Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Monday, January 2, 2012


I was at a Starbucks the other day (I know, simply shocking! -hahaha for those that truly know me) and ran into a barista I knew from my former frequent stops to that location. She knew I was a vet and told me she had gotten a puppy since we last talked. She told me the breed and the age (a 6 mo old Boston terrier) and then asked where I worked. She said she had "called around" to find prices on things. She knew the dog was due for vaccines.

Red flag one. At 6 months, unless a stray, the dog should be finished with his vaccines.  I asked her how long she'd had the dog. 3 months was her answer. When was his last vaccination? Before she purchased him. So the last vaccine the dog received was null and void. Puppies need vaccines every 3-4 weeks, generally starting at 8 weeks and continuing until 16 weeks. The immune system responds a certain way. Period. If you miss the window, you have to start over again. 

Red flag two. If you have to call around for prices on basic care, the timing of a pet in your life may be wrong. I am all for pets and how much they add to our lives. However, they are still a luxury. Even the basics cost money and there are always unforeseen illnesses and traumas. I advised her that seeking a vet based solely on prices was not a good idea. It's fine to try to save money but you should talk to people with pets - friends, neighbors  - see who they use. Every vet is not for everyone. If you want a "shot and a beer" type of place - ie, a vaccine clinic at a PetSmart - that's fine. But remember, you have no relationship with a vet - no valid veterinary/client/patient relationship to fall back on when "Fluffy" gets sick. You are then simply a "new client" - less likely we will stay late if you call at 5 till closing. Just keep that in mind. You want to find someone you trust and are comfortable with and who communicates with you. 

This little conversation brought to mind how I feel such a need and passion to educate. This young girl didn't even realize the importance of her puppy's vaccinations. I just don't know how to reach those who don't know. I am hoping this blog is one such avenue. 

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