On Nov. 22, ABC's news program 20/20 aired a segment called "Is Your Veterinarian Being Honest with You?"
The report completely misrepresented the veterinary profession, says Eliza Krauter, CVT, VTS (Dentistry). "They talked about
how veterinarians are out to make a buck and make unnecessary recommendations, taking advantage of families that want what's
best for their pets. I am mortified that this was the picture painted," Krauter says. "What this story should have been about
was arming clients with the tools to make educated decisions about pet care. You have to know what questions to ask when looking
for a veterinarian who practices the type of health care you want for your pet, because not all animal hospitals will be in
line with your individual healthcare goals.
"In the end it's the pets that will suffer from this report. They have done nothing but terrify families into making poor
medical choices for their beloved four-legged family members."
Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member Bash Halow, CVPM, LVT, agrees. "This is not a news story; it's a news spin and probably the
most shameful, irresponsible part is that the producers began with the title and the outline then secondarily went in search
of the spurious facts to support it," Halow writes on his company blog. He says it's especially frustrating to watch what
he deems a sensationalized, polarizing and paper-thin would-be exposť on the veterinary industry.
Engaging in meaningful conversations with pet owners is a good first step to show you care, Halow says. Use the sample conversation
tree at http://dvm360.com/2020talks to get started.