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All about the Money rant!

Riluke
October 8th, 2007, 02:12 PM
Well we had a bit of a bad weekend. It looks like Luke may have some hip issues. He has some popping noises going on, so we decided that we had to take him to the vet to get him checked out.

He gets his check up and they tell me they have to take xrays to deterimine how bad it is, what it is..etc... fair enough. She then goes on to tell me that they can do surgery or go to some sort of specialist in PEI .....whoa.....it is starting to sound expensive. She doesn't even consult with costs at all, just says "let's get that xray ready for today."

Now my husband and I agreed that we are going to do all we can for Luke until it reaches beyond our financial means, but this woman is rattling all this off like anyone can afford to send their dog to another province to get a surgery, nothing to it, not once did she tell me how much all of this is going to cost.

So while I am in the middle of my panic attack, I tell her I have to go away today we cannot do the xray I am going to have to make an appointment for some day during the week. They bring me in the 'information' on the xray. Which is basicaly an estimate for $300.00. And that is the last I see of the vet. I look at the tech/assistant who brought me the 'information and say "hip surgery is expensive isn't it?" she nods yes, and I say "i don't have thousands of dollars." She agrees but offers me nothing more than a shrug.

That evening my husband and I are talking, both of us very upset because of this situation. I explained to him that I felt like they really didn't care about us, but really only cared about expense. It was a horrible feeling, not only did I feel guilty because I may not be able to provide that much money, but that it should be such a concern rather than the welfare of our dog.

I spoke to my MIL and she informed me that she goes to the same vet as us and they are expensive. She said a friend got a quote of $600.00 (I can't remember what the proceedure was for) and they went to another local vet (who has been referred to me by other dog owners), and the quote was for several hundred dollars less. I can't understand why they should be allowed to do this, charge so much more than other vets!!! I really makes me mad! :mad:

Tomorrow I am going to call the other vet for an estimate and appointment. I would much rather spend the money with a vet that cares about the welfare of my dog, rather than how much money they can take from me!!!!

want4rain
October 8th, 2007, 02:20 PM
geez... my vet gives us the expensive version, the middle ground and the low cost of just abotu everything we come in for. ive had them outright tell us the likely hood of actually needing to do 'such and such' is extremely low, dont bother.

good luck on findiing a vet that thinks abotu your pocket as being the method of which you care for YOUR family instead of how he cares for HIS family.

-ashley

hazelrunpack
October 8th, 2007, 02:28 PM
Same thing happens around here--some vets charge way and above others--but if people are willing to pay that much for their services... :shrug:

Good luck with the other vet--I hope they at least can give you some information on what Luke's popping noises are all about. Xrays are a good investment, imo, regardless of what you decide to do in the long run. First you need to find out what's going on with Luke's hips.

And remember that even if it is something like HD, not all dysplasia cases need surgical management. Supplements like glucosamine/chondroitin can help a lot--and exercise can do a lot to firm up muscles and tighten otherwise loose joints. Weight management is very important--the more overweight a dog is, the more excess stress on the joints.

So make sure you ask this other vet what other options there are if it does turn out to be dysplasia.

I hope it's nothing! :fingerscr

NoahGrey
October 8th, 2007, 02:35 PM
It looks to me like you have made your descison concerning your dog. That this surgery is to expensive for you to afford and that's fine. Not all vets can have specialists come to their shelter. More then often, it is common procdure for the owner to have to travel inorder to see a specialist. How can you didn't ask how much it will cost? It just seems like you jumped that yes, it was going to be costly. Also, your friend stating that something was hundreds less...sorry but yes I can see a little difference..like $50, maybe in close to a hundred, but not hundreds. Maybe she declined on important procudures usually go before a big suregery...like checking the kidney's, bloodowork that can detect certain issues the body might have, etc.

I think anywhere you go, it's going to be pricey. Hip surgery is a complicated/ intensive surgery. Not only is the surgery expensive, you might have to do thearpy for your dog afterwards. Which is more money.

Yes, there are some vets that are more expensive...but some vets have better, newer technology equipment, which the overall well-being of your pet could make a drastic difference in your pets life.

I hope you find a decent price...but make sure it's a great vet. ask about their equipment, prodcudures, pre and post surgery.

ACO22

Riluke
October 8th, 2007, 02:37 PM
Indeed Hazel! We were going to pay for the xray whether it was $300.00 or not!! As I told my husband who always fears the worst...we need to know definiatively what the problem is, how bad it is, and then plot the best course of action. I really hope it isn't too bad, and have been doing lots of reading. The upside to all this is that Luke does not appear to be in any pain and still plays like the puppy he is, the only indication is if I take him on a walk he will sometime just stop and turn back towards home, which tells me that he is hurting or just not interested. That and the hardwood floors can be a challange, I am thinking booties may be helpful (if he keeps them on).

I know this other vet has a very good reputation about caring about the animals and not charging an arm and a leg. That is the kind of vet I want and hopefully the one who can help Luke!

Riluke
October 8th, 2007, 02:43 PM
It looks to me like you have made your descison concerning your dog. That this surgery is to expensive for you to afford and that's fine.
.

Actually we haven't. I don't want to come off like we aren't going to spend money on our dog...trust me, we have already sunk a bundle into our little fur face. I get mad in the fact that this vet is going to probably charge me hundreds of dollars more than another vet and keep doing so until we cannot afford to help our dog. It is just not right.!!

hazelrunpack
October 8th, 2007, 02:45 PM
Hmmm...booties can be slippery, too. Better some rubber-backed runners or throw rugs that will give him some traction on slippery floors. And you don't have to worry about him chewing on booties that way--or about having to take booties on and off for trips outside in inclement weather! :D

Good luck with the new vet. I hope he's more helpful than the first! I just can't believe they were already talking surgical procedure before they'd even looked at xrays! :eek:

NoahGrey
October 8th, 2007, 02:56 PM
Not all vets can have specialists come to their shelter. More then often, it is common procdure for the owner to have to travel inorder to see a specialist. How can you didn't ask how much it will cost? It just seems like you jumped that yes, it was going to be costly. Also, your friend stating that something was hundreds less...sorry but yes I can see a little difference..like $50, maybe in close to a hundred, but not hundreds. Maybe she declined on important procudures usually go before a big suregery...like checking the kidney's, bloodowork that can detect certain issues the body might have, etc. That sometimes if not done, can be fatal to your dog.

But I also have to admit that yes..it seems that all vets become vets for their love of animals. Sadly though they are some vets that after a couple of years, it is more about the money. But, don't jump to conclusions. Be careful.

Hope you do find another vet.
ACO22

Riluke
October 8th, 2007, 03:28 PM
Hazel - right...you have to forgive me, I was thinkng those with the rubber soles, but as always I assume the world knows exactly what is on my mind :D. Drives my husband nuts.

ACO22 - Why didn't I ask about cost (good question). I think I was in a bit of a state of shock. One minute they are doing an check up, next she is rattling off surgery! I was just so numb at that point. I wanted to see what the xray said. They did talk about the bloodwork, so it is something that I will keep in mind for the other vet.

I don't think they were off the estimate being hundreds less. I used to take my cat to this other vet (the only reason I am at the new vet is becuase the Rat Brothers go there and it is close by). I remember when my cat :rip: Wolfie got sick. They had to keep him over night to make sure he stayed hydrated and put an IV in. When it was all over I was amazed at the bill - it was $90.00 - they didn't charge anything for the overnight stay at all! I really felt like this doctor cared more about the animal.

You raise some good points to keep in mind. I don't want to get a 'cheap' vet who cuts corners, just to save money. I want someone who is more interested in my dog than in my wallet.

krdahmer
October 8th, 2007, 04:02 PM
Riluke I know what you mean about going numb.. and kind of spacing out after a big shock.... when Fagan first had his knee problem, the vet took an xray then came back in and started giving all these scenarios and possible solutions, including surgery and amputation... I just tuned out after that one just about fainted and almost cried. You kind of forget to ask questions when you hear something scary.

I have been lucky that I found a vet that is reasonable, works with you for payments when you have to, and always puts the pets first. Not all vets do that. That is actually why I had to go to one out of town. If something seems off or you got a bad feeling about the money and their priorities looking for a new vet may be a good idea. Your choice in vet is just as important as a family doctor, you have to be able to trust that they are going to do what is best for your furbabies, and not their pocketbooks.

Best of luck and hope the hip thing is nothing serious and doesn't even need surgery!:pray::grouphug:

chico2
October 8th, 2007, 04:56 PM
I had a wonderful vet,but she sold her clinic and went back to Scotland.
The replacements were 3 vets and state of the art equipment,so they can do any surgery required right there,which is great.
But we pay for that..
The costs have more or less doubled since my old vet quit:mad:even figuring in inflation,but it's not only the money,I do not have a feel-good feeling about either of them and am looking for another vet too.
Riluke,I hope your pup does not need surgery!

ancientgirl
October 8th, 2007, 05:50 PM
Good luck with your dog. I know what you mean about high prices. My vet is pretty reasonable. Even prescriptions are not too high.

I do feel that so many places charge a lot because they know pet owners will do anything they can to keep their pets healthy. They play on our heartstrings and its not right.

Maybe there's an animal shelter in your area that might be able to help.

kiara
October 8th, 2007, 09:10 PM
Usually I stick up for vets. But not this time! I don't like their attitude and lack of concern for your dog and your pocket book. They should offer you other possible options. Is your dog overweight or is this a breed prone to certain problems? Talk to other dog owners who have the same breed of dog. Surgery often is necessary, but it is the last resort. I suggest to you not going there again and take the X-rays with you, they belong to you. Vets usually charge similar prices for similar procedures. The reason some vets charge much more is that they may have some latest expensive equipment? Good luck with finding a new vet.

Frenchy
October 8th, 2007, 10:17 PM
Riluke , I do believe you when you say other vet can charge hundreds less ... and $300.00 for hip x-rays ??? :eek: my vet charges about $60.00 for a 80 lbs dog ... you do have to shop around. Some vets really don't care and overcharges , believe me , I know ! And why are they talking about operation for hip displasia even before they saw the x-rays results ??? I have a foster right now , we all tought it was displasia, even my vet and his staff , they took the x-ray and nothing is wrong. It's only his muscles that he lacks of. Anyway , good luck , I hope it's nothing too serious :fingerscr :goodvibes:

growler~GateKeeper
October 8th, 2007, 10:36 PM
The thing that jumped out @ me is they haven't even diagnosed a problem yet & are trying to get you to a surgeon :wall:

good luck :fingerscr with the new vet search & :goodvibes: for Luke

shredy
October 8th, 2007, 10:55 PM
I have to agree that this vet seems to be fishing for money and not being very compassionate. I got spinal xrays for Shade from her neurologist and he only charged me $160, so 300 seems VERY high. I had a similar experience with a vet down here that charged me double or even triple the cost for exams, procedures and medications than the vet I ultimately found.

I hope you don't have to have surgery and that the problem is not a big one :fingerscr:fingerscr:fingerscr

Riluke
October 9th, 2007, 07:32 AM
Thanks all.

Actually they want to charge me $377.00 because they have to put him completely under to do the Xray and want to do the blood work first. I was thinking that seemed high, so my best bet now is to call around.

Luckly he doesn't seem to be in pain and he is a good weight (his food is measured out at feeding time, so he can't over eat).

I really feel that there should be some regulation going on with the vets so that you pay the same price for the same service. I can understand paying more for state of the art equipment, specialized surgery..etc. There are definately times when you have to pay a bigger fee, but it isn't right when they start charging you as much as they can, just because they know you will pay it. :mad:

chico2
October 9th, 2007, 07:43 AM
I'd like to think,they are overcharging me,knowing I will pay whatever it takes,so they in turn can help an animal who's owner does not have the money,but I doubt that's the case..

clm
October 9th, 2007, 08:21 AM
How old is Luke now?
He's not limping or sore, you're hearing popping, they haven't seen xrays yet and they're already talking HD and surgery.....I'd be going to another vet for sure, for the xrays too, I'm not sure I'd trust your current vet's diagnosis from the xrays.
Fingers crossed that it's nothing serious.

Cindy

krdahmer
October 9th, 2007, 12:43 PM
I'd like to think,they are overcharging me,knowing I will pay whatever it takes,so they in turn can help an animal who's owner does not have the money,but I doubt that's the case..


And that is why I don't mind when I do have to pay $$ at my vets, because I know first hand this is exactly what she does. Even Fagan has sort of equaled out, sometimes I go in and pay the big bucks then other times I don't even pay a visit fee. And I've gone in with pets whose owners have nothing and can only work out a payment plan and she works with them, instead of telling them their only option is a specialist, she says this is the surgery, the specialist is this much but they are highly trained and do them often or I can do the surgery, I have now done _ many and have had these many successful... I like that. Because not everyone can afford the specialist and if she can do something similar or even the same at a fraction of the cost... well that means more pets get the help they need to live better.

mummummum
October 10th, 2007, 06:30 AM
The Xray fee doesn't seem out of line with what I've paid for Ceili when she has had her hips and knees done. A specialist will actually charge you less for xrays than will a regular clinic as they get more use out of their machines.

Ceili has severe dysplasia in both hips and in hindsight I've concluded that she has probably been dysplastic since birth. When she was first xrayed both her regular vet and her Ortho specialist were surprized she was still moving around. I was told that right after her first TPLO healed a few years ago I should start thinking about hip replacement surgery. She is now eight and we've been managing ~ quite well actually ~ with supplements and exercise management. There is a piece about dysplasia in the Encyclopedia which is informative and if you do a search of the forums you can find alot of information here about the various supplements that are on the market to treat joint issues. Keep us posted!

Riluke
October 10th, 2007, 07:55 AM
Ceili has severe dysplasia in both hips and in hindsight I've concluded that she has probably been dysplastic since birth. When she was first xrayed both her regular vet and her Ortho specialist were surprized she was still moving around. I was told that right after her first TPLO healed a few years ago I should start thinking about hip replacement surgery. She is now eight and we've been managing ~ quite well actually ~ with supplements and exercise management. There is a piece about dysplasia in the Encyclopedia which is informative and if you do a search of the forums you can find alot of information here about the various supplements that are on the market to treat joint issues. Keep us posted!

Good to hear there is hope :). I have an appointment for Luke with the other vet next Wednesday. The only down part is she is so busy there is usually a 1- 1 1/2 hour wait in the waiting room, but there is always a trade off. I plan to discuss all my options with her when we meet and see what she says. Watching Luke running around the back yard like a mad puppy you wouldn't even know he had any problems.

Riluke
October 15th, 2007, 06:12 PM
UPDATE---

My appointment was today (I was mixed up on the dates).
The difference between this visit was like day and night. This vet spoke to me about all options- surgery to him was the last thing we talked about. He suggested Glucosamin, rest, xray and then deciding the best route to take after we see the x ray results. He then talked about what types of surgery that are done the days but also told me that it is usually the last resort and many dogs can live normal lives without it, depending on the severity. Either way if it was any sort of surgical procedure it will not be done until he is full grown. He was very informative and made me feel much better.

Now down to the money aspect --- The first vet wanted $377.00 total for the xray. The second vet told me it would be $70.00 for the xray- $20.00 for the anesthetic. He explained the procedure for the xray - exactly what the first one described. The cost for the visit to the first vet was almost $60.00, the second vet was $22.00!!

So in the end I had better quality vet care for hundred's of dollars less. I guess it pays to shop around a bit. I will update on what we find.

clm
October 15th, 2007, 08:51 PM
I'm so glad you've found a good vet. Fingers crossed that it's nothing at best, or something that can be controlled easily at worst. :fingerscr

Cindy

Frenchy
October 15th, 2007, 10:34 PM
I'm very happy for you too ! What some vets don't get is if it's more affordable , people will seek more vet care for their animals ! :thumbs up

krdahmer
October 16th, 2007, 12:45 AM
:thumbs up:grouphug:

Love4himies
October 16th, 2007, 07:15 AM
Glad to hear that the second vet is going to work out. Like anything else, best to shop around.