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Old 01-23-2007, 04:10 PM   #1
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Default Vets and kickbacks

It honestly bothers me every time people on here insist that vets get kickbacks from Hills dog food company. I work as a vet tech. I've worked in numerous hospitals, been to seminars held by hills and other dog food companies, and i know many many vets. In my years as a tech i have NEVER seen or heard from a vet that got kickbacks from hills (this goes for vets i've met at semiars that i didn't work for as well). This is a rumor just to appease people who hate how vets promote science diet. Some vets will promote science diet because it is the store bought form of food made by hills. Vets purchase presciption diet and prescribe it because there aren't too many other companies that make prescription foods, and the food that the other companies do make aren't as good from a medical standpoint for the ailments the pet has. Its true a lot of vets do not get a good education in nutrition at school. Its just a portion of the HUGE amount of knowledge the must learn at school. Nutrition is just a part of everything else. Sure they're are pet nutritionalists just like their are people nutritionalists but they are just starting to get popular because of the demand for them now-a-days.

i think people have to understand that us yorkie owners on this site are just a small portion of the dog having world. We spoil our pets ridiculously and want only the best for them. However there are people out there that cannot afford the best or do not think of their dogs the way we do. In this instance science diet is better then alpo, purina, friskies, old roy, etc.

it just really irks me because its kinda like people are doubting or bashing my field of work. Not everything that goes wrong or that you don't like is the vets fault.
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:33 PM   #2
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I'm sorry. I like science diet but I have a hard time keeping weight on my dogs with it.
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:12 PM   #3
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Don't be offended... It's just like how people think all insurance people are blood sucking, money grubbing jerks (I've been in insurance for a few years and we're NOT all like that!)

I asked my vet one time why a lot of vets push SD... She said it's because that's who they probably received their nutritional training from (I think Purina and Iams/Eukanuba do some training too). They've more or less been brainwashed to think that that particular brand of food is the best.... They can recommend SD, fine, but how many of us have had a vet tell them the food we're feeding isn't good enough when really it's probably one of the better commercial diets out there?! I've had a couple different vets tout SD as the perfect, cure all food that's great for any dog, when all you need to do is spend a little time doing some independent research to discover otherwise.

The way I understand it, Hills provides a lot of funding to the AVMA (you said you've been to seminars sponsored by them). You can't deny that a partnership wouldn't be beneficial to both organizations... Hills provides funding, in turn the AVMA's vets sell SD.... Your normal DVM at a private, small animal practice might not directly receive any kind of bonus, but someone is making money.....
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Old 01-24-2007, 03:15 PM   #4
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My vet sells Hill's but only the prescription diet which is what I have to use now, the U/D formula. He also carries a few other prescription foods but he felt that the U/D formula is best for my dog at the moment. He didn't PUSH the diet food on me as he also suggested I can continue using Life's Abundance and Merrick's wet food but I'd also have to supplement with Urecit K tablets 2X a day and there are side effects from that too. I'd rather treat Ralphie with food rather than pills.

In fact I expressed concern about using the Hill's food and the vet said that there is an 80% chance of stones recurring IF I use my own food so the choice was mine.

I'm sure not most people would never give a second thought to using the Prescription Diet or question its ingredients, other than select pet owners on a forum like this. My niece is also using the prescription food for her Silkie for the past 2 years and basically laughed at me when I told her I thought the food was pure garbage. She said, "Where do you get your information from? Stop reading the Internet!" The doctor kind of said the same thing to me. In fact, I myself have a weird skin ailment on my hands and the dermatologist said to stop reading into the Internet or I'll scare myself to death, which basically I have done already.

I just hope my dog lives a happy and healthy long life and I'm doing the best I can for his medical condition. I don't want him to ever undergo surgery again.

One more thing: My friend's daughter is studying veterinary medicine right now and said the one of the best foods is SD! And she has 3 healthy dogs with very long lives to prove it.
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Old 01-24-2007, 04:51 PM   #5
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Science diet is one of the worst dog foods made. The Doctors don't get "kick-backs", but instead they get set up pretty darn good with practice. I know..............I have 3 friends who are Vets.
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Old 01-25-2007, 01:27 PM   #6
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My vet sells Hill's but only the prescription diet which is what I have to use now, the U/D formula. He also carries a few other prescription foods but he felt that the U/D formula is best for my dog at the moment. He didn't PUSH the diet food on me as he also suggested I can continue using Life's Abundance and Merrick's wet food but I'd also have to supplement with Urecit K tablets 2X a day and there are side effects from that too. I'd rather treat Ralphie with food rather than pills.

In fact I expressed concern about using the Hill's food and the vet said that there is an 80% chance of stones recurring IF I use my own food so the choice was mine.

I'm sure not most people would never give a second thought to using the Prescription Diet or question its ingredients, other than select pet owners on a forum like this. My niece is also using the prescription food for her Silkie for the past 2 years and basically laughed at me when I told her I thought the food was pure garbage. She said, "Where do you get your information from? Stop reading the Internet!" The doctor kind of said the same thing to me. In fact, I myself have a weird skin ailment on my hands and the dermatologist said to stop reading into the Internet or I'll scare myself to death, which basically I have done already.

I just hope my dog lives a happy and healthy long life and I'm doing the best I can for his medical condition. I don't want him to ever undergo surgery again.

One more thing: My friend's daughter is studying veterinary medicine right now and said the one of the best foods is SD! And she has 3 healthy dogs with very long lives to prove it.

you bring up a very good point about the internet. A lot of people read the internet and all this information from other 'regular' people about their opinions on many different things. There are alot of sites of there that promote or discourage people from using products. its hard to know what is good and what is bad. My vet would tell the clients to stop reading that crap on the internet too unless it's based on professional opinion. Its a very hard topic to research because people are just going to say that the vet who writes an article that supports Hill is getting some kind of kick back from them.

I think dog nutrition is an up and coming specialty now that more and more people are starting to pay attention to what they feed their dogs. Alot of what we think is right may very well be proven wrong. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years.

Vet school is in my future. i was thinking of going into behavior but now maybe i'll look into nutrition.
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Old 01-25-2007, 01:47 PM   #7
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you bring up a very good point about the internet. A lot of people read the internet and all this information from other 'regular' people about their opinions on many different things. There are alot of sites of there that promote or discourage people from using products. its hard to know what is good and what is bad. My vet would tell the clients to stop reading that crap on the internet too unless it's based on professional opinion. Its a very hard topic to research because people are just going to say that the vet who writes an article that supports Hill is getting some kind of kick back from them.

I think dog nutrition is an up and coming specialty now that more and more people are starting to pay attention to what they feed their dogs. Alot of what we think is right may very well be proven wrong. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years.

Vet school is in my future. i was thinking of going into behavior but now maybe i'll look into nutrition.

Well, I had Ralphie's urine tested today for PH...he was consistently way too acidic (5.0) and the idea of using the U/D diet was to try and get him to be more neutralized - his PH should range between 6.50 to 7.5. Above that, it's too alkaline and is a cause of struvite crystals and stones. Too acidic causes the calcium oxalate stones, which is what he had.

I cannot knock the Hills food just yet as this is the first time he has ever tested in the normal range (6.75 to 7.0). Now it remains to be seen if he continues to do well. I guess it's Hills for the time being. It's very low protein which concerns me, but possibly all that wonderful so-called healthy organic holistic food had just waaayy too much protein content and stone-forming ingredients for MY dog, not everyone's.

My vet knows my concerns and is willing to make me a happier dog mommy as he will do anything to please me. He has NOT forced the Hills stuff on me at all but he did forewarn me that stones have a much higher percentage of returning if I don't heed precaution with the diet. Only a fool would risk their dog's health after hearing that. And risking another surgery because of my stubbornness in following advice is not a smart move. I'm no vet and I have to use my own judgment when reading the Internet....for my own health too! Sadly, I have lost months of sleep from Internet nightmares over my own health issues.
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Old 01-25-2007, 02:08 PM   #8
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Well, I had Ralphie's urine tested today for PH...he was consistently way too acidic (5.0) and the idea of using the U/D diet was to try and get him to be more neutralized - his PH should range between 6.50 to 7.5. Above that, it's too alkaline and is a cause of struvite crystals and stones. Too acidic causes the calcium oxalate stones, which is what he had.

I cannot knock the Hills food just yet as this is the first time he has ever tested in the normal range (6.75 to 7.0). Now it remains to be seen if he continues to do well. I guess it's Hills for the time being. It's very low protein which concerns me, but possibly all that wonderful so-called healthy organic holistic food had just waaayy too much protein content and stone-forming ingredients for MY dog, not everyone's.

My vet knows my concerns and is willing to make me a happier dog mommy as he will do anything to please me. He has NOT forced the Hills stuff on me at all but he did forewarn me that stones have a much higher percentage of returning if I don't heed precaution with the diet. Only a fool would risk their dog's health after hearing that. And risking another surgery because of my stubbornness in following advice is not a smart move. I'm no vet and I have to use my own judgment when reading the Internet....for my own health too! Sadly, I have lost months of sleep from Internet nightmares over my own health issues.
S/D is a really good food for the problme your dog has. I've seen many dogs do wonderful on this and not have any set backs. good luck!
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Old 01-25-2007, 02:38 PM   #9
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I feed all of mine Science Diet. They are healthy and have beautiful coats, good stools. There blood and urine tests always come back in the normal range too. My Vet said he wished all his patients were as healthy as mine. I'm not about to change now.
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Old 01-25-2007, 02:44 PM   #10
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I feed all of mine Science Diet. They are healthy and have beautiful coats, good stools. There blood and urine tests always come back in the normal range too. My Vet said he wished all his patients were as healthy as mine. I'm not about to change now.
thanks for posting in favor of science diet. its a good middle ground food that's affordable. Lots of dogs live long lives just eating SD and they never have a health problem, they're coats are shiney and beautiful, and full of spunk!
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:04 PM   #11
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I don't know about the kickbacks, but I do have to say that everything in my vets office is labeled with a Science Diet plaque...from the tv to the fridge where the meds are kept. And that just always made me wonder...
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Old 01-25-2007, 05:32 PM   #12
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S/D is a really good food for the problme your dog has. I've seen many dogs do wonderful on this and not have any set backs. good luck!
Thanks for your positive input. I plan to keep him healthy for whatever it takes. I place my trust in my vet.
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Old 01-25-2007, 06:08 PM   #13
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I don't know about the kickbacks, but I do have to say that everything in my vets office is labeled with a Science Diet plaque...from the tv to the fridge where the meds are kept. And that just always made me wonder...
wow, i've never seen that before anywhere i've worked. i wonder if it also has to do with location and the population of people and pets.
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Old 01-25-2007, 06:10 PM   #14
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Thanks for your positive input. I plan to keep him healthy for whatever it takes. I place my trust in my vet.
when it comes to prescription food i think hills has the best. purina and eukanuba have some prescription foods too but in most cases hills works better.
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Old 01-25-2007, 06:20 PM   #15
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my neice is a veterinarian. But she just finished 6 years of school and been a full fledge vet for about a year or little over. She is actually my nephews wife but ive known her since she was about 16. I would use her for my vet but she lives a long way from me, plus the vet I did use finished vet school with her but he went to work for another vet for full time work this year and one thing I like about the vet i use that he was in with is he is a lot more experienced. hes been doing this for 16 years so i would trust him over a new vet anyway most likely. my vet and the one my neice went to graduated with were together so actually I had used them both. none of them try to tell me what kind of food is best. I actually asked the older vet and he said he did not recommend certain foods for certain dogs but he usually just fed his gravy train and had never had a problem with his. My sister feeds her schnauzer gravy train, he eats it great and he has no problems with it. i've had my dogs on so many kind already and now they dont like any of it, dont seem like over a day or so. they love any i put downt the first time or two then its like, we're tired of that, now I read other night that the more you change their food the pickier they become. LOL,,,, so boy did i mess up. But I love my vet.
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