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Quacks invade Veterinary Medicine practice

By Dr. Tunji Nasir
04 June 2016   |   1:15 am
I am increasingly getting worried about the spate of reports of the exploits of quacks that have invaded the serene recesses of the profession of Veterinary Medicine.


I am increasingly getting worried about the spate of reports of the exploits of quacks that have invaded the serene recesses of the profession of Veterinary Medicine.

In all facets, these bold individuals are daily challenging the authorities of the real professionals, competing with them for the very crowded space available for operation.

I am not at all surprised about the development, considering the dire economic situation in the country.

I also know that it is not peculiar to the profession of veterinary medicine.

What I am rather worried about is the ease with which these fellows operate and the impotent response of the profession over the years.

The consequence, therefore, is inadequate and sub-standard service delivery, which ultimately will rub off negatively on our pet population and the sure collateral damage to the purses of pet owners.

It may be more than that; it can also destroy the psyche of pet owners and their belief in the veterinary profession.

But more importantly, it can erode the confidence that exists between individual veterinarians and their clients.

For me, the intriguing thing, is why would anyone engage the services of a quack, rather than patronize a real professional?

Reasons have been advanced at various levels, some of which are plausible. However, I still find it very inexplicable why anyone would choose to swim in an ocean full of sharks.

Let me echo some of the whys? One, some said professional veterinary services are overpriced and therefore it is more cost effective dealing with quacks.

Two, I have also been told that quacks are more flexible in their dealings with clients and more prone to cut corners, since they have nothing to lose.

Three, quacks have proved, over time, to be pawns on the pet owners’ dirty chessboards.

I have considered these reasons amongst less prominent ones and come to the conclusion that apart from the big motivating factor, which borders on economic consideration, the most important reason why quacks are being patronised is the total lack of understanding of the concept of pet ownership and our society’s poor perception of pets.

Our society has chosen to be very ambivalent when it comes to issues of animals. Some say it is inherently cultural. But I will not fly in that direction, reason being our well documented affinity and practice of pet keeping in our various cultures all over the country.

If you ask me, I am beginning to feel as if something snapped in our relationship with animals, especially among residents of our urban areas.

The stress of coping with life around here imposes a lot burden on everyone, to the extent that we seek for anything that can ease that stress, be it economy, time saving, anything at all.

And this may include engaging the services of a quack, since for some, he/she charges less and would readily render home services without adequately charging for the luxury you have chosen.

I bet though that while you think you are deriving some benefits from these charlatans, you are indeed losing a lot without being aware.

For heaven’s sake, these guys are not professionals. At best, they are half-baked or not baked at all. What they render to you as veterinary service is fraud.

They are more or less collecting your hard earned money under false pretence-419. That is the section of the criminal code under which they should be docked.

It is not a very simple thing if one considers the mess these guys cause on a daily basis. It is a very long list of atrocities that will shock a lot of people.

Although I have a very strong belief that some pet owners know the game they play, it is also becoming increasingly evident that a lot of them are hauled on the train without being aware that the train driver is a fake without licence.