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New Drs. Foster and Smith Initiative Aims to Curb Unvaccinated Pets
Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010, 4:32 p.m., EDT

New Drs. Foster and Smith Initiative Aims to Curb Unvaccinated PetsDrs. Foster and Smith today launched an initiative to help educate pet owners on the necessity of vaccinations. Only 50 percent of dogs and 40 percent of cats are vaccinated against vaccine preventable diseases such as distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and feline leukemia, according to the catalog and online seller of pet supplies and pharmaceuticals.

The Drs. Foster and Smith National Pet Vaccination Initiative aims to increase the number of vaccinated pets by lowering prices on all its vaccine products. The company noted that it offers a full selection of dog and cat vaccines and offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

Drs. Foster and Smith has also posted free online videos on how to vaccinate pets at home.

“I’m not sure that the average pet owner realizes both the importance of having their pets vaccinated and also the fact that they can do this at home,” said Race Foster, DVM. “Of course, veterinarians need to provide rabies vaccinations, but with most other vaccinations, people can do the vaccinating at home and much more economically. No prescription is required. We are working with manufacturers right now to get them onboard with even better pricing. With the help of major vaccine manufacturers and Drs. Foster and Smith, America’s pets no longer need to go unvaccinated.”

Cost of vaccines, the inconvenience of making an appointment and not understanding the importance of vaccination seem to be the three primary reasons why people neglect to vaccinate their pets, according to Marty Smith, DVM.

“In other cases, it’s because people think a prescription is required and don’t want to go through the process of getting one,” he said. “But with most vaccines no prescription at all is required. It’s this group of pet owners who are not vaccinating their pets today that we are focused on helping. Of course, the elements of our National Pet Vaccination Initiative benefit those who already vaccinate their pets as well, so it’s a winner for every pet owner, rescue organization, shelter and breeder.”

All vaccines are shipped in the manufacturer’s original, unopened container. This is to ensure vaccine quality, consistency in labeling and to assure the person receiving the package that it has not been tampered with, according to Gordon Magee, head of Internet Marketing and Media for Drs. Foster and Smith.

However, this means that the purchase of one type of vaccine may yield 10 or 25 doses, depending on the manufacturer, way more than what an individual pet owner would need. Most vaccines are not currently sold in single doses.

Magee said people could ban together with other pet owners in the neighborhood who need the same vaccine.

“Ultimately, though, the hope is that the initiative will encourage manufacturers to make single dose vaccines so pet owners can purchase only the amount needed,” he said.

Although Magee added that he wasn’t aware of any specific manufacturers headed this route.

Drs. Foster and Smith is also trying to be a leader in helping stem the national epidemic of unvaccinated pets, much like they were leaders 25 years ago when they were the first to offer free spay/neuter services for those in need, Magee said.

“The idea [behind the initiative] is not necessarily to make money,” he said. “The goal in that regard is just to break even.” <HOME>

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New Drs. Foster and Smith Initiative Aims to Curb Unvaccinated Pets

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Reader Comments
This is INSANE!!!!! Why would the vaccine companies open themselves up to such liability?!?!?!?!???????
Jessica, Argyle, TX
Posted: 8/12/2010 4:34:26 PM
I am a veterinarian, who, after being in practice for many years is now in a government position, and so this initiative does not affect me. I have seen enough in my career to know that vaccinations are not harmless. There is also emerging scientific evidence of the harm vaccines do, mostly by administering them too often, too many at the time, to animals. Many have lifelong immunity. Have the people initiating this considered liability issues? Vaccines should only administered to healthy animals, and many animals are sick without their owners knowing this. This idea is truly irresponsible!
Femma, Ottawa, ON
Posted: 8/12/2010 11:28:46 AM
I think it is commendable to promote responsible vaccination of pets. The key word here is "responsible". Promotion of vaccination through online and mail-order catalogs with videos showing "how to do it" and "How simple it is" are not only irresponsible, it borders on reprehensible to downright criminal. I went to veterinary school when all we had were bacterins and killed-virus vaccines, many of which produced poor to almost nil immunity. As a result, annual (and even semi-annual) vaccination was the norm. With the advent of live and modified-live virus vaccines, long-term to life-long immunity have replaced the old norm, and promotion of annual vaccination is causing much more harm than good. A company like Foster and Smith could do the pet population of this country a real service by using their huge marketing network to encourage people to take their pets to a veterinarian for a physical exam and vaccination IF NECESSARY and recommended by the veterinarian. The pet owner should not be making this decision. They know nothing about storage and handling of vaccines. They have now medical training to recognize when an animal should not receive a vaccination or when their animal might be having a reaction to the vaccine. In short, pet owners are not qualified to be administering vaccines to their animals, and Foster and Smith should be ashamed to be selling vaccines to pet owners.
Jan, The Villages, FL
Posted: 8/12/2010 11:14:08 AM
As a veterinarian, I find this "initiative" extremely alarming. Vaccination is not benign--it is a medical procedure with many risks--including anaphylaxis (which can be rapidly fatal), as well as autoimmune disease, kidney failure, cancer, and many more. There was never any scientific evidence to justify annual vaccinations, and virtually every veterinary organization and vet school now agrees that our pets are, if anything, massively over-vaccinated. I don't know where Drs. F&S are getting their statistics, but it does not square with actual practice. Unfortunately, vast experience has shown that the people who do not get their pets vaccinated are not the ones that will be reached by this campaign, as they have not been reached even by laws requiring vaccination, spaying, neutering, etc. For those who do fall for this promotion, vaccinating at home will not ultimately save them money. There are many reasons why pets need an annual examination by a veterinarian; it's not just for "shots." If pets are being vaccinated at home, they will likely skip that exam, and instead of problems like diabetes, kidney disease, painful dental problems, and cancer being caught early as they should be, they may become advanced and difficult--and expensive--to treat. I am all for pet guardians learning as much as possible about their pets' health, but the veterinarian is an essential partner, with the education and training needed to assess and make recommendations based on the individual pet's disease risk. This is a very dangerous area for do-it-yourself-ers. (BTW I am retired and have no financial interest in getting people to go to their vet!)
Jean, Denver, CO
Posted: 8/11/2010 10:30:45 AM
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