive treatment. Do not let the words "low cost" cause you to get poor care for your pet.
Low cost "shots only" clinics can be mobile clinics, weekend parking lot clinics or local feed and pet store clinics. Here are some tips on what to look for in a clinic:
Is the clinic doing business by volume?
Assembly line medicine is where a clinic sees a high number of patients in one day. They get you in and out and move on. We limit our appointments and prioritize by medical necessity. We examine pets thoroughly. Our job is to make sure we find the hidden or unexpected problems. We need time to talk and educate our clients about what is in the best interest of their pet. Our clients need time to ask questions.
Are they using disposable needles? Are they reusing needles after they are properly sterilized?
Needles become dull after several uses. Disposable needles are the safest. They are used once and then thrown away.
How many surgeries a day do they do?
We limit our surgeries to 3 or 4. This includes dentals. All of our surgery patients (dentals are surgical procedures) receive pre-operative blood work to ensure they do not have an underlying issue that would cause problems during surgery. The patient's blood pressure, EKG, oxygen level, carbon dioxide levels, body temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate are monitored by a technician during surgery. Post-surgical monitoring continues until your pet is fully recovered. We use pain management for all of our surgeries. Remember pets do feel pain!
Do they tell you what vaccinations your pet needs based on their standard protocol or do they ask you about your activities with your pet, and then give you an individualized vaccination plan for your pet.
We do not want to over vaccinate your pet. We give individualized vaccination protocols. We review your previous years records before your appointment to look for alerts about reactions to previous vaccinations. For new clients we ask to review the pet's previous medical records to look for possible problems with vaccinations. Pets receive exams before being vaccinated. Vaccinating an unhealthy pet can create a serious and costly problem.
Do they keep your records and are they available?
Some weekend shot clinics do not keep vaccine records and do not have easy access to past records should you lose your copy.
Are the vaccines already drawn up or are they mixed fresh while you are present?
Modified live vaccines are sensitive about storage, especially after they are reconstituted. A mobile clinic must contend with the inherent difficulties of refrigeration. You do not want to use a vaccine that may have been reconstituted perhaps hours before.
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