Musings

I recently heard another radio programme talking about how Vet practices in the UK are being snapped up by international private equity investment companies. In advance of my blog, I thought I’d do a search to see what I could find.

I saw many glossy websites on my first search. I stumbled across one company in particular providing veterinary practices for farm, equine, small animals (including pet clubs), diagnostic laboratories, pet crematoria, and an e-commerce division selling pet food, prescription drugs et al. Which pretty much makes it a full service? The only area missing was insurance, but then I can see why that might be better elsewhere.

I do appreciate there’s so much more that can be done for our pets that couldn’t be done before. With CT scanners, MRIs, and hydro treatment pools in local practices. NPD research and emerging pharmaceutical drugs, all specifically for pets. But does that always mean it’s the right thing to do? Especially when your beloved pet is advanced in years. For Jake and Truly, quality of life is my main driver.

I remember when Truly was in and out of the Vet with symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, the (then) Vet was very keen for me to buy food sold in the practice that contained a ‘novel protein’. When I went away to do some research, I found that the novel protein was in fact laboratory manufactured processed feathers. Yum!

Truly has not had to go to the Vet for anything bowel related since I started feeding her (and Jake) a raw diet. I use a range of complementary products to support Jake and Truly in the same way I do myself, with probiotics and nutritionally balanced food and treats.

Jake and Truly have an annual titre test at the Vet’s to check their immunity levels, I don’t automatically give them an annual booster.

I use preventative natural flea treatment in their food, and I send off for a worm count (yep it involves sending off their poo samples through the post). They aren’t on a monthly treatment plan.

Yes of course we need the Vet. Jake currently takes prescribed medication for his arthritis, and Truly has treatment too when needed.

My musing, and concern, is regarding the impact on choice. We originally moved practices because the previous one was acquired by a private equity company. I absolutely saw a shift in approach, attitude, treatment options and price.

Our current practice is independently owned, I really hope nothing changes.

Until next time

Jen

 

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