Thursday 9 July 2009

Cat Owners Rely on their Veterinarian

You know, I don’t think that cat owners can rely on their veterinarian all the time and on every cat health problem. And we should be able to. And I am talking about American veterinarians primarily but similar principles apply to other countries.

veterinarian office

I think that the problem of not being able to totally rely on on our vet in America is because money, the making of it, is more of a concern for vets in America than in other countries. That is based on the fact that America is the richest nation, has a vast amount of debt and is heavily consumer orientated.

And the making of money is the biggest compromiser of all. It creates a massive conflict of interest that invariably colours sound judgment that should be wholly focused on one thing: what is best for the cat. Not what is best for the cat and does that make enough money for me.

If all veterinarians were paid by the state on a flat fee basis (a utopian situation possibly) treatment would be better – or would it?. The making of money colours judgments. This is compounded by the fact that cats cannot voice their own opinions. They have no opinions. But they do feel their illness. They are dependent ultimately on the standard of care provided by their “owner” in consultation with their veterinarian who as I have said cannot always be relied upon to provide objective advice.

I make this rather provocative statement on the basis of two areas of treatment, namely cat declawing and cat vaccinations. Both are wonderful sources of revenue for veterinarians in the United States. I think it is fair to say that there is a massively excessive amount of declawing of cats in the USA all of which is in flagrant violation of the ethical principles of a veterinarian and of his oath. I discuss this in detail on this page: American Vets are Unethical Towards the Cat (new window). I also feel that the act of declawing and the large number of full-time indoor cat in the USA are linked. Each follows the other. Indoor cats have more opportunity to destroy furniture and declawing allows cats to be full-time indoor cats. The percentage of indoor cats and declawed of cats is by far the highest in America.

There is the other bread and butter treatment so well exploited by some (not all of course, please note) veterinarians, namely cat vaccinations. The situation regarding vaccinations in confusing for cat owners. It shouldn’t be. It is confusing because a large number of vets recommend or perhaps sometimes insist that people bring in their cat for that routine yearly booster shot. It becomes a way of life. We, the public start thinking that it is normal. We do it for our cat despite the cost. But, wait a minute! When did people have yearly booster vaccinations? Never. There should be no reason why, in my opinion, cats should be different.

It seems that the veterinary associations are slow to produce recommendations that undermine the income of their members. That is understandable but if the procedure is carried out unnecessarily, it is carried out more frequently and the risk of a negative side effect from the vaccination is increased. I would argue that an increased risk of say cancer from a vaccination injection without benefit is an assault on the cat, a breach of the veterinarians oath and a violation of the code of ethics as laid down by the vets governing association. In some countries it could be a crime. Certainly declawing a cat is a crime in the UK and it has happened 20 million times in the USA. That would put a hell of a lot of vets in prison!

So, what am I saying? If veterinarians can make subjectively based medical judgements biased by financial profit they cannot be seen to be reliable. So, I don’t think cat owners can rely in their veterinarian. See also Cat Vaccination Recommendations (new window) for further reading.

From Cat Owners Rely on their Veterinarian to Cat Health Problems


  1. Excellent article! I'm from the USA and I agree with Michael.

    Thank you for a well written, well reasoned article.

    Pearls Person

  2. No I don't think you can rely on veterinarians for unbiased advice these days, sadly it's all about money making and surgeries are run as profit making businesses. Whatever unnecessary cosmetic procedure an owner wants for their pet there is an unscrupulous vet somewhere willing to sell his/her services for a large price.

  3. Hi Babz, thanks for your support. Animals are being used again. We used animals everywhere. One of the worst examples is the persecution of the wild cats. (Wild Cat Species)


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