Tank’s clean BILL of health

Tank is six years old next week on Tuesday. We have received several postcards lately asking us to come in to the vet’s for some updated immunizations.

When I took him there Monday, the vet explained that the only shot he usually gives dogs five and older is the rabies shot, and that’s just because it’s required by law. Tank’s not due for that until next year. The current thinking is that our society is over-immunizing (I think this rationale began with humans and is now applied to animals).

Instead of immunizing, he recommended blood work to ascertain if there are any health issues to be aware of.

He also prescribed two supplements (one a prescription, one a vitamin) to assist with development of cartilage and for joint health. This is a proactive approach to minimizing arthritis since Tank is 90 pounds and large dogs are particularly prone to stiff joints. (And yes, we need to work on less food and more exercise for Tank – sounds familiar.)

The vet was perfectly professional and very nice. But I had to wonder as I left why we’ve been getting immunization postcards in the mail the past few months if he doesn’t recommend immunizing a dog Tank’s age. Perhaps ulterior motives were just to get us in there.

I can’t speak for their motives. I like the people there and they’ve always been good to us and Tank.

However, after paying more for Tank’s vet bill than I’ve paid for all my doctor’s visits plus prescriptions in the past 12 months, I’m feeling a bit taken advantage of.

The vet did call last night to report on the blood work. Tank got a clean bill of health. Everything looks good, and it’s a good thing.

At least we have the assurance that our dog’s healthy. And we probably won’t have the same assurance for another six years!

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