Chihuahua People Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1. "Good thing you love Schatzi like a son. His care could cost as much."
After a New York City taxi struck Jessica Malionek's dog, Mojo, flinging him 30 feet in the air, she spent $4,000 for veterinarians to perform emergency treatment and then life-saving surgeries on her beloved dog. "It was like they were treating a person," Malionek says.
These days veterinary medicine can be every bit as sophisticated as human health care — and the costs reflect it. Animal lovers spent $19 billion on veterinary care in 2001, the most recent figure available, up from $7.2 billion a decade earlier, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. And per-visit costs are skyrocketing: Between 1991 and 2001, the average cost of a veterinary visit for a dog nearly doubled, from $50 to $99. For cats, costs rose even more precipitously, jumping by 107%.

Why the steep price hikes? Chris Green, an attorney and member of the American Veterinary Medical Law Association, says vets are happily obliging owners who want to keep their pets alive at all costs. That means paying up for the latest high-tech procedures, such as feline kidney transplants and CAT scans. There are also more aged pets today, which require more care.

2. "Vaccinating your pet may do more harm than good."
For years the primary reason for seeing a vet was to get your pet vaccinated against a host of diseases ranging from distemper to rabies — either with individual vaccinations or "combo wombo" shots that could cover seven separate conditions.

Indeed, annual vaccinations have been an economic bulwark for many vet practices, but some veterinarians say they're not only unnecessary, but they can actually be harmful in some cases. Marty Goldstein, a veterinarian in South Salem, N.Y., says he sees a range of vaccination-related reactions in animals, everything from cancerous sarcomas to epilepsy. Another reason to think twice about certain vaccines: The immunity provided by some of them can last well beyond a year, even as long as the pet's lifetime, Goldstein says, negating the need for some annual shots.

Both the AVMA and the American Animal Hospital Association now say vaccinations should be assessed yearly and tailored to an animal's age, health and lifestyle. For example, an indoor cat with limited exposure to some diseases may not ever need certain common vaccinations, says W. Jean Dodds, an immunologist and veterinarian with Hemopet in Garden Grove, Calif.

3. "I have more complaints filed against me than a used-car lot — not that you'll ever know about it."
When she picked up her kitten, Pumpkin, from the veterinarian after a routine spaying, Mount Pleasant, S.C., resident Marcia Rosenberg was stunned to find the cat nearly comatose. Soon Pumpkin's body was wracked with seizures, and her stomach swelled. Rosenberg rushed Pumpkin to another vet, who saved the cat, but the distraught owner called her state's veterinary board to complain. Told that the board had no procedure for alerting consumers about disciplinary actions taken against incompetent vets, Rosenberg mounted a successful campaign to have such actions posted on the South Carolina veterinary board's web site.

Tracking complaints against vets often requires a bit of detective work. Some state veterinary boards list disciplinary actions against vets, while others do not. And complaints typically aren't disclosed until a board investigation and judicial ruling have determined a case of wrongdoing. On her own, Rosenberg says she was able to find that the vet had previously had his license suspended in Ohio and since then had more than a dozen complaints against him in South Carolina.

4. "Sure, I can do root canal on your pup — real dentists are for people."
When John James, an academic adviser in Los Angeles, took his geriatric cockapoo, Amber, to his veterinarian for a chipped tooth, the vet told him his dog needed a root canal and that he could take care of it. Amber died during the procedure. James's lawyer later learned the vet's canine dentistry training came from a weekend course. What's more, elderly Amber should never have been a candidate for the intensive procedure.

How do you know whether your pet is in the hands of a skilled specialist? The AVMA lists 20 specialties for veterinarians, ranging from anaesthesiology to dermatology. Legitimate specialists have done graduate work in their specialty and been certified by an industry medical board. Some vets may claim a "special interest" in an area, meaning they've taken some continuing education, but they aren't necessarily certified specialists, says Peter Weinstein, former medical director of Veterinary Pet Insurance in Brea, Calif.

If your pet needs a specialist, check the vet's educational background and certification. Also, ask how many specialized procedures he performs annually. Having a "special interest" may be fine if the vet has enough experience.

5. "Surgery's a cinch. It's the overnight stay you should be worried about."
If you think your pet will be tenderly nurtured through the night after surgery at a veterinary office or hospital, think again. Many vets don't staff their offices overnight, so it's important to ask about what happens in the wee hours.

Laura Ireland Moore, an animal law attorney in Portland, Ore., says she represented a client who took her dog to the vet after stitches from a routine spaying came undone. The veterinarian repaired the stitches with metal sutures but neglected to put a cone over the dog's head to protect the wound during an overnight stay. The office was unattended through the night, and by morning the animal had chewed through the sutures — as well as 15 feet of its own intestines. The agonized dog had to be put down. The moral of this unpleasant story: "You should definitely check if anyone will be on the premises overnight," Moore says.

If the facility doesn't have a night attendant, or if you don't trust his or her credentials — a late-shift babysitter may or may not be a vet or even a vet technician — you should ideally find a facility where a licensed vet stays over, Moore advises.

6. "Personally, I think declawing is inhumane. But, hey, it's your dime."
Animal activists have long held that cosmetic and so-called convenience surgeries, such as declawing a cat or clipping the ears of a Doberman, are unnecessary and cruel. That argument is gaining broader support, as declawing, in particular, has come under fire. While the surgery — which many vets say is the equivalent of toe amputation — will usually keep a cat from scratching the furniture, it may cause other physical and behavioral problems, according to veterinarian Jean Hofve, ranging from lameness and joint stiffness to behavioral issues such as reclusiveness and biting.
In keeping with these concerns, the American Animal Hospital Association now recommends that its members inform clients about the risks of nonvital surgeries and the alternatives. "A lot of vets still feel they should do what the client wants," says Teri Barnato, national director of the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights. Many vets fear losing clients or having animals abandoned.

If you're considering a cosmetic or convenience procedure, ask your vet if he'd perform the surgery on his own pet. And weigh the alternatives — instead of declawing, you could get a scratching post and keep your cat's claws trimmed.

7. "Go ahead and sue — it'll hurt you more than it hurts me."
When Marc Bluestone's dog Shane died after being treated for seizures at All-Care Animal Referral Center in Fountain Valley, Calif., Bluestone decided to sue. In a precedent-setting ruling, a jury awarded him $39,000 for malpractice, claiming he and his dog had a "special and close relationship." (All-Care is appealing the ruling.)

But that's an exception — suing a veterinarian is at best a dodgy financial undertaking. The reason is that under the law pets are considered property, says Ireland Moore, the animal lawyer in Portland, Ore. More often than not, that means court awards are for the straight market value of the pet, which could be as little as $10 for your beloved mutt. Meanwhile, suing a vet is likely to be an expensive undertaking.

If your pet becomes the victim of a medical mishap, know that your legal recourse is anything but guaranteed. "It's not always the most economically smart thing to do," Moore concedes.

8. "The key to my thriving practice? Location, location, location."
While a referral is probably the best way to select a veterinarian, many people pick one simply because the office is around the corner. Indeed, according to the AVMA, only 10% of cat and dog owners choose their veterinarians through referral. That could be a mistake. If you have an aging kitty and the neighborhood vet doesn't have geriatric expertise, it won't be a good fit, says Nancy Peterson, a registered veterinary technician and a spokesperson for the Humane Society of the United States. Peterson adds that in her experience few pet emergencies happened during office hours anyway, nullifying some of the benefits of geographic convenience.

So how best to assess a vet? First, check out the facility. Is the staff friendly? Is the place clean? Look into the veterinarian's educational background, board certification and record both with the state's medical board and the local humane society. Beyond that, veterinarian Elliot Katz, president and founder of In Defense of Animals in Mill Valley, Calif., recommends studying the veterinarian's body language with animals. Make sure she greets animals in a friendly way, approaching them slowly and touching them gently. And if you have a special request, such as wanting to hold your pet when it's vaccinated, make sure you and your vet are on the same page.

9. "I haven't the foggiest idea why your dog's acting crazy."
The study of animal behavior is a relatively new specialty in veterinary medicine. In fact, the AVMA lists only 36 board-certified animal behavior specialists on its web site, compared with 1,500 internal medicine specialists. Yet many pet owners get rid of their cats and dogs, or even put them to sleep, for annoying behavior ranging from barking to eating drywall. Daniel Aja, a veterinarian in Traverse City, Mich., and president of the American Animal Hospital Association, recalls one client who brought in a St. Bernard to be euthanized because of severe separation anxiety. Once when the owner left the house, the dog jumped through a plate-glass window to chase after him. Aja convinced the owner to treat the pup with antidepressants and had behaviorists on his staff counsel the client on how to work with his dog.

Not all vets will make the extra effort to diagnose a behavioral problem, which entails taking a complete medical and behavioral history and spending hours with a pet. What do you do if Champ continues to chase his tail? Ask your vet if he has experience with behavioral issues. If not, request a referral. The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants' web site lists professionals with varying experience in behavior training, from vets to dog trainers.

10. "Our technology may be state of the art, but our industry regulations are still in the Dark Ages."
While veterinarians and animal hospitals are increasingly working with the same level of sophistication as human doctors and hospitals, the regulatory oversight within the field is far less stringent. Under federal law, human hospitals must be inspected, but it's possible for a veterinary hospital to operate for years and never undergo an independent inspection, Aja says.

The American Animal Hospital Association does accredit animal hospitals, assessing them on more than 900 different standards ranging from organization of medical records to diagnostic capabilities. But only roughly one in seven pet hospitals in the U.S. and Canada have been accredited by the organization. Some states, such as California, perform inspections on vet hospitals, checking them for everything from outdated drugs to unsanitary conditions. Even seemingly petty requirements can have lifesaving results: After a California mandate required vets to have emergency lighting, one veterinarian used a flashlight to finish surgery when a blackout hit.


Article: http://www.smartmoney.com/10things/index.cfm?story=september2005&pgnum=1[/b]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,578 Posts
thanks i will be so relieved when vienna goes in for her spay on tuesday :D ( just kidding)

the article is spot on !! i would never again leave my dog overnight at a vet's office (i never got my viper back :cry: )

vet's are WAY too expensive nowadays , i have car insurance to pay this month , vienna's spay and paris' s dental work ....guess what i'm broke after that :lol:

but when my dog was left to eat his intestines ,i would def sue !!!

kisses nat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,425 Posts
Vets ARE too expensive nowdays and I pay more for OmaKitty and Cooper to have health insurance than I do for my own!! I only pay about $20 a month and they are costing me between $25-30 a month.... EACH.

I really liked having the insurance when Cooper had his knee surgery but when you consider you're paying over $300 a year for each pet to have insurance, they better have some ailment during the year to make it worth the money! (Only kidding... kind of LOL)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
718 Posts
Oh #5 is horrible...I would never leave my puppy in overnight without asking if someone was going to be there. My springer spaniel had status epilepticus once and we had to pay someone extra to stay the night with him...it was expensive, but the only way he would have pulled through.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,175 Posts
That article is really interesting and definitely nailed some major points!

Nat, I agree about leaving your dog overnight. When I was twelve, we left our sick English Springer Spaniel overnight at the vet's office and she died! :( :cry: We switched vet's after that because an hour before she passed away, they said we could come and pick her up. :x
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I just read this and wish i had seen it sooner!!

I got Joey his 1 year booster shots about a month ago. I always assumed this is what you have to do to kept them healthy and since i love him to death, i of course got them. A few hours after his shots he didn't seem to fell good ... which is kind of common. The next morning i noticed he hadn't had any food or gone potty and he wasn't moving much at all. He kissed my cheek and his saliva was SOO hot! I immediately took him to the vet. He basically had an overdose and was very sick. He had a 116 degree fever when he got to the vet. I spent $400 making him better and on tests. I know my dogs need to be vaccinated ... but now i go to a vet that only deals in small breeds because my old vet gave dog a vaccine for the size of a German Shepard!

Both my Chi's have the "head to Tail" pet insurance now. My insurance has a policy that no matter if i can't be reached or my vet cant be reached ... where ever the dogs are taken for help, they are immediately authorized to perform up to $5000 in life saving procedures. Which makes me feel a lot better after my scare with my little boy!

Everyone should look into getting a small breed vet or at least a vet who knows a lot about small breeds.

xoxo,
Megan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Great info there,but I would like to add one thing if I may. Even if you pay extra to have someone there with them overnight,or even if they tell you at the vet, that someone is there over night with them, how do you know that is really true? I ask this because my mother in law took her dog in for an operation,cannot recall at this time what it was for,as it has been a year now, but she was told her dog was fine and came through it all well and she could pick her dog up in the morning. I will add that in the bill was a charge for someone to be there with the dogs over night,but that turned out not to be true,needless to say the dog died during the night.So how do you know the vets office is telling you the truth when they say someone is there overnight?I no that we have like 6 vet offices close to us and I never see lights on or cars there at night.
Sheryl
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
i've heard about the debate on yearly vaccinations. What do you think? I can perform the vaccinations myself anyhow, but I don't know if I need to do them yearly or not? I've heard people say they only do it once every three years or something. Afterall, you don't see humans getting yearly vaccinations either so it DOES seem kind of odd. The actual cost of a combo vaccination is usually around $6. It's the vet visit that costs like $50 regardless of how much time you spend there.

It's soooo ridiculous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
348 Posts
Very biased, I think, and bordering on scare-mongering.
It rather hurts and astounds if you think that all (or even most!) veterinary surgeons and carers are like that. :( :(

Personally, I've been in the veterinary profession actively for the past ten years or so.

When we have an animal in our care overnight, either somebody stays there to watch it, or someone visits every ninety minutes. Sometimes, animals cannot be saved, no matter how hard we try. Even routine operations can be fatal, and that's one of the sad facts of life, yet on the other hand, major operations can give an animal its life back. It's just like human medicine, really; unfortunately and depressingly, that's just how life is.

With regard vaccination, it is very much a debateable topic (there is a good, and pretty much unbiased article that knocks the nail on the head here: http://www.thepetcenter.com/exa/vac.html).
Veterinary surgeons don't agree on it, and that's partly down to the lack of research. Rather than being money-grabbing, many of the vets that believe in the style of vaccination mentioned in your article believe that to be the method which offers the best protection.

As for the other comments in that article, well, I am quite astounded that you treat it so generally. Not every veterinary surgeon is like that, in fact, it is a very few bad apples that give the veterinary profession a bad name. And that upsets those of us within the veterinary profession as well, so please DO NOT think we just 'roll over' and ignore it. :? :(

Give me five minutes on Google and I could come up with the same kind of "Things Your... Won't Tell You!" topics on hairdressers, chefs, doctors, dentists, electricians, window-cleaners, any profession really! :roll:

I hope people see here that despite the fact I could say things like, "Oh, don't be stupid, pets don't die overnight in veterinary centres" or "All vets are great" or "But that is the best method of vaccination", I have remained unbiased throughout?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,293 Posts
Bubblymintyaero said:
Very biased, I think, and bordering on scare-mongering.
It rather hurts and astounds if you think that all (or even most!) veterinary surgeons and carers are like that. :( :(

Personally, I've been in the veterinary profession actively for the past ten years or so.

When we have an animal in our care overnight, either somebody stays there to watch it, or someone visits every ninety minutes. Sometimes, animals cannot be saved, no matter how hard we try. Even routine operations can be fatal, and that's one of the sad facts of life, yet on the other hand, major operations can give an animal its life back. It's just like human medicine, really; unfortunately and depressingly, that's just how life is.

With regard vaccination, it is very much a debateable topic (there is a good, and pretty much unbiased article that knocks the nail on the head here: http://www.thepetcenter.com/exa/vac.html).
Veterinary surgeons don't agree on it, and that's partly down to the lack of research. Rather than being money-grabbing, many of the vets that believe in the style of vaccination mentioned in your article believe that to be the method which offers the best protection.

As for the other comments in that article, well, I am quite astounded that you treat it so generally. Not every veterinary surgeon is like that, in fact, it is a very few bad apples that give the veterinary profession a bad name. And that upsets those of us within the veterinary profession as well, so please DO NOT think we just 'roll over' and ignore it. :? :(

Give me five minutes on Google and I could come up with the same kind of "Things Your... Won't Tell You!" topics on hairdressers, chefs, doctors, dentists, electricians, window-cleaners, any profession really! :roll:

I hope people see here that despite the fact I could say things like, "Oh, don't be stupid, pets don't die overnight in veterinary centres" or "All vets are great" or "But that is the best method of vaccination", I have remained unbiased throughout?
I'm sure it wasn't posted to hurt your feelings, but more as a cautionary thing. :wave: Please don't think we are anti-vet here. I personally trust my vet completely! :) She has always told me the positives and negatives of all treatments and options and really cares about every animal she treats. She has come in on days off and after hours to care for our chis and treats them wonderfully. I wish I could find a doctor for myself I liked so much! :D

I've seen bad vets as well of course, just as with everything. It sounds like you really care about your patients. Please stick around! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
348 Posts
Sorry, Watermonkey, if my post sounded like I leapt on the defensive! It wasn't meant to, it just made me feel a bit uncomfortable being here, if that was any kind of representation about how people feel about the veterinary profession.

Some of that is very wisely cautionary, especially the info about under-qualified vets certain operations, BUT things like the idea that we should vaccinate less often can easily cause problems.

Put it this way, I would be gutted if I had emailed that article to someone, and they'd followed the advice re: vaccination, without properly researching it (and doing unbiased research too! The number of people I talk to who've investigated it via the internet and have had all negative feedback about the traditional ways of vaccination have usually typed something like 'canine vaccination is dangerous' into the search engine, thinking they'd get unbiased material! :roll: Incidentally, if anyone does want to do that search - look up something like 'methods of vaccination') and their dog had then become ill as a possible result of not being properly vaccinated.
Owners need to make that choice for themselves, but they need a less biased source, and they need to make such decisions in conjunction with their veterinary surgeon (if they are a good one, then they'll be able to explain to the owner which method they believe in and why).

So, yes, I can see the post was put up in a cautionary way, and I hold nothing against that, BUT, I also think it important to, er, well, caution about the caution.. :twisted: :D :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Wow, I am more horrified than offended by the article. It's a well written piece of propoganda, much of it has taken things said by vets out of context, and when you ask a Animal Malpractice Lawyer anything - well...what kind of response are you expecting?

In my opinion, the percentage of vets who are practicing poor medicine or dishonest medicine is VERY VERY small. These 10 "lies" that veterinarians are at best, lies themselves. Some of the things described probably only occur at a small percentage of animals in a small percentage of clinics. The article makes generalizations that are borderline slander against the Vet profession. I'm deeply sorry for everyone who has had a bad experience with a vet, to be honest, I'm sure in my clinical lifetime I will have made mistakes, or lost an animal out of my control or care, but...

I would hope that owners out there would realize that Vets really do EVERYTHING they can (or in many cases, everything you can afford, plus more out of our own pockets). If you want to consider the statistics of malpractice in Human Medicine compared to Animal Medicine, most of you would be running to your Vet for your own illnesses. With regards to the cost of veterinary care - do you realize in most cases your pets get better care than your kids might at the pediatrician - and your pediatrician charges your insurance 5x as much. Veterinarians provide extremely advance medical care at a fraction of what human doctors charge, it seems like a lot of money because you have to pay it out of pocket, versus a copay.

In reality, if a Vet wanted to charge you for a Spay like an insurance company would charge you for an outpatient OHE...they could easily charge you in excess of $10,000 for surgery time, then the hospital would charge you about $2,000 for bloodwork and bedtime, the anesthesiologist $6,000, the nursing care about $1,000, and the pharmacy would charge you $300 for post-operative meds and antibiotics. Still think we're overcharging?

Vaccines cost $6, but you are not only paying for the vaccine, you're paying for the knowledge of when and how it is given considering the medical history, the expertise of knowing how to administer it consistent with current guidelines and with things liks VAFS in mind, the instruction of how to monitor the animal for the reaction, and the peace of mind knowing it was done by a professional. Considering a vaccine charge is around $25-30 at a clinic, you're getting a heck of a lot. I've never recieved any kind of information from my human doctor (heck I never even seen the doctor - just the nurse) when I get vaccinations, and I still pay $80-100 for a shot.

I hope we're not all so quick to judge veterinarians for the work that they so humbly do. If you look at the average salary of vets, you'll see, no one is in it "for the money".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Are the vaccinations bought at a farming type store just as good? My vaccinations are running 59 dollars. I'm not complaining, I love my dog but that's a big savings!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
I don't really agree with #4. So the animal died on the table during a root canal. I highly doubt he died due to the type of procedure being done.
I have heard stories of people trying to sue clinics because their animals died in surgery. Then you find out later, that the owner refused to do any type of pre anasthetic screening, to determine that he was well enough to go under.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top