dvm - January 2013 - (Page 38)
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Spay, neuter and neo-socialism
must live in an alternate universe. We have had a 501(c) (3) spay-neuter clinic in our town for at least thirty years. Te discussion in Alabama [see dvm360’s September 2012 cover story] is a carbon copy of those we made last century. Our veterinary community oﬀered a reduced-fee program but the spay-neuter group rejected this concept in favor of building their own facility. At the time we ﬁgured Western civilization as we know it would come to an end. It didn’t. In the years to come we experienced over-the-counter sales of vaccine, and Western civilization survived this crisis as well. Ten Internet sales of drugs hit and by some miracle we still survived. Of course, our local spay-neuter clinic morphed into a veterinary hospital. Somehow my practice is surviving. Te humane society recently threatened the county board of commissioners with verbal abuse if the county stopped funding for the care of stray dogs. Amazing how their business model was crafted. Dependence on government—how is that working for them? Paradigms shift and business models change. When a client balks at fees I oﬀer the humane society around the corner. When the humane society needs help with a case I am here to oﬀer assistance—but I am not cheap. We don’t cut corners. We don’t do a lot of elective surgeries but we get paid for the ones we do. Te practice is much better oﬀ using the digital radiography equipment for diagnostics than the surgery room for spays and neuters. We live in a neo-socialist country and “spread the wealth” activities such as spay-neuter clinics are here to stay. We need to stop ﬁghting and ﬁgure out other ways to help animals and pay our bills. We are our own worst enemies. Ben H. Colmery III, DVM Ann Arbor, Mich.
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he December 2012 article “Interest in practice ownership wanes” struck a chord with me as I’m representative of the one- or two-man practice that is fading away. My DVM dates to 1970 and since 1973 I have been either a partner or, for the last 26 years, sole owner of that type of practice. I was a successful owner but am closing that practice, having been unsuccessful in selling it. While I agree with all the reasons cited for young veterinarians’ reluctance to become owners (not the least of which is the astounding debt many graduate with), I don’t agree with the premise that “it takes about $3 million to open a successful practice today.” Hopefully, those classmates of Ms. Mooreland who still hope to own within a few years of graduation will take a look at practice opportunities for a fraction of that ﬁgure and invest the time and energy to make them the state-ofthe-art, paperless practices Dean Cott has recommended. Mike Volpp, DVM Muncie, Ind.
More on myofascial pain management
commend the author of the November 2012 article “Myofascial pain syndrome in dogs,” Dr. Michael Petty, for his work on myofascial trigger points and for realizing the role trigger point elimination plays in ﬁnding optimal health. It has been postulated that trigger points, in addition to local tissue pain, feed back into the body and aﬀect organ and tissue function. Tis letter is to make the veterinary profession aware of other non-painful techniques to treat trigger points. Tere are several alternative ways to approach trigger points. Tree examples of the techniques currently used at our hospital are acupuncture, veterinary orthopedic manipulation (VOM) and pain neutralization techiques (PNT). Te bible on trigger points was written by Dr. Janet Travell and goes into myofascial pain—both local and radiating pain—in great detail. As the author stated, sticking needles
“Elimination of myofascial trigger points is very important in achieving optimal health in patients. ”
into trigger points can be very painful for our patients, some requiring sedation to complete acupuncture needling. In the last 20 years Dr. Steven Kaufman has made many advances in PNT, a system of reﬂexes that eliminates trigger points in seconds without pain for the patient. Te technique is as simple as highlighting the trigger point by pressing on it, then deleting the pain with an appropriate neurologic tissue reﬂex. PNT is not painful and is very well tolerated by animals. Often trigger points can be permanently eliminated in two or three sessions of PNT treatment; this is especially true of trigger points in the paraspinal muscles. PNT also is eﬀective in resolving trigger points on bony prominences. I realize that there are other techniques used by veterinarians to rid the body of myofascial trigger points but VOM and pain neutralization techniques are my choices to treat this condition in animals. Again, this letter is not to say Dr. Petty has an inferior technique, especially in the author’s hands, but rather there are other techniques that can be employed. I believe that elimination of myofascial trigger points is very important in achieving optimal health in our patients, especially in cases with mobility issues. James Watson, DVM Aspen Park Veterinary Hospital Bailey, Colo.
38 | January 2013 |
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of dvm - January 2013
dvm - January 2013
Where did I go wrong?
Pets and Vets
CATalyst survey examines how veterinarians really feel about animal shelters and pet rescue organizations.
What’s new? What’s now?
Employee steals more than $400,000 from clinic
Longtime veterinarian killed in plane crash in California
Canadian SPCA concerned by number of “home neutering” reports
Arrest made in Minnesota veterinary hospital arson
Washington DVM accused of abusing patients, medications
When faced with disaster, practices need a plan
University of Minnesota celebrates 750,000th urolith
Death to debt
Letter of the law
dvm - January 2013