Vaccine Clinics: Worth the Discount?



Vaccine clinics may seem like a less expensive alternative to a traditional veterinarian, but there are hidden costs behind the cheap façade.

1. One vaccine protocol does not match all animals. Vaccine clinics do not offer a thorough risk assessment prior to vaccinating. By performing a physical exam and risk assessment a veterinarian may find a reason that your pet should not be vaccinated that day (such as a fever), or at all (possibly an elderly pet), or may require an alternate protocol (such as an indoor cat). At a vaccine clinic your pet may receive an unnecessary vaccine.

2. While it may seem as though one is saving money by foregoing the annual physical, your veterinarian is often able to pick up early signs of disease when issues are treatable. Many times early treatment can save money in the long run.

3. It is always a good idea to maintain a consistent patient-client relationship with your veterinarian. A veterinarian needs to see a patient at least once a year to legally prescribe medications (including refills of therapeutic drugs such as thyroid medication) to your pet. In addition, the better informed your veterinarian is about your pet, the better medical decisions he/she is able to make on your pet’s behalf.

4. Avoid unnecessary services. Many vaccine clinics may offer additional services for which you may never see the results, ie, a fecal test. Sure, it seems quick and easy to pay for a fecal to check for intestinal parasites, but are you really going to take the time out of your weekend to go back to a vaccine clinic that only happens once a month? Statistics bear out that most people will not return to a vaccine clinic with a fecal sample the following month and then you have paid for a test for which you will never receive results. Furthermore, if your pet has been on a consistent schedule of heartworm prevention, then a fecal exam may not be necessary.

Therefore, we feel that your pet and your wallet are best served by going to your veterinarian for routine vaccines and preventative care.

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