Thursday, June 09, 2016

The Concern Trolling Vet

Do you know what "concern trolling? is?

Your vet does.

In fact, perfecting the art of concern trolling is actually more lucrative for most vets than anything they actually learned in veterinary school.

It's concern trolling that gets customers to:

  • Vaccinate their adult dogs for diseases they will not get because that first-year round of distemper and parvo vaccines are actually good for life;
  • Put their dogs on heartworm medication all year long, even when it's snowing outside;
  • Buy their flea and tick medications from their vet rather than order online for half the price;
  • Run tests for parasites (worms) and diseases (Lyme) rather than simply treat for less.
  • Come in every year for a "teeth cleaning" (complete with anesthesia) and a "well dog checkup."

The concern troll is someone who is "concerned" that your dog is not "up to date" with yearly vaccines.  

He or she is "concerned" about your dog's weight -- and has special food to sell you. 

"It's standard practice," they will tell you, to have your dog's teeth "professionally cleaned" every year and for it to come in for a well dog "checkup" because that's what you do for yourself, right?

Can you feel the concern?

Concern trolling is such a massive part of the veterinary profit center that receptionists and vet techs are actually told that up-coding, cross-selling, and up-selling to patients is a core competency of their job.

If they fail at that, they are very likely to be shown the door.

If you are a dog owner, the proper response to being concern-trolled is to push back.

A vet pushing annual or every three-year parvo and distemper boosters should be asked if has been keeping up with any of the literature of the last 30 years. Surely he or she has read Ron Schultz, the leading expert on vaccines? Surely they know that parvo and distempter vaccines are  good for life?

Annual teeth cleaning? No, actually you do not get anesthetized every year to have your teeth cleaned, and you also do not have a full  blood workup to boot. That does not happen. And no, it's not going to happen to your dog either. Anesthesia is dangerous, dental cleaning and scaling for humans has not been show to be effective, and dogs are dead at age 15 not age 80 like people. Surely the veterinarian knows all this? And what dental school did he or she go to again?

And why would you test an asymptomatic dog for Lyme? If a dog is asymptomatic, the dog is fine. Leave it alone.

And why would you run a fecal worm test that, with the vet bill for it, is far more expensive than simply dosing the dog for worms with an over-the-counter wormer?  Surely the vet knows this too, right?  Right??

A heartworm test on a dog younger than 6 months? Surely the vet knows that dogs cannot get heart worm if they are that young? Right???

And surely they KNOW that heartworm cannot be transmitted if the temperature at night has ever fallen below 56 degrees any time in the last 30 days? No?  Then maybe the vet needs to read up on heartworm before prescribing anything?  Concern troll right back!

Now, does concern trolling work to sell nonsense?

Absolutely!  You bet!

Just listen to the concern trolling being used in this promotion for a veterinary marketing system.

Hey, Believe Me I Understand, It’s Not All About the Money!

But Without Enough Veterinary Practice Income How Long Will You Be Able To Provide The Proper Services and Products You Desire and Your Patients Need???

How Will You Pay Your Bills???

How Will You Grow Your Practice???
Yep that's how it's actually punctuated on the web site.

1 comment:

Richard Gilbert said...

Two vet offices are an easy walk from me. Just quit one over its bullying regarding their "mandatory" annual heartworm testing AND requirement that pets be on HeartGuard all year.

I went to the other for the first time in years today. Rabies was due. Also had to get Bordatella because I wanted to board the dog. While waiting for the vet to return with vaccines, I noted a huge poster on the wall pushing twice a year checkkups.

Today I fought off: heartworm testing, which this practice wants every two years and could see my other vet did last year; refill on HeartGuard; vaccination against Parvo; and tech hand-scaling of teeth, which I told them would really be ugly with my 12 yoa JRT bitch. She tried to nip him, as it was, when he stuck a probe in her ear.

Looking at the physical plant and the staff, I can see why vets are trying to charge so much. Like a car dealership making customers pay so much for service--that cushy seat, magazine, and coffee in a/c are not free. But it makes me wonder why with vets it seems so much worse than it used.

The bill today for two vaccines and mandatory checkup: $90.