I took my pooch to the vet yesterday for his annual check-up and to get his heartworm medication refilled. He also had developed a “hot spot” on his shoulder, apparently where he got a minor cut when he was groomed two days prior (my dog is a long-hair breed that has to be clipped regularly or else his hair mats and gets really gross). He was licking “hot spot” constantly, causing the hair to fall out and inflaming the surrounding skin.
As we recently moved from out-of-state (US), I had his complete vet records from the old vet. These records showed that had been vaccinated against rabies in August 2013 (due in August 2016) and DHLPP (commonly known as Distemper vaccine) in August 2014, due in 2017.
Well, the vet proceeded to explain to me that they recommend rabies and distemper vaccines to be administered annually. I told him that I thought that since these vaccines had been shown to be effective for 3 years that the laws had changed and now only required vaccination every 3 years. The vet told me that the laws had been changed in several states (not mentioning any specifically, particularly not mentioning the laws of the state he was licensed to practice in), but he felt that annual vaccines were best, since it was easier (?) to keep up with the vaccination schedule that way. I ended up saying go ahead, since the rabies was nearly two years gone anyway.
I asked him about the heartworm meds and he told me I could get them on the way out. He examined the “hot spot”, furnished me with tablets and medication for it. I mentioned during the exam that it looked like the pooch would have to be wearing the “Cone of Shame” for a while, but surprisingly, the vet did not say one should be used nor did he try and sell me one.
When I checked out, I asked about the heartworm meds and the lady at the desk told me my options. Now, my wife is very particular about just about anything that goes in this dog’s mouth, and heartworm medication is no exception. She will only accept one kind (it seems there are two major types on the market and she will not use one of them as the other type has been known to make dogs sick(?)). Well, the type approved by wife was not sold by the Vet’s office. I then asked if I could get a prescription and was told that there would be a $10 prescription fee! I understand the vet has many reasons to want his clients to buy their meds from him (and they may not all be just to bleed them for as much money as they can), but charging a $10 fee to write a prescription after examining the animal seems to me to be out of line.
After returning home, I surfed the web and found that in this state, all dogs must have a current vaccination for rabies and dogs from out of state must be vaccinated within 6 months of arriving in the state. I also found out that the state only requires rabies vaccine at 3 months, one year, and every three years after that (same as the state we moved from). I could not find out what the state requirements are for distemper, but I was satisfied that this vet was not knowledgeable on what the requirements actually were, or, if he was, he did not speak straight about the requirements.
So, as I mentioned in my title, for those who have dogs, would you return to this vet for a second visit? Secondarily, would the $10 prescription fee seem right?