Sunday, February 05, 2017

Lee Pitts: Dying from complications

I’m sure you’ve read about the VFD. It’s kinda like BVD, bovine viral diarrhea, only VFD is a disease of the bureaucracy. 

In my opinion, it’s just another in a long line of regulations to fix something that wasn’t broke. VFD stands for Veterinary Feed Directive and it’s an attempt to turn your vet into a paper pushing pharmacist. To learn about VFD you’ve been urged to develop a closer relationship with your vet. Hah!

Every large animal vet I know is so busy meeting himself coming and going that he or she doesn’t have time for writing prescriptions, or for strengthening personal relationships. Most large animal vets I know aren’t what you’d call “touchy feely” kind of people anyway. Some are downright grouchy, probably because they’re already 45 minutes late for their next appointment. But ranchers and their animals should be extremely grateful for our vets and some day we’re going to look back and realize that ranchers and their stock never had it so good as right now. You call them up with a problem and they came out to your place and fix it. Or not.

There’s already a large animal veterinarian shortage and it’s only going to get worse because 80 percent of students in American vet schools are female, and most of them want to be equine or small animal vets. So overburdened cow docs are now going to be even more overworked writing prescriptions, pushing pills and giving consults. We’re gonna miss the days when your vet came out to the ranch for a difficult calving cow and even though he may have just held the calf in a little longer to make you think you were getting your money’s worth, at least you did everything you could and felt good about it. Even if all the vet did was give a sick cow a vitamin shot to make you think he was doing something, at least you felt better. Even though the cow may not have.

This is just the first of many regulations the government will use to turn your vet into a pill pusher and your sick cows into DOA’s. They’ll die from complications. It may come as a big shock to younger people reading this column to learn that medical doctors used to come to your house when you were sick to fix what was wrong. Or not! 

 The day is not too far off when vets will no longer make ranch calls. To treat a sick cow you’ll have to haul it into town where you’ll sit in a waiting room reading three year old cow magazines for 45 minutes. You’ll have to pay first and be asked to fill out a four page questionnaire every time you come in...

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