The Hidden Costs of Intervention

Lately a rash of accidents, bites and other assorted mishaps has forced me to interact with vets with a greater-than-usual frequency.  I didn’t think it was possible, but I’ve come away with even less respect for the profession than before.  Not only do I see people in the waiting rooms whose dogs and cats have perfectly preventable, unnecessary problems that wouldn’t exist if they were given the correct information by so-called “pet health” professionals, but I am invariably repulsed by the way my animals’ injuries are dealt with as well.

For example, a few months ago my 17 year old dog was bitten in the snout by a larger dog.  I was not able to get a good look at it myself (my dog does NOT like his mouth opened for him), so I took him in so the vet could help me examine him.  Well, of course it didn’t end at examination, even though I explained that all I needed was help to look at the injury.  It turned out my dog had just sustained a small puncture inside his mouth.  There was very little blood but the vet recommended sedating my dog so that he could cauterize the wound and “stop the bleeding”.  Then, that would be followed up with pain medications (for the injury, and the burning) and antibiotics.

All of those toxifying drugs just for a little puncture that ended up healing quickly and completely within a couple days.  If I hadn’t called a stop to it, my dog would have had to go through sheer hell for which I would have suffered as well (financially).   As it was, my dog had a bit of discomfort for a couple days (but not even enough to stop him from eating), had no drugs to eliminate from his system and I was out NO money.  The vet was so shocked that I didn’t go along with his “treatment plan” that when I asked for a bill he very patronizingly, and in a way that was obviously meant to inspire as much guilt as possible, told me to keep my money.

There are times when vet intervention is necessary and although the veterinary apologists would undoubtedly claim otherwise, I am not advocating NOT seeking help when it’s needed.  What I’m saying is, we, the pet owning public, need to be A LOT more assertive in dealing with vets and A LOT more discerning when it comes to deciding whether to seek intervention.  Most importantly, in the case of minor injuries like my dog’s recent encounter, we need to consider the hidden toxic COSTS of veterinary intervention.  The benefits of TREATMENT (as opposed to allowing a small injury to simply heal on its own) are by far outweighed by the costs of all the drugging involved in anesthesia, pain management, unnecessary surgical meddling and germ-fighting.   Those who don’t approach these things with due caution are the ones who end up with huge vet bills and sick or dead animals due to “complications”.

The vet whose recommendations I rejected for my dog’s injury wasn’t intent on hurting my dog.  He thinks of himself as a hero who comes to the rescue of suffering dogs everyday.  He doesn’t have clue one that the things he does to dogs very often get in the way of healing, and create a great deal of unnecessary pain.  Like most vets, he is ignorant of all this, because he was trained by a system that does not profit when nature is respected and common sense is used.

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