Why Buy Animal Health Products…From Your Veterinarian?
As Veterinarians we are on the front lines treating animals and developing preventative medicine strategies to keep your pets, performers and productive animals safe, disease free and performing optimally. We spend countless hours developing these strategies, whether it is in continuing education, research review, pharmaceutical consultations, peer consultations or just plain years of practical and real world experience. In general veterinarians know what works, what doesn’t and oftentimes will help you find the least expensive, most effective option. In addition, what may be a smart approach for one farm may be inadequate or excessive for another. Only a skilled and knowledgeable veterinarian can help you sort out which is right for your operation.
More and more often people will call and ask for advice on what to treat their sick or injured animals with (usually asking if the feed store or the big box store has it) so that the veterinarian doesn’t have to come out and see the animal. This is unfortunate in a number of ways. First, a “free” consultation over the phone is rarely even a marginal substitute for a veterinarian examining your animal and prescribing the most optimal treatment plan...This means that your animal gets the best treatment from the start rather than the cheapest that may become very expensive to fix if it goes badly. Not only that, but it is incredibly frustrating to give your hard earned advice to someone, redesign their programs and then have them go elsewhere!
For example, we spend hundreds of dollars running fecal egg count tests on farms that seem to have resistance problems…only to find that owners are severely under-dosing 1500 pound horses with 1100 pound tubes of dewormer!Having a veterinarian involved with preventative care could have saved significant amounts of money in testing and wasted product.
Something that people oftentimes assume is that the feed stores, online magazines and box stores will provide them with the same products for less.This is generally far from the truth.Generally, our prices are similar or less expensive than most feed stores.So, when we come and bandage your horses leg and offer to leave more bandage material with you, you will likely spend more money and time by shopping later.
We understand why customers may choose the box stores. Some of these stores operate at a LOSS on some of these products so that they can get customers in and buying other product that they mark up hundreds of percent. Our profit margin is not that high, so when you are getting a “deal” it is likely not significantly better than what we offer and not only that, oftentimes the service and advice these stores offer can be bad, costly and potentially dangerous.
A distressing new trend that we see as large animal veterinarians is people buying inappropriate vaccine, deworming and other products for their cattle from the big box stores and online magazines.
Generally, when you ask for something at these stores you will get exactly what the salesperson thinks you want. For example most people ask for an 8 way vaccine, “vibrio-lepto” vaccine, a dewormer and a pour on fly product when preg-checking cows. The pharmaceutical companies might groan, but in cows generally most 8 way vaccines are pretty equivalent. BUT, for fall calving cows, vaccinating for JUST “vibrio-lepto” in late spring/early summer, is generally of marginal benefit unless given as a combo vaccine with other components such as BVD and Rhino. It is distressing to see people sold both a pour-on dewormer (what the salesperson thinks is a fly product) and an injectable dewormer (IDENTICAL ACTIVE INGREDIENT!) because the salesperson has no idea what the difference is and what the client is asking for!
The moral of the story is:
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