May 14 2014

Big Changes

I’ve been quiet awhile – my apologies.  However, we have been working on some big changes, and I didn’t want to post anything new until I had something big (which this is…).  I think I will start the blog with the email we are sending to all current clients (it says it best):

Dear Briarcliff Clients,

            You may have seen our recent survey asking your opinion of the quality and value of our services. We received some excellent feedback, and in response to your concerns, we decided to change our Vaccine and Wellness Care prices to better suit our community’s needs! It is our belief that a Wellness exam performed by a veterinarian is the most important aspect of your pet’s wellness care, and we don’t want the cost of vaccines to stand between your pet and the doctor any longer. Because of this, we have changed our Wellness Physical Exam price to $65 and are now offering complementary vaccines. Yes, you read that right, all vaccines at Briarcliff Animal Clinic in College Park are now free!

Our new price changes will go into effect starting May 12th 2014. Please call with any questions or to schedule your pet’s wellness exam today.

So there you have it – effective essentially immediately any vaccine or vaccines will be at no additional cost to you with a physical exam!  I wanted to take some blog time to discuss two reasons we went with this big change:

Cost

Lately, we have seen a number of people bringing us vaccine records from low cost clinics.  It makes us sad every time we see it – animals and their owners have to go to other locations due to financial restraints and don’t get the best care.  Since the goal of these clinics is getting every animal vaccinated as quickly as possible (and rightfully so), they can’t focus on illness or preventative care.  That makes us concerned.  In order to make sure that the cost of vaccines aren’t keeping you from coming in, we are making vaccines free.

Wellness Care

Lately in veterinary medicine, the emphasis has shifted toward wellness care.  Vaccines are still important, but just like in human medicine, they can be done essentially anywhere.  Quite frankly, a shot is a shot – once you get it, you’re covered.  However, a vaccine only covers for a few infectious diseases.  Other medical disorders (cancer, oral disease, organ failure, immune-mediated conditions, parasites, heart failure… to name a few) are serious and can often be picked up with a thorough physical exam and appropriate diagnostics.  Again, in human medicine, you go to your doctor to get a clean bill of health and go to a pharmacist at the local Walgreens or CVS for vaccines (we just make the vaccines available too!).

Why?

Why are we able to do this when low cost clinics still have to charge for their vaccines?  I believe the thought that vaccines are the only reason to go the the vet is slowly falling by the wayside.  They are still necessary, especially as puppies, but vaccines are becoming approved for longer and longer durations (think 3-year Rabies) and are not the cornerstone of veterinary medicine they once were.  We don’t have to charge for vaccines because we are so much more than a low cost vaccine clinic.  We believe our standard of care is second to none, and we stand behind our quality.  I blogged recently about recommending necessary treatments and services at a fair price to meet needs.  We do charge for things other than vaccines because we believe these things are more important.  Get the vaccines out of the way and let’s talk about what really matters to the long term health and vitality of your family member.

We hope you will like the change, and we are excited!  Call or come by if you have questions, and be sure to spread the word!

- Doc Cleland

muller01 | College Park Vet Blog

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