Shocking exposé on the veterinary trade
AN ARTICLE which appeared in a tabloid paper last week has sparked controversy throughout the world of vets and owners alike, after vet-turned-author, Matthew Watkinson, claimed to expose the truth about vets.
Matthew Watkinson says that treating family pets has spawned a whole industry, citing an incident he witnessed at college as the start of his worries.
The incident concerned a 12-year-old Greyhound suffering from advanced bone cancer in a hind leg. The dog, he said, appeared well cared for and said that, even as a student, he knew that he would have recommended a ‘loving and peaceful death’.
However, putting the greyhound to sleep and out of his misery was not the correct answer, according to Matthew’s lecturer, who instead advised amputation and a course of chemotherapy to ensure that 'all was done to save the dog's life' - at a cost of £1,000 to £2,000, or even more.
‘The point is yes, we could treat this dog's cancer, but was it in the best interests of that dog? Morally, should we have even considered further treatment or was it all about making money? Of course, back then I avoided becoming embroiled in ethics. I was just thrilled to be one of the lucky few to have made it into the most prestigious vet school in the country - London's Royal Veterinary College,’ said Matthew.
Health checks nowadays, often done alongside routine vaccinations, often allow vets to ‘find’ other problems.
Mathew has admitted that it is not ‘unheard of’ for vets to Google a pet owner's home to see which area the family live in. People with big houses in posh areas were more likely to agree to spending larger amounts of money. ‘Charge more for your services so a vaccination that costs a few pence becomes a £35 'consultation'.’ he says.
A dog which has a cracked tooth, for example, can end up costing over £100, though the removal is usually is justified ‘just in case’ it later causes a problem.
Matthew’s opinion on cancer in dogs is not to subject it to long, torturous treatment. Nor, he says, should cats that are run over and experience a complex injury or bladder problems - sadly an all-too-common feature of road accidents as the car catches the back of the cat as it tries to escape - endure lots of operations in the hope that the problems can be cured.
‘Even if they can be, I believe putting any animal through this is barbaric.’
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