An Extremely Negative Vet Experience

vet office

Yesterday, I was treated to the most arrogant display by a veterinarian that I have ever experienced.  I never even really got to the point of discussing the reason I was there.  Upon entering the exam room, the vet attacked me for the fact that they have no vaccination record for Heathcliffe.

They are correct – they do not.  That is because, like many breeders, I choose to administer my own puppy vaccines.  The vaccines I use are the same ones administered by many veterinarians:  Duramune Max5 for Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus.  I administer those at 8, 12 and 16 weeks, and I do keep the records, including the Lot Number and expiration date of the those vaccines.

The reason I do this?  It costs me $3.00 per vaccine.  No, I didn’t forget a zero.  $3.00.  By contrast, I have had the experience of taking a dog to a vet for a single shot and being charged close to $50.00 when a vet tech took under a minute to administer it and hand the dog back to me.

Here’s the thing:  If I can purchase the vaccines at that price, then the vets can surely get a deeper discount by purchasing in bulk.  Sound like highway robbery to you?  It sure does to me!

Also like many other breeders, I make use of rabies clinics when I can to help hold costs down and save money in the vet budget for times when a dog legitimately needs to be seen.

This veterinarian pretty much called me a liar straight up.  She never asked me to bring records to the office — records which I keep and could and would have readily provided.

I am attaching my response to the treatment I received at this office.  I would encourage any client who has been treated in such a manner to speak out.

Letter to Karen Tichy


Posted on April 17, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Well said! Did you send a copy of the letter to your state vet licensing board? Certainly this woman’s behavior was at the very least extremely unprofessional and not how they are expected to interact with the public. My guess is she is a vet that disapproves of breeders so she was hostile before you ever got there.

  2. That’s exactly what I thought of first…send a letter to the state vet assoc, the ag dept or what ever state dept that does any vet licensing and the area dog clubs.
    Unfortunately too many of the vets are hit by the AR bus as they leave school and have a skewed view on breeders. I’m blessed to have two that area great-one that is a breeder vet and one that is her back up when she’s out of town. I’m hoping you can find another vet locally that will work with you!

  3. Very well written letter. Here something else you can do – make a post on
    Many people use that as a source to look for the best place to use and where NOT to go. I would post your experience.

  4. First I would like to say that I am a recent addition to the staff at said veterinary clinic and, prior to becoming an employee, I was also a client. That said I would like to point out to the readers that there are always two sides to every story. As my dear old dad used to say, ‘it takes two to tango.’

    It is my understanding that you, the author, wanted antibiotics for your dog because you were going to the Nationals and you thought your dog might have kennel cough. It was a natural assumption that your dog was going with you but even if he wasn’t going to compete until later it still seems irresponsible to take a dog who might have been exposed to kennel cough anywhere near a dog show. It is also procedure to examine animals prior to dispensing antibiotics. You declined an exam. If the veterinarian had given you antibiotics without examining the dog, she would have been in breach of the code of ethics and THAT would have been cause to report her to the Board of Veterinarians.

    Second, you complain of the prices veterinarians charge as if they shouldn’t be making any money for their services. The charge for an office visit covers a lot more than just the vaccine. It covers the doctor’s time because even if she never sets foot in the exam room she still has to review the record, pay the overhead, pay the employees, who keep track of pets’ records, check reminders, call people for their appointments, etc. Just like you charge a certain dollar amount for your puppies to cover your expenses, so does the veterinarian. And just so everyone knows, veterinarians don’t get rich. You don’t see them driving around in fancy cars or living in million dollar waterfront homes. Around here, most of them work long hours, drive Hondas and Subarus, and often don’t get paid for the services they provide.

    Finally I’m concerned about your obvious animosity toward veterinarians. It would seem you have little use for them, though I may be mistaken. If that is so, does it mean your puppies don’t see a veterinarian before they are adopted out? What if you sent an unexamined puppy to a new home and it later developed an illness that could have been foreseen by a veterinarian? What if those new owners decided to post publicly about what a horrible breeder you were and how no one should ever buy a puppy from you again? Would this be fair? Personally I don’t think so but that’s exactly what you’ve done to Dr. Tichy.

    I hope you and your readers will consider my words, and I especially hope that you, author, have the courage to post my response.

    • I’m happy to post your reply. To address your points:

      1. My dog was not going to the show until he was past the point when, to my understanding, he would no longer be contagious. A presumption was made and I was not asked for clarification.

      2. I did not expect to be prescribed antibiotics without having my dog examined first. I did not bring him into the clinic with me when I checked in because I was asked, when I made my appointment, to leave him in the car until it was time to be examined. When I checked in, I was told that Dr. Tichy would want to talk with me first and again asked to leave him in the car until he was called for. Had I not been verbally attacked from the moment Dr. Tichy entered the exam room, I indeed WOULD have had him examined, and would then have discussed with Dr. Tichy whether antibiotics were indicated. If, at that time, she had felt that they were not, then as I said, I do not have a problem with that. What I object to is the manner in which I was treated.

      3. Yes, I do object to paying more than ten times the cost of a vaccine — therefore, I administer my own. I do not object to paying for the veterinary care that I actually need to have performed by a veterinarian. I understand that veterinarians do not get rich from their work. I, too, do not get rich from mine. Therefore, I choose to reserve the money in my vet budget for those things I am not capable of doing for myself.

      4. I do not have an animosity for veterinarians in general. I have an animosity toward veterinarians who refuse to listen to their clients and who call me a liar when, had I been asked to provide them, my records were accessible and would have been readily provided.

      5. I do have my puppies vet-checked before they are sold. (Yes, SOLD, not adopted. Let’s leave the AR agenda-driven language out of it.) As a matter of fact, my puppies WERE vet-checked, by Dr. Tichy herself. The litter had already had their first vaccines, as administered by me, and she gave me no indication at that time that this was a problem for her. They were given a clean bill of health. As I said in my letter, I have no problem providing a copy of those vaccination records, as I have done so as an enclosure to my letter. Again, what I object to is being called a liar and to being approached in a hostile manner when a simple, civil discourse could have cleared up any misunderstanding.

      6. As we live in an internet-driven society, I have zero doubt that if one of my puppy buyers down the road feels that I have somehow wronged them, they will take to social media to warn others about me. I strive to cultivate an open and honest relationship with them, so it is my hope that they and I will be able discuss any issues that might arise before things progress to that point, but it is always a possibility in my mind. The treatment I received at your clinic gave me no reason to believe that such a discussion would be welcomed by Dr. Tichy, and I have indeed sought to warn my fellow breeders about this experience.

      I wish you well in your employment there.

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