When I was at the veterinarian's this morning getting Sputnik his rabies shot the receptionist let me know that it had been almost a year since he'd been in (he'd torn his ACL ligament last year and was in a couple of times for that) and wanted to know if I was ready to schedule his "annual wellness exam."
I dread going to the vet's because of this stuff. There is always something more they try to sell you. Flea control. Science Diet dog food. Heartworm meds...and now a "wellness examination." The vets I used to see in the San Joaquin Valley were even worse. Wellness exams always included extensive bloodwork and urinalysis, which cost hundreds of dollars in addition to the regular office visit cost. And of course, if you refused, there was always a not-so-subtle guilt trip, even if it was just a slight shake of the head as the doctor or receptionist took notes in your pet's file -- CHEAP ASS OWNER is probably what it said.
Vaccinations are another way animals get way over-treated and their owners get overcharged at the vet's office. If you search online, you can find many reputable veterinary resources with research which indicates that once your dog or cat has received his first set of booster vaccinations, at about two years of age, further vaccinations are completely unnecessary and can even be detrimental to your pet's health. They have total immunity at that point, or at least as much as they will ever have. Yet there the veterinary industry is, scaring you with stories about dogs who have gotten Parvo or Corona virus at an advanced age. Yes, it happens. But not with vaccinated dogs. Vaccinations provide lifetime immunity with dogs just as they do with us humans.
In the end, I was actually the one who suggested a basic blood panel (liver and kidney function, plus red and white blood counts) before Sputnik went under anesthesia for his teeth cleaning in a couple of weeks, because he's five years old and it's just the prudent thing to do since he's never had a blood draw before. And once I told them I was not interested in any vaccinations other than what was required by law (rabies) and could do my own flea control, they backed off and we had a pleasant visit.
But I'm sad that I always have to be the one to play gatekeeper on my pocketbook during a medical appointment such as this. I worked briefly as a vet assistant one summer and once I tell the doctor that, they usually switch from salesperson to medical professional once again, but I shouldn't always have to play that card, and I feel sorry for the people who can't.