August 25, 2007

Are you ready for backlash?

We have been discussing next steps in this initiative. I plan to call NASPHV on Monday to verify the number of states with medical exemption and where they stand on writing national guidelines.

The new petition will be ready for public launch early next week also. Beyond these next steps, here's what we need:

1. Public awareness and respected champions at the local level in every major metropolitan area.

2. Scientific studies from respected authorities and industry endorsements nationally.

3. Steady pressure on state public health officials to bend, not break, the rules to exempt sick and senior pets.

4. Media coverage

Pet owners who want to see this exemption take effect need to be prepared. As soon as it is published for pubic comment, there will be a backlash from the veterinary community who resists changing their vaccine protocol for economic reasons.

We can also expect a rash of comments from pet owners, like Glenda Kane, who are ill informed and choose to stay so in order to protect the status quo - God forbid they don't know what they don't know.

Arm yourselves with the facts.

Write letters to the editor.

Write your state legislators.

And copy your family vet.

There's a ton of information on our website.

You're welcome to copy and paste it on two conditions: you copy things in their entirety and you give us credit, courtesy of Pet Wellness Update.

Also take a look at the Texas petition.

I am constantly surprised at the comments by vets. Specifically, "stop giving our profession a license to kill."

But I also suspect that when a veterinarian hasn't gotten on board with this new vaccine protocol, s/he is not current on our knowledge of vaccinology and is concerned about the implications to her practice.

What will bring in people to the clinic if it's not the annual rabies booster?

S/he needs to be reassured that the people who are requesting this vaccination are the pet owners most likely to shift the dollars they now spend on "booster shots" to dental care, diagnostics and other wellness exams.

We need all the help we can get.

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