Vets are bracing themselves...

Thursday 9pm BBC1 Panorama, It Shouldn't Happen at the Vets.

Although no one has actually seen the programme yet there's much fear and anticipation in the vet world. Click here for the BVA advice to vets on how to cope with the public reaction to the programme. I'm intrigued as to what the vet-only restricted advice is having read the public section! And click here to see what the Medivet chain are saying... it seems they are very upset and they have clips and letters from some of their customers that were approached. Seems like Panorama had a vet nurse on the inside filming.
NEW RCVS have also posted some information in the build up. Click here for their link. THey say... "We have not seen the programme, but understand it is set to cover a range of issues, including the role of unqualified nursing staff in the practice, support for new graduates, over-charging in relation to insurance and regulation of corporate practices."

One to watch by the sounds of things.

Here's the blurb from the BBC... Filming undercover in one of Britain's largest veterinary chains, Panorama reveals evidence of questionable bills, animals poorly treated, and an unrepentant vet struck off for dishonesty.
Pet owners who take best practice on trust are in for a shock.


Anonymous said…
thanks for the alert.....this was long overdue, looking forward to it!
vetswife said…
Some simple advice to pet owners.
your vet should ALWAYS offer several possible options for you and should ALWAYS be able to explain why any procedure/treatment is necessary
if you have any doubts seek a second opinion. Never leave an animal you think may have an illness/injury - you are breaking the law (animal welfare act)
the majority of vets are doing a good job and look after animals as if they were their own. occasionally it is necessary to restrain animals for the protection of staff (and in many cases the animal itself).
there will always be a few bad apples in the barrel and if you see anything that concerns you WALK AWAY and GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.
Finally, though there are some rip off merchants in the business, generally speaking you get what you pay for - if you want highly qualiied staff, 24 hour care and top notch equipment used then you will HAVE to pay for it - unfortunately vets have to cover their costs and make a living
Anonymous said…
Hearing all too often at the min of vets refusing the allow 'clients' to remove their animals from premise on 'welfare grounds'

Know of at least 2 individuals who went for a 2nd oppinon via another practise only to get home to find RSPCA Inspector at their house. Another emergency situation where owner forgot her purse, offered to leave expensive watch to cover until she could get back with money. Vet refused sent her home with the animal, exposed fracture, to get money, then bring the dog back! She too got home to find RSPCA inspector climbing over her front fence. Turns out this vet was an RSPCA Vet ie used by the charity for their rescue animals - now't like drumming up business either way.
Anonymous said…
Saw this twitter"did you know most dogs in rescue these days are pedigrees? Recycling great but mongrels are almost as rare as hen's teeth!" just what proof to make this claim, from my experience the vast majority are crosses, ,mongrels "designers dogs" or "pedigree type" ie Collie type, staffie type, of the pedigree dogs that in this situation the minority are ones that are KC registered, but again you wouldnt admit that they are then normally looked after by breed club rescues.........funded my the KC charitable trust in many circumstances
Beverley Cuddy said…
Annual reports from animal rescue kennels primary source for info - the Staffie has long dominated the rescue top of the pups sadly.

And if you don't say who you are anonymous, your experience amounts to very, very little as a source! I said pedigrees outnumber mongrels in rescue - not KC registered! Most unwanted dogs don't come with their papers stuffed into their collars and breed rescue don't pass the papers on if they do. Why do you have to turn everything into a KC related issue anony-mouse!

Get some therapy for god's sake.

Most mongrels in rehoming centres have been imported from Ireland, we don't have latch key dogs in abundance in this country to most unions are planned and most folk breed for dosh. I consider a Labradoodle a pedigree dog btw, pedigree meaning you know who mum and dad are. But that will put your blood pressure up won't it!
Anonymous said…
“Why do you have to turn everything into a KC related issue anony-mouse!” gosh pot calling kettle black I think as you always try to blame the KC for everything and do so with every interview for whatever radio, news paper or Satellite channel will have you on, as for giving names when you try to belittle and discredit any one or organisation who might a have differing view to your why would they? (I hope you teach you son not to be a name caller..... even to anony-mouse) Just which re[port claim so many stfaffies are in rescue? And if so are they true staffies or “staffie types?” It seem quite odd that you now admit that “Most mongrels in rehoming centres have been imported from Ireland” so why should we sort out THEIR problem, indeed I hope you arnt claiming reputable rescues like the RSPCA or Dogs Trust are caring on such a practice or is it just the like of the Black Dog Rescue that are CAUSING such a rescue problem?! As for Labradoodle being pedigree well as they say a fool and his money are easily partied................. but they do seem to be you stock customer and why you now seem to have done 360 on you past comment, but like the fabled “puppy contract” you kept on wittering on about, but when asked what was init you had to ADMIT could not even get a copy off.......... now wonder Mr Ross thinks Dogs Today just one big joke.
Beverley Cuddy said…
Anony-mouse I thought everyone should see that latest ramble. It really does expose how very little you know about, well anything!

Staffies have been number one dog in rescue for YEARS. Where have you been?

And for goodness sake read the bleeding magazine! We've done articles about cherry picking rescues and I think you'll find the big names do bring in pregnant bitches from Ireland so the public has lovely mutt puppies when they visit their shelters.

You won't see the Staffies, Collies and Greyhounds in proportion in their kennels because quite simply the public is fickle and wants variety. The council pounds are full and these are the dogs that get the needle after 7 days.

Wake up smell the coffee and get over yourself mouse. I'm sure my son already has more brains and integrity than you! Certainly not a timid little anony-mouse that is too frightened to say who they are!
Beverley Cuddy said…
Oh and I do have the puppy contract if anyone would like to email me for it .... ah but you'd need to have an identity to do that now wouldn't you! Squeak squeak little mousey.
Anonymous said…
But you claimed to know just who I am didn’t you? But just like your talent as a fact checker’s greatly lacks accuracy and you never did say!!! But making claims and having proof ....not yours or DT strong point now is it!! why not publish the Puppy contact on here then?
Anonymous said…
Getting back to the subject at hand - vets!

There are many wonderful vets about but there are those who are less than and should be brought to attention, as with any profession.

I agree you do often get what you pay for, but in terms of 24 hour care, most of the vets these days don't carry such a service and animals have to be transported for overnight care as it is classed as out of hours service.

I have experienced inferior service from a local vet so I moved. Not that it mattered to them, they invested in a shop and grooming parlour calling it expansion. I wondered if this was because of other clients leaving for better.

The new practice I use is ok so far. I say this because previous experience has made me very wary of being taken for a ride again.

I expect a lot from my vets, trust being one. What I don't want is one day being advised a toe may have to be removed and the next day the dog handed to me without bandage and neither a by nor leave - advising general anesthetic for a simple skin tag wart removal - being told by a vet one day that the dog is on its way out, the next by another vet that it's no where near that stage - surgery rather than paliative care - life for it's own sake instead of quality. These are all examples from the same practice.
Anonymous said…
I have had very grave concerns, about the rise in Corporate Chain Takeovers of Veterinary Practices,for the last few years.

Most Vets are not accountants, & they certainly have not been immune from the effects of the recession, many have been forced to sell to a chain, just to stay in business.

The domination of corporate chain practices in some areas, plus, the way they offer services like out of hours cover, to any practices that are still independent, means that any sort of choice for a pet owner is now severely restricted.

These chains are not interested in Animal Welfare, they are not interested in the Welfare of their Staff, they are interested in making a profit, that IS the bottom line, however flowery their language, or cuddly the image they try to portray.

They try & sell themselves on the angle that, they can cut costs by buying in bulk, & that their management of the business will free Vets up to do what they do best, treat animals.

The reality is they cut corners, they don't care if the vaccines, wormers, flea treatments, specialist diets etc. are the best, they use the ones that they can make most profit from.

Although they claim that they don't interfere with Clinical decisions, they are able to apply pressure to use only certain services,(usually controlled by them) to provide any specialist diagnosis, or treatment.

Although most senior Vets probably could & would stand against such interference, those recently qualified are much less able to do so.

I hope the programme, delves into this side of Veterinary Medicine, as I believe the problem is much greater than one or two Vets who have made bad decisions, & is fuelled by the sorts of unfair pressures on all Veterinary Staff, employed by chains like this.
Jess said…
I would love to see the puppy contract. Should I e-mail you at or do you have another account?
Kate Price said…
There are good and bad eggs everywhere.
I went to a vets with my mum and her dog. We took in the urine sample. The vet put one dipstick in the urine. The final bill charged fifteen pounds for in house urine analysis.
Being a vet nuse myself I know the cost of one dipstick is about five pence.
My mum had a few bad experiences there, and moved to another local vets.
I can honestly say her new vets are the most wonderful people. My mum is elderly and cannot drive confidently. Her dog is now diabetic with auto immune disease. Her vet will visit my mums house at no extra cost because it is an ongoing condition. I have nothing but praise for the care they give both my mum and her little dog.
I'd like to add that I also worked as a VN at a large London charity hospital. Here, hundred of pounds worth of treatment was done at very reduced cost to pets belonging to people on benefits.
Here I saw some people who had gone out and spent hundreds of pounds on their new pedigree puppy, donate 5 pounds, then drive off in their BMW's, never to be seen again, leaving the charity to foot the rest of their bill (or those that had donated to the charity).
There are good and bad eggs everywhere!
Kate Price said…
just to add, I can only see vets bills increasing even further with the new ridiculous 28 day rule.
Beverley Cuddy said…
Email on: - but I'm away at the moment so can't access my copy.
I can't reproduce it on here as I can't include attachments on the blog.
Beverley Cuddy said…
Just had a hunt and no I have really brought everything on holiday including the kitchen sink. I have both versions of the puppy contract in Adobe pdf form, but one of them is large - so if you can't take 7MG in your inbox then it'll bounce. Plus I am on holiday - so may take a while for me to answer as they've yet to make laptops waterproof!
Jamie said…
The vets only advice from the bva is mainly to warn us the programme is on, and to show people our facilities and introduce them to our staff if they request it. I could put a copy up if you like? It's nice to have some advice when these kind of programmes come up. I'm hoping nothing too bad was seen, we really try hard as a profession to do the best for everyone's animals, but I guess if you look hard enough in any walk of life you may find something not so good - I'll be interested to see the programme.
Anonymous said…
Chains make me nervous and I have always stayed clear of practices held to them.

Take a look at MediVets website. They are claiming that they knew about the claims made against them since last year and have been treated unfairly and the programme is likely to be sensationalist and bias.

Sounds familiar from another exposing programme which has created repercussions ever since. Hope it makes people think twice as the other programme did.
Anonymous said…
It caused much conversation at work this morning - disgusting!

They have now changed their tack on their website statement - all those involved are suspended/under investigation etc. Bit different from 'please don't pick on us' the day before.

If I had been he owner of the shar pei I would been round to the branch and given him the same treatment - he should be no where near animal care.

Although the process needs to be tougher and quicker, the bva came out of it quite well. The primary caution came through was don't go to a chain - it was afterall several branches not just a lone transgressor. If ever you feel unsure, get a second opinion, take to another vet where possible. Trying to charge £800 for a urinary infection - tantamount to fraud!

I hope this affects their expansion plans into the midlands.
cambstreasurer said…
I'd assumed the £800 charge for a urinary infection included catheterisation to unblock the bladder??? If so the amount's certainly on the high end of the scale, but not all that unusual if it happened outside normal surgery hours (because they'd need to get in a vet nurse to do the anaesthetic as well as the surgeon).
cambstreasurer said…
Also by the criteria of "used by the RSPCA for their rescued animals" virtually all vets would be RSPCA vets, as random traffic accidents etc. would usually be sent to the closest available private vet unless an RSPCA hospital was available locally.
jo siemieniowski said…
when my old vets changed to a group practice i noticed straight away that the prices went higher, and I never saw the same vet, and then we were charged £13.25 per prescription ! I left, and went to another local vet who I had heard good things about, What a difference, I see the same vet everytime, and that gives me more confidence as the vet now knows my dog. and he gives better care than the old vets, as for the prescription charge, well he gives me a 6 month script for £7.50. my advice would be check out the vets in your area, the difference it made to my dog is noticable. he is more calmer too when he goes on his quarterly visits, and the price of all his drugs now come o under £200.00 a month, whereas the old vets were charging me over the £200. and it was rising.

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