National Report — Growing economic fears among veterinarians are warranted, according to a consultant who says the profession needs to shed
its "rosy" view of itself as recession-proof.
A May 2008 poll by DVM Newsmagazine indicates that 71 percent of veterinarians are "very" to "extremely" concerned about how the U.S. economy is faring.
"Well, they should be," says Jon Dittrich, president of Profit Profile Corp., a veterinary business consulting firm in Knoxville,
Tenn. "They just have to look at their sales numbers to figure that one out."
The economy is "sputtering" along, he says, with sporadic budget increases and decreases — some as much as 20 percent below
last year — reported among his clients.
"It's like a saw blade," he said. "It'll go up one month and down one month."
The key is to project little to no growth in future budgets, cut capital expenditures, don't discount prices and look at cutting
manpower to match a decline in business, Dittrich suggests.
"The oil and gas has an impact because their clients are seeing money go out the door for gas, and when it comes time for
Fluffy to have a physical and Fluffy looks fine, they're not doing it," he said. "This is when you really see that veterinary
medicine comes from discretionary income."