Are You a Do-it-yourselfer?

Are You a Do-it-yourselfer?

Are you a do-it-your-selfer?  You can Google just about anything on YouTube and find instructions on how to fix things.  They make everything look so easy that it’s actually surprising that more people aren’t getting into it.  Even down to vaccinating your own animals – seems like an easy way to save some money doesn’t it?  Why pay a vet to just give a simple shot?

I recently posed that question to our vet tech and she responded with so many reasons that I walked away shaking my head wondering why I would have ever thought that doing it myself was a good idea.  Realize that I have vaccinated, or assisted with vaccinating hundreds of animals in the shelter so it wasn’t a technical ability question.  I will share the reasons that it’s not recommended you do it yourself.

First question is what brand and type of vaccine will you use?  Part of what you are paying your vet for is the research he or she puts into the type and brand of vaccines they carry.  Since their name and clinic reputation is on the line, they are going to make sure it’s one that they feel is effective and presents the fewest risks and adverse effects for their clients.  The store that you buy vaccines at hasn’t necessarily done that type of research.

Then there’s the question about how long the vaccine has been sitting on the shelf at the store, how has it been kept (did it accidentally sit out on the loading dock for a couple of hours before it was unpacked?), and how much  does the staff know about the product to answer questions? Vaccine manufacturers will back their product in case of failure or severe adverse reactions, but they want to know that it was appropriately handled all the way from manufacturing to injection.  They will not question it if the vaccine was given at a vet clinic.  If it’s done at home, there is always the question of how the vaccine was kept until it was administered, if it was drawn up properly, if the needle was compromised, how it was injected, etc.  If you’ve had no formal training the company will reject your claims.

My sister’s dog had a severe reaction a couple of year’s ago to the rattlesnake vaccine.  Poor Basmati needed hospitalization for how sick he became and surgery to fix the ulcerated area at the injection site.  Fortunately, the vaccine was given at a reputable vet clinic and the veterinarian worked with the vaccine manufacturer to ensure that treatment was fully covered.  No online store selling vaccines can offer that!

The other important part of going to a veterinarian for vaccines is that for most animals, unless they become seriously ill or injured, they never get an examination.  Since vaccines now are recommended only every 3 years, it is well worth the exam fee to have an experienced pair of hands and eyes going over your pets thoroughly.  The vet should open your pets’ mouths and look down their throats, feel their bladder and kidneys to make sure they are normal size and shape, listen to their hearts and lungs and more.  It can save you lots of money in the long-term if you can discover a fixable problem early!

Go ahead and fix your leaky faucet or try replacing your fence on your own; but leave the health care of your beloved pets to the professionals!

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