AVMA urges more ‘reality’ in Animal Planet’s Dr. Jeff, Rocky Mountain Vet

The level of veterinary care depicted on Animal Planet’s program Dr. Jeff, Rocky Mountain Vet prompted an outpouring of concern from our members. AVMA President Dr. Tom Meyer, and Executive Vice President and CEO Dr. Janet Donlin, responded by sending a letter to executives at Discovery Channel LLC’s Animal Planet, urging them not to abandon science and appropriate surgical protocol in their programming.

Drs. Meyer and Donlin applauded Dr. Jeff’s commitment to underserved communities.  However, they objected to Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet conveying “the message that ‘lesser-than’ care is somehow acceptable for pets in these communities.”

AVMA strongly disagrees. High-volume veterinary care does not equate to low-quality veterinary care. Many of our members practice in underserved communities. Their reality involves long days, often at lower than typical pay, but these dedicated veterinarians still maintain generally accepted good patient care practices. The AVMA’s Reaching Up New Mexico, a partnership with the Native America Humane Society and the communities it serves, was shared as an example of a well-run high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter and preventive care service program for pets.

Thank you for taking the time to let us know how disturbed you were by the depiction of veterinary medicine on this television program. We heard your voice. You can also take a moment to send your own comments to Discovery Channel and Animal Planet c/o  laurie_goldberg@discovery.com  for:

  • David M. Zaslav, President, CEO, Discovery Communications, LLC
  • Rich Ross, Group President , Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Science Channel
  • Rick Holman, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Animal Planet at Discovery Communications

We hope that Animal Planet will hear us and make a commitment to ensuring that the animals depicted in their programs are provided with the quality care they deserve.

77 thoughts on “AVMA urges more ‘reality’ in Animal Planet’s Dr. Jeff, Rocky Mountain Vet

  1. Instead of writing letters, how about using your influence to raise money for additional staff and materials you deem necessary. Not as much fun, but certainly more effective if you have he well-being of animals at heart.

    You do, don’t you?

  2. Typical of bureaucrats to criticize those that aren’t price gouging the public. Vet fees are out of hand and these people don’t like an honest loving vet that wants to help the people and not take all their money. The AVMA and the people associated with it seem like typical jerks that are worried that their big houses, expensive vacations, huge savings accounts are in jeopardy. They sound like greedy pigs. Shame on them. SHAME ON THEM>

  3. We need more vets like Dr. Jeff. My 2 dogs both had annual medical bills far exceeding my own, and I didn’t have insurance. When my cat dislocated her jaw, the vet charged me 800 to x-ray and reset it. She failed, then told me I needed a specialist which would cost me over 2500 that I didn’t have. When I made that clear, that didn’t keep her from calling me for the next three days trying to guilt-trip me into going to the specialist. The cat’s doing been doing fine for seven years, but I don’t go to that vet anymore.

    As for sterile procedures… what happens on a farm? Certainly not “human hospital” cleanliness. What happens in battlefield hospitals? I’ve watched plenty of video, and trust me, sterile procedures are forgotten during severe trauma care when a life hangs in the balance.

    I think most of the veterinarians griping are doing so because this man exposes their price gouging.

  4. It’s amazing that “vets” just out of school and starting their practice will take the time to criticize Dr Jeff on how sterile his environment is. Take that time to learn from him instead. His show provides an opportunity to learn techniques that is not provided in your sterile operating room. I’m watching a vet steralizing a donkey in sand and dirt and no mask. What about that???? Shame shame shame on all you critics. Take the time and put on some gloves and go out in the areas where people can’t afford to spade and neuter their animals, and do it for free. You will feel so full of positiveness and gratitude that you have the knowhow to help. You will be to tired to criticize someone that has dedicated his life to help economicly challenged pet owners. My outmost gratitude to all the staff and techs and vets that help hold the clinic together.So to young vets: watch the show and learn. You will be thankful one day when you can implement something you learned from the show. Think all of this over and take the time to feel the shame way down in your stomach. God’s speed.

    • I love Dr. Jeff. He’s the most compassionate animal loving veterinarian. He genuinely cares for the health of the animals he treats. Dr. Jeff keeps his expenses down to off-set the cost to pet owners by living in small spaces and with far less luxuries as other high cost veterinarians. The high cost vets are living luxurious life styles in mansions. The high cost procedures are paying for the vets luxurious life styles and less for the well being of the animals and their owners. Paying for their high luxurious living on the backs of pet owners! Other high cost Vets love money more than animal care. Dr. Jeff genuinely loves animals and their owners and continually gives to the community and beyond. We need to keep supporting Dr. Jeff and his sanitary and highly credible and skilled staff. Dr. Jeff please continue the good you do for our animal world. Please keep your animal loving passion moving throughout the world. Thank You for all the good you do! Ignore the unjust critics!

    • How about let’s look at his rate of readmits, infection, other complications, I’ll bet few and far between.unfortunately when my cat was sick and ultimately died (at 17 yr) my vet wanted 600 $ for individual cremation/remains…couldn’t afford that after paying so much for care that was mostly unnecessary at that point. So no cremains,ashes..

    • I totally agree!! I still have not been able to pay back my credit card bills for my 2 cats totalling over $5000.00 last year. This is why people can’t afford pets. What a shame.

  5. Love Dr Jeff and his philosophy. Money hungry vets charge outrageous fees which make the joy of pet ownership a luxury of the rich. Thank God for a man like this.

  6. Sorry, forgot I was sending a message to the AVMA and not Animal Planet. Dr. Jeff and his staff care. Hurray for someone to not only care about their patients but also their owners. Everyone who had a pet loves them like family,but prices are leaving animals in shelters, pet stores, on the streets, etc. because people can’t afford vet prices. All about money now. Where is the compassion???

  7. I absolutely love Dr. Jeff. I have worked for a vet in the past, and only wish there were more of Dr. Jeff and his staff. Love the show. Please keep it going.
    Also, please consider bringing Dr. Dee back. Her show was awesome too.
    Thank you.

  8. I love Dr. Jeff and in my opinion he truly cares for animals by helping with low cost care whether it gives them a help with a bump in the road or giving them a better quality of life. But what do I know AVMA, opinions are like a.. holes everybody has one!

  9. I was told for my pug to have surgery it would be @ least $10,000 n they wanted that up front. Like okay, who has that laying around? Not even the hospitals would turn a child away to correct or save its life. It’s bad enough it. It’s ?180 bucks with an appointment just to see a good vet to b let down. I would rather have my dog taken care of by someone with a heart than someone who would let ur animal suffer. I would love to find a place that I could get to that would let me make payments. As I look at it now they turned their backs and left her knowing she would struggle till I could get enough to have her treated.

  10. I would rather have my animal alive by someone who cares enough for all animals and pet owners despite cost then have someone who would rather my animal died cause I can’t afford a $1,000+ surgery not to mention expect you to come up with all up front

    • Last year my service dog had to have life savings urgent for a gastric obstruction. One month after that surgery she threw up and developed aspirated pneumonia. I rushed her to the 24 hour vet and we had to wait for over 7 hours for a vet to help my SERVICE DOG, simply because I didn’t have the $2000 UP FRONT FOR THEM TO PUT HER IN THE OXYGEN CAGE! I’m sorry, my dog is a service dog, but she is family first and I would much rather take her to a vet that practices kindness and compassion for the owner as well as the pet. The entire ordeal at this vet clinic left me angry and upset because they made it very clear that they cared more about money than they did about the fact that my dog could barely take a breath, and THAT is deplorable!

  11. Just because he doesn’t do it the way the bureaucrats do it doesn’t mean he’s not doing it right he’s a wonderful veterinarian and there should be more like then people really can’t afford thousands of dollars to fix their pets but they love them dearly and this man will fix their animals without charging them a fortune how dare you criticize him

  12. I’m sorry I politely but firmly disagree with your opinions concerning this program. As a matter of fact my opinion is the absolute complete opposite. God bless dr. Jeff and the rest of the animal heroes in the world we need more.

  13. There is a lesson to be had here for all soon to be new veterinarians: CHEAP = CARING . If your prices are cheap, you will be revered by the public, no matter what. (If you can get a nonprofit organization or TV network to kick in some of your salary, all the better)

    Lesson number 2 is that if your prices are not CHEAP, YOU CANNOT BE CARING. This automatically means that you are just getting rich by ripping people off. (It could be that that is just what it costs to provide the care, but that is not as fun as believing a group of people is just greedy). It won’t matter to people that you are driving a car with 200,000 miles on it and living below your means. It won’t matter that you are trying to provide your employees with a livable wage and health insurance, so that they can take their children to the doctors when they are sick. It won’t matter that you are trying to provide the best care possible to your patients within the financial limitations of your clients.


    Unfortunately, it is not nearly that simple.

    • Well I (and a lot of other people) disagree with that mentality.
      CHEAP does NOT equal CARING! REASONABLE = CARING both for the animal and it’s caretaker.

      The fact that MOST veterinary procedure costs are higher than equivalent human procedure costs and there is no watchdog agency keeping an eye on that is what the problem is. Insurance companies attempt to keep a lid on
      escalating costs for humans but any vet can throw out whatever amount they want when you are there and you have little option. Average broken leg set for humans cost around $2500 vs. OVER twice that for animals.

      My dog just got a antibiotic shot. $50 for a $2 shot! What could I say AFTER the fact?

      • I agree that things should be reasonable, but that is in the eye of the beholder, is it not. You should be given choices and information, and then you should decide what is the best choice for you and your family.

        I disagree that veterinary procedures cost more than equivalent procedures on the human side (aside from dental cleaning). I had an outpatient shoulder surgery. My out of pocket expenses were over 5,000.00. The hospital billed my insurance over 40K. Insurance paid on about another 6k. So, 11k for a 2 hour procedure that a veterinary specialist would have done for probably 2-3 (without insurance).

        I don’t think you are comparing apples to apples with respect to a broken limb. If you are considering placing a cast as setting a broken bone, then the pet side of things would likely be in the hundreds of dollars while the human side in the thousands or more (again with insurance picking up a chunk).

        I agree that no one should do anything to your pets without discussing it with you and getting your consent.

  14. The problem is two-fold; the people who believe Dr. Jeff is amazing have more than likely only seen the TV show and never actually stepped foot in the practice or had their animal treated by him. It is REALITY TELEVISION, in a very minuscule way does it depict real life. Those same people just focus on the cost differences between what was “quoted” and what was “charged”. It’s probably the same people who complain over the cost of vet care yet still have three, four, five animals. I work in a vet office and the owner gives away at least $100,000 a year in services! Most other vet offices do to. It takes 8 years to go through vet school to make a salary of about $50,000 a year salary. Does anyone know how much an X-ray machine costs? Or how much it costs to staff an office; it’s not just a doctor, there are Techs (three years of school) assistants, receptionists, and on and on. As for the second part, yes, the staff at Planned Pethood Plus need to follow proper protocols for sanitation. Anything less is opening themselves up for litigation.

    • As you pointed out yourself, it is reality television, so it doesn’t really make sense to brush off something while criticizing another. As you said yourself, it is pretty much impossible to know Dr Jeff or his associates or his vet practice without ever stepping foot in the building. They may or may not be following sanitation practices but to assume one of the other because you notice something on heavily edited television show is just as wrong as the very assumptions you are bringing to attention.
      That being said, becoming a vet is a thankless job for many graduates and unfortunately does not financially equate to the money you have to put in just to become licensed. It truly takes a passion to want to do this.
      Of course, this does lead to some people choosing to overcharge customers in order to attempt to more quickly catch up on the years of debt created. This happens in a multitude of fields (dentistry and unnecessary expensive dental work is an example).
      Sadly, every field has bad eggs and those people tend to end up getting more exposure and creating stereotypes.

  15. How do you justify a Dr. putting an animal to sleep because a family can’t afford thousands of dollars for treatment. I could never ever do that. Neither can Dr. Jeff and that’s the kind of Vet I want.

    • I justify it by relieving the suffering of the animal without putting the owners into a financial situation that is going to cause more grief and suffering for them, their children, and the rest of their pets.

      One of the most important parts of our job as veterinarians is to be able to have an honest discussion with an owner about quality of life, costs, and treatment options.

      Just a blanket statement about discounting or cutting corners to “save” an animal might be a great premise for a TV show.. but in real life, that is not how it works.

      I applaud Dr. Young for working as hard as he does, for finding staff that believe in his views, and for finding ways to afford to be able to do affordable veterinary care for people that need it.

      That said, there is a standard of medical care that WE all should be held to and televising repeatedly situations where that standard is not being met is actually detrimental to the field of veterinary care. Either owners start to believe that all veterinarians should be doing surgery without gowns and masks in the middle of their clinic’s treatment areas; or more veterinarians are going to start cutting corners to save money and then animals are going to suffer when they do get an infection that was possibly avoidable with more appropriate steps.

      Each person needs to be comfortable with their own pet’s medical care; but Animal Planet needs to be careful to inform their viewers of the issues that might arise when we get outside the normal process of veterinary medicine.

      • “…there is a standard of medical care that WE all should be held to and televising repeatedly situations where that standard is not being met is actually detrimental to the field of veterinary care.” Explain how it is detrimental.The tone of this article is rather condescending, like pet owners such as myself are blinded by ignorance. Having grown up in a farm community and then moving to a metropolitan area, I noticed a marked difference between veterinary care in the two, geographic areas. I realize this is anecdotal but my experience in metropolitan areas involved excessive costs and procedures without any decrease in morbidity. i suspect standards of care killed one of my cats due to VAS. Since then, I’ve learned studies suggest feline rabies vaccinations can last up to seven years.Was the AVMA on top of this? Did the organization advocate longitudinal studies for this common practice? While standards of care serve a purpose, I tire of practitioners in any profession who fetishize them. In extreme situations, I want a vet who is less concerned about standards and potential liability and more willing to take risks to save the life of my dog or cat. I’m well aware there are always risks, no matter how safe or loose one practices their craft. In closing, I hope the AVMA will focus their energy less on Dr. Jeff Young’s pragmatism and more on best practices which make a difference. it’s the kind of “reality” this consumer values.

      • Actually his daughter has stated he can’t afford it, more often than not he runs in the red. I am watching the show right now. They kept a dog that was hit by a car. He had brain inflammation, no broken bones. They kept him in oxygen therapy for 6 days. The owner paid $250. If I bring my pet to the Pet ER here, I pay $250 to just walk in the door. Last time one of my cats was there for an unknown illness, he got IV’s and was watched because he had a fever…5 days later I paid $3000.

        • Exactly! How ridiculous is it that they can charge $250 just to walk in and you are stuck with it!
          My vet said my dog needed antibiotics. OK, don’t that in the past, just a few bucks right. Oh, no.
          Gave her a shot, $50 worth. How do you say no to that afterwards?

          Or when you are sitting there and they say $6000 to set your dogs leg… or we can kill it if that’s too much for you?!!!!
          Set your child’s leg… $2500 and they don’t give you the killing option…

          Vets needs government control like insurance companies do for doctors who do just find without overcharging.

      • Do you realize sterile fields are not even used in hospitals now to change wound dressings?

    • Dr Jeff and staff are saints, and I’ve considered moving to Denver just to have a low cost vet service for the animals I rescue. West Palm Beach Fl has a similar service called Paws 2 Help. Similar set up as Dr Jeff, run by an old batty English gal. God bless the Britts! I’ve met more English ladies involved with animal than any Americans, mainly cats. ARG-animal rights global http://www.animalrightsglobal.com/

  16. Dr. Jeff and his staff are wonderful people to do what they do. He does wear gloves and cap during the surgeries I’ve seen. He takes the time to do what’s right for the animal in need and adjusts as he has to for what he finds once he gets the surgery started. We have two dogs who are both ill: one has Cushing’s Disease and the other has Congestive Heart Failure. We’ve spent a hell of a lot of money for diagnosis/testing/medicine. Mostly on credit cards. Our vet referred us to a cardio specialist for our CHF girl and consulted with a more experienced vet for our Cushing’s girl. We’re in Indiana, so seeing Dr. Jeff would be a stretch, but I would trust him completely with our girls or any other pet.
    The “house calls” he makes are invaluable, saving lives and enabling animal lovers to have their own lives enhanced by their pets.
    The contestants on the Foot Network show(s) have long hair, not always pulled back, no hairnets and probably drop sweat in their food. What do you have to say about that??
    Leave Dr. Jeff be. He’s a great guy with a great staff.

  17. He truly cares and he’s not out to get rich off my pet. People are putting his clinic under a microscope only because they are on television. Many clinics cut corners but people just don’t see it. I’d also like to take this time to thank you Dr.Jeff, this world could use a million more like you!

    • So how do you feel about the “cutting of corners”?

      Shouldn’t we as a society (and as medical professionals or as pet owners) expect our medical staff to NOT cut corners? To NOT put our pet’s at risk?

      That is what the AVMA and others are focused on. No one is saying Dr. Young is not doing a great service for the clients he has and no one is saying that he and his staff are not providing care that others may not be able to provide at those costs. What people are asking is that we see consistency in the care of these patients that is appropriate ESPECIALLY when being televised and put on the internet for everyone to see.

      • I am, obviously, not a vet but I have used numerous vets throughout the years in northern New Jersey and the Midwest. I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors when surgery is being conducted. None of my pets, however, has ever had an infection.

        When we lived in northern New Jersey, we used the same vet that Jon Katz, the animal behavioralist, who has written a number of books about his pets. This vet, whose name was Dr. Cameron, was also featured in a number of Katz’s mystery book series, although a pseudonym was used.

        The reason I am going into such detail is because this wonderful vet was so helpful to our family over the years. He took care of our numerous cats and dogs. When my family was going through a difficult divorce, he actually gave my sons a kitten that he neutered for a very low fee. My sons adored that cat, who lived to be 14 years old.

        Dr. Cameron did everything possible to assure that pet ownership did not have to be a luxury that few people could afford. Because we owned so many pets, he used to give us a small, discounted fee if we brought in two or more pets at the same time.

        Although Dr. Cameron and Dr. Jeff have very different personalities, I have always thought that they are kindred spirits. They both do everything possible to make pet ownership something that most people can afford. When we moved back to the Midwest, I was surprised that I would have to pay $400 to $600 to spay my cats and dogs and that payment is required up front. I have been going to these vets for almost 15 years now but they still require payment in full.

        I wish more vets were like Dr. Cameron and Dr. Jeff. I don’t know whether Dr. Cameron wears a cap when he operates and I don’t really care. All I know is that they both are committed to making pet ownership available to more people and that counts for a lot.

  18. I would take Dr Jeff over almost any other veterinarian I’ve ever met. He truly cares and he’s not out to get rich off my pet. People are putting his clinic under a microscope only because they are on television. Many clinics cut corners but people just don’t see it. I’d also like to take this time to thank you Dr.Jeff, this world could use a million more like you!

  19. So typical of human beings to be critical of others who go far above and beyond to care for animals which may otherwise not receive treatment or face certain death or disfigurement. Many clients come to Dr. Jeff after being given exorbitant quotes for treatment or untenable options by other vets. Leave it to the hoity toities to be be critical of a group of real people who are doing remarkable work. Ever notice that most veterinarians do not have literature in their clinics regarding spaying/neutering, the ONE thing that’s most important and could put an end to pet-over population? Instead you will find information about white teeth, fresh breath, stressful vet visits, pet insurance, and other information of no use if you have an animal who is hurting or very ill. I’d be interested to know how many of these “concerned” members of the AMVA live in apartments above their clinics.

    Finally, I’m certain there are many veterinarians who charge reasonable prices, do volunteer work, etc. However, if every clinic in the county offered one day a month of low cost neutering of animals, pet-overpopulation would cease to exist.

    I’m hoping Discovery Channel and Animal Planet consider the source and disregard the involvement of these narrow-minded critics. There are so many abused and neglected animals, there’s a place for everyone who wants to offer them help. Oh yes, by the way, nothing like kicking a man when he’s down!

  20. Look my infection rate is below the national average and if i thought for 1 minute i was doing something that endangered an animal i would not do it..common sense and observation and science is on my side..Most of what we do is by tradition..In the end the proof is in the pudding..As we move human medicine over to the animal side, we as a profession will be leaving more animals behind with nothing than the ones we will be helping..These animals are tough, no one had any problem with me neutering a pig i the field with cold sterile and putting him back on the ground, i might add without anesthesia..I have made the offer several times lets each do 100 surgeries and follow the outcome and see who does what better and for how much..Because how much does matter in the end..For the record i almost always wear a cap..I wash my hands constantly and i am very aware of any punctures in my gloves but i am also very comfortable with bare handed surgeries and have done lots in countries were gloves are not available..I love what i do and i really believe the formal surgical practices are doing for themselves and not the animals..Who knows maybe you are just not as good at surgery as i am..

    • AVMA what a bunch of crap. Dr Jeff is one of the best vets in the United States and deserves a medal for his care and dedication to animals and their owners. I absolutely love Dr Jeff! I have learned so much by watching his show. It is amazing to me how much knowledge he has and he never turns anyone away taking on some of the worst cases. I believe it is rare these days to find a vet that will go out to remote areas to treat farm animals or any animal for that matter. Dr Jeff is a godsend to these animals and their owners. I have seven animals and believe me my vet bills are extreme. I have a cat right now that has developed Flutd which is a urinary track disease. He’s been to the vet three times this past month running up $250 – $300 bills each visit. That’s nearly $800 I’ve paid and he’s still having issues. I wish Dr Jeff could treat my cat… I watched how he treated a cat with Flutd and it was amazing. He did surgery on the cat so that the cat will never need any additional treatment. My vet just keeps me coming back again and again charging outrageous fees. I live in Ohio and I’m very tempted to drive to Dr Jeff’s clinic in Colorado so he can do surgery on my cat. Dr Jeff is the best, on top of the mountain, and when you’re on top, someone always wants to knock you down.

    • I really wish you had left that last sentence “Who knows maybe you are just not as good at surgery as i am..” off of your post. You make some good points about farm animal medicine and relief work in other countries.

      That said, we know that surgical technique is NOT the same as proper sterile technique when not using the proper protective gear.

      You also mention the gear as far as protecting yourself and your staff… so personally I find that telling that you know the reason for the gear… but still decline to wear it or make your staff wear it.

      Another issue is that the AVMA is not focused on your surgical skill … it is the sterility and the spread of the acceptance among the TV audience that veterinary medicine is somehow not required to be as done as professionally as human medicine.

      I just had a client today talking about one of your ACL surgeries and not being able to understand what he saw on television vs what he is being told by the specialist at the surgical practice he is currently taking is pet too. The end result is that now a client who is trying to do the best for his animal doesn’t understand why you are doing the surgery the way you are doing it when the surgeon he is seeing with his pet is giving him a very different situation and surgical set up. So the end result is actually giving this client more anxiety because of the episodes he has watched.

    • I have had several dogs that have needed surgeries and I completely trusted the veterinarians I took them to. Each approach medical issues from their own perspective. That is a fantastic thing. I watch Dr. Jeff and I do not see how complaints can be made about the sterility of his operating area or the mass procedures he does to help the community. All people cannot be pleased at all times. Dr. Jeff is helping many at more affordable rates because he loves animals. I am blessed to have a similar dr taking care of my dog that has a terminal illness. The world needs more people that care that way.

      • Dr Jeff, I as a pet mommy am VERY thankful and grateful that you are out there doing exactly what your doing for the animals and their people, especially when they are on a fixed income like myself or if they have money to burn you care for the animals not gett ing rich of each pet,I think you and your great staff are a pure blessing and I wish you were closer to me and my bab ies. Keep on doing what your doing.

    • Dr Jeff, I as a pet mommy am VERY thankful and grateful that you are out there doing exactly what your doing for the animals and their people, especially when they are on a fixed income like myself or if they have money to burn you care for the animals not gett ing rich of each pet,I think you and your great staff are a pure blessing and I wish you were closer to me and my bab ies. Keep on doing what your doing.

    • Right on Dr Jeff!!!! Every Vet I have taken my animals to Has always recommended what ever they could to “KEEP THE METER” Running!! Keep up the good work!!!!!

  21. So if Dr. Jeff is so “dangerous” operating without a gown or mask, with only a cap and gloves….why is it I just saw the University of Pennsylvania Zuni reservation project do a surgery where the supervising surgeon had a full head of hair..and a beard, no cap, just gloves…? He was doing surgeries, and the show commented they send home healthy animals and there have been minimal complications? If it’s ok for a teaching and supervising University of PA professor….what’s ur beef with Dr. Jeff? Ur main problem, I think, is that he charges reasonable affordable rates and cares more about his patients than expensive cars and high bills and retirement plans.

    • Dr Jeff is an amazing& caring man Money is not his first thought God Bless this man & his

    • Dr Jeff is an amazing& caring man Money is not his first thought God Bless this man & his

  22. I think Dr Jeff is the most caring and compassionate person ever. He truly loves any animal. He is not in it for the money, but rather to save as many animals as he can and help the animal parents from having to make a really tough decision if they can’t afford it. He is an angel on earth and I would travel from New Hampshire if it would save one of my animals..

  23. Does anyone see what their vet wears when preforms his/her procedures behind closed door,s? This is business of dealing with animals and if u want all fancy medical sterile procedures, it would really cost you so quit complaining or don’t watch the show, some are good some are bad that’s why they invented the the remote control.
    In closing keep the prices down and work area clean as possible, he just demonstrated that there is no need for high prices and good service.
    How many clients does he service? Must be doing something right.

  24. Thank you AVMA for making the statement. Based on the responses from the general public, I think it is obvious the veterinary profession has a ton of work to do with explaining to pet owners what good/decent care is and why it costs what it does.

    I don’t begrudge anyone trying to provide the best care for their pets within their financial limits, but to paint all veterinarians as greedy when they are trying to provide the best care possible is very insulting.

  25. I love dr Jeff. His clients are referred to him when they can’t pay the astronomical amount that emergency clinics charge. He allows people to have their animals To have a fighting chance to live and be pain free instead of choosing to put them to sleep. I wish dr. Jeff lived here. Every time I take my 14 year old cat to vet it’s an easy $300 bill. And it’s always bring her back in a month for more tests. Ching Ching. We love our animals and would go into major debt to have them helped. I have had so many screw ups done by professional high priced vets that wear the white gowns and gloves. Keep up the good work dr. Jeff. It’s too bad there are not more caring vets like you and your team

  26. Come on people he’s doing a very noble service to a lot of animals and people who could not otherwise afford treatment are all you vets out there intimidated,???? You took a vow to heal it seems these days it’s all about the mighty dollar you can charge …. get real he’s a great human being and a great humanitarian, more than I can say about most vets out there, you need to quit being vindictive and threatened and embrace this human being for what he contributes to the wonderful world we call pet parents and responsible pet owning

  27. Come on people he’s doing a very noble service to a lot of animals and people who could not otherwise afford treatment are all you vets out there intimidated,???? You took a vow to heal it seems these days it’s all about the mighty dollar you can charge …. get real he’s a great human being and a great humanitarian, more than I can say about most vets out there, you need to quit being vindictive and threatened and embrace this human being for what he contributes to the wonderful world we call pet parents

  28. I have also had questions regarding the surgical and isolation protocols they have used on the show. I would love to get more information and data on how many patients come back with infections. If the numbers show that they have the same percentage as hospitals with strict protocols then I don’t see a problem with it. They are helping numerous number of animals and people.

  29. Hello!! This man gives a damn about ALL animals AND their owners. I started working for a vet in 1970 and have worked for many as the years have gone by. As an owner of three dogs I am shocked at what veterinarians charge these days. One’s ability to pay high prices determines whether your dog or cat or any animal lives or dies. Dr Jeff HELPS people and their pets regardless of their ability to pay, donates his time to many organizations, so it doesn’t surprise me that veterinarians feel threatened by this show.

    • Hello Eleanor, I was surprised to see you just wrote a comment about Dr Jeff that echoes my exact feelings. I guess as 2 Eleanors, it is amazing we thought at the same time to look this site up and comment. Dr Jeff is a wonderful vet and they are so lucky to have him in their area. Living in expensive Maryland you never find vets that do this.

  30. While I hear the concerns of the AVMA, I also note that many of the referrals to Dr Jeff and his team are from other, higher priced vets who WILL NOT TREAT unless there is money coming in in advance. That is reminiscent of hospitals refusing to treat patients who have no insurance or cannot pay.

    If Dr Jeff uses sterile instruments (as he appears to do), and there is a no higher than average incidence of infection amongst his patients, then what they do can’t be all that bad in my view.

    As further evidence, I submit the surgical practices of large animal vets who don’t have the luxury of perfect operating theaters in the barns and/or pens in which they practice. Or, how about those who serve wild animal preserves? No fancy sterile issues there.

    Give us a break. In a perfect world, perfection would be common. Sadly such a world does not exist. MY only concern is that MY pet receive thorough, thoughtful care for a price that I can afford.

    Oh, just for the record, I don’t live anywhere near Denver, Isabela County, MI or the Yukon for that matter. But I do live in a rural/forested area. The nearest veterinary teaching hospital is hundreds of miles away.

    • I could care less about what he is wearing (as long as it is clean)…what I do care about is his infection rate and/or outcomes. Are his outcomes worse than other vets? Does he have a higher infection rate than other vets? If not…then is it just appearances that other vets are worried about? I think these same questions came up with that other vet show…(Dr Pol?) too.

      • Do we need a controlled study to determine that they’re not necessary? Would you be willing to have your pet – or child, for that matter – undergo an invasive surgical procedure in which the surgeon is not adhering to what is considered commonsense precautions? I get your point that there may not be studies, but this is basic infection control here.
        Source (with many citations to back it up): http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019665539970088X “Although experimental data show that live microorganisms are shed from hair, exposed skin, and mucous membranes of operating room personnel,75, 181, 326, 327, 328, 329 and 330 few controlled clinical studies have evaluated the relationship between the use of surgical attire and SSI risk. Nevertheless, the use of barriers seems prudent to minimize a patient’s exposure to the skin, mucous membranes, or hair of surgical team members, as well as to protect surgical team members from exposure to blood and bloodborne pathogens (e.g., human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis viruses).”
        …also “Surgical caps/hoods are inexpensive and reduce contamination of the surgical field by organisms shed from the hair and scalp. SSI outbreaks have occasionally been traced to organisms isolated from the hair or scalp (S. aureus and group A Streptococcus),75 and 76 even when caps were worn by personnel during the operation and in the operating suites.”
        And don’t OSHA requirements apply? Or is that only for human hospitals?

  31. I have been a veterinarian for 35 years; most of that time owning a small town/rural practice. Standard of care does not change because of where you practice. I am disgusted that any veterinarian thinks it is appropriate to do surgery without cap, mask and gown. This is an embarrassment to our profession. Save the goofy muscle shirts for the biker bar. They do not belong in the surgical suite.

    • Tell me why it is no longer protocol in hospitals (for people) to change wound or surgical sites using a sterile field.

  32. All patients, no matter the economic background ,deserve a standard of care that is above reproach.

    I see this visual depiction of a so called surgery as an embarrassment to our profession and the standards we all are expected to up hold.

  33. “….urging them not to abandon science and appropriate surgical protocol in their programming.” That might be an appropriate statement for veterinary medicine in the Rocky Mountains, but performing surgery in that manner is actually against the law in California. Minimum Standards of Practice in this state require so much more! As well-intended as it may be, performing surgery dressed like that puts into jeopardy one’s ability to practice, make a living and help more patients in the future. You need a valid license and premise permit!

    • I live in California and have taken my dog to many vets who want 5,000.00 to do a surgery that vet Jeff would do for 800.00. Vets that charge that should be ashamed of them self, they are greedy. Thank God for Dr Jeff.

  34. It is about time. I have been appalled since the very first episode and have been wondering why this unbelievable disregard for sterility has been allowed to be shown over and over with no reprimand. It makes our entire profession look bad and does not represent the hard working professional veterinarians out there.

  35. Re Dr Jeff love the show but bothered by the surgericsl practices. I have watched other shows like the vets dr blue etc thart actuall scrub before performing a surgical procedure. Tonight they did not even wears masks in their procedures, It does not seem very sanitary. Also if parvovirus is so contagious the little one was confined but the attendant went in opened the cage did not see her use anything either. On someone else show was know to be highly contagious. So who is right?.?

    • I just read this about surgical practices regarding wearing masks in the UK for surgeries on humans. Evidenced based practice is best.

      Why do not all surgeons and medical staff in UK hospitals wear mask while in the operating theatre?
      My friend was on attatchment in UK hospitals . She told me that surgeons and medical staff in the operating theatre eat and drink in it . While performing an operation , only the main surgeon doing the surgery is wearing a mask . The rest of the people that watch and help , they do not wear masks
      4 Answers
      James Jarman
      James Jarman, Doctor Australia, Anaesthetist (Anesthesiologist) FANZCA
      Written Apr 9, 2016
      Here is one of the very few randomized studies, of 3000 patients, showing a 4.7% infection rate in weeks where everyone was randomly assigned to wearing masks vs 3.5% when they weren’t. Masks look clean and make everyone feel better but there is little evidence they reduce infection.

      That said, for “clean” high risk surgery (eg joint replacement) everyone would likely still wear a mask.

      They may however protect the wearer from infection from blood splatter from the patient, but that is really only a factor for the operating surgeon.

      Postoperative wound infections and surgical face masks: A controlled study

  36. I am an old retired lady with a deep love of animals of all kinds. One of the rare joys I have is watching vet and other animal shows on television. One of my concerns is that Discovery and Nat Geo Wild will discontinue shows or vets will decline being filmed if the AVMA continues to nit pick regarding veterinarians styles and practices. But more importantly the animals and indigent populations these vets see with pets will not be served. The AVMA should support these programs in that they inspire young people to love animals and pursue a career in vet medicine. The AVMA would help more by offering positive reinforcement for for practices well done and offerring training or making constructive suggestions regarding practices that could be improved. In life one should always attempt to build up not tear down. Thanks for listening.

    • This statement is just an example of what these shows project to the public who – if they had to have an orthopedic or open abdominal surgery certainly would not think it was OK for the surgeon to not follow surgical procedures such as sterility, mask, gown, gloves ( sterile ones ) – yet it appears to work out just fine on Dr Jeff’s show. To describe a professional outcry for decent standards of care for animals to be ” nit pick regarding veterinarians styles and practices” is obsurd. Makes my blood boil. As for kids watching the show and wanting to be vets – boy will they have a rude awakening when they get to a real vet school and learn how things are done correctly – takes just a little more effort than what they saw on TV.

      • Well, it makes my blood boil to have these vets who are committed to the care of animals railed against. As far as your question about having surgery performed on a human….. these are animals, people! I worked for a rural vet who started out with a heart for all animals and slowly realized he could make money by nickel and diming his clients. The money charged for dentals is absurd, for instance. Vaccinations are given more often than necessary and overpriced.
        if it can’t be proved that the practices of the TV vets are causing more infections than normal for a country vet then lay off. They provide a service for people who might not be able to get it otherwise. BTW Dr Jeff is on the right track by requiring spay/ neuter. My favorite platform.

        • Well said. It’s all about the money. I use to take my 3 fur babies to my vet for their shots, etc. Now the vet charges for the shot and the office visit. The assistants use to give the shot, now am told only the vet can do it. No problem I now take them to the Pet Mobile. Pay only for the vaccination, not an office visit. I love this show, it shows the love of animals by Dr. Jeff and his staff. Vets want to charge fees like a hospital for humans. God Bless Dr. Jeff and his team.

    • Nit pick? About basic sterile surgical practices? By being on tv, he has allowed others to invite themselves into his practices and comment on them. This is a gross neglect of basic hygiene when going into surgery. Why did he even bother to put a head covering on when his skin and arm pit hair are exposed? The AVMA is in a supportive role in that they are drawing attention to his practices and letting him and others know it goes against everything he was taught in veterinary school. They are making a constructive suggestion to put a gown on for petes sake! I can’t believe anyone has any comment besides how derelict this is.

  37. Why is it that the AVMA does shout-outs regarding lesser care and the abandonment of science, when it comes to TV vets. But when I email you to ask about a complaint regarding another vet not on TV, I get bounced around, told that I have to speak to the licensing state, etc?

    If the AVMA isn’t an authority for most vets, they are suddenly an authority with celebrity vets? Sounds like just a way of getting attention to a cardboard organization.

    • I see your point in this, but I think the AVMA sort of has its hands tied as well with these types of things. They have no real “ruling authority” over what state boards do or do to discipline. I think you would find they feel the same way about any vet that would be practicing sub standard medicine or cutting corners to the extent seen in the TV shows. My advice would be to harp on this to your state VMA. They might have the power to reach out to the State Board and work towards having an investigation launched into something you saw or have concerns about. I think one of the biggest complaints we all have as vets is that a lot of State Boards do not take complaints from vets against another vet seriously or with the merit it may deserve. From their standpoint they are mostly there to protect the public consumer and not the profession. There are also the vets out there that will make bogus complaints against a colleague up the street just to try and get more of their business, so I can see why the Board is leery on these complaints. It can be maddening. My advice again is to really get involved with your state VMA to see what channels might be available to pursue your complaint. It may take a lot of persuasion, but in the end you might get somewhere. Hope you can.