It is a very sad thing to say, but the veterinary profession is changing very fast. In fact, it has already changed. Only 10-15 years ago, the vast majority of vet surgeries were in private hands. They were owned and run by vets and on the whole, their clients felt they had a good relationship with the practice. There was friendship and plenty of mutual respect.
Over the last decade, there has been an explosion of new practices – so called franchise vets – and you can see them everywhere on the high street and in the large pet supermarkets. These are owned by large American business corporations. In addition to these new practices, over half of the private practices in the UK are now also owned by America – notably venture capital companies – and they own hundreds of practices across the UK. These vet practices usually keep their original names in an attempt to keep clients loyal. The original owners and vets who worked there usually leave after a year or so. The business of veterinary surgery benefits from economies of scale and makes more money. But this money now goes to America. It no longer is used by the practice to improve wages or facilities.
Vet practices are now primarily a business – vets working within them are encouraged to think that way too. Whereas once upon a time vets just wanted to help animals get better, or have a better life, they are now told by their managers they must sell more blood tests, do more x-rays, give more tablets. Don’t get me wrong, vets are still amazing caring people, but it is almost impossible these days for them to find the time and energy to even be able to care:-
Most vets work very long hours – often 60 or 70 hours a week. They are expected to examine and treat between 25 and 30 animals a day. They are paid very little for this stressful work – especially considering how highly trained they are, and how much it has cost them to become vets in the first place: Their managers just need them to make money. Many of them feel unsupported and unappreciated in this new veterinary world. Which can lead to emotional exhaustion and burnout. Which is why it is so much more difficult to get to know your vet. And also why it is so difficult to get a vet to visit your home:
The vet doesn’t want the hassle of leaving the surgery for an hour or two – when they get back, they will still have to see the people they should have seen if they hadn’t left to do a home visit in the first place! There just aren’t enough vets to go around.
The manager doesn’t want a home visit because the vet can make more money in the surgery.
So that is why vets don’t visit homes anymore. And if they do, they are in a hurry because the manager wants them back as soon as possible.
As the Quietus Vet, I recognise this is a huge loss for loving and caring dog and cat owners. I realise that people need a vet to visit.
Secondly, there is the fear problem. There is no denying it, most dogs and cats don’t like going to the vet. Even those that get excited – barking and fussing everywhere – are actually just hiding their anxiety. Very few of our pets positively enjoy their visits. Sometimes we have to accept a bit of vet-surgery anxiety is worth it if we can make our dog or cat better, or protect them from disease. But I feel that at the end of their life, after years of loyalty and love, the very least we can do is make their last days and hours as stress-free and fear-free as we can.
If we really do have to put a pet to sleep, then it should be at home – among friends and family. And among familiar sights and smells.
Only Quietus Vet – Caring Pet Euthanasia at Home can provide this special and unique service in our area.* Read my reviews and testimonials – you’ll see what a difference it can make.
* Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire including Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield, Rotherham, Mansfield, Sutton, Worksop.