Sample script: 3 responses to veterinary clients who resist vaccines

Sample script: 3 responses to veterinary clients who resist vaccines

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May 01, 2013
By dvm360.com staff

Consider these three ways to overcome client objections with advice from Liza W. Rudolph, BAS, CVT, VTS (Canine/Feline), a technician with the internal medicine service at Saint Francis Veterinary Center in Woolwich Township, N.J.:

MRS. SMITH: I'm worried about the risks of vaccination.

YOU: Mrs. Smith, thank you for sharing your concerns with me. I know you're worried about Fluffy's health, and it's our first priority, too. Vaccination has been used in companion animals for more than 40 years, and it has been effective in controlling many major infectious diseases. Through the proper use of vaccines, there are many diseases we don't see often. This can lull us into a false sense of security. Without continued vigilance, these diseases can quickly rebound and become large problems again. Adverse reactions to vaccines are possible, but most are rare and of little significance in otherwise healthy pets. In most patients, the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the potential risks.

MRS. SMITH: It doesn't hurt anyone if I choose not to vaccinate my pets.

YOU: Mrs. Smith, I understand you're struggling with the decision to vaccinate Rover. However, there are many transmissible diseases that pets can be susceptible to, including rabies. It's important to remember that rabies is a fatal viral disease that affects many species, including humans, and it's still seen in practice. Not only it is deadly, but the legal ramifications of non-compliance can be severe, particularly if you don't vaccinate Rover and he bites a human or is exposed to wildlife. Our practice is required to follow state and local regulations when we schedule rabies vaccination. After all, without any proof of vaccination you may be placed in the difficult situation of placing your pet in quarantine—or even euthanizing your beloved pet. Vaccinating Rover now will protect you and your pet from heartache later.

MRS. SMITH: My pet doesn't need all of the recommended vaccinations.

YOU: Mrs. Smith, there are general guidelines that our practice recommends for healthy pets, but you are correct that there's no one-size-fits-all vaccine protocol. The veterinarian will consider your pet's age, lifestyle and any medical problems to formulate a protocol. Do you have any questions about vaccinations I can answer?