Letter from Dr. Cowan

Dear Valued Client;

As you are well aware, everything costs more today than it did yesterday. The cost of providing effective preventative veterinary care is certainly no exception. I know budgets are strained, and that sometimes difficult decisions regarding the necessity of a particular preventative procedure or medication have to be made. Sometimes you may even consider purchasing certain medications through mail order catalogs and on the Internet. These might seem to be bargains, but let me expound on a number of items to this end.

First, the products offered on the Internet, etc. are obtained from bootleg sources, not the manufacturers. Because they are handled outside of regular channels, the manufacturer cannot insure they have been properly stored and dispensed. The manufacturers have therefore indicated they will not stand behind their guarantees for safety and efficacy for products distributed in this manner. They will however guarantee these same products distributed through our office. This is particularly important when dealing with heartworm and flea prevention products in which the cost to deal with a problem resulting from ineffectiveness can be substantial.

I know that ordering on-line also offers certain conveniences, when we can’t find time in our busy lives to come in to refill medications. To this end, we have partnered with the only on-line distributor “Vet’s First Choice” – that the manufacturers have indicated they deal with directly. Ask our office how you can use this service, you’ll find they are convenient, well stocked, helpful, and carry all the products you may need at competitive prices to other unreputable on-line sources.

Secondly, I am required by law and supervised by the state board of veterinary examiners to establish a client patient relationship and to maintain extensive records on your pet. Our office is dedicated to knowing your pet intimately so that we can address all his/her medical needs. To this end, we are concerned with the interaction of the many drugs, chemicals, and supplements your pet may require. It is just as important to be cognizant of these factors for your pet’s health as it is for your own. We therefore caution you in regard to self-medicating your pet. We have also seen untoward or unsatisfactory results using off brand or generic drugs. And we have unfortunately dealt with sometimes serious medical problems arising from the application of poor or improper advice provided by unlicensed or at least miss-informed telemarketers selling so-called “wholesale” pharmaceuticals.

Thirdly, while our prices may be higher than the advertised prices of drugs from these outlets, consider the following:

1.) We have added costs to maintain our office. These are the costs to do business, so that we are here when you need us to address the medical concerns of your pet. The overhead costs associated with providing and staffing this facility are spread across all the things we do and sell. If this were not the case, our professional fees would have to be so high you would not be able to afford them.

2.) We must adhere to strick regulatory guidelines of various state and national agencies. These exist to safeguard you, the consumer, and to insure that competent veterinary services are provided. As I am sure you must appreciate, this regulation comes at a price, which is a substantial annual cost to this office.

3.) I am right here in this community, and readily accessible to you should you have any questions regarding a product. Whether you have questions about a products application, its appropriate use with your pet, to deal with any problems that may arise, and to interact with various drug and pharmaceutical manufacturers on your behalf.

4.) I am not a pharmaceutical warehouse. I carry, recommend and dispense products that are effective to resolve identifiable medical problems. These recommendations are made based on my knowledge and understanding of your pet’s unique needs. We truly strive to carry products that have proven to be the most effective and cost efficient, currently available within our profession.

5.) Beyond the substantial investment in this office, I have completed 10 years of professional education at considerable expense, both in time and money. In addition, I am required by regulation to obtain further continuing education requirements annually to maintain my license. In this regard, I strive to remain abreast of of the latest information and most current techniques in veterinary medicine.

To remain in business, we must cover these many hidden costs. The fairest way to do that is to spread them across the board to all our clients. As I have stated, some of these costs appear in our mark-up of drugs and pharmaceuticals. It would be unfair if some clients covered these expenses and others did not.

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify our position. I hope you understand, we value our relationship, and stand prepared to continue to provide the same professional service you have come to expect over the years.


Garry W Cowan, DVM




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