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I'm so mad right now!

Winston
March 17th, 2009, 04:23 PM
Okay I just have to rant a little bit because it made me so mad! and I realise in the grander scheme of things this is probably minor to some problems people have but it still makes me see red!

First off my mom is a pensioner on a very fixed low income. She has Brady (cat) who some of you remember was sick aboout a month ago or so. Antibiotics and 550.00 later and we dont really have a diagnoses! Bottom line is his urine was too dilute and they didnt know why?? so they said after the 550.00 to bring him back in 30 days for a urinalysis recheck. Long story short my mom couldnt afford it so they sent her a letter to see if they missed her or she missed calling them. She called today to ask the girl how much it was going to be and they want $30.00 to recheck, $81.00 is she cant get the sample and they have to use a catherder, $30.00 for 1/2 day stay.. etc etc..she told me and I called to confirm cause I couldnt beleive it and it was true! so I told the girl she couldnt afford it cause she maxed out her only credit card with the last 550.00 bill. She was silent?? I asked her how people on a fixed income can afford this? really? she said to me I will make a note on the file that indicates she cannot come in due to cost...i think I was in shock because it finally dawned on me how come so many poor souls go to the bridge far too soon! I see now how come so many poor sould end up in rescue and shelters! especially seniors pets!

I know some will say they shouldnt own an animal if they cant afford to pay for it! and I realise that to a point. but man it certainly is tough out there! I do a hell of alot of income tax returns for seniors and I see the income they live off and to add a pet is usually a burden (they almost all had one though!) OMG Im sorry just needed to rant!

Brady does appear to be over whatever ailed him. the antibiotics seemed to help...

chico2
March 17th, 2009, 04:36 PM
Winston,I think with the prices at the vet nowadays,they should offer payment-plans,we are talking about living beings here,who need medical help.
We too are seniors and due to the investment-disaster,have to be a little careful with our money,not to the point I don't take my cats to the vet,but a several hundred dollar procedure,like teeth cleaning is just going to have to wait.
I am sure your mom was upset and I would think they could have been more forthcoming to her.
I can see how animals with a serious,but curable disease have to die because of lack of money:sad:
.

14+kitties
March 17th, 2009, 04:40 PM
Rant away. You have every right to. :grouphug:
I know what my mom went through for a while being on a fixed income. She was very shrewd with her money and didn't have a pet but it was still tough. Especially in these days. Vet offices should be doing everything they can to help older customers on fixed incomes.
I am glad Brady is feeling better. Maybe that's all he needed was the antibiotics.

wdawson
March 17th, 2009, 05:01 PM
its not a certain king street east vet i hope.....i left them over the blatant greed for $$$. my new vet is great .

sugarcatmom
March 17th, 2009, 05:15 PM
Vet offices should be doing everything they can to help older customers on fixed incomes.

I sooooooo agree with this! Especially since pets have been proven time and time again to help seniors live longer, healthier lives. I totally get that vet clinics are a business and have to make money to survive, but seriously, how about some compassion while they're at it? $81 to get a urine sample is a complete rip-off. My vet charges $24, and they're one of the most expensive clinics in the city.

Winston, is that price for a cystocentisis (needle directly into the bladder) or catheterization (needle up the urethra), because if they want a sterile urine sample, they shouldn't be going the catheter route. Not only that, a catheter hurts and requires sedation, cystocentisis doesn't. That could explain the ridiculous price, mind you. Okay, now I'm mad at your mom's vet!!!!

coppperbelle
March 17th, 2009, 05:45 PM
This is a pet peeve of mine. Whenever I hear people say that people with pets who can't afford to care for them shouldn't have them, it really irks me. Who are we to judge. People's lives change and so do their circumstances.
Thirteen years ago my parents were looking for a dog and somehow heard about a certain vet that had two Bichon's who were brought in by a puppy miller to be euthanized. I kind of find that hard to believe but for whatever the reason this vet had these two dogs. He sterilized the dogs, brought them up to date with their vaccines etc.. and put them up for adoption. My parents were ready to pay the adoption fee but when they arrived to pick up Maggie the vet didn't charge them anything. They thought it was wonderful and were very loyal to him even driving out of their way to see this vet. He was very smart because he has made a fortune off of them. My father passed away two and a half years ago and Maggie was a big comfort to my mother. Not long after Maggie became ill and of course my mother brought her to her vet. Apparently Maggie was experiencing liver failure and needed expensive treatments and tests. After the initial visit I decided to go with my mother because I know what this vet is like and the prices he charges. I explained to him that my mother could not afford expensive tests and I could tell he wasn't happy because we wouldn't agree to tests that we felt were unnecessary because they would not help her recover. Maggie spent two days there receiving flluids and meds and went home with a bunch of pills. The bill for the two days was almost $1,000.00. Two years later Maggie is still going strong. She takes medication daily which cost almost $300.00 a month which is a huge strain on my mother's finances. I have tried to convince her to change vets but she refuses so she goes without something to be able to pay for Maggie's medication. Meanwhile this vet is profiting off of people like my mother and others who don't know better. He has expensive equipment that he has to pay for.

14+kitties
March 17th, 2009, 05:53 PM
Copperbelle - I am sure you know this but is there a human equivalent for the medication your mom's dog is on? A lot of times meds from a pharmacy are much cheaper than from a vet. That would take a big bite out of anyone's pocket every month.

coppperbelle
March 17th, 2009, 05:55 PM
Copperbelle - I am sure you know this but is there a human equivalent for the medication your mom's dog is on? A lot of times meds from a pharmacy are much cheaper than from a vet. That would take a big bite out of anyone's pocket every month.

I have told my mother but as I said she is loyal to this vet. :wall:

14+kitties
March 17th, 2009, 05:56 PM
I have told my mother but as I said she is loyal to this vet. :wall:

She can still see the vet. But the vet can not refuse her a prescription for meds from a human pharmacy. Can you go with her next time and ask the vet? Maybe that would help.

angeldogs
March 17th, 2009, 06:04 PM
She can still see the vet. But the vet can not refuse her a perscription for meds from a human pharmacy. Can you go with her next time and ask the vet? Maybe that would help.
That is a great idea.my vet told me to go to a pharmacy with a perscirption telling me it would be cheaper then from her.all vets should give people with low income a break as things change in peoples lives.

Winston
March 17th, 2009, 06:25 PM
Thanks for all the kind replies but it is really pissing me off! sorry to put it that way. I honestly expected perhaps he would have waived the 30.00 for 1/2 day stay or say to her listen since you spent 550.00 last time maybe I could give you a follow up for urinalysis for free? really what would that hurt its not going out to a lab its being done in the office.

SCMM the 81.00 was for the needle one. My mom has had an impossible time trying to get a sample that I just cant get her to do it. To top things off what some dont realise is that for seniors to pay off that kind of debt could be a long time. Mom has always made sure that this credit card is available in case of emergencies for Brady. Its sad too because I know that you cant give everything to everyone free but there should be some consideration I think when your previous bill was so high! its not like she only spent 50.00 and is asking for a break?

So I wonder if the next time I have to take Brady in for something whether he says to me that I should have brought him in before blah blah blah!

WD no its not that vet.

Maybe I am just having a crappy day but thanks for all the coments and I am glad I am not the only one seing a problem here. I just kept thinking to myself how people often come to that dreadful decision!

:grouphug::grouphug:

rainbow
March 17th, 2009, 06:38 PM
I also see a big problem with most of the vets. Other businesses offer a senior's discount which is usually a minimum of 10% so WHY can't the vets do it as well? :frustrated:

Love4himies
March 17th, 2009, 07:20 PM
Sometimes a senior's pet is all they have left in life, their spouse and friends may have passed away or are in nursing homes. Their families may live out of town. I agree, the least a vet can do is offer a 10% discount.

Frenchy
March 17th, 2009, 07:31 PM
omg Winston , I sooo understand ! After paying thousands of dollars on vet bills since 2003 , I got the the point this year with Chloe , where I just can't afford vets anymore. And explaining my situation and income , after I paid more than $1 000.00 , didn't seem to affect them in any way. They still asked me for more $$$ for more tests. Most of them (vets) don't give a flying f***. I NEVER got a break from my vet , after bringing him all my pets (and god knows he made money of them and me) and all the rescue dogs I brought to him (he still got paid by the rescue) he even charged me more than what he does to new customers I refered to him !!! :wall:

I'm so sorry your mom is going through this .... :sad:

Cathy1
March 17th, 2009, 08:03 PM
I found this information at my vet, hopefully it can help you and other people here. There is an agency http://www.farleyfoundation.org/ that helps seniors with their vet bills who are on a fixed income.

cell
March 17th, 2009, 08:24 PM
Veterinarians are suppose to be out there trying to help animals and their owners, if it wasn't for the owners there would be no animals coming. The more animals have become incorporated into our lives as members of the family the more the vets can prey upon the emotional connection to charge enormous amounts. About 20 years ago If a animal dog sick and it wasn't a easy fix it was unlikely that there would be a repeat visit.
I can understand why prices have gone up to a extent, nothing gets cheaper, many vets rent their place of business and feel they have to up to date and fashionable as well as invest in all the new equipment and drugs that are advertised.
I worked/volunteered with a vet who was outside of the city, owned her own building, and all her own equipment she was one of the only small/large animal vets in that area. She got her equipment at auction, the place was not completely posh and she was resourceful in ways to save money, not by cutting corners on health, welfare and safety but recycling things that could be recycled, rewashed, reused. Laundry was done at her home down the street etc. Because of this the prices were very competitive, she was also one of the only vets who still participated in the POP program for reduce cost alterations when the other 80% of the town vets had dropped out because it was not profitable.
In some cases the vets are being taken advantage of by their drug suppliers as well. I know that this same vet did a lump off a rat for me and I paid her 30$ and did some extra volunteer, she said $30 did not cover the cost of the anesthetic for 5 minutes, that's how expensive the stuff has gotten... I am sure that there may be cheaper options for certain medications but the main supply is controlled by huge pharmaceutical corporations who can dictate what they want for prices. But still for things like tests that are run at low cost through a machine or by a tech, if your a good customer you should be able to get a break. I'm sure the new $5000 machine is great and probably does the job more efficiently as the older $2000 machine that worked fine to begin with, and the results are likely the same when you paid $20 for the procedure as when you paid $60 after the upgrade.
Usually the only way to get a break is to find a vet school or get out of the metropolitan city.

growler~GateKeeper
March 17th, 2009, 09:34 PM
That vet's pricing is ridiculous to say the least! :frustrated:

In Vancouver my Homeopath Vet charges $20 for a cystocentisis plus $40 for the Urinalysis that is sent out to the lab for testing. So even if the $81 includes the lab testing that is still $20 higher than is reasonable. :frustrated:

At the very least they should offer a payment plan.

I'm glad Brady is feeling better :thumbs up

ancientgirl
March 18th, 2009, 07:50 AM
Man, does this ever hit home for me right now. Winston, I feel terrible for your mom and her kitty. My dad is retired, gets a pension and still has to work.

The last time I went to the vet, I was in the waiting room with Czari, and there was a woman paying for something done to her dog. $1,400! I was floored. She had to use two credit cards. I myself have spend over $600 in the last month, just for tests to determine bacteria in their tummies!

I get that vets have to make money. After all, they have to make a living, but I also believe they gauge the public, many times charging over inflated prices for things that don't cost them a lot of money.

When I have the cats wellness exams done, they do like 6-8 different tests with the blood they take, each test done separately costs between $25-$54 dollars, but doing it all with the wellness brings the cost down to $55! I don't get that. That tells me they don't need to be charging such a huge amount for just one test.

I think there should be payment plans for people who just can't afford a procedure. What happens if you take a pet in with a really serious problem, and they you can't afford the $400 or $500 treatment? So your supposed to just say no and take your sick pet home and hope for the best?

It's not right. Even pet insurance doesn't help. The least expensive plan, less than $8 per pet doesn't cover tests and medicine. The only ones that cover this are the more expensive plans, AND you have to pay for everything out of pocket FIRST, THEN send in a claim.

It's not that people can't afford their pets, they just can't afford being taken to the cleaners when their poor dog or cat gets sick.

TacoGrl
March 18th, 2009, 09:10 AM
I too have issue with the price of vet visits. Having just gone through thousands with Mooki and still having to put her to sleep, I am wondering what the point is. With ailments that are incurable, should the vet not say "There is nothing we can really do, I am going to stop taking your money"? I am with a different vet in the same clinic and it's like night and day...she still charges what I think is too much for a 15 min visit, however, I can phone her and ask her questions for free and she always asks about the other one I am not calling about...she also seems to think outside the box and genuinely cares for animals...not to say the other one didn't care about animals, but $$$ seemed very important.

As for seniors getting discounts...the potential vet cost is the only reason my mom doesn't have a cat...I think a cat would do her good, but right now, I can't afford three and we didn't realize how much she misses having a cat until I got my two...when things get better for me, I will get her a cat...I wasn't expecting things to go the way they have recently :sad: My vet will discount if we bring them all in at once for visits and meds are people meds if possible, but should tests be required...:shrug:

badger
March 18th, 2009, 09:14 AM
I feel bad for everyone who has to make these decisions because of money, and I have a feeling it's going to get worse :sad: Vets are a powerful bunch. Maybe we should socialize them :laughing::laughing:

I feel like a good rant myself. Wheezy's hematoma has ballooned again and he finds the ear drops painful; they actually make him scratch. I wish I had been faster on my feet at the vet because I had the same problem with these drops (Surolan - $34) with another cat. And I'm betting there are ear drops sitting on pharmacy shelves right now that would do a better job.

If vets are at the mercy of their suppliers, they should do something about it. They are not helpless, au contraire.

Luvmypitgirls
March 18th, 2009, 10:29 AM
Winston, my heart goes out to your mom, thankfully she has you to advocate and help her. I'm glad to hear her cat is doing well.

My vet is "old school", and when he retires I don't know what I'm going to do.
His clinic is old and dated, the exam rooms could use a good cleaning and a coat of paint. His surgery and recovery spaces are immaculate.
He has always been willing to work with our budget if times were tuff.

The last time I seen him, I took Kato and my son's dog Mac.
For Kato, a shot of antibiotics and two bottles of pills to last him two months.
For Mac, a horrible scab removed (we actually thought it was a mole), but he removed it and cleaned it and Mac got a double dose of antibiotics. My bill, under 60 dollars, he didn't even charge me the initial visit fee for Mac.

When Mac got hold of one of my cats, the few hours at the emerg vet, cost me over 300.00, he received fluids and had an x-ray of his head. They came back with a sheet of all the things they wanted to do and the total 998.72.
I told them there was no way I could afford that. When they felt he was stable ( he was in shock), they told me to take him home, the next day I took him to my vet, he did an x-ray,(which he didn't charge mefor), he gave my cat antibotics and painkillers, the bill 40.00. We went back for a follow up a week later, another shot of antibiotics no charge.

I refer a lot of folks to him, he hasn't upgraded his facility so he can keep his costs down. He also houses cats from a rescue called Heaven Can Wait, at his clinic,when the rescue has more cats than foster homes.

He is truly in it for the animals, it shows in the way he handles them. I love my vet, he's fantastic.

I wish there were more like him.

ancientgirl
March 18th, 2009, 10:40 AM
LMPG, wow I wish there were move vets like this guy.

lUvMyLaB<3
March 18th, 2009, 06:45 PM
this is a big problem, for everyone. I am one of those people that say if you cannot afford them don't get them but I am talking about not being able to get spay or neuter, or shots, ect. those should be expected costs.

I put away some money every month, so that hopefully I have enough shold the need arise, but I am still worried that something might come up some day that costs thousands and thousands. There are good loving awesome pet owners out there that get in this situation, it is sad and hard.

The good thing is that there are good vets out there, and usually by the time you have had a pet for a long time you develop a relationship, and usually they will trust you to make payments. I have never had trouble at my new vet, and when there are emergencies they just tell me to come sometime before the end of the month, anytime I have had to rush an animal in an emergency they have not even made up a bill and don't know how much it will cost. I am very very blessed.

BUT I have a story too!! When I was about 20 and living on my own with by borfriend at the time, I had a cat that had a serious problem, there was a hole in his head! I guess at some point he got bit, it got infected and burst and left a hole, I rushed to the vet, where they kept him and did surgery, I went to pick him up and they said it was almost $500. I said can I pay half now, and the other half tomorrow when I get paid, they said NO. THIS was the vet my family had used ALL my life. They said my parents had been slow paying off their bill ( they had a very sick cat, the bills totalled over $2000) and I said WHAT does that have to do with me? They kept my cat hostage and charged me another day of kenneling and care until the next day when I paid. THAT is when I tried my new vet. I had a colt that needed to get gelded so I tried the new vet clinic, he came out, he said he had no idea what it would cost. He split milage with neighbors and went to everyone in the area that same day, split the milage 4 ways. I paid 3 weeks later. I told the vet about what had happened with my cat and he said WE WOULD NEVER EVER DO THAT!! YOU cannot HOLD someones pet HOSTAGE!! he was Outraged! ANd since that day they have been awesome, if anything comes up and you cannot pay they are cool about it, I am very very blessed. The vets at my clinic say they are in it for the love of animals not for money ( like the other 3 clinics here are ) When you have a pet that has to go in for repeat care they dont even charge for everything. I had a sick sick cat, stayed for a week on i.v. and getting tests, ect.. she passed away while there, I was scared what the bill would be.... it was $75!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There needs to be something done about this. especially for seniors. we know the benifts to them owning pets. I don't think anyone complains about your situation. it is maddening to see people get pets when they cannot afford the most basic of care, serious illness and emergencies are another story.. Good luck I hope it works out for you, there are some loving vets out there you just have to find them.

Winston
March 18th, 2009, 07:03 PM
Thanks everyone ! it is a subject that is a tough one to discuss sometimes!

I think whatmade me so upset was this..........She is senior on a very low income who just spent 550 the last visit. There is no more money to use! Also why could they have said look we wont charge you 30.00 for 1/2 day of care..hes only going to sit in his carrier in their facility? Since they did the cystesious (sp) last time and it took under 10 minutes I thought maybe they would be nice and not charge it again or at the very least at a discounted price. This time they want 81.00 for that. Lastly the cost of the urinalysis itself is 30.00. So in reality it would have been much more affordable doing a urinalysis recheck for $30.00 for my mom without all the extra stuff!

The sad part is he is a wonderful vet and I honestly think if I confronted him he would do something! the problem I have with that is that I shouldnt have to do that!

Thankfully Brady has been well since the meds so I pray that the problem is nothing life threatening! After all she spent all that money to only come out of it knowing that his urine is far too diluted? He is such a wonderful kitty too! heres a pic from awhile ago..

glasslass
March 18th, 2009, 07:42 PM
I put away some money every month, so that hopefully I have enough shold the need arise, but I am still worried that something might come up some day that costs thousands and thousands.

Self-insuring is the approach I took over 35 years ago. Through a withholding plan from my paycheck, I purchased one U.S. Savings Bond each month. We were very blessed to have healthy pets for years. We were able to pay all the normal expenses out-right without having to cash in any of the bonds that we had designated for vet expenses. Den-Den and Corky now "own" quite a stack of savings bonds that earn interest. When Den-Den had Canine HGE, the bill was over $600. A month later Corky broke his leg and that was about $600 also. I've gotten so tight with those bonds that I refuse to cash them in unless it's truly a situation that we can't pay for ourselves. It's a comfort to know that they're there if needed. It took a long time to build up, but has been one of the smartest things we've done. $50.00 a month provides a lot of peace of mind.

Luvmypitgirls
March 21st, 2009, 11:09 PM
I too, usually sock away a few extra bucks a month for unexpected pet expenditures (ie:vet).
However, even the most frugal well intentioned folks can be caught off guard, and end up with an issue they can't afford.

I have had to pay vet bills for a couple of friends and some family members when they couldn't, I don't begrudge them owning a pet, but I do request that they start a savings account strictly for vet care purposes.

Btw, I've had to turn to a friend or two in the past myself for help with vet bills that came at the worst time, so I guess it's what goes around comes around, thank god for good friends.

chico2
March 22nd, 2009, 07:49 AM
Winston,Brady is a sweety:pray:he'll be ok from now on:fingerscr