1. Pay for subscriptions by credit card. That gives you federal Fair Credit Billing Act rights to dispute a bill for unsatisfactory advice in dealing with professional services, which you don't otherwise have. If you buy a turkey baster based on the magazine's recommendations and it turns out to be unsatisfactory, I would immediately ask for a refund of my subscription charges.
Discussing the article recently published in Consumer Reports reminds me of the to-do many years ago over the movie "Beethoven." It was about an evil veterinarian stealing dogs to estimate for a foreign government how well their high-tech weapons would kill them.
That's akin to getting upset at a movie where somebody robs a bank dressed as Santa Claus. Of course, there is no American Association of Imposters Playing Santa Claus to write letters to so that's a dead end.
Be assured that the AVMA has properly addressed this issue in their response. It should, and hopefully will, die there.
Good veterinary medicine isn't expensive. It's dirt cheap, paid for by under-compensated professionals subsidizing too many (45 percent of your database) clients who can, but won't, pay for their pet's needs and depend on the kind and overly generous nature of veterinarians to make up the difference.
I defy anyone, excepting those clergy who have taken a vow of abstinence from profit to name one other profession that buries itself in ever-mounting educational debt, borrows a huge burden of private debt to provide a near state of the art treatment facility for a clientele who, in the main, do not even know of your private debt, and will pay only begrudgingly, only enough to allow subsistence compensation for all who work on the behalf of their pets.
The average physical therapist, has, for decades, earned more per hour than the average veterinarian and the average customer care representative in a bank has earned 30 percent more per hour with ever more benefits, than the average animal health technician. In both cases, the very life of the patient hangs in the amount of caring attention of these underpaid professionals. Life is seldom fair or equitable.
Veterinary hospitals offer preventive and relatively inexpensive annual exams. These "wellness checks" are the client's opportunity to have a skilled professional spot any problems that need to be addressed before they become expensive. Yet only a national average of 38 percent respond to these timely reminders. Those "clients" who ignore these annual exam reminders are the most likely to bring in a sick pet, five minutes before closing on Saturday, who, in fact, became ill on Tuesday.
I never heard of any veterinarian who failed to offer all possible treatment choices to pet-lovers, so they can make an informed decision that's right for them.
Consumer Reports might take that in mind when they review Rolls Royce/Datsun dealers. Perhaps they will say that all cars are expensive based on the very few who choose the Rolls. Because of the status of pets and cars in our lives, many people choose "the best" for their needs or wants no matter the cost. This is their decision, and Consumer Reports must respect it.
Because most people view their pets as valued companions or even family members, they do not make decisions based solely on the bottom line - nor should they.
The most truthful part of the Consumer Reports article is where they note that the most economical care choice of all is euthanasia. They should do this article in Japan where the average practice euthanizes one pet every several years.
Here is a poster that, if Consumer Reports had its way, would be required to be displayed in every reception area.
Consumer Reports magazine recommends that to save money, you should put your pet to sleep (permanently) in the event of illness.
This will take the economic bite out of veterinary medicine. (Please renew early.)