Author Topic: How to save on vet bills?  (Read 4236 times)

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #50 on: June 07, 2020, 06:55:19 PM »
I've got an elderly cat, so I feel your pain. He's fairly healthy, because I spend a lot of money on his diet (proper raw diet with supplements), but he did have a chronic respiratory thing last year that I thought was going to polish him off. He was on medication that cost $60 a month, for a year or so. I ended up buying it online. Vet visits also got cheaper as they became followups and not new condition appts. He does have insurance but I've limited that to diagnostic and surgery only. If your animal needs ongoing regular vet visits, I would negotiate with the vet. See if you can get 10% off or something.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #51 on: June 07, 2020, 06:59:50 PM »
Instead of the monthly heartworm preventive available at the vet's, I give a generic, farm product that is way cheaper and just as effective. The vet knows I do this, but he knows my dogs come in whenever there is a problem.
What do you use for heartworm?

Butting in- at the rescue I work with, they often use ivermectin for livestock because of the volume they go through. Itís not safe for all breeds and you have to sure of the dosing. It is NOT labeled for pet use.

I've been through this one with my chickens. Ivermectin isn't labelled for pet use because no one has done studies on it. They would much rather charge you more for tiny vials of pet products. My vet unofficially suggested I use a drop of Ivermectin or Cydectin on my chickens for lice. I did some research online and found that many chicken owners use it, so went ahead with no ill effects - and I checked on the little buggers every hour all night long after I dosed them while they were roosting.

MudPuppy

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #52 on: June 07, 2020, 07:12:01 PM »
Ivermectin is a pretty common agent for parasites. Even people can use it, but the preparation matters.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #53 on: June 07, 2020, 09:44:43 PM »
What do you use for heartworm?
[/quote]

I do not feel comfortable playing 'vet,' but with some research, and common sense, it can be figured out. 

Cassie

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #54 on: June 07, 2020, 10:01:49 PM »
Mud, it was a closed Facebook group so you have to be invited. I belonged for awhile but after learning a lot I have lost track of it.  Because these dogs were young we bought pet insurance through healthy paws. It costs us 77/month for the 2 of them.  They pay within 10 days.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #55 on: June 07, 2020, 10:43:30 PM »
I can't justify buying a dog from a breeder when there are so many perfectly good dogs in need of homes at shelters.

If there is a specific breed that someone wants, most breeds have a Rescue program, and dogs are usually available from them. I raised basenjis, and we were always contacting shelters that got one, and usually worked with the shelter to get the dog into our rescue program. Why? 75% of people who look into getting a basenji, after doing their research and working with a rescue coordinator - change their mind!

I raised/showed them for 10 years, and required anyone interested in the breed, to visit. At the time, I had 8, living in the house with us.  One time I had a husband and wife come, and I could tell he was smitten, but as they were leaving, I heard his wife say, quietly, "Why would anyone do this?????
I spent a lot of time talking to people OUT of the breed!

I know there are other breeds with good breed clubs, dedicated to helping their breed through any health issues it may have. I'm going to share a story that has resulted in the Basenji Club of America being named in our will:

Basenis have lived on the African continent for years, think back to the time of the Pharoahs. In the 1940's a couple were brought to Great Britain, and then some came to the US.  Africans spoke of the 'drinking water' disease some of the dogs had, and in Europe and the US, it got to 20% or so by the time I was active in the breed.
It's Fanconi, they don't exhibit symptoms until there 7 or so (they pee and drink a lot), not an age to start breeding them. In the 80's, a human anesthesiologist, and basenji owner whose dog got fanconi, developed a protocol for people to follow if their dog was diagnosed. Something about the acidity of the blood.  It was refined over the years, and dogs were dying of old age. BUT, it required lots of vitamins, and up to 30 bicarbonate tablets be given - per day!  These are smart dogs, and to get a tablet of baking soda, let alone 30, into the dog, was a challenge.

We used to test our dogs' urine for sugar once a month, as spilling sugar was the first sign.

Since the 1970's or so, the BCOA was amassing money to get fanconi in basenis studied, hopefully to first, find out how if was passed on - records were kept, lots of them, because we knew there was a family link.  The scientists told us to hang on to the money - they weren't ready for it yet.

2005 or so, they were ready, and they found out fanconi in basenjis was a simple recessive. This meant, as breeders, we could eliminate fanconi in our litters.

There were positives, clears, and recessive dogs, so no dogs had to be eliminated from a breeding program, if it was bred to the appropriate fanconi tested dog. I used it a couple of years in my breeding program - then I had a brain injury and I was no longer breeding or showing. When I was breeding, I tested every dog I had, and none were positive, got lucky there. The test was a blood test, but now it's a cheek swab. Knowing the parents' status could cancel out fanconi of the pups.

I got out before I heard what the response was, but they got a inquiry from a human doctor. At the time, there were 300 children worldwide that had fanconi. Since they were spread all over the world, any information  would be valuable.

THAT is why, in specific cases, buying from a GOOD breeders sometimes is the way to go.

One thing I did, when I sold a puppy, was have a contract signed stating that if the dog got fanconi, all of the purchase price would be returned.  Also it said if for ANY reason they no longer wanted the dog, no matter the age or the reason, I wanted it back.  I did get 2 back, and re-homed them.

MudPuppy

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #56 on: June 08, 2020, 03:08:08 AM »
playing 'vet,í

Good phrasing! I am glad the new president quit the practice of some that because I was always worried people would try it without caution

mm1970

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #57 on: June 08, 2020, 09:20:33 AM »
I have a few thoughts!  After years of resisting (mine), I warmed to the idea and we adopted a pet in November.  A senior dog.  She's a delight to our family!  She's a cranky old Chihuahua mix who barks at strangers and all dogs, nips at anyone but the husband when it's time for bed, and is very territorial.

I have lost count of what we have spent so far from adoption to regular vet bills, medication, and the hernia surgery (that was $5000).  I remember being one of those MMM people who just thought "don't have a pet".  Just like kids, you save money if you don't have one.  However, really, if anyone should be adopting a senior dog who needs surgery, it's us.  We can afford it.

So, medications are expensive.  Vets go through years of education and training and still...don't make much money.  Burnout is huge, and the stress is really high.  Every vet place has assistants, computer systems, overhead.  Some do emergency care.  It's not cheap.  I expect to be paid for my experience and expertise, so should they.

I have heard that our local Humane society has reduced rates on some things and they can recommend certain vets that will do low cost vaccinations.

ketchup

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #58 on: June 08, 2020, 12:45:52 PM »
One thing I forgot to mention is vaccines can be had for a discount at weekend clinics at Petco.  I don't remember the exact pricing last time we went, but it was a lot less than at a vet.

Bonus: We showed up with a dog half an hour before the clinic was supposed to be over and got a 20% off coupon for next time since they were already packed up and gone.  There was no fine print on the coupon about a limit or anything (would not matter to most people). 

We showed up the next weekend with two cars, a litter of six, and five adult dogs.  We got everyone current, and for 20% off the already low price.  It was a circus but we got it done.

projekt

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #59 on: June 08, 2020, 03:23:16 PM »
Instead of the monthly heartworm preventive available at the vet's, I give a generic, farm product that is way cheaper and just as effective. The vet knows I do this, but he knows my dogs come in whenever there is a problem.
What do you use for heartworm?

Butting in- at the rescue I work with, they often use ivermectin for livestock because of the volume they go through. Itís not safe for all breeds and you have to sure of the dosing. It is NOT labeled for pet use.

I've been through this one with my chickens. Ivermectin isn't labelled for pet use because no one has done studies on it. They would much rather charge you more for tiny vials of pet products. My vet unofficially suggested I use a drop of Ivermectin or Cydectin on my chickens for lice. I did some research online and found that many chicken owners use it, so went ahead with no ill effects - and I checked on the little buggers every hour all night long after I dosed them while they were roosting.
Ivermectin is usually safe for dogs -- we used to use it for demodectic mange -- but there are some dogs that are extraordinarily sensitive to it. We usually recommend caution or prior MDR1 gene testing before using it at the quantities often prescribed. The amount in Heartgard Plus as labeled is safe for these dogs but I can't vouch for the effectiveness of a low dose of the cow stuff.

Here is a paper about backyard poultry. https://vet.osu.edu/sites/vet.osu.edu/files/documents/extension/Egg%20residue%20considerations%20during%20the%20treatment%20of%20backyard%20poultry%202015.pdf

I think pyrethrins or permethrin are the usual recommendation for ectoparasites of chickens. They're approved and do not show residues in meat or eggs. I prefer pyrethroids over organophosphates and organochlorines. Natural pyrethrins can be considered organic.

I offer heartworm prevention that is approved, still seems to be effective, and easily dosed, and I'm willing to pay more money for those qualities. My dog sees his heartworm preventative and flea med as tasty treats he gets on a special day.

(Nothing here is advice for any particular patient or farm, just general considerations)

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #60 on: June 08, 2020, 06:57:53 PM »
Instead of the monthly heartworm preventive available at the vet's, I give a generic, farm product that is way cheaper and just as effective. The vet knows I do this, but he knows my dogs come in whenever there is a problem.
What do you use for heartworm?

Butting in- at the rescue I work with, they often use ivermectin for livestock because of the volume they go through. Itís not safe for all breeds and you have to sure of the dosing. It is NOT labeled for pet use.

I've been through this one with my chickens. Ivermectin isn't labelled for pet use because no one has done studies on it. They would much rather charge you more for tiny vials of pet products. My vet unofficially suggested I use a drop of Ivermectin or Cydectin on my chickens for lice. I did some research online and found that many chicken owners use it, so went ahead with no ill effects - and I checked on the little buggers every hour all night long after I dosed them while they were roosting.
Ivermectin is usually safe for dogs -- we used to use it for demodectic mange -- but there are some dogs that are extraordinarily sensitive to it. We usually recommend caution or prior MDR1 gene testing before using it at the quantities often prescribed. The amount in Heartgard Plus as labeled is safe for these dogs but I can't vouch for the effectiveness of a low dose of the cow stuff.

Here is a paper about backyard poultry. https://vet.osu.edu/sites/vet.osu.edu/files/documents/extension/Egg%20residue%20considerations%20during%20the%20treatment%20of%20backyard%20poultry%202015.pdf

I think pyrethrins or permethrin are the usual recommendation for ectoparasites of chickens. They're approved and do not show residues in meat or eggs. I prefer pyrethroids over organophosphates and organochlorines. Natural pyrethrins can be considered organic.

I offer heartworm prevention that is approved, still seems to be effective, and easily dosed, and I'm willing to pay more money for those qualities. My dog sees his heartworm preventative and flea med as tasty treats he gets on a special day.

(Nothing here is advice for any particular patient or farm, just general considerations)

I'm not worried about residue in eggs. No one is worried about residue in meat or milk when cows are treated. Or when sheep, goats etc etc are treated. This is a farming country. Drenches like ivermectin and cydectin are advertised on prime time tv. Even a suburban vet knows what it can and can't be used for, regardless of what the manufacturers guidelines say.

projekt

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #61 on: June 10, 2020, 06:28:39 AM »
Drenches like ivermectin and cydectin are advertised on prime time tv. Even a suburban vet knows what it can and can't be used for, regardless of what the manufacturers guidelines say.

Cydectin has a proven zero meat or milk withdrawal time in cattle but Ivomec has no approved milk withdrawal time and is not approved for dairy cattle.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #62 on: June 10, 2020, 11:02:45 PM »
Drenches like ivermectin and cydectin are advertised on prime time tv. Even a suburban vet knows what it can and can't be used for, regardless of what the manufacturers guidelines say.

Cydectin has a proven zero meat or milk withdrawal time in cattle but Ivomec has no approved milk withdrawal time and is not approved for dairy cattle.

Ivermectin is used for parasite control in people. You know that, right? It's sold under Soolantra and used for scabies, amongst other things. It's not approved for breast feeding women either. Since I'm not breastfeeding, I'm really not worried about any residue in eggs.

pegleglolita

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #63 on: June 19, 2020, 06:31:58 AM »
Just coming in to share this with those who may not quite understand what it takes to become a veterinarian (in the US, it's slightly different in other countries): 

Schooling includes four years of a bachelor's degree in things like microbiology, biology, molecular biology, etc. with completion of a specific set of pre-requisite courses.  Then four years of extremely rigorous veterinary school in which students have to learn everything about every species besides humans.  Then some choose to do internships (where you make less than the average waiter or entry-level HVAC technician), and others choose to specialize by doing a three-year residency and sitting for extraordinarily rigorous board examinations. 

The debt-to-income ratio for veterinarians is the highest of any health profession.  From the American Veterinary Medical Association:  "The harsh reality is that the average educational debt for 2016 veterinary school graduates including those with zero debt was $143,757.82. The average for only those 2016 veterinary school graduates with debt is $167,534.89 and over 20% has at least $200,000 in debt." 

That's not even touching the fact that even basic "family doc" veterinary clinics these days need to be equipped with sophisticated bloodwork machines, x-ray and ultrasound machines, anesthesia and monitoring equipment, and a wide range of drugs and therapeutic interventions for between 2 and 6 species of animals.  This isn't the world of All Creatures Great and Small where all you need is a stethoscope and a giant bottle of penicillin.  When you deprive veterinarians of bread-and-butter income from pharmacy and prescription diet items, the money needs to be made up somewhere else because vets can't guilt the utility company into keeping the lights on without getting paid because puppies are cute.  Everyone can't buy everything from Chewy and then expect an office visit to be $50...in what universe does that math work for a veterinarian trying to run a small business that allows them to pay off their massive educational debt and make a reasonable living for their 8 years of sacrifice to get that degree.  Financial stress and compassion fatigue are two things that lead to the high (and growing) problem of suicide in the profession.  https://time.com/5670965/veterinarian-suicide-help/

I understand we're all here to talk about saving a buck, but as with things that impact the environment (single-use plastics, etc.) it's important to consider the REAL COST, not just the PRICE.  If people want veterinarians to be around when they need them and to have life-saving advanced medical equipment, it has to get paid for somehow.  It doesn't work if everyone thinks it's everyone else's job to do that.   

Captain Cactus

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #64 on: June 23, 2020, 08:42:02 AM »
Just coming in to share this with those who may not quite understand what it takes to become a veterinarian (in the US, it's slightly different in other countries): 

Schooling includes four years of a bachelor's degree in things like microbiology, biology, molecular biology, etc. with completion of a specific set of pre-requisite courses.  Then four years of extremely rigorous veterinary school in which students have to learn everything about every species besides humans.  Then some choose to do internships (where you make less than the average waiter or entry-level HVAC technician), and others choose to specialize by doing a three-year residency and sitting for extraordinarily rigorous board examinations. 

The debt-to-income ratio for veterinarians is the highest of any health profession.  From the American Veterinary Medical Association:  "The harsh reality is that the average educational debt for 2016 veterinary school graduates including those with zero debt was $143,757.82. The average for only those 2016 veterinary school graduates with debt is $167,534.89 and over 20% has at least $200,000 in debt." 

That's not even touching the fact that even basic "family doc" veterinary clinics these days need to be equipped with sophisticated bloodwork machines, x-ray and ultrasound machines, anesthesia and monitoring equipment, and a wide range of drugs and therapeutic interventions for between 2 and 6 species of animals.  This isn't the world of All Creatures Great and Small where all you need is a stethoscope and a giant bottle of penicillin.  When you deprive veterinarians of bread-and-butter income from pharmacy and prescription diet items, the money needs to be made up somewhere else because vets can't guilt the utility company into keeping the lights on without getting paid because puppies are cute.  Everyone can't buy everything from Chewy and then expect an office visit to be $50...in what universe does that math work for a veterinarian trying to run a small business that allows them to pay off their massive educational debt and make a reasonable living for their 8 years of sacrifice to get that degree.  Financial stress and compassion fatigue are two things that lead to the high (and growing) problem of suicide in the profession.  https://time.com/5670965/veterinarian-suicide-help/

I understand we're all here to talk about saving a buck, but as with things that impact the environment (single-use plastics, etc.) it's important to consider the REAL COST, not just the PRICE.  If people want veterinarians to be around when they need them and to have life-saving advanced medical equipment, it has to get paid for somehow.  It doesn't work if everyone thinks it's everyone else's job to do that.   

Thank you for writing this...I was trying to get at this same point a few weeks ago but nobody wanted to hear it. 

projekt

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #65 on: June 23, 2020, 09:39:35 AM »
Also, if you do get vaccines or testing done by a pop-up clinic, save your records. It is difficult or impossible to track down the records from those clinics. We can't vouch for undocumented vaccines on health certificates or to boarding facilities.

BlueHouse

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #66 on: November 02, 2020, 06:40:29 AM »
Sorry to bring up an old topic, but if anyone is still reading this, does anyone express their dog's anal glands by themselves? 
I've sort of accepted that my dog is going to require this service on a pretty regular basis, and I'm okay paying another $37 every 1-2 months so that he's not suffering.  But if I'm unable to stick my own finger up his ass and express those glands myself, it will put a huge damper on some of my post-retirement extended travel plans. 
Just wondering if there's any advice along these lines? 

Captain Cactus

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #67 on: November 02, 2020, 07:45:38 AM »
Sorry to bring up an old topic, but if anyone is still reading this, does anyone express their dog's anal glands by themselves? 
I've sort of accepted that my dog is going to require this service on a pretty regular basis, and I'm okay paying another $37 every 1-2 months so that he's not suffering.  But if I'm unable to stick my own finger up his ass and express those glands myself, it will put a huge damper on some of my post-retirement extended travel plans. 
Just wondering if there's any advice along these lines?

I suspect YouTube has some interesting videos on the topics... kind of like the canine version of those blackhead-popping videos...

Eeeew...

shuffler

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #68 on: November 02, 2020, 10:10:44 AM »
If I'm unable to stick my own finger up his ass and express those glands myself, it will put a huge damper on some of my post-retirement extended travel plans. 
Just wondering if there's any advice along these lines?
If you're a regular customer of your vet/groomer (I think groomers do this too?  Ask them if they do butt stuff), then you could ask them to help you solve this problem.  Understanding that you'll be traveling with your dog, they may be willing to show you how to do it.  Even a "hands on" demo with your own dog.

Or if there's a vet-tech you're friendly with, they may be willing to show you outside the office.

Cassie

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #69 on: November 02, 2020, 07:49:43 PM »
Groomers are only allowed to express them from the outside. Only a vet or vet technician can do it from the inside. Itís not really a do itself thing as you can damage the anal gland and then the dog canít control their poop and it just falls out when they walk or relax. 

GreenToTheCore

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #70 on: November 02, 2020, 08:31:47 PM »
Sorry to bring up an old topic, but if anyone is still reading this, does anyone express their dog's anal glands by themselves? 
I've sort of accepted that my dog is going to require this service on a pretty regular basis, and I'm okay paying another $37 every 1-2 months so that he's not suffering.  But if I'm unable to stick my own finger up his ass and express those glands myself, it will put a huge damper on some of my post-retirement extended travel plans. 
Just wondering if there's any advice along these lines?

Yep. Luckily I get to bring home nitrile gloves from work and somehow her gland discharge doesn't have a strong smell.
You do need to be careful to not inflame the area. Our vet was more than happy to show me how to do it.

partgypsy

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #71 on: November 03, 2020, 06:21:34 AM »
It is a little late now, but we had a poodle until about 5 years ago, and she was a fairly expensive dog to maintain as she got grass seeds burrow into her skin regularly, which sometimes needed to be removed surgically if we didn't see them in time.  She also had eye issues as well.

When we got our current dog, we got a breed that is less maintenance, (and doesn't need shaving regularly).  We got a kelpie, but there are other breeds that are much less prone to allergies, hip issues or whatever.

As I said, a little late now, but maybe try a different breed next time?


I heard on a podcast the mixed breed dogs have much less health problems than pure breed dogs. It is because many seldom illnesses are on recessive genes. Pure breeds have a much smaller gene pool and therefore get more double versions of recessive genes. Mixed breeds don't have that problem.

I have found this to be the case. I have had all rescue dogs or cats. In general they were all pretty problem free and lived to old age. The only exception was our chow mix, who developed a seizure disorder in middle age. One of our rescue cats came with many problems (fleas, worm infection, mouth infection) so she needed extra help at the beginning but was easy to maintain afterwards.

Regular checkups and shots for pets is necessary for their health and should be built into the cost of having a pet. As others said some medications can be filled at a pharmacist or internet pet supplier, but I only do that if it is something like flea medication where I need refills. If you like your vet, buying meds through them helps keep the lights on.  There are some things you can do at home like grooming, cutting nails, etc; can save costs there. 
« Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 06:26:20 AM by partgypsy »

BlueHouse

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #72 on: November 03, 2020, 09:26:15 AM »
Sorry to bring up an old topic, but if anyone is still reading this, does anyone express their dog's anal glands by themselves? 
I've sort of accepted that my dog is going to require this service on a pretty regular basis, and I'm okay paying another $37 every 1-2 months so that he's not suffering.  But if I'm unable to stick my own finger up his ass and express those glands myself, it will put a huge damper on some of my post-retirement extended travel plans. 
Just wondering if there's any advice along these lines?

Yep. Luckily I get to bring home nitrile gloves from work and somehow her gland discharge doesn't have a strong smell.
You do need to be careful to not inflame the area. Our vet was more than happy to show me how to do it.

My vet is happy to show me and I've had two lessons so far, but I chicken out at the last minute or can't commit.  I get my lubed-up, gloved, finger to the anus, and try to get in, but my dog is puckering up so tight, I am afraid to push too hard.  two days ago, I thought I was in, but couldn't find the gland, so I quit and then realized, I don't think I was actually in.  I think it's like the pillsbury dough-boy.  I push my finger in and "think" it's inside, but it's just depressing the area. 

I intend to keep trying, but when I give it a go and don't succeed, I want to make sure to give him a few days to recover so I don't bruise him or agitate the area too much.  And then he stops scooting for a few days, so I think "maybe I got some without realizing it"??? 

I've watched tons of videos on youtube and had walk throughs by the vet and again by the vet techs.  It's really just a matter of me getting the confidence and the "feel" for it. 

The other thing is that my dog doesn't really fight me over it.  It honestly seems as if he wants me to succeed at this.  so...we're gonna keep trying.  Was just wondering if anyone else had some advice on getting through this roadblock.

shuffler

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #73 on: November 03, 2020, 10:13:22 AM »
I once had a dog with a medical situation that required occasional unplanned and quick rectal administration of a liquid drug.  We had a thin rubber hose for insertion, and then would push the liquid through the hose.

If you're having trouble finding your way in, maybe a little leader hose like that would help.  It'd be easier to ensure it went in the right place, and then your gloved finger could follow alongside.

Of course, I'm not a vet, so maybe run this idea by them first.  (And maybe they have these little hoses and could give you one.)

BlueHouse

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #74 on: November 03, 2020, 10:40:32 AM »
I once had a dog with a medical situation that required occasional unplanned and quick rectal administration of a liquid drug.  We had a thin rubber hose for insertion, and then would push the liquid through the hose.

If you're having trouble finding your way in, maybe a little leader hose like that would help.  It'd be easier to ensure it went in the right place, and then your gloved finger could follow alongside.

Of course, I'm not a vet, so maybe run this idea by them first.  (And maybe they have these little hoses and could give you one.)

Did you have any trouble getting it in?  KNowing it was in far enough but not too far?  Seems like a good idea to me. 
Sorry...I know this is gross to many.  I'm just trying to do this with as little anxiety for my pup as possible.   When I look at the size of his turds compared to the size of my finger, I'm pretty sure I won't be hurting him. 

GreenToTheCore

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #75 on: November 03, 2020, 03:40:05 PM »
I once had a dog with a medical situation that required occasional unplanned and quick rectal administration of a liquid drug.  We had a thin rubber hose for insertion, and then would push the liquid through the hose.

If you're having trouble finding your way in, maybe a little leader hose like that would help.  It'd be easier to ensure it went in the right place, and then your gloved finger could follow alongside.

Of course, I'm not a vet, so maybe run this idea by them first.  (And maybe they have these little hoses and could give you one.)

Did you have any trouble getting it in?  KNowing it was in far enough but not too far?  Seems like a good idea to me. 
Sorry...I know this is gross to many.  I'm just trying to do this with as little anxiety for my pup as possible.   When I look at the size of his turds compared to the size of my finger, I'm pretty sure I won't be hurting him.

Gotchya. The psychological hurdle is real. Maybe focusing on the bolded part would help? There's really non way to go too far, your finger is definitely shorter than the GI tract.
Breathe, you can do it.

shuffler

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #76 on: November 03, 2020, 05:35:54 PM »
Did you have any trouble getting it in?  Knowing it was in far enough but not too far?  Seems like a good idea to me.
I think we were successful.  The liquid medication didn't immediately come back out or anything.
Dog was having seizures, so we didn't really get her opinion of the situation, but I can't imagine it injured her in any way.

projekt

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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #77 on: November 08, 2020, 02:51:28 PM »
Itís definitely something my assistants learn early on, so itís not difficult. There are three things to think about.

1. Perineal hernia. Itís not common but you can hurt them if you donít know about it.
2. Excessive pressure. You can rupture the sac and that material is going to cause an abscess.
3. Pain and discomfort. Not being skilled means you might abuse the delicate rectal mucosa and leave it feeling sore. This might not be good for your relationship with your dog.

Aside from that, a professional might also identify a tumor or abscess.

rae09

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: How to save on vet bills?
« Reply #78 on: November 17, 2020, 04:43:20 PM »
Sorry to bring up an old topic, but if anyone is still reading this, does anyone express their dog's anal glands by themselves? 
I've sort of accepted that my dog is going to require this service on a pretty regular basis, and I'm okay paying another $37 every 1-2 months so that he's not suffering.  But if I'm unable to stick my own finger up his ass and express those glands myself, it will put a huge damper on some of my post-retirement extended travel plans. 
Just wondering if there's any advice along these lines?


What is his diet?
When we adopted our dog, he had to be expressed every 3-4 weeks and he was at the vet's office at least once a month (diarrhea, vomiting, diarrhea AND vomiting). Everyone there knows his name. In less than 9 months, we were up to almost $2k (incl 5 teeth extraction). We switched him to home cooked diet and the fiber from the vegetables helped him expressed himself. We didn't have to get his anal gland expressed for about 6 months-ish.

His previous vet always told me to feed commercial, but that's normal since they have Science Diet's pamphlets all over the office.
We switched to a holistic vet. Saw her once last year for physical exam, blood and stool tests. Haven't seen her since. I also learned holistic approach to deal with his common issues (vomiting and loose stool) so that saves us some money and saves him the unnecessary stress going to the vet's office.

Improve their diet, save on vet's costs. Feel free to PM me, I'm happy to share what I've learned.