Click here SALUKI BREED NOTES WEEKENDING 7th January 2021
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I go cap in hand as I have missed a couple of weeks Breed Notes due to other commitments in our life. Now we are in lockdown tier 4, and the business of Christmas has all but passed, I will endeavour to make sure there are notes every week. I would like to take the opportunity at this time to thank all those who have contributed to these notes so that I could keep going during these darkest of times. My biggest thanks to Jillian Knight Messenger, who has allowed me to collaborate with her brilliant Afghan notes. We have both tried to give the readership something either historical or topical. Who could of ever predicted that the world would be in the position it is in now. Unfortunately, it looks like we are not out of the woods yet but with the vaccination program already underway and ramping up, we soldier on waiting for normal.
Our dogs have not suffered from the pandemic, they have enjoyed having us home more. This reminds me of a cartoon I saw of a dog hiding on top of a kitchen cupboard with his paws over his eyes. As the rules stated, we could take the dog out for a walk, this poor dog had so many walks with each family member that he was hiding just in case someone else wanted him to go out for yet another walk.
Now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, there are changes in how we can travel with our pets. Pet Passports will be required for travel between GB and Northern Ireland. (It appears that is all Uk issued ones are good for) The government rules say for those travelling from England. Scotland and Wales to the EU the following applies :
1.You must have your dog, cat or ferret microchipped.
2.Vaccinate your dog, cat or ferret against rabies – your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before it can be vaccinated.
3.Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel.
4.Visit your vet to get an AHC for your pet, no more than 10 days before travel to the EU.
Reading further it says that the certificate required for entry to the UK will be valid for four months but for only a single journey. This seems a tad bureaucratic
The government guidance also says 'For UK nationals living in the EU:-
If you’re living in the EU and plan to travel with your pet using a UK-issued pet passport, you should speak to your vet. They’ll help to ensure you’re compliant with EU Pet Travel Regulations. If you have a pet passport issued by an EU member state, you can use it to bring your pet to GB.'
For anyone that is interested, the German Sighthound Festival, Donaueschingen will be held on Saturday 31st July and Sunday 1st August. Judging Salukis will be Per Lundstrom (hound specialist) from Sweden and Paula Bockman-Chato (Baghdad Salukis) from Australia. It is really a fun event to attend with two very interesting judges.
So for "this week on the soap box”
There have been many postings on the social network sites regarding concerns about their once most sacred veterinary surgeries being gobbled up by equity companies and large corporations. Results of these purchases has not necessarily meant that the general quality of treatment has reduced but has had an effect in other factors. One of the resulting factors is that the vets have quotas of how many clients they need to see, as there are now bottom lines with investors who want decent returns. Especially now with lockdown, the vets need to get the pets in as fast as they can and on to the next. It is quite sad to see the young vets, who are at the bottom of the pyramid working under immense pressure, to see as many patients as they can in the shortest amount of time. Looking at one large corporation, which is probably the largest single own corporation in the world, which has rapid growth in animal care is Mars Inc. They are the owners of Snickers, Mars Bars, Pedigree, Royal Canin and James Wellbeloved. To name a few. Under their Linnaeus umbrella they have bought five veterinary referral practices. They are Anderson Moores, Dick White Referrals, Northwest Veterinary Specialists, Eye Vet, Veterinary Specialist Scotland. Another group is IVC Evidensia which has over 380 practices in the UK and circa 180 on the continent. So how does this affect us, the owners, exhibitors and breeders of dogs? Well, with the knowledge of this first paragraph put aside, we need to look at pet insurance.
As we have never had insurance for our dogs, I will keep this very rudimentary. Basically, when a person buys a dog from a breeder they are given a form allowing them so many weeks free insurance on their puppy and if they care to carry on with this, the insurance company is more than pleased to take their money. Every insurance company, under the sun, now seems to offer some kind of ‘pet insurance’. Pet insurance is to cover any accident, illness or most mishaps your dog might encounter. With the vet practices being taken over by these large corporations looking for a good return for their investments, the cost of veterinarian procedures has escalated, and the insurance is covering these additional costs. The positive side of this is that the surgeries now have more up-to-date equipment, be it for x-rays, scanning, endoscopy blood tests and operations. Meanwhile the costs of the canine health insurance is escalating along with the costs of treatments. I have checked one insurance company and the cost per month for insuring a pure-bred dog is £68.35. If we insured our five dogs we would be looking at £341.75 per month or £4,101 per annum. These costs start to creep up every year, in some breeds at an alarming rate. The insurance companies do not seem to quibble about the costs of the individual surgical charge for their procedures though there is always an agreed excess, which as an animal gets to old age, generally, is the stated excess plus an additional excess of up to 20% of each total claim.
On top of costs for the services the vets provide, in the last few years, the vets have come up with a new 'pet care plan’, for their clients. A typical ‘plan’ costs about £17.00 per month which is £204.00 per annum which includes : annual health check and vaccinations with a vet, six-month health check with a vet, 12 monthly supply flea and tick prevention, 12 monthly supply of worm prevention, a free microchip, free nail clips with a nurse, free anal gland expressing by a nurse (dogs only), 50% off the cost of kennel cough vaccination, 10% off the cost of neutering, 10% off the cost of all pet foods. This totals up so that including the health insurance and health plan to £85.35 per month or £1,024,20 per dog per year excluding food and insurance excesses. As a well seasoned dog owner I do not think the £17.00 per month would be of value to me.
It seems as if everyone wants a bite of the apple. If you tell someone with a 10 year old chihuahua that you do not think they need an annual vaccination, unless they are going into kennels, the reply would be that the vet’s offer the service as they think it is necessary. Also why are the vets offering microchips when all puppies are legally required to be chipped before leaving their birth place?
So, no wonder the new cash cows are the veterinarian surgeries which are either still independent or being bought up by the large corporations, who expect clients to spend more than ever before, and often guilt trip them if they don't agree to their latest money spinning plans for their beloved pets care.
Once again, if you have any interesting thoughts, observations or stories to share, I would be most appreciative if you could send them to me.