It was with some dismay that my husband and I (both vets) read Adrian Chiles’s article (What have I learned after three years of dog ownership? Beware of the vet bills, 15 November). As a practising vet for 25 years, I have never encountered a colleague who does not have the best interests of their patient first and foremost. We are trained to offer a variety of treatments at varying costs. Sadly, we do not have a crystal ball to know which dog will respond to the most basic remedies and which will require more extensive investigations and treatment.
We ensure clients are fully aware of the options available and are able to make an informed decision as to which course of treatment they would like to pursue.
Veterinary care is expensive to provide and vets are under more pressure than ever before. Vast numbers of people became new pet owners during the pandemic, often taking on pets that were unsuitable to their lifestyle once they returned to work.
There was no furlough for vets. We worked through the pandemic, often in challenging conditions. “Car park consulting” was the norm in all weathers. The increase in dog ownership only added to our workload, while burnt-out vets are leaving the profession in droves.
As I write, I am on call for the second time in a week (like most practices, we are short-staffed so I have to do extra nights), waiting for the phone to ring with an emergency so I can do my job professionally and efficiently. And yes, I will charge appropriately for my services.