I’m not looking forward to Thursday’s vet Panorama program ’It shouldn’t happen at a vets’ . The headline ‘Pet owners who take best practice on trust are in for a shock’ makes my heart sink, most pet owners do take best practice on trust but I believe they do so with very good reason. The overwhelming majority of vets and vet nurses I have met are caring, professional and passionate about the science and best practice of veterinary medicine and surgery.
Throughout my career, in which I’ve worked in a variety of different types of vet practices, I have seen colleagues going far beyond the call of duty to help patients and clients on a daily basis: from nurses popping around to a client’s house to administer eye drops every day to vets dropping off bags of food and medication to clients without transport; vets sleeping on dog beds to keep checking on a critical patient throughout the night, charging only for routine hospitalisation and countless puppies, kittens, wild animals and birds nursed through the night by nurses without charge. Sure there have been times communication has broken down, staff have been less than charming to a client with a similar attitude, animals have not recovered etc but I honestly can’t think of a single time I have seen a vet or vet nurse treat an animal carelessly or harshly. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon receive 700 complaints a year, that is one complaint for every 15 years of practice for each vet. Considering how many patients a vet will treat in that time and that only a fraction of these are upheld it certainly doesn’t paint a picture of a profession deserving of such a general headline.
Maybe I will be pleasantly be suprised by the balanced reporting in the Panorama program but I am concerned at the sensationalist way it is being advertised. Medivet released a statement a few days ago indicating that they are the practice in question. They have not been allowed to see any of the footage and have several complaints about the way in which the program was filmed. They claim that the Panorama journalists harassed their clients and have some interesting letters and video footage from some of the clients involved on their website.
Watch this space…