The American Kennel Club is moving to co-opt the veterinary trade by forming alliances between themselves and the pet insurance and pharmaceutical industries.
The goal of this cross-marketing: To make the AKC a veterinary referral and insurance service.
By doing this it is hoped that veterinarians will be beholden to the AKC, both collectively and individually, and continue to "whistle pass the graveyard" as far as the impact of Kennel Club policies that result in diseased, defective and deformed dogs.
And why not, thinks the average veterinarian?
Yes they got into the vet business because of concern and compassion for animals, but it's a free country and people will do what they want to do.
Besides, taking a stand might cost business. People get easily offended if you talk about their broken dogs and suggest that they might be complicit in the problems, either through omission or commission.
And silence sure has been lucrative!
Pencil it out, and the big money in veterinary care is not in once-a-lifetime vaccines, but in the big stuff: shot hips, wrecked eyes, recurring skin conditions, Cesarean births, and mounting rates of cancer.
Best to shut the hell up and pocket the money!
Do all vets feel this way? No, of course not!
But enough do.
And there's no denying that, taken as a whole, the veterinary profession has been extremely timid at challenging the Kennel Club in the past.
Just go to your vet and ask if he or she has a written list of breeds they actively caution against.
It's not going to be there.
Fact sheets on heartworm? Check. Even vets in Maine will have that in hope of maybe making a sale to a gullible customer.
But a fact sheet that says "avoid these breeds which are walking cancer bombs?"
A brochure that says "just say no to anchondroplastic dogs and brachycephalic breeds?"
Yet every veterinarian knows that certain breeds are a sack of trouble with predictable (and generally rising) rates of pain and veterinary expense.
- Dachshunds have serious back problems; fully 45% end up with herniated discs.
- Collies have a huge incidence of eye problems (retinal degeneration, cataracts, retinal detachment, progressive retinal atrophy).
- Bernese Mountain dogs, Scotties, Flat-coated Retrievers, Deerhounds, and all the Setters have jaw-dropping levels of cancer.
- Nearly every toy breed (and especially Yorkshire terriers) have dental problems from too many teeth crowding too-small jaws.
- German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and St. Bernards commonly have life-limiting hip dysplasia.
- American Cocker spaniels are besotted with cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye, and ingrown eyelashes.
This is just a smattering of the common canine problems out there.
Vets KNOW what these illnesses cost in terms of cash, and they know the PAIN these diseases, defects and deformities inflict on the animals themselves.
And yet the vets are silent.
There is no wall poster in your Vets Office indicting breed clubs for embracing exaggerated and contrived standards.
There is no petition or tract being handed out at your vets office advising patients to boycott the American Kennel Club until that organization turns away dogs with high Coefficients of Inbreeding.
The vets are nearly silent about the litany of pain, suffering, shortened life, and rising expense from breeding dogs within a closed registry system.
And yet, in this case, Silence Equals Death.
Why isn't the American Veterinary Medical Association at war with the American Kennel Club?
And I can tell you why; they are too busy "partnering" and "cross promoting" with these folks.
Imagine a computer virus maker sitting down for breakfast every morning with the folks from "Geeks On Call," and you have the idea.
Now add in long term physical pain and suffering on the part of the mute and helpless, and simmer for 30 years. That's the American Veterinary profession and the American Kennel Club: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
So what if a significant proportion of Doberman Pinschers have a bleeding disorder?
Never mind that a mind-numbing percentage of Dalmatians are deaf.
Who cares if scores of thousands of Toy Poodles with epilepsy are on powerful meds to control their seizures?
Why even mention that thousands of Boxers that are put down every year due to tumors and bone cancer?
You've got a dog with a serious genetic disorder?
Too bad. Bad luck.
No, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with breed standards that monumentalize deformity or small closed registries that result in rising levels of inbreeding.
Not that. Think of something else.
And don't talk about puppy mills either, as the AKC is dependent upon them financially, as they have admitted in their own board meeting minutes.
It must be something else.
It must be nameless, faceless "bad breeders."
It's their fault!
But have no fear, because American Kennel Club breeders are only too happy to sell you another dog just like the one you just "lost."
And have no worries, because the American Veterinary Medical Association is only too happy to tell your vet how he or she can maximize your bill while your dog is being treated.
In the "dash for the cash," both sides have come to the same conclusion: Silence is Golden.