I am going to discuss a paradigm that I have observed regarding the inability of veterinarians and breeders to work together. To me the relationship between vets and breeders should be the perfect match from a business perspective. The breeder has a lot of dogs and in my case German Shepherd Dogs that need the rabies shots, at time veterinarian services for illnesses, etc. However, the breeder to survive in the dog raising business has learned to take care of much of the health care needs for his own dogs unlike the average pet owner. This care includes heartworm treatment, annual shots, nail clippings, wormings, etc.
Somehow it appears that some small animal vets resent that breeders have taken responsibility for much of the care of their dogs, and this has resulted in a reflexive disdain for breeders. The veterinarians are never going to provide the expensive full service care for the breeders’ dogs as they may do for the average pet owner. Rather than recognizing this and being happy with a portion of the breeders business, in my experience, vets become hostile toward the dog breeder and unwilling to work with them, thus losing the breeders business.
For example, I called a vet to schedule two rabies shots. I had started using this vet on a somewhat regular basis, and the vet was very aware of my German Shepherd Dog kennel. They insisted on charging me an office visit and vet exam fee. Therefore, these two rabies shots were going to cost me over $100.00. I explained that if I could come in at their convenience, I would be bringing in 30 or more German Shepherd Dogs in the next couple of weeks for rabies shots, but I could only pay for the shot. They refused to lower their fee to $15.00 for the rabies shot. I told them that I would have to go to a rabies clinic. This greatly offended them and they hung up on me.
From a business perspective, they just lost all my future business for C-sections, injuries, etc., and they also lost my immediate business of 30 rabies shots for a total of $450.00. More than this and almost never considered by veterinarians is they also lost 40 to 70 customer referrals every year from me.
Almost every German Shepherd Dog puppy customer asks me for my recommendation for a veterinarian. Obviously, not all my customers would go to the vet that I recommend, but a certain percentage would and it would not take too many years for that veterinarian to build up a very successful business based on my breeder’s referrals.
I do not understand why it seems that most vets cannot see the advantage of working closely with a breeder and to take advantage of all the opportunities that breeder could provide their veterinarian business. If I were a vet and a medium to large scale dog breeder came into my office for services, I would bend over backwards to make them happy, albeit, I am not a veterinarian, but rather an experienced business man. Maybe, they should require a few business classes in Veterinarian College.
The above is not meant to be an attack on vets, but hopefully the start of a discussion that will provide a new perspective on this ongoing vet and breeder relationship paradigm. I have great respect for veterinarians and what they have gone through to become a licensed vet. As a research scientist in my previous life, I understand the demands and sacrifices required for a non-terminus graduate degree. Many close acquaintances that I have had over the years have been vets, but unfortunately none of these were practicing in small animal medicine.
Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion.