Shocking charge at the vet

Toomuchglass

I had to take my dog to the vet for surgery (nothing serious ,he's fine now ). We had to fill out a 3 page consent form .... and on the 3rd page it had this little paragraph ......


"Should my pet require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), I request that the doctor(s) may pursue such medical care . I understand that this is a cost in ADDITION

to any estimates for the proposed care outlined above and and agree to pay this fee.

·

The cost of Limited CPR is typically an additional $400-$600 .

The cost of Full CPR is typically an additional $650 - $1000."


I was shocked ! I can't imagine the vets doing a routine surgery ,having a sudden problem and checking the paperwork .Well -- looks like the owners didn't sign it ,so we have to let the pet go.


Maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way. The surgery itself cost $450 ! I would think if there was an emergency ,it would just be a normal part of the job and it wouldn't cost extra. Vets are getting so expensive ~~~

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arkansas girl

It is crazy expensive. One day my dog was really sick with bloody diarrhea which I assumed was the most horrible thing ever at the time. It cost me $400 just to get in and have her looked at and couple shots and a blood test. Sheeew! I was expecting it to be like it used to be when your pet was sick, maybe a hundred dollars or two at the most. I was SHOCKED!

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

My boy has seizures. Not often and not long lasting but when they first started happening I was terrified. It was on a weekend and the only place I could take him to was an Emergency Vet hospital. A $150 office call and they wanted to do blood work and give him an MRI to rule out a brain tumor.....that was another $2600!! No way could I afford that!

After the next one, I took him to my regular vet. After talking with me and examining the dog, they believed it was late onset epilepsy. Not really anything to do but if the seizures became more frequent or long lasting, they could prescribe anti-seizure medication. Total cost of that visit was the $80 office call and the cost of his rabies booster!

He still has them but very infrequently....maybe 2-3 times a year. They do not last long (although while he is having one, it seems like hours rather than a few minutes!!) and he is right as rain after.

I can barely afford to insure myself so cannot afford pet insurance. What do folks do when they are faced with these enormous bills??

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Lindsey_CA

Yes, veterinary costs are high. But I cannot imagine that "if there was an emergency, it would just be a normal part of the job and it wouldn't cost extra." Would you say the same thing if it were a human being treated by an M.D.?

What many people don't realize is that it's harder to get into veterinary school than medical school; there are many more medical schools than veterinary schools; and that veterinarians go through just as much training as a medical doctor.

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mdln

Yikes, $400-1000 is incredibly CHEAP for a resuscitation. i see the consent as similar to DNR order, in place for healthcare providers to know what to do if something bad suddenly happens and there is no time to have a long conversation with family about patient preferences.

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kadefol

The old-time vets who took a conservative approach and advised against expensive treatments if the animal was very old, or treatment would only prolong life for a little while, seem to be long gone. I know several people who were talked into expensive procedures without a guarantee and the pet died anyway. One of them $7000 and another much more because chemo was involved.

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amylou321

The emergency vet charged me $350 to euthanize Sammy, just to add insult to injury i suppose.

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Martha Scott

I have the best vet in the world -- her prices are very reasonable and so I would never order flea or heart worm medicine on line, we buy from her as well as food. And I like it that she's a small animal vet only (the rest here are both which means sometimes they're out with the cows!)

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socalgal_gw Zone USDA 10b Sunset 24

My dog had complications after her spay surgery - reacting to the internal sutures. Our vet did NOT charge for the office call/testing to determine what the complication was, and only charged for the anesthetic for the surgery to fix the complication. I was surprised and very happy.

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arcy_gw

My father in law was a large animal Vet. Spent his life schlepping from one farm to another servicing cows and pigs. These animals were the farmers livelihood. He was SHOCKED and APPALLED at what these pet vets charge. Americans have huge discretionary spending budgets and these Vets see ya'll coming!!!

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lukkiirish

This is why no matter how crazy people thought I was or swore it was a waste of money, I insisted and will always insist on having pet insurance. If our dog needs care, it takes the worry about costs completely out of the equation. We can adjust the monthy payments by how much of a deductible we want to pay.

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Elmer J Fudd

"The old-time vets who took a conservative approach and advised against expensive treatments if the animal was very old, or treatment would only prolong life for a little while, seem to be long gone. I know several people who were talked into expensive procedures without a guarantee and the pet died anyway. "


Many/most of the "old time vets" you're thinking of were GPs who weren't well trained and, then as now, often ventured into procedures and treatments well beyond their competence only for income enhancement reasons. They were "conservative" because they weren't trained and experienced in doing more. Referring patients to a specialist involves risking the client may not return so they're reluctant to do so.


Over the last 20 years there has been a slow growth in the availability of veterinary specialists, vets who have done extra years of training in residencies (like human physicians) to develop advanced skills and knowledge in areas like surgery, internal medicine (yes, it is a specialty for a vet), oncology, dermatology, etc. GP vets are fine for garden variety things. If something more is suspected or diagnosed, take your pet to a specialty practice. Yes, they're more expensive. Do you want someone who knows what they're doing or not?


"My father in law was a large animal Vet. Spent his life schlepping from one farm to another servicing cows and pigs. These animals were the farmers livelihood. He was SHOCKED and APPALLED at what these pet vets charge. "


Large animal vets are at the bottom end of the vet income ladder, it's well known. The one exception are those who specialize in race horses.. Few vet students want to do large animal practice and some states offer tuition concessions for those who will go in this direction. Some of these slots go unfilled. Average vet earnings are not that high to begin with, no reason to restrict yourself at the bottom end of the scale.

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kadefol

Many/most of the "old time vets" you're thinking of were GPs who weren't
well trained and, then as now, often ventured into procedures and
treatments well beyond their competence only for income enhancement
reasons. They were "conservative" because they weren't trained and
experienced in doing more. Referring patients to a specialist involves
risking the client may not return so they're reluctant to do so.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I disagree. Every single vet we've ever had has recognized their boundaries and referred to a specialist when necessary. And the most recent old-time vet we patronized was less than a decade ago. He was quite well trained and willing to refer when necessary, but pragmatic and honest about potential outcomes of whatever treatments might be undertaken.

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Chi

I agree on pet insurance. I will never go without it again. Some of you might remember my Monkey and his fight with cancer a few years back and we ended up spending well over $10,000 to try to help him, and they covered everything.

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Elmer J Fudd

"but pragmatic and honest about potential outcomes of whatever treatments might be undertaken."

How can someone be pragmatic and honest about outcomes of procedures they know little about and don't perform themselves? Right, they usually can't.

Be honest, I hope you realize that the patient/service recipient side of a healthcare provider relationship can't easily judge the competence or reasonableness of what the provider is doing. Whether it's a dentist, a physician, a vet, it's all the same in this regard. Unless a problem develops, it can be hard to know. Maybe impossible in many cases. As with another person recently relating problems about a sick pet, that (GP) vet is trying everything under the sun and apparently has no clue what the pet's problems are. "Try this and let's see what happens" isn't an informed treatment approach. Having on a white coat doesn't make advice or suggestions given correct or reasonable under the circumstances.

I have a relative who's a vet. My information comes from many, many conversations with them. Much easier to judge from the inside, and this person often has to deal with the wrong decisions and problems caused by "well trained vets" who (their clients think) are well informed and know their boundaries.

Believe what I say or not, you choice.

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kadefol

Most vets who refer keep track of the outcome of the treatment. If a vet tells me that he can refer my dog/cat to a specialist for chemo, but that he has not seen any good outcomes in animals of the same age and general health, I am going to believe him though he is not doing the treatment himself.

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Texas_Gem

Elmer- I know you are proud of your specialized and trained child who is a veterinarian and I'm not saying they aren't knowledgeable in their profession but...for me at least, the question becomes not one of how well knowledged they are, but whether one should be recommending these kind of life prolonging/advanced medical services for pets in the first place.

To me, it is somewhat akin to the predatory practices of the funeral industry.

A play on a person's emotional state because you KNOW someone out there will be willing to pay, "well you love Fluffy so much and you don't want to see her die so soon, here, spend 10,000 dollars to cure her cancer and she might be with you for another year or two."

"You loved your father right?!? You don't want his body to rot in the ground in a wooden box, spend extra money to have a silk lined coffin, embalming, etc"

Humans seems to have a REALLY hard time letting go of things we are emotionally attached to, whether it be people, pets, belongings, etc.

I'm quite certain that your son/daughter is very advanced in their knowledge, experience and expertise to provide top notch life saving quality care to these small creatures that some seem to treat as extensions of their family, almost like they are their child/ren, but...really, isn't the fact that they are promoting and encouraging people to view their pets this way a big part of the problem?

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Elmer J Fudd

Of course YES to much of what you've said, TG, but not to all. Part of being a trusted and respected professional in any endeavor is to have the integrity to offer advice and alternatives that are right for the circumstances. Not just "what is possible?", but "what is appropriate given the circumstances?"

There are too many people in many walks of life who are ready to take advantage of others when given the chance, who use fear and vulnerable circumstances to up-sell or convince people to spend money they don't need to spend and often can't afford to spend. I saw this in my own career, believe me, and I myself NEVER recommended anything that wouldn't stand the toughest scrutiny and reflect the highest standards of professional ethics. Why? Because I had to live with myself and I'm an honest guy.

My vet relative practices with the highest levels of integrity but not all do. Maybe it's fair to say too many don't but that's also true of many service providers, dentists included. Clients often ask "What would you do if this were your pet?" An honest answer is always given, putting the patients' and the clients' interest ahead of this vet's. And to push back when the client's own inclination or expectations are unreasonable or not the right thing to do for the animal. Always, because it's the right thing to do. I know because we've often discussed these situations and talked about many different cases. It's something I'm quite proud of.

Another relative who is a different kind of healthcare provider would grouse during professional school about classmates who spoke at length about plans to operate as professionals to make the most money possible, much to the disgust of this person. This relative's approach is to treat every patient as if they were their grandmother - what's best for her and easiest to tolerate, what can she afford, what's the least that can be done for the best outcome. Another one I'm quite proud of.


Everyone needs trusted advisers and service providers. It can be very hard to find them and very hard to assess them.

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Anglophilia

The vets are not doing the promoting; the are simply offering a service that the pet OWNER desires. With few people having children these days, many refer to their pets as their “fur baby” and want every single thing available to humans for their pet as well. They are willing to part with whatever it takes for a bit longer,

Heck, when I was a child, if a pet was sick and old, one didn’t take the pet to the vet for euthanasia. If it was a cat, they drowned it in a bucket. A dog? Tie it to a fence post in the backyard and shoot it. Now, it is not unknown for an owner to pay $40,000 for a special, low-success surgery. This is not a suggestion of a vet, but an owner who has done research and wants it for her pet.

I don’t know any rich vets. Their education costs them a fortune. Twenty years ago, malpractice insurance for a vet was laughable; now it’s a costly necessity. The biggest ticket items at my vet’s office are the lab tests. Most must be sent to outside labs, and the costs are similar to lab work for a human.

Specialty clinics exist due to customer interest. And years, they do cost more. I take Shimmer to a boarded veterinary ophthalmologist - my vet referred me to her as his standard treatment was not working. It was better to go see her than more expensive trial and error.

My vet is not cheap, but he’s not rich. His 3 very bright children lived at home and went to our local public university. They went to public school. He’s now about 60 and trying to save for his own retirement- no big corporations to make a contribution. I’m sure with a small group practice, his own health insurance is sky high. I don’t begrudge him one dollar.

If iI had a pet that needed thousands of dollars worth of treatment, I would probably have to put the pet down. It would break my heart, but it would be the prudent thing to do.

Pet ownership is discretionary. It’s also expensive. It’s not a right. I cannot expect my vet to live in poverty just because I cannot afford a reasonable and customary fee for his services.

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arcy_gw

As far as the outcomes/treatment discussion goes. This is the difference in a Vet vs a medical doc. Much much more of a Vets diagnosis, understanding of what is going on in an animal is educated guessing. When the patient cant discuss symptoms or pain levels it puts the Vet at a HUGE disadvantage. Justify what you want. Bottom line there are still Vets out there who live far from poverty and far from the top of the income brackets. These things are powered by emotions of the people who have pets.

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bob_cville

I've read that some large corporation has been buying up many private vet practices, they then mandate a standard of care for the vets at those practices to follow. In many cases this standard of care is designed more around maximizing revenue for the corporation than for providing the best possible care for the pets that are brought in.

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nicole___

I know a woman who free fed her cat, it got fat. She opted for blood work. Thyroid problems were found. So instead of limiting the food she gave the cat, she gave him an appetite suppressant....nothing to treat the thyroid condition...? Spent a fortune! That same vet charged ME $107 for a distemper & rabies shot, the 1st time she saw my cat.

My cat had impacted anal glands. The vet lanced his butt, left a hole to drain....no meds....no anesthesia. Cheap tho....I was pissed! He was in such pain!

Another vet told me a 3 year rabies shot could cause nerve damage, loss of his rear legs was seen in other cats. LIE! She wanted me to do fecal floats every 6 months & deworming(no previous case for this).

I read the reviews for the two local emergency vet offices. Both had TERRIBLE reviews. 90% said unless you wanted your pet euthanized, and your willing to pay $2K, do not go here.

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mamapinky0

A few years ago I had to rush my dog to a 24 hour vet hospital. Inside the doors was a person with a sign in board and a payment of 249.00 requiredbefore signing in or seeing the vet.

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tackykat

Like Bob notes above, there is more corporate practice than there used to be in the world of veterinary care. We have 2 neighbors who are vets; they have said as such.

Mamapinky, that is different from a typical vet visit. I find the prepayment part surprising but the cost itself not surprising.

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Toomuchglass

It's funny you should mention that -- my vet was bought out by a corporation -- and all of a sudden it changed . Prices went way up and everything was more ...I don't know how to say it .... I guess "Clinical" ? It's just different,now. They have a credit card machine that shows amounts. Somehow the charge from the last person showed up on the machine for me to see . It was $2,600 ! Yikes !

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Ali

I can't fault the Emergency Vet for requiring payment in advance. One must take into consideration that unlike a practice where one knows the vet and vice versa, this is not the case at the EV. Anyone can bring an animal in, at any hour, and often it is a one time only visit. Since one is anonymous, more or less, some may leave without paying, particularly if the outcome was not favorable.

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mamapinky0

Well as I had no choice I payed the 249..than 210 for iv fluids and Cerenia for vomiting along with the exam charge of 199. Have no idea what the 249 charge was for other than to get thru the door.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

Maybe I watch too many reality vet shows on Animal Planet or NatGeo Wild :-) But the vets portrayed seem to treat emergency cases with as much skill and aplomb as they do routine office visits. And most make it very clear that they are "treating" the owners as well as the pet and offer a "bedside manner" that ensures the owner knows what is happening, why and how the pet will be treated and this info is delivered with compassion and kindness. And some do taper the cost to what the owner/client is able to pay.....seems like they are more intent in assuring the animal is properly taken care of - regardless of the owner's financial status - than they are on getting rich.

Where is the Incredible Dr. Pol or Dr. Jeff, the Rocky Mountain Vet, when you neeed them??

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Ali

Probably the prepayment is an estimate for an average visit, and the bill is adjusted after treatment either a refund, or an additional charge. You have the right to question any charges and have them explained.

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quasifish

I've had a few bad experiences with vets over the past few years. The corporate ones are the worst, but seem to be the most common where I am. It is so hard to find a good vet. Some of our friends recently had to take their dog to a local emergency clinic, and the cost to walk in the door was staggering. They did say that the staff was fabulous though.

I feel very lucky to have found a good, conservative vet practice, and only 1/2 mile from the house! They are getting harder to get into for an appointment because they treat people and pets in a way that people like to be treated and are always busy. They helped me take care of my renal failure cat for 6 years, and even though she had to go in for blood work every 3 months, they were conservative but proactive in approach, and that made it affordable to keep her, her special diet, daily subq fluids, and range of meds-- most of which the vet didn't provide or profit from, but supported us completely. It definitely felt like it was about the cat and not their bottom line. I think that's where the disgust in the field comes in for me, when you start to feel like your pet is secondary.

Our current cat was very sick after Thanksgiving. After a few days of lethargy and low appetite, I took him in. The vet determined he was sound physically, and only recommended blood work to start. The blood work was perfect, so the vet said give him a few days to bounce back (provided he was still eating and such) before doing any other tests. After another day or two, kitty began to purge himself of many hairballs. The vet had said if it was something like that, he should be efficient at getting that cleared himself. The vet could have easily roped me in for a lot more tests and $$$. As it was we managed through that episode for $200. I am grateful.




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Elmer J Fudd

"Well as I had no choice I payed the 249."

You paid (not payed) for the place to be open outside normal hours and staffed by a team experienced with handling urgent care situations and available without an appointment. Many GP vets don't have such skills. Just like Urgent Care for humans, also more expensive than a non-urgent scheduled office visit with a physician,


"I've read that some large corporation has been buying up many private vet practices,"

Yes bob. VCA is one like that, there may be others. Local practitioners often sell their practices to VCA as an exit strategy, a way to provide retirement funds. Other alternatives to do so are limited. It's voluntary. Many healthcare professionals (of all types) want to do patient care, they don't want to be bookkeepers and HR departments. (As you see with the trend for human docs moving to large group practices). For these vets, VCA provides management and infrastructure to free up their time to deal with patients.

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irma

Having a pet is a choice we make. With the choice, comes a responsibility. I agree the cost of a vet is expensive and needs to be considered when making a decision to have a pet. The price of everything is going up all the time and that has an impact on everything and everyone in so many ways.

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mamapinky0

I know there are people that give their pets IV fluids at home as its an easy process but Larisa once offered to send me the fluids along with everything needed yet my vet flat out refused to support this. At the time Lil needed fluids weekly which cost well over 100 each time.

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kadefol

We are lucky to have access to a no-frills, lower cost vet service for basic pet care. They are patronized by many older people on low fixed incomes who would not be able to afford checkups and shots at most "regular" vet clinics. It is sad that taking care of a pet is becoming a luxury many of those who would most benefit from the companionship can't afford.

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bob_cville

> For these vets, VCA provides management and infrastructure to free up their time to deal with patients

I don't know whether was VCA or some other corporation, but the story I read quoted several vets who had sold their practice but continued working there who had done so for those reasons (so they wouldn't have to run the business side of the business and could concentrate on dealing with patients.) But that subsequently the corporation started pushing for more tests, more procedures, more prescriptions and basically more billing. Some of the vets who resisted what they considered to be procedures for the sake of profits were fired from the practice they had founded.

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Elmer J Fudd

That's a great situation, kadefol, how fortunate to have such a service available.


Pets are not different from children in this regard - many younger people have children, and have more children, than they have the inclination or money to properly care for. As with the pets of such families, the helpless ones are the victims.


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Elmer J Fudd

bob, vets are no different than human docs in this regard - running a business isn't something that they were ever trained for, had an inclination to do, or see as a useful way to spend time.


Ever hear physicians in group practices grouse about how tightly their appointments are scheduled? Or having to follow guidelines or expectations of how to treat patients? I have.


The fact that a vet whose practice is now owned and operated by a corporate chain finds the standards different from what he/she used to do isn't surprising. Wouldn't you expect that to be the case? At least for VCA, the patient-facing operations are managed by vets. It's not suits and bean-counters directing patient care at a clinic level.


Don't misunderstand, I have some insights about VCA that I disagree with. My relative doesn't work for VCA but friends and former colleagues do. They basically run decent practices. With them, as with any service provider, suggestions about higher cost approaches need to be questioned and sometimes a second opinion is indicated.

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jill302

While vet care is expensive it may pay to shop around. We have had two regular vets for our current dogs, changed vets when we moved. Other than the expense difference we have been happy with our experience with both vets. Our first vet always talked about saving us money but then wanted to rule out everything. Finally had a talk with her and said that this philosophy did not work for me, can not afford it and did not want to put my dog through unnecessary tests. I wanted to use the same process as my MD uses with me, treat the most likely cause and if that did not work move on from there. I had to remind her of this every visit. My bills went down from $500+ every sick visit to $200 or so. Current vet, recommended by one of my best friend’s, from day 1 had the same treatment philosophy as I do. Most visits I walk out of her office for under $100. Strangely enough our current vet’s office is in a more affluent area than the last one.

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tjkeen

Currently, I do not have a pet, but hope to in the future. I know that vets are highly trained and can be expensive. Occasionally I hear of a clinic which is set up for reduced rate spay/neuter or rabies shots. Other than that, no no-frills practices I am aware of.

As far as emotions and funerals go, I think many preplan ahead to avoid decisions having to be made during a difficult time.

I have found the comments here very informative and am glad you started this thread.

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eccentric

It is a good thing that most people do not live in a major city in Canada - yikes - vet costs are very high. We pay in excess of $120 for basic pet insurance but it doesn't cover many things and it still has to be paid whether it is used or not.

The take-over from private clinics by corporate companies has started here as well, but so far so good with our clinic. We have been going to the same vet practice for over 38 years. I think that often when corporations take over you can lose the emotional factor - and empathy is needed when it comes to pets and your general vet. When it comes to specialists well you often can't pick and choose whether human or pet.

Unfortunately, the vets have to pay for the lab tests and here they are pricey. Our vets do not push the tests but if needed they are needed.

Of course people have to be able to afford the treatments and all costs associated with having a pet. However, it is the normal Joe who will often pay for the treatments, not the affluent. Pets are expensive - ours sure is and when they get older - ours is turning 15, a lot of issues arise. His food and treats cost a fortune, never mind his monthly heartworm and tick treatments, which we do buy from the vet. Then there are his various health issues all of which require meds and vet visits.

He will be our last dog - our vets do not believe it, our groomer (double-coated dog) doesn't believe it, truthfully I don't even believe it, but there comes a point when you are afraid that the dog will outlive you and we are at that point. There is always fostering, but we would (and have) failed at that. Once you are in, you are in for good.


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lukkiirish

It took me a long time to find a Vet I was confident in, the bonus is that it’s a private practice and to his credit, while I’m sure he makes a comfortable living, it’s obvious by his approach that he’s not in it for the money. IMO, his prices are more than fair. There is only 1 low cost clinic around our area that I’m aware of, but it has a couple of different locations. Their primary focus is to help rescues with stray and ferel care but they serve the general public as well. I like to use them for things like heartworm medication or immunizations. I take my dog there for routine teeth cleaning and have had her seen for minor ear infections when our regular vet wasn’t available. Amazing is the only way to describe the care they provide. The Vets and staff are largely volunteers and the money they do charge only pays to support the clinic.

Irma, you couldn’t be more right and I wish more people thought that way! Having a pet is a responsibility and if you can’t afford to care for it properly, one should wait until they can. That’s why I had to wait 10 years for another dog and still only have one instead of 2 or 3.

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bob_cville

I believe the vet corporation I read about is called Banfield (at least I remember it started with a "B") and the stories focused on pet owners feeling strong-armed or upsold by the vet practices or feeling they were receiving substandard care, and on the vets who sold their business feeling that Banfield unilaterally changed the deal after the business was bought, and that based on the practices mandated by the corporation in the interests of increasing profits, that effectively the corporation was directing patient care at a clinic level.

Of course this is all my vague recollection of an article I read some time ago. If I can find the article I'll post a link.

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Elmer J Fudd

Yeah, Banfield is a competitor of VCA. Both are in the same business. In my area, Banfield often co-locates in PetSmart stores.

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watchmelol

In some areas of the country the hospital emergency rooms are full of people who simply come because they don't want to go to urgent care or take the time to see the doctor or because they know that emergency rooms are required by law to see anyone who walks in the door regardless of ability to pay. That means that triage is more difficult with the waiting rooms and staff overwhelmed by hordes demanding to be seen NOW and given something for the common cold they have had all week but it's convenient for them now to appear.

That is one reason the ER Vet charges more than a vet with regular hours just to be seen. If they didn't, the waiting room would be full of the idiots who can't understand why Muffy the furball has tummy problems because they shared their people dinner with her again after being told the 3rd time this month, or the cat who hasn't been eating for a week but now after hours it is suddenly a concern to it's pet mommy. The ER is for acute problems that cannot wait, for humans or animals. Fortunately the animal clinics are still allowed to keep their own rules so they can do the most good for those who really need them.

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ritaweeda

We have a dog and we love her like a child. But when she is no longer I've informed DH there will be no more. By that time I'm pretty sure we will both be on fixed incomes and it's just not going to be affordable. It now costs more for a yearly vet visit than 3 or 4 of our own Doctor's visits. (The going out-of-pocket rate is around $100.) With the regular exam, test for heartworm, heartworm preventative, and innoculations, the last one cost us over $300. And that's not including anything extra like anal gland care, nail clipping and the occasional visit for anything else that crops up. In some areas there are agencies that can help to defray the cost of some vet medical services but it's not a guarantee. I think owning a pet and caring for it properly is more and more becoming a thing of the past for the unwashed masses. DH adores dogs and always wants one but I told him he'll have to volunteer at the Humane Society if he wants his doggie time "fix".

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marilyn_c

I do as much of my own vet work as I can. I give my dogs and cats vaccinations, except for rabies. I take them to a low cost clinic for that and microchips. I give the dogs heartworm treatment.

I put my own animals down. I realize this isn't for most people, and I don't think anyone should do this, if not experienced in doing things the right way. (The methods Anglo mentioned, in my opinion, are not the right way.) And I also realize most people wouldn't do this, if they could.

I am not interested in getting into an argument with anyone on doing things yourself. Almost every animal here came as someone's reject. The shelter sent me several cats....they had all been neutered and vaccinated when they came here. I take others to the low cost spay clinic or the Humane Society does it for a low fee.

I have a very good small animal vet that I also use, and two vets for the horses. I am especially fond of one of my horse vets, but what I really like about both of them, they are very upfront and honest and will give their opinions. I hate vets who don't tell you straight off and will let you continue on with an animal that may be suffering, because they know you don't want to hear that, or that it should be put down.

The first horse I ever took to Dr. Knape, was a beautiful quarter horse mare that I bought from a real idiot. I knew she had a bad cut on her foot, and wasn't being cared for. I paid $200 for her because I couldn't stand to see her like that. Dr. Knape told me she had a tendon infection, and had a 50-50 chance of recovery. He told me he had just put down a 4-H kid's horse that had the same thing. (Actually, another vet was stringing me along with her, and I took her to Dr. Knape for a second opinion). It took 5 months for her to recover, and she was 100%. Five months of following exactly what he told me to do, which meant soaking her foot every night, among other things. (I sat in the barn and cried many times, while holding her foot in the bucket.)

Dr. Knape is also the vet for the Houston Livestock show and rodeo. Here is a video of him made last year. The mares and foals he is speaking of, and you see in the video are ex bucking horse mares and their foals. You can tell by the condition of the horses that they are very well cared for.


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sjerin

I always enjoy reading your posts, Marilyn. Had you gone to vet school, you would be this guy. :)

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marilyn_c

I went to school to be a vet tech, but I had too many animals to take care of at home, and to be 100% truthful, I learned very little useful stuff in my training. I have had some very good vets that taught me more useful and helpful things.

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watchmelol

What a great video Marilyn. Thanks for sharing that. There is so much misinformation out there about rodeo. Especially about bucking stock who really lead charmed lives in the horse industry. Some of the best cared for animals in the world.

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Elmer J Fudd

Most vets I've met and heard about sincerely love animals and try to do their best. Though, as discussed above, some are less attentive to when they've gone beyond their own capabilities when money is involved than they should be.


If you're looking for true compassion, concern for welfare and love of animals among humans, you'll often find more of it with people whose animals are pets than with those whose animals are work animals. Not always, not everyone, but this is sometimes the opposite of the overreaching vet - when business and dollars and cents are involved, decisions can be driven more by the desire to save money than by love and caring.

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marilyn_c

The little town I moved to, right after getting married, was a dairy community. At one time almost every place, was a small dairy farm. Including the place that we bought. I can't speak for all of them, but some weren't very prompt in calling the vet when a cow was in trouble. After she laid out in the field for a couple of days...admittedly they would fix a makeshift shelter with a tarp and give her access to feed and water...they would finally call the vet. Then if she didn't make it, and often she didn't, they would blame the vet. My vet quit taking care of cows although he still took care of horses. (This vet long ago passed away, but he was another favorite of mine). Anyway, in his clinic, he had a cartoon on the bulletin board that showed a vet and a farmer walking towards the barn, and the farmer was saying, "Yes, sir, Doc...as soon as I saw the old girl was in trouble, I gave you a call." In the background was a tractor, broken in half. (If you don't know, calves sometimes need help being born....and are pulled....)

I had a foal born once that wouldn't nurse. It is called a dummy foal. I didn't have a very good vet at the time, but I took the foal to the vet and they gave him IVs. I took him back...I can't remember how many times, but he was only getting weaker and the mare was starting to dry up. I told the vet to put him down. He did, but he chastised me. ..as if I was giving up on the foal....but he was getting worse and you can't raise a horse on IVs. There was nothing in it for the foal. Only one benefitting was the vet.

As to the desire to save money....some people can't afford to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on a pet. I don't think that means they love them any less. If you don't have the money....you don't have it. I know someone who spent $6000 on a dog with cancer, and this was at least 20 years ago. Would be more today, I am sure. The dog lived 3 months. Most people can't afford that, and some people wouldn't put a dog through that. Because a dog can weakly thump it's tail when you pet it, does not mean it isn't suffering. If a person has that kind of money to spend on their dog, good, but if they don't, it is still sad for them, and doesn't mean they don't love it.

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Elmer J Fudd

My comment, in response to what marilyn shared about Dr Knape, was only to suggest that people who own and or manage work animals, like rodeo animals and many other examples, don't always have animal welfare foremost on their minds nor to the same extent as most pet owners do.


I understand there are many times when treatment is available that owners can't afford. There are also a lot of times when people keep on with vets when a second opinion, a specialist, or a timeout is indicated but not used. In many such cases, the answer in the animal's best interest may be euthanasia. It's hard, I know. It's something I've had to deal with many times. This is another job of a good vet, to let the owner know when the time has come if reality hasn't been grasped or is being denied. Or if the vet has exhausted their own resources for treatment and has no further alternatives to suggest.


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bob_cville

I think I found the information source regarding Banfield Pet Hospital. It is a consumer review website, so it is not surprising that nearly all of the postings are negative, since nobody seeks out a third-party review site to report "everything went as expected" or "the experience was OK". So perhaps it would be more apropos to call it a consumer complaint website.

Frequently mentioned among the complaints is that the company pushes and pushes to get you to sign up for their health care plan touting how much money it will save you, but it seems that even with the health care plan you still end up paying about as much out-of-pocket at each visit as you would at a normal vet office without any health care plan. Furthermore once you've signed up they make it hard for you to cancel out of the plan, reportedly even charging the monthly fees for the rest of the year even after the covered pet has passed away, sometimes even when the pet passed away seemingly due to their vets' negligence.

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Naomi Hertz

I would find another vet. If enough people would do this instead of going to him and signing that ridiculous consent form, he would change his ways. Also, what kind of vet does surgery even thinking if "I have to do CPR, I will not do it unless I get paid Over and Beyond?" To me if I were the vet I would include it in the cost of surgery. Our little dog had a blockage and he had to have surgery. The bill was only $900.00 and he had to stay in the hospital because he would not eat. (We kinda spoil him and give him fresh cooked meat at home) Not always as mostly he gets his kibbles. Long story short, I took a piece of sliced roast beast(LOL, that is what my dear husband calls roast beef) to him and we checked him out that afternoon. He ate, pooped and was ready to go. Vet got a good chuckle out of that one. He was turning his noise up to what they were trying to feed him. My little dog is such a stinker. LOL

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Elmer J Fudd

"Also, what kind of vet does surgery even thinking if "I have to do CPR, I will not do it unless I get paid Over and Beyond?""

That's not why. It's because it's a different procedure and they want to be sure doing that is 1) consistent with the owner's wishes (not all want it) and if so, 2) something they would pay for if needed.

" if I were the vet I would include it in the cost of surgery. "

You can't charge for a service not provided and especially not for a service not desired.

If you were to have surgery done yourself, would you want to be charged for 3 units of blood beforehand, "just in case"? No, of course not.


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