Author Topic: Vet Expenses  (Read 8881 times)

Sibley

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #100 on: October 13, 2022, 06:47:19 PM »
The majority of vet costs are beginning of life and end of life. Similar to people care too actually. But you can do things to mitigate the costs. I'm doing that right now in fact.

I posted above somewhere about Arwen going to the vet for grooming. Well, we also did the really complete bloodwork ($300) because not grooming is not normal, and it came back as nonspecific "something is wrong", with the something very possibly being cancer. And something is wrong. Arwen isn't eating well, her behavior is way off, she's dropping weight. I could take her into the vet, do a bunch more tests and try to treat this. It likely wouldn't work, whatever it is has been going for months and by the time they're starting to refuse food, you're pretty much done. And Arwen doesn't like the vet. She doesn't like taking meds. Her entire personality is one which prefers low intervention.

And that's what I'm doing. I do have a vet appointment scheduled, but honestly, that will likely turn into an euthanasia appointment. I'm doing what I can to encourage her to eat - I've got the meat baby food, I got a variety of kitty junk foods to try, etc. It's not enough to maintain her weight but she simply isn't willing to eat more. So I'm spending $$ on the pureed foods that she seems be eating best right now, rather than $$$$ on vet care that won't be successful and will make her miserable.

This isn't easy. It requires that you be emotionally strong enough to accept the inevitable. It requires the willingness to put the animal's needs above your own. I have practice - Arwen will be the 4th cat I've lost since 2019, but it doesn't really make it easier. Each one has declined differently, and she's the first that I knew with certainty more than a day or two before the last vet appointment (it's day 4 of certain knowledge for me right now). I am currently a highly functional mess. Because I know that the cat who is currently purring on my lap is dying. Its hard. I've had her for 14 years, she is the first cat I adopted as a kitten and raised myself. She has given me all her love, and I will repay that debt.

It's not a money decision. I have the money. It's a philosophy that I am responsible for the health and wellbeing of the animals I own, and that includes a good death. It just happens to save a lot of money sometimes.

Update. Arwen did indeed have her vet appointment, actually right after she had a pretty rough night. Dehydrated and clearly ill, plus something going on with her belly making her quite uncomfortable. Vet looked at cat, looked at records, and suggested an x-ray, which hadn't been done yet. I thought this reasonable and agreed. X-ray showed air in her stomach and nothing else indicative. So, we had a dehydrated, non-grooming, non-eating cat with air in her stomach, and bloodwork/xray showing symptoms only, no cause.

Vet suggested one round of intervention, after which if it didn't work we'd know for sure she's end of life. That intervention? Fluids and a shot of antibiotics. At minimum, these would make her feel better temporarily, and then depending on what's wrong it might enable a recovery. Vet thinks the odds are against a recovery but that it was worth trying.

So that's what we did. She got fluids and the antibiotics, and is clearly feeling better now, as we expected. The real question is how long will it last. We have no idea what's wrong, we just have a list of stuff we know that it isn't. If she's unable to maintain or improve her condition and declines again, then vet and I agreed the next visit will be the last. It was actually pretty funny, the guy was going into the whole quality of life is most important spiel.

So, cost wise: $600 a few weeks ago for grooming, anesthesia and the really complete bloodwork (though that wasn't intended to be end of life care so technically I shouldn't include it), and $300 on Monday for xray, fluids, and antibiotic shot. Not nothing, not horrifically expensive, but humane and fair.

This is part of having pets. Its not easy. But the benefits I get from having cats outweighs the cost to me.

As for outlook right now: Arwen's feeling better, but that means all the symptoms have been dialed back. They're still there. She's eating better, but still needs a bit of coaxing to get enough food. Still not grooming. Still clingy. We'll see what happens.

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #101 on: October 14, 2022, 12:19:52 PM »
As a veterinarian myself (granted, one who left practice 2.5 years ago), I'd say that over-the-top veterinary recommendations are far more motivated by fear of lawsuits than by a desire for profit. As veterinarians, we are trained/expected to always offer Plan A first. If the client declines, then we can offer Plan B. If they decline that, we can offer Plan C... and so on. But each of those recommendations needs to be explicitly declined (and documented in the medical record) before a "lower" level of care can be offered.

I worked with an old-school vet who told the owner of every sick older dog that their dog was dying of cancer and needed to be euthanized. Clients loved him because they believed him and their visits were cheap, but it was completely unethical. Granted, the guy also gave a lot of unindicated/contraindicated injections, so he was sketchy in multiple ways. But he was cheap, so clients preferred him to us younger associates who actually recommended diagnostics and appropriate treatments. 

When it comes to things like pre-anesthetic bloodwork, some veterinarians are comfortable making that optional and some are not. Even if they client declines it, there's still a liability risk if the pet experiences an anesthetic complication... not to mention the personal guilt that you would feel over that outcome. It's hard for me to envision a situation in which I'd be willing to perform a dental on a senior pet without recent bloodwork.

This isn't my personal experience, although my definition of "over the top" is very different from the average clients because I'm a retired medical professional who never flinched at telling people they needed 5 figures worth of care.

For me, the "over the top" is when they actively shame me for not consenting to extremely heroic measures for a dying animal.

Otherwise, I don't care, recommend away. I want to know what the gold-standard treatment is and I wouldn't trust a vet who didn't offer it.

So my personal stories of bottom-line driven vets comes from the perspective of someone who has a very good understanding of treatment being offered/pushed, and an extremely good understanding of clinic management and finances in general.

It's the same way the vast majority of dentists are just offering what's best, and just trying to do a decent job and not get sued, but it's very, very clear to me when a dentist is mining my mouth for gold, like when I'm offered an expensive cancer screening with a technology that I know is BS.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2022, 01:00:50 PM by Malcat »

getsorted

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #102 on: October 14, 2022, 12:53:07 PM »
Timely that this thread came up again: My old lady dog ate FIVE dark chocolate bars this morning while I was out doing the school run. Came home to find her hiding in shame near a pile of wrappers. She had eaten half a chocolate bar about a month ago with no ill effects, but I could see immediately that she wasn't well this time. She was shaky; her eyes looked entirely too wide and her pupils were entirely too small.

I got her in the car and called the vet on the way. Luckily, it was soon enough that they were able to clear her stomach and give her charcoal, and she's spending the day on fluids in the doggy hospital; I'll pick her up tonight.

The vet said in addition to the chocolate bars (which were in a bag on the counter with some other food I had been planning to take to work today), she had apparently eaten a half-sandwich with pickles (my son's un-eaten lunch from yesterday), the Ziploc bag the sandwich was in, a butter wrapper, and some other random things that weren't food at all.

I love that girl but DAMN she is expensive. She eats from the compost pile; she eats from the litter box; she eats mystery things she finds on walks and swallows them so fast I can't even figure out what they are.

leevs11

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #103 on: October 25, 2022, 11:12:24 AM »
Sorry to hear it. Pet expenses suck. That's kind of the bottom line. You love them and don't want to let them die or suffer, but they are expensive.

The way I thought about it was to think about the expenses spread over their entire lives. Those $3k bills aren't as painful when you think about them as $100 or whatever a month for 15 years.


Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #104 on: October 25, 2022, 12:29:30 PM »
So my friend in a suburb of Fort Worth just had a doggie dental for 349. If 2 metropolitan areas in different parts of the country can do it that cheap then the west coast is gouging.

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #105 on: October 25, 2022, 06:41:18 PM »
So my friend in a suburb of Fort Worth just had a doggie dental for 349. If 2 metropolitan areas in different parts of the country can do it that cheap then the west coast is gouging.

I'm still utterly baffled by this math. How little are these vets charging for anesthesia??

Dental is a long procedure. I just can't wrap my mind around this being profitable.

roomtempmayo

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #106 on: October 26, 2022, 10:07:58 AM »
I generally only take my animals to rural vets because their overhead is much lower so their recommendations aren't motivated as much by a need to cover their high monthly bills.

That's also been my approach in the past.  Look for someone who does large animal work (livestock) as well as small animal, and they usually have a very different approach than an urban pet vet.

There are also some things that any normal person can do to save money, and I've found this book helpful: https://www.amazon.com/Afford-Veterinary-Care-Without-Mortgaging/dp/0977702707  You can order and administer all of your own vaccinations except rabies, for example, and you can buy ivermectin from the farm store and measure it out instead of buying Heartguard. 

In general, I'm of the camp that pet care is one of the things I have money to do, and I owe it to the animal that I brought home to give them the best life I can.  I'm not going to put down an animal or let it suffer for financial reasons.  However, some treatments, like chemo, are paths I'm not going down because my experience has been that they don't really lead to the animal reliably recovering, and often prolong suffering.  The late-in-life decisions are very, very hard, even without thinking about money.

mm1970

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #107 on: October 26, 2022, 02:28:54 PM »
@Malcat, that story about Winky gave me the warm and fuzzies.

Our rescue Chihuahua mix was old when we adopted her 3 years ago.  We don't know how old. 

But as typical for an old, small dog - she's got bad teeth, and a heart murmur (on medication), and she had a hernia.  The hernia fix was not permanent, so after we'd had her for only 4 months she needed a $6000 surgery.  (She actually ended up getting the surgery a day early because she had an emergency hernia problem - literally 2 days before the scheduled surgery).

But I figure, we have buckets of money - if anyone is going to adopt a small, cranky, overprotective dog who hates other dogs and needs expensive treatment?  It should be us.  We've got money and she's small enough to pick up when she gets barking at other dogs, and we are homebodies.

On the teeth cleaning - out Vet recommended it, but suggested we see the doggie cardiologist first, to make sure it's safe to put her under because "her teeth are bad enough that she needs to go under".  So, this leads me to believe that anesthesia is not required for all cleanings.  In any event, the cardiologist said "well, there will never be a better time" and "with her heart, she probably has only 2 years left".  So, she can just survive with bad teeth.  We've given her a great retirement.

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #108 on: October 26, 2022, 03:29:10 PM »
@Malcat, that story about Winky gave me the warm and fuzzies.

Our rescue Chihuahua mix was old when we adopted her 3 years ago.  We don't know how old. 

But as typical for an old, small dog - she's got bad teeth, and a heart murmur (on medication), and she had a hernia.  The hernia fix was not permanent, so after we'd had her for only 4 months she needed a $6000 surgery.  (She actually ended up getting the surgery a day early because she had an emergency hernia problem - literally 2 days before the scheduled surgery).

But I figure, we have buckets of money - if anyone is going to adopt a small, cranky, overprotective dog who hates other dogs and needs expensive treatment?  It should be us.  We've got money and she's small enough to pick up when she gets barking at other dogs, and we are homebodies.

On the teeth cleaning - out Vet recommended it, but suggested we see the doggie cardiologist first, to make sure it's safe to put her under because "her teeth are bad enough that she needs to go under".  So, this leads me to believe that anesthesia is not required for all cleanings.  In any event, the cardiologist said "well, there will never be a better time" and "with her heart, she probably has only 2 years left".  So, she can just survive with bad teeth.  We've given her a great retirement.

Thiiiiiis makes sense.

Yes, anesthesia is needed for all pet dental cleaning, but it isn't for more superficial surface cleanings. Vets don't offer those here the same way dentists don't offer just a "polish" as a dental cleaning here.

The only places that offer superficial cleanings, for about $250 are some groomers.

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #109 on: October 26, 2022, 11:27:42 PM »
I have never known a dog to have a dental without being put under. How long does a cleaning take?

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #110 on: October 27, 2022, 05:41:23 AM »
I have never known a dog to have a dental without being put under. How long does a cleaning take?

Incidentally I've been there for one of my dog's cleanings while he was under and it took quite awhile. It's not a short procedure.

However, the groomers who do conscious "cleanings" are just doing the crowns of the teeth, and do it much quicker.

I do this for my animals. I have professional dental scalers and know how to use them and I scale my dogs and cat's teeth once or twice a year. It is NOT the same as a proper dental cleaning, but it dramatically helps delay the time between professional cleanings.

startingsmall

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #111 on: October 27, 2022, 07:55:00 AM »
@Malcat, that story about Winky gave me the warm and fuzzies.

Our rescue Chihuahua mix was old when we adopted her 3 years ago.  We don't know how old. 

But as typical for an old, small dog - she's got bad teeth, and a heart murmur (on medication), and she had a hernia.  The hernia fix was not permanent, so after we'd had her for only 4 months she needed a $6000 surgery.  (She actually ended up getting the surgery a day early because she had an emergency hernia problem - literally 2 days before the scheduled surgery).

But I figure, we have buckets of money - if anyone is going to adopt a small, cranky, overprotective dog who hates other dogs and needs expensive treatment?  It should be us.  We've got money and she's small enough to pick up when she gets barking at other dogs, and we are homebodies.

On the teeth cleaning - out Vet recommended it, but suggested we see the doggie cardiologist first, to make sure it's safe to put her under because "her teeth are bad enough that she needs to go under".  So, this leads me to believe that anesthesia is not required for all cleanings.  In any event, the cardiologist said "well, there will never be a better time" and "with her heart, she probably has only 2 years left".  So, she can just survive with bad teeth.  We've given her a great retirement.

Thiiiiiis makes sense.

Yes, anesthesia is needed for all pet dental cleaning, but it isn't for more superficial surface cleanings. Vets don't offer those here the same way dentists don't offer just a "polish" as a dental cleaning here.

The only places that offer superficial cleanings, for about $250 are some groomers.

I've only known one veterinarian who offered anesthesia-free dental cleanings... they're generally pretty frowned upon, because they miss out on the primary benefits of veterinary dentistry (cleaning below the gumline and the ability to perform a thorough oral exam).

I have, however, worked for a number of vets who offered $350 dentals. Those practices don't make any money on those procedures, but the pets need them and that's often as much as clients will pay for.  In some practices, the $350 dental is pretty bare bones and leaves out things like pre-anesthetic bloodwork, an IV catheter/fluids, and post-op pain meds. In many practices, however, the $350 dental includes everything (pre-surgical sedation, pre-anesthetic bloodwork, IV catheter, IV induction, intubation, inhalant anesthesia, anesthesia monitoring, dental scaling/polishing, vet evaluation, and post-procedure pain meds if indicated). In those charges, the only additional charges are dental x-rays and any needed extractions (plus nerve block, pain meds to go home, and and antibiotics). A $350 dental isn't profitable, but pets need dental care, owners are often to cheap to pay for it, and many veterinary practice owners are soft-hearted people who don't necessarily make the best financial choices.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2022, 08:01:18 AM by startingsmall »

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #112 on: October 27, 2022, 10:47:13 AM »
My friend in a suburb of Fort Worth has lots of money and doesn’t care about the cost. The vet knows her well because she rescues old Poms and always used to have 10. Now that she’s older she only has 6. She has been going there for 20 years and all the dogs get a yearly dental that includes everything. She never would allow a dental to be done without blood work, etc. She wants only the best for her dogs and has had expensive surgeries on older dogs.

iris lily

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #113 on: October 27, 2022, 11:11:05 AM »
My very first bulldog developed a form of cancer found in this breed. She was only 5 years old. She had 3 surgeries and then I said “ enough” and we treated it with chemo. This treatment drug on for 2 years, and because it was pops of $hundreds at a time spread over long period, I didn’t know how much we were spending and it did not matter anyway.

She died after two years at age 7 which is middle aged for a bulldog. Total cost of treatment was around $3,000 in 1997 money.

I do not regret this at all because it was a good learning experience. I will never do anything like that again, and have not done it.

This was 25 years  ago when only specialists did this kind of thing, and they did not have night or weekend hours. So I had to take off work during the day, and that was tedious.

Anyway, I have since developed general guidelines which are:

* comfort care is our overall plan
* blood panels are fine to diagnose, but I will not necessarily TREAT the pet
* ongoing invasive care, chronic care, is not something I will do ( such as injections for diabetic cats)
* ongoing pilling of  cats who fight with me every step of the way…will not do although I WILL force pills down their little gullets if it is a temporary treatment
* if the pet is an age that is good,  great! No need to prolong it all
* euthanize while they are still reasonably themselves…I will not wait until they are in pain. My dogs have high pain thresholds, not gonna push that

I have learned that when a bulldog looks sick he is mere days from dying. I don’t like to wait that long.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2022, 11:29:53 AM by iris lily »

iris lily

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #114 on: October 27, 2022, 11:27:36 AM »
We just moved away from a general veterinary practice we had been going to for 30+ years. The old guy vets retired and their prices were so low it was insane. But then,  their cheap cement block building had been paid for for decades and they didn’t replace equipment in later years as it went kerplunk, so their expenses were low.

The new vets who took it over were young female Docs. Prices went up, but not a lot.

Anyway…I say this to set the stage for how we used veterinary services in St. Louis. This vet practice was our basic vanilla service. These vets were always great in referring more complex issues to the region’s board certified specialists. My car knew it’s way to the surgery specialists and the skin specialist, and one time it visited the dental specialist. Never had to go to the eye specialist thank god because…

…we ALSO had in our veterinary service roster a vet in general practice who knew a lot about bulldogs, so they always performed the eye surgeries needed for bulldogs, performed them at generalist prices.

So we were pretty sophisticated users of veterinary services for dogs. My cats only got general vet care, never specialist care.Sorry, cats!



Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #115 on: October 27, 2022, 01:58:29 PM »
@Malcat, that story about Winky gave me the warm and fuzzies.

Our rescue Chihuahua mix was old when we adopted her 3 years ago.  We don't know how old. 

But as typical for an old, small dog - she's got bad teeth, and a heart murmur (on medication), and she had a hernia.  The hernia fix was not permanent, so after we'd had her for only 4 months she needed a $6000 surgery.  (She actually ended up getting the surgery a day early because she had an emergency hernia problem - literally 2 days before the scheduled surgery).

But I figure, we have buckets of money - if anyone is going to adopt a small, cranky, overprotective dog who hates other dogs and needs expensive treatment?  It should be us.  We've got money and she's small enough to pick up when she gets barking at other dogs, and we are homebodies.

On the teeth cleaning - out Vet recommended it, but suggested we see the doggie cardiologist first, to make sure it's safe to put her under because "her teeth are bad enough that she needs to go under".  So, this leads me to believe that anesthesia is not required for all cleanings.  In any event, the cardiologist said "well, there will never be a better time" and "with her heart, she probably has only 2 years left".  So, she can just survive with bad teeth.  We've given her a great retirement.

Thiiiiiis makes sense.

Yes, anesthesia is needed for all pet dental cleaning, but it isn't for more superficial surface cleanings. Vets don't offer those here the same way dentists don't offer just a "polish" as a dental cleaning here.

The only places that offer superficial cleanings, for about $250 are some groomers.

I've only known one veterinarian who offered anesthesia-free dental cleanings... they're generally pretty frowned upon, because they miss out on the primary benefits of veterinary dentistry (cleaning below the gumline and the ability to perform a thorough oral exam).

I have, however, worked for a number of vets who offered $350 dentals. Those practices don't make any money on those procedures, but the pets need them and that's often as much as clients will pay for.  In some practices, the $350 dental is pretty bare bones and leaves out things like pre-anesthetic bloodwork, an IV catheter/fluids, and post-op pain meds. In many practices, however, the $350 dental includes everything (pre-surgical sedation, pre-anesthetic bloodwork, IV catheter, IV induction, intubation, inhalant anesthesia, anesthesia monitoring, dental scaling/polishing, vet evaluation, and post-procedure pain meds if indicated). In those charges, the only additional charges are dental x-rays and any needed extractions (plus nerve block, pain meds to go home, and and antibiotics). A $350 dental isn't profitable, but pets need dental care, owners are often to cheap to pay for it, and many veterinary practice owners are soft-hearted people who don't necessarily make the best financial choices.

So basically I'm spot on.

This type of pricing doesn't make any sense from the perspective of actually running a business.

I have never met a vet who does this, so that's why it doesn't make sense to me. There are no vets here who will do a cleaning at cost, just like there are no dentists here who will do a cleaning at cost.

I'm fascinated to hear that so many people know of vets who will basically just not make money on their work because the animals need it. I wouldn't expect this to be all that common because I certainly don't see it in the human clinical world.

However, it might make sense of all of the vets out there who are struggling to make a decent living...

iris lily

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #116 on: October 27, 2022, 07:58:46 PM »
@Malcat, that story about Winky gave me the warm and fuzzies.

Our rescue Chihuahua mix was old when we adopted her 3 years ago.  We don't know how old. 

But as typical for an old, small dog - she's got bad teeth, and a heart murmur (on medication), and she had a hernia.  The hernia fix was not permanent, so after we'd had her for only 4 months she needed a $6000 surgery.  (She actually ended up getting the surgery a day early because she had an emergency hernia problem - literally 2 days before the scheduled surgery).

But I figure, we have buckets of money - if anyone is going to adopt a small, cranky, overprotective dog who hates other dogs and needs expensive treatment?  It should be us.  We've got money and she's small enough to pick up when she gets barking at other dogs, and we are homebodies.

On the teeth cleaning - out Vet recommended it, but suggested we see the doggie cardiologist first, to make sure it's safe to put her under because "her teeth are bad enough that she needs to go under".  So, this leads me to believe that anesthesia is not required for all cleanings.  In any event, the cardiologist said "well, there will never be a better time" and "with her heart, she probably has only 2 years left".  So, she can just survive with bad teeth.  We've given her a great retirement.

Thiiiiiis makes sense.

Yes, anesthesia is needed for all pet dental cleaning, but it isn't for more superficial surface cleanings. Vets don't offer those here the same way dentists don't offer just a "polish" as a dental cleaning here.

The only places that offer superficial cleanings, for about $250 are some groomers.

I've only known one veterinarian who offered anesthesia-free dental cleanings... they're generally pretty frowned upon, because they miss out on the primary benefits of veterinary dentistry (cleaning below the gumline and the ability to perform a thorough oral exam).

I have, however, worked for a number of vets who offered $350 dentals. Those practices don't make any money on those procedures, but the pets need them and that's often as much as clients will pay for.  In some practices, the $350 dental is pretty bare bones and leaves out things like pre-anesthetic bloodwork, an IV catheter/fluids, and post-op pain meds. In many practices, however, the $350 dental includes everything (pre-surgical sedation, pre-anesthetic bloodwork, IV catheter, IV induction, intubation, inhalant anesthesia, anesthesia monitoring, dental scaling/polishing, vet evaluation, and post-procedure pain meds if indicated). In those charges, the only additional charges are dental x-rays and any needed extractions (plus nerve block, pain meds to go home, and and antibiotics). A $350 dental isn't profitable, but pets need dental care, owners are often to cheap to pay for it, and many veterinary practice owners are soft-hearted people who don't necessarily make the best financial choices.

So basically I'm spot on.

This type of pricing doesn't make any sense from the perspective of actually running a business.

I have never met a vet who does this, so that's why it doesn't make sense to me. There are no vets here who will do a cleaning at cost, just like there are no dentists here who will do a cleaning at cost.

I'm fascinated to hear that so many people know of vets who will basically just not make money on their work because the animals need it. I wouldn't expect this to be all that common because I certainly don't see it in the human clinical world.

However, it might make sense of all of the vets out there who are struggling to make a decent living...

The current bulldog-knowledgeable vet performs his services super cheap for our rescue dogs. Some extensive complicated surgeries are so inexpensive I just shake my head.

When I have a foster dog I prefer to pay the vet bills for simple stuff since that is my contribution, although for surgery, our rescue organization picks up those costs again from this bulldog vet who has a long-standing relationship with our head of rescue.

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #117 on: October 28, 2022, 05:34:25 AM »


The current bulldog-knowledgeable vet performs his services super cheap for our rescue dogs. Some extensive complicated surgeries are so inexpensive I just shake my head.

When I have a foster dog I prefer to pay the vet bills for simple stuff since that is my contribution, although for surgery, our rescue organization picks up those costs again from this bulldog vet who has a long-standing relationship with our head of rescue.

Yes, I know of plenty of vets who donate their time for animal charities, just not for regular clients.

It's actually possible that it's not legal here to do that. Our healthcare is publicly funded, but our dental care is totally private and it's illegal here for a dentist to provide a discount to one patient and not all patients, unless they are doing non profit work.

It's possible that the vet colleges have the same policy. I have no idea, I've never done consulting for vets.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2022, 05:36:41 AM by Malcat »

getsorted

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #118 on: October 28, 2022, 09:08:49 AM »
I got hosed this trip to the vet, and I'm kicking myself.

One of my beloved cats is 17 and has been losing weight. He seems generally well, just can't keep weight on. He's already on a heart medication, which does seem to help him. I thought it might have something to do with his teeth-- it's been a while since he had a good cleaning and he has tended to have problems (needing teeth pulled, etc). Vet didn't want to put him out for a cleaning without running a broad array of tests ($170), so I said go ahead. Turns out cat's thyroid is too high, which makes perfect sense. But he ALSO tested positive for FIV and one of his kidney markers was slightly less than perfect. I was really upset; cat has been indoors for 14 years, so how he picked up FIV is a mystery to me. I picked up medications for all of this-- $182. Dutifully gave cat all these pills, and only THEN looked more closely at what they are.

Only the thyroid suppressant is an actual drug. The other two are literally just probiotics. One of which was NINETY-NINE dollars! Furious, I went into full research mode on the kidney numbers and trajectory of FIV-- basically, his kidney probably doesn't need treatment at all, and he's likely had FIV since I got him as a stray in 2008. He's had classic symptoms of it this entire time (gingivitis, runny eyes), but all his immune markers are still perfectly fine. And a goddamn probiotic certainly won't do a damn thing for either that or the kidney.

I'm extremely irritated with the vet for prescribing expensive remedies that probably won't do jack shit, and to boot, are drastically overpriced, and irritated with myself for only doing the research AFTER the purchase. I adore this cat-- I honestly had a full crying breakdown thinking about him having FIV. But like, a $99 probiotic??? Good freaking grief.

I'll give him the pills since I already bought them, but we're getting a different vet next time. Kitty loves yogurt-- he will go to extreme lengths to steal it from me-- so we can get his probiotics that way. No point in withholding simple pleasures from a cat who, if human, would be about 90 years old.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2022, 09:11:06 AM by sadiesortsitout »

ak907

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #119 on: October 28, 2022, 09:43:38 AM »
I'm extremely irritated with the vet for prescribing expensive remedies that probably won't do jack shit, and to boot, are drastically overpriced, and irritated with myself for only doing the research AFTER the purchase. I adore this cat-- I honestly had a full crying breakdown thinking about him having FIV. But like, a $99 probiotic??? Good freaking grief.

That is extremely frustrating, definitely reflects some of the bad experiences I have had with vets. It is so hard to hold both opposing thoughts of this person went into this very difficult profession to help animals and this person may be actively trying to exploit my lack of medical knowledge to get money out of me and apply unneeded treatments in your head when in the office.

Sandi_k

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #120 on: October 28, 2022, 11:55:06 AM »

Anyway, I have since developed general guidelines which are:

* comfort care is our overall plan
* blood panels are fine to diagnose, but I will not necessarily TREAT the pet
* ongoing invasive care, chronic care, is not something I will do ( such as injections for diabetic cats)
* ongoing pilling of  cats who fight with me every step of the way…will not do although I WILL force pills down their little gullets if it is a temporary treatment
* if the pet is an age that is good,  great! No need to prolong it all
* euthanize while they are still reasonably themselves…I will not wait until they are in pain. My dogs have high pain thresholds, not gonna push that


This is a pretty good list, but I have one anecdote that might be a counterpoint:

We had a cat that LOST HER MIND over being pilled or having liquid antibiotics administered; we could do it for 2-3 days, and then you were seriously risking life and limb if you tried for a full week. To make it worse, she was subject to frequent UTIs.

We asked the vet about other options, and she asked if we were willing to do injections; we decided to try it.

IT MADE EVERYTHING EASIER. We could hoist her up on the counter, pinch the skin, shove the needle in, push the plunger, and done. Total of 30 seconds, tops. AND NO DRAMA.

So I disagree with the "chronic" and "injections" part of your list, and wanted to offer a counterpoint.

Villanelle

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #121 on: October 28, 2022, 12:09:38 PM »
I've known more than one vet practice that had a "dental cleaning month" or similar, in which they have discounted cleanings.  I don't know if they are discounted to low that they make no money, or just less.  My assumption was that this was in part to attract business.  Sort of like a loss leader at Walmart. 

~~~

One thing I really appreciate about my vet (which i've only been with for about 6 months, since I got my current Creatures) is that they actively encourage me to buy my meds elsewhere  Dog 1 has elevated liver enzymes.  Levels were higher than normal, but not so high that the doc thought we need to to do any of the Big Things.  He recommended a daily supplement and said he'd be happy to sell it to me but I could get it much cheaper from Amazon or other online sources.  he didn't even try to sell it to me, basically.  It's still not cheap at about $1 per pill (one pill per day), but that's not really a consequential expense in our budget, either. 

iris lily

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #122 on: October 28, 2022, 12:15:47 PM »

Anyway, I have since developed general guidelines which are:

* comfort care is our overall plan
* blood panels are fine to diagnose, but I will not necessarily TREAT the pet
* ongoing invasive care, chronic care, is not something I will do ( such as injections for diabetic cats)
* ongoing pilling of  cats who fight with me every step of the way…will not do although I WILL force pills down their little gullets if it is a temporary treatment
* if the pet is an age that is good,  great! No need to prolong it all
* euthanize while they are still reasonably themselves…I will not wait until they are in pain. My dogs have high pain thresholds, not gonna push that


This is a pretty good list, but I have one anecdote that might be a counterpoint:

We had a cat that LOST HER MIND over being pilled or having liquid antibiotics administered; we could do it for 2-3 days, and then you were seriously risking life and limb if you tried for a full week. To make it worse, she was subject to frequent UTIs.

We asked the vet about other options, and she asked if we were willing to do injections; we decided to try it.

IT MADE EVERYTHING EASIER. We could hoist her up on the counter, pinch the skin, shove the needle in, push the plunger, and done. Total of 30 seconds, tops. AND NO DRAMA.

So I disagree with the "chronic" and "injections" part of your list, and wanted to offer a counterpoint.

That’s good, I could see me learning how to give injections,, I just have not done it on the regular.

Oh yes the crazed fighting cat time medication …ugh.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2022, 12:17:37 PM by iris lily »

iris lily

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #123 on: October 28, 2022, 12:22:38 PM »
Sadie, that is dumb of your vet to do that. I honestly cannot conceive of any of my veterinarians giving me expensive dumb shit like that.

This would make me mad enough to be looking into other veterinary clinics.

zygote

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #124 on: October 28, 2022, 12:53:53 PM »
The types of daily interventions I'm willing to do depend on the cat. I'll try just about any at-home treatment to see how it goes before deciding whether it's worth it or not for that particular cat.

My last cat had cancer and kidney disease. We could not pill her to save our lives, but she was fine with liquid nausea meds syringed into her mouth and subcutaneous fluids injected into her back. The few minutes of tolerated annoyance every day gave her good quality of life overall for months.

The vets wanted us to give her a daily chemo pill to keep the cancer at bay, too. But it could not be compounded into a liquid, so we had to decline. Ultimately, we put her down when the cancer metastasized to her lungs.

iris lily

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #125 on: October 28, 2022, 01:16:37 PM »
The types of daily interventions I'm willing to do depend on the cat. I'll try just about any at-home treatment to see how it goes before deciding whether it's worth it or not for that particular cat.

My last cat had cancer and kidney disease. We could not pill her to save our lives, but she was fine with liquid nausea meds syringed into her mouth and subcutaneous fluids injected into her back. The few minutes of tolerated annoyance every day gave her good quality of life overall for months.

The vets wanted us to give her a daily chemo pill to keep the cancer at bay, too. But it could not be compounded into a liquid, so we had to decline. Ultimately, we put her down when the cancer metastasized to her lungs.

It was funny that we did  treat a recent old cat with  subcutaneous injections and she was a perfect patient. she was such an attention whore that she loved having mommy and daddy stand around her, fussing with her and petting her. She was 17 years old and had not bounced back from a dental cleaning, and then she had something else wrong with her which I no longer remember.  these injections got her stabilized to continue on for a few more months but not long, really.


Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #126 on: October 28, 2022, 04:29:37 PM »
Villanelle, what supplement did your vet suggest for the liver issue in your dog? My 5 year old dog has the same thing but the vet wants to redo blood work every 8 weeks.

getsorted

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #127 on: November 01, 2022, 10:49:30 AM »
Not Villanelle, but my dog takes a liver supplement called Denamarin. It's S-adenosylmethionine 215 mg, silybin-phosphatidylcholine 235mg. Her liver enzymes got a bit out of whack after her chocotoxicosis adventure.

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #128 on: November 01, 2022, 10:06:26 PM »
Thanks Sadie!   So took Amy to the vet today to get her anal gland expressed and the vet gave me a estimate for her dental. Last year they found a heart murmur and I did some expensive testing to make sure she was okay to be put under. This year’s dental had 797 in tests besides the 1100 dental. I sent a email asking if the tests were mandatory or recommended. When she listened to her heart she said that her heart sounded the same as last year.

remizidae

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #129 on: November 02, 2022, 05:31:27 PM »
I'm dealing with a vet right now who refuses to renew my cat's thyroid medication unless she comes in for bloodwork on thyroid levels...EVERY TWO MONTHS! Insanity.

I also recently switched from a vet where no one in the office answered their email, despite posting email on their website. So instead, I need to take time out of my work day to play phone tag (and of course they refuse to schedule phone calls in advance). Bastards.

Sibley

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #130 on: November 03, 2022, 01:05:54 PM »
I'm dealing with a vet right now who refuses to renew my cat's thyroid medication unless she comes in for bloodwork on thyroid levels...EVERY TWO MONTHS! Insanity.

I also recently switched from a vet where no one in the office answered their email, despite posting email on their website. So instead, I need to take time out of my work day to play phone tag (and of course they refuse to schedule phone calls in advance). Bastards.

Switch vets again. Once stabilized, you should be fine with every 6 months unless there's a concern. My vet wants a thyroid check every 6 months, but I get the sense he would let that slide if there was push back - he'd rather the cat get something rather than nothing. I have it on the calendar to do every 6 months.

Also, I prefer to get meds in bulk due to the hassle factor and I have no objection to getting meds through the vet (depends on the meds, but thyroid meds are cheap). I typically ask if I can get 2 or 3 months worth of pills and they have no problem. I think this last bottle was like 150 pills or something.

SotI

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #131 on: November 05, 2022, 06:50:13 AM »
Vet expenses are one of my major budget categories - and my pets are all in their senior years, so I have been dealing with lots of end-of-life care costs, in some cases related to cancer or degenerative auto-immune disease, more often chronic kidney failure.

I will have them put down when their quality of live is impacted to the extent that they stop eating and enjoy being active. But even at that stage meds and check-ups had increased. Dental surgery being the most prominent one. Fine for my more social and chilled pets that were eady to handle for vet visits - not possible for my remaining psychos and semi-ferals. That will probably play out with rare emergency check--ups and otherwise gut-based medication (as in playing around with dosage and/or pain-killers) and a sudden final fast ending.

I have a lot of experience now with aforementioned illnesses and a long-standing report with my vets  so that I get any medication on request, even without frequent check-ups. But if there is clear signs of suffering, costs will not matter to me if it really substantially improve life quality. Otherwise, a supported death is preferable. At the end, it is my call, but I try to pick up the vibes of my pets ...