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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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What do you think?

Read this and discuss:
Veterinarians Behaving Badly: Yet again, bad choices.

For me, I am 100% in agreement with the Dr. VBB. I think some people are under the impression that because a hospital can't turn you away if you are having a true emergency, that means vets can't turn their pet away if they are having a true emergency. Obviously this is not the case. I'm kind of tired of this idea that vets should treat peoples' pets for free, simply because vets care about animals.

Also, and this is probably going to make me very unpopular, I think that if you can't come up with at least a grand or two-- through credit cards, family loans, savings account, whatever-- to cover a veterinary emergency, you probably shouldn't go out and get a dog. Obviously that's different from if you already have the dog and lose your job or life circumstances change, but I think it is the height of irresponsibility to acquire an animal when you cannot pay for even minor emergencies.

Thoughts?


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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 09:08 PM
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Mmmm,,, a grand or two is a lot of cash, BUT I am in agreement overall with the vet's blog. She tried, and wanted to try more, but they *seemed* to want something for nothing. Literally, nothing.

If that was me, yes, I could come up with some cash, but a couple thousand in 15 minutes? No, I probably couldn't do that. That would take a little time.

HOWEVER, I would be begging for mercy, offering to do anything; walk their dogs, wash the vet's car, clean out crates - *anything* - if the vet thought the prognosis was at least decent for recovery. Anything. All humility dumped at the curb. I'd dump out everything in my checking/savings accts... again, provided, the prognosis was at least decent.

As the vet, I'd be properly po'd when they pulled up in their new shiny vehicle with all that equipment, claiming to have no funds. Clearly their priority in life is not their dog. How can they expect the vet to make their dog a top priority, when they can't?
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking most people carried a credit card or two for emergencies? Like I said, I don't mean you need to have a thousand dollars in cashed stuffed under your pillow. Who has that lying around? But if you're taking a midnight trip to the veterinary ER, you can hit a thousand bucks quick. Bloat can easily cost you $5000 in the blink of an eye. I think it's really really important to have a plan for coming up with emergency money-- cards, loans, care credit, family, something-- if you're going to go out and get a dog. Because realistically, over a 14-year lifespan, it's not if you end up at the vet's office faced with an expensive procedure-- it's when.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 09:21 PM
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In this situation, in looking at how the dog was "free range*" and they had something like that nice vehicle (owned? leased? making payments on?) you would assume that they could find a way. But had they recently lost their jobs? That car was all they had? Being an emergency vet with no relationship with these people it's hard to be able to tell in a glance what the situation is.

And that is why I have a deep concern about emergency vets who do not get to have relationships and understand the people, as well as animals, they see. I think it removes a lot of their skills with people that you are FORCED to have when you see the same person over and over at your clinic door.

When my 15 yo dog bloated, I was able to go to our regular clinic on emergency, his vet was there, who knew me, knew him, payment was not discussed, and he agreed that we were both sane to do a surgery of that type on a senior dog. Would that have been the response at an emergency vet?

And when Ava got sick, the new vet was a former ER vet who got truly put out by my pushiness and expected me to accept her diagnosis, instead of going with my gut. A tech who knew me said you need to do what she asks, she really knows her dogs. There is a different mindset.

And if you have had a big emergency, it's nice to think a thousand or two will cover it, but that may not be enough. The last 2 dogs I've known to go for big emergency care were each somewhere around $10,000. So before people judge, the two thousand that might be cool for you to come up with looks the same to others as the $10,000 might look to me and you.

*the free range - that's what can really cost people...

*all the youses in here are the royal ones or whatever...or is that the royal we? Whatever, not pointed at anyone (but that vet apparently pushed my buttons!).





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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 09:21 PM
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I definitely agree that if you want a pet you should be able to pay for it.

The one thing that did stand out to me was $92 just for a physical exam? That is just ridiculous.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I thought that was ridiculous too. Maybe they're in LA or NYC?


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 09:26 PM
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I don't know where this person got that number: The Preventive Vet

But they say average cost for an emergency exam costs
Quote:
$84.25. This is for the examination alone and does not account for the costs of any necessary testing, treatments, or hospitalization.
Which sounds about right at an emergency hospital.





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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 09:34 PM
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I am not a huge fan of emergency vets (based off of my limited experience). When my last pup passed away this summer, I felt like I was taken advantage of.

She collapsed on a walk and quit breathing... some nearby people helped rush me to a vet. The first place they tried was closed so they took me to the emergency vet a ways away. By the time we got there she had not been breathing for over 30 mins... she was gone. I was so devastated I didn't know what to do.. my mind was reeling and I couldn't think straight. She was only 4.5 months old.

A nurse met me at the door. I told her it was too late, she is gone. She took her and said the vet will try CPR. A few mins later he came back and said she was gone (most likely congenital heart defect)... then I got the bill. They charged me for an exam, 2 shots, $80 for CPR... the total bill was $200 plus the cremation fee.

The vet, being a health professional, clearly could tell he was preforming CPR on a puppy that had already passed. I think this is completely unethical.

The last thing on my mind was arguing over money... I paid and went home to cry.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 09:35 PM
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I definitely agree that if you want a pet you should be able to pay for it.
True enough... but you just never know what may happen and what it may cost. I have a sports car that I never drive... it just sits under a car cover. Everyone thinks I'm crazy and that's fine. But it's my "insurance." It's my "emergency fund." I love the car, but I'd sell it in one heartbeat if a true emergency situation came about. I'd sell it for less than market value, just to move it, and it is a hawt car, so it would go quickly.

But you have to also consider, when talking abou these things, quality of life. Ten thousand dollars for a 15 year old (just throwing out numbers) is not a wise thing to do, most likely, unless you are able to absorb that financial burden. You can't sacrifice your home and welfare to prolong life by a short time. At least I couldn't -- BUT I've never been in that spot to make that decision, so I can't honestly say.

There are a lot of variables to consider -- can the dog recover and live a healthy life, how long will life be extended, etc.... and in THIS case, those fools would likely still allow the dog free roam, to get in more trouble. And they will probably just go out and replace that dog with another because that's the "cheaper" alternative.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheActuary View Post
I am not a huge fan of emergency vets (based off of my limited experience). When my last pup passed away this summer, I felt like I was taken advantage of.

She collapsed on a walk and quit breathing... some nearby people helped rush me to a vet. The first place they tried was closed so they took me to the emergency vet a ways away. By the time we got there she had not been breathing for over 30 mins... she was gone. I was so devastated I didn't know what to do.. my mind was reeling and I couldn't think straight. She was only 4.5 months old.

A nurse met me at the door. I told her it was too late, she is gone. She took her and said the vet will try CPR. A few mins later he came back and said she was gone (most likely congenital heart defect)... then I got the bill. They charged me for an exam, 2 shots, $80 for CPR... the total bill was $200 plus the cremation fee.

The vet, being a health professional, clearly could tell he was preforming CPR on a puppy that had already passed. I think this is completely unethical.

The last thing on my mind was arguing over money... I paid and went home to cry.
I'd be bitter about that, too. I'm sorry you went thru that, that's awful.
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