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What's your threshold for saying "no" to a vet bill?

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    #41
    I will let you all in on a big secret in the small animal vet world. We hate nurse clients the most, then horse people. I wonder why.

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      #42
      Originally posted by sockmonkey View Post
      I will let you all in on a big secret in the small animal vet world. We hate nurse clients the most, then horse people. I wonder why.
      Probably because you want people who you can just push around and money grub from would be my guess with an attitude like yours

      ETA because your post rather ticked me off.
      I pay my bill in full, generally in cash at time of services, don't ask for discounts, I schedule and keep appointments, I follow vet instructions, keep up wellness appointments, etc. so I don't think it's too much to ask that a vet listen to my observations on what is going on with my pet that I interact with every single day.
      Last edited by tabula rashah; Oct. 16, 2020, 12:22 PM.
      No mourners, no funerals

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        #43
        I don't think my vet is the greatest vet in the world, but I appreciate him because he tells me "Your options are A, B, and C" and he lets me decide what to do and how much I want to do. I have 5 cats and I want them to have good care, but having so many I'm sometimes not able to do everything. Also, I usually believe in starting with the simplest things first. See how they work and try other things later if needed.

        There is another vet at the same practice that recommends every diagnostic, every treatment, every medication. He's also pretty condescending and both times that I used him he acted like I know nothing about cats (I have had several cats over about 40 years of cat ownership). I won't go to him anymore.

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          #44
          Anyone else long for the days when vet practices were maybe one or two vets, with a receptionist/tech person, no "back room" and handled their own emergencies? The vet we used when I was growing up had his office and exam rooms on the lower level of his home, nothing fancy but clean and had what he needed. He obviously cared about the animals he treated, and included owners in treatment plans. Weekend/late night emergency? He didn't refer you to an emergency clinic a half hour or more further away that had never seen your pet, but was ready and waiting when you came in. I wanted to be a vet as a kid, and he took time to explain to me what he was doing and why, and let me watch and learn. On the occasion that there was something he couldn't handle in his modest surgery, he'd refer you to a larger hospital, but would collaborate with those vets for aftercare.

          We moved a few towns over, and it was the same--the local vet's practice was in his home. When he retired, the vet that took over his practice took on another vet and later two and built a new surgery but it's modest, and again, the vets there took care of their own emergencies and didn't take pets "to the back" for routine things that could be done in an exam room, and the owner was a part of the process. Again, he was happy to answer my questions, and he showed me how to give my own injections to my pets and horse. I never felt like I was being talked down to, never felt like they were trying to push anything, they took a step-by-step approach in diagnostics, made clients feel like friends. There are no vets like that any more, at least not that I know of, and I miss them. I feel like my animals got better care, too.

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            #45
            I drive a bit further to use a small animal vet practice that I trust and that doesn't throw every diagnostic thing on the planet at them. When my older cat had a tooth issue, the "boutique" clinic wanted nearly $600 for a tooth extraction. I took her to the other, further vet where she got an entirely reasonable care for $160. This week, a different cat had an anal gland abscess. Further vet lanced and flushed it, provided antibiotics, bill was about 170. I'm confident that boutique vet would've wanted to do lab work, maybe keep her overnight etc, and I've no doubt the bill would've been double.

            Some owners want that over the top fur baby pet parent sort of talk and do everything approach. I'm not that person.

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              #46
              Originally posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post
              Anyone else long for the days when vet practices were maybe one or two vets, with a receptionist/tech person, no "back room" and handled their own emergencies?
              I do. But today, vets simply cannot afford to start up (lease/buy commercial land, pay and wait for permits, pay for the build out, buy the equipment and supplies, payroll staff, pay for insurance, etc) and independently own -thus finance- a small business coming out of vet school with the debt they are currently encumbered with. Just like a lot of small -or not so small!- businesses these days being consumed by conglomerates. Hello, Banfield! How many small businesses do we see thriving these days? How many require 8+ years of education and independent financing?

              I'm sorry to see this thread turned into Bash Vets . I know COTHers value great care and care providers, be that a small animal vet, farrier, or saddle fitter.

              I really, truly, do not believe vets aim to push around and money grub their clients. Our cost as clients/patients are increasing because their costs are increasing and there is no insurance to buffer the consumer from the actual, real-live costs of health, err veterinary , care. Anyone ever pay for their own health care services or meds without insurance ? Well, that's a glimpse into the actual costs of veterinary care.

              I happily purchase my heartworm medication from the clinic at the time of the blood test. Yes, I can purchase it online for less. Which means the vet loses that revenue because of their smaller volume compared to retail giants like Chewy, and has to make up for it with their exam, vaccine, and spay fees: line items for which consumers can't shop from giant faceless retailers online.

              I'll never forget putting myself through school by working at a specialty veterinary clinic. That experience showed me I did NOT want to be a vet. The two practice owners drove up early in the morning in loud, old, dinged up vehicles. The techs rolled in a couple hours later in new SUVs and sports cars. I will never, ever forget that parking lot. that doesn't even touch the work-life balance and compassion fatigue. One of the highest suicide rates of any profession.

              Vets reading this, know we do value your time and expertise. Thank you for doing a job we, your clients, can't or won't. Thank you.

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                #47
                Originally posted by Bicoastal View Post



                I'm sorry to see this thread turned into Bash Vets .

                I really, truly, do not believe vets aim to push around and money grub their clients.

                For me it isn't a "blanket bash vets"...it's only bash the vets that deserve being bashed. Whether it's overcharging or poor services, if it happens they deserve to be called on it. Unfortunately it happens way too often.

                I've been fortunate to have found some very good vets and had some excellent experiences and care for my animals over the years. I've also found or had to use new vets in the interim when searching for a new full time vet, that charged much more than any other vet I've used while offering very poor services.

                I've had personal experiences where a vet has pushed while trying to use a guilt trip to try and get me to agree and pay for services that were unnecessary.

                My last vet in Ontario before I relocated worked in a large clinic that has four locations throughout the city of Hamilton. She was the one that saved my Rotten Ralph's life. She left that clinic as soon as she was able, the reason she gave me was she was tired and heart sick for the clients that had to refuse certain procedures and animal care because they couldn't afford it. She said often the client couldn't afford the actual treatment because of the high fees for the visit and extensive tests(some that weren't needed in her opinion), after reaching their financial limit they asked if they could make payment on the procedures/treatment and they were told "no payment plans".
                Mean Girls grow up to be Mean Women

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                  #48
                  Originally posted by Sandysmom View Post

                  Bet the local vets just love you. When you've pissed them all off or stiffed them for work they've done, where are you going to go?
                  Actually, they do like me. They know that I am straight with them and I expect same in return. When you try to circumvent me or do things I DID NOT ASK FOR or specifically asked you NOT to do - well, then we have a problem. In the specific case I mentioned I had asked him not to do things that he went ahead and did anyway. If that had happened to you, I'm willing to bet you would have been furious too.
                  "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
                  - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

                  Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.

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                    #49
                    The only problem I see is that your vet might be peeved you didn't do all the things he was suggesting. As the owner I always ask how much things will cost when we are in unknown territory. I may feel a bit uncomfortable at times when I challenge the treatment protocol, but I have to be able to afford it.

                    I just had one of our dogs diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This dog is 70 pounds and the insulin the vet prescribed at first was $58 a bottle. As we were trying to get her adjusted the units kept increasing and my tiny bottle was only going to last maybe 2 weeks at most. I did some investigating and found I could use human insulin, sold OTC at Walmart, get double the amount for half the price.

                    I think he was offended when I told him I wanted to switch her over, but we did. I was also having to take her in clinic to do a series of blood glucose over the course of the day. It was so stressful for her that her blood sugars were sky high. At her last one I couldn't get her out of the car, had to drag her into the vet and then she promptly tried to bowl all 3 of us over to get out the door.

                    I went home and ordered a pet meter and strips and have been doing her at home and decided she is not going back. We are making great progress on our own.

                    All that useless rambling to say maybe use him for routine things and try and find another vet who isn't so inclined to go over the top? Or just be strong and nix the high cost stuff you don't need on a regular basis . Like I do with my small animal vet when the need arises.

                    I find that some pet owners expect the vet to do all those things or never question the cost and the vets can get used to that. Both my vets know I am on the conservative side. Especially my horse vet, but we have a long standing relationship and he just knows.

                    If you like and trust this vet I would work around it.

                    Comment


                      #50
                      Well the turn this thread has taken is pretty disturbing. I drive about 40 minutes to go to my small animal vet because I trust him and I know he's going to recommend treatment plans that should actually be done. His practice is SUPER busy, and I'm sure it's partly because he's known for being affordable and not taking a kitchen sink approach. On the other hand, if you do want to find out what's going on, and all the routine tests are showing up nothing, you might need to push a bit for some extra diagnostics or a referral to a specialist (not that you NEED a "referral" like in human medicine but it's better if your GP vet agrees that you should go to a specialist).

                      Both of the vets I worked for did seem to get annoyed with horse people that were clients. But they LOVED hiring horse people to work for them...

                      Comment


                        #51
                        My small animal vet, who was originally recommend to me by a former tech (who was someone I knew through horses), when I was having trouble getting an accurate diagnosis on a dog who'd already been seen by two vets in a practice (and turned out, seriously mis-diagnosed) likes knowledgeable clients. Likes explaining things. Likes it when I've brought a typed-up list of items to cover, what's been happening with my pet, etc. (he told me he wishes every client would do this).

                        His differential diagnostic skills are such that $ don't get wasted on the "wrong" tests. Don't misunderstand me, he's not cheap, he's reasonably priced but uses an excellent lab, has superior radiograph and ultrasound capability in-house. The main savings with him is that he doesn't nickle and dime, nor blow through money using the shotgun approach. As a veterinarian long-time personal friend of mine (who works for a federal agency) has said to me, excessive testing does nothing to treat the animal.

                        I've had the experience of another veterinarian I formerly used referring one of my dogs to an internist for a biopsy, where the internist asked why one particular test had been done FIVE times, and stated that was completely unnecessary -- she called my dog "a canine pincushion" when she saw his records!

                        Comment


                          #52
                          Originally posted by Bicoastal View Post

                          I do. But today, vets simply cannot afford to start up (lease/buy commercial land, pay and wait for permits, pay for the build out, buy the equipment and supplies, payroll staff, pay for insurance, etc) and independently own -thus finance- a small business coming out of vet school with the debt they are currently encumbered with. Just like a lot of small -or not so small!- businesses these days being consumed by conglomerates. Hello, Banfield! How many small businesses do we see thriving these days? How many require 8+ years of education and independent financing?
                          Mars is the one buying up all the clinics. They own Banfield.

                          Comment


                            #53
                            Originally posted by tabula rashah View Post
                            I shopped around a good bit for my small animal vet (and actually I ended up with a dog vet and a cat vet) and it had nothing to do with what they charge. I feel like, with my horse vets, they are part of the team that keeps my horse healthy, at it's best etc and that we work together. But with many of the small animal vets I've had interactions with, I feel like they think I'm an idiot who needs to be talked down to and that I can't possibly have any experience or knowledge in caring for my animal. Oddly the 2 small animal vets I've found that I'm happy with both have techs who horse people.
                            Absolutely! I recently tried out a new vet with my new puppy because I think it's only a matter of time before my regular vet retires, and they had a free first visit offer. I was talked down so badly by this woman that I knew instantly that I would never return. My regular dog vet is a former horse owner himself, and definitely talks to me as if I know and can understand things. He's been my vet for 28 years so far but he told me he was so sad about his own dog's death that he was ready to close the practice and retire. He got over it at the time, but he's got to be at least in his mid 60s, so I need to start making a plan for when he really does retire.

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                              #54
                              I am fortunate to have found a small animal vet for my cats who is skilled, down to earth, discusses options and costs, and understands that some of her clients may be choosing between food for themselves or treatments for their pets. She now knows me well enough that if I call and say I have a sick cat that needs to be seen that my cat truly needs to be seen. She is a small one person, two tech practice. I drive 45 minutes to her clinic when there are other much more expensive clinics within 10 minutes.

                              Comment


                                #55
                                Originally posted by tabula rashah View Post
                                ETA because your post rather ticked me off.
                                I pay my bill in full, generally in cash at time of services, don't ask for discounts, I schedule and keep appointments, I follow vet instructions, keep up wellness appointments, etc.
                                Um, you say this like this list makes you a gold star extra special client. It doesn’t. These are the things we expect from all clients.


                                Comment


                                  #56
                                  Originally posted by sockmonkey View Post
                                  If your pet had elevated liver enzymes in the past, it would be near negligence to not recommend a recheck. This is how good doctors practice. Don't blame the doctor because you don't want to do it or can't afford. I love these threads written by people who have no idea how to run a hospital or how much it costs. The only people being millionaires from vet med are people like Mrs. mars who is buying all the practices. Why are people not willing to buy practices? Huh, could it be because it's too expensive and clients don't appreciate it anymore?

                                  It has been rechecked at least once since the elevated enzymes and things were back at baseline. There were also two tests earlier in the year where they were either trending back to normal or already normal. (I think the second set was normal, but it’s been a while so I’m not 100%)
                                  And for the record, if the vet had even *mentioned* wanting to recheck enzymes I would’ve ask her reasoning, what the typical long term monitoring is (for my future planning), and then agreed to it. But she NEVER even brought the topic up. It was just thrown in with the estimate that the tech went over with me.
                                  ETA - The flu booster that the vet brought up and said it was too early to do was also in the estimate the tech went over, so who knows how much the vet and tech actually discussed about what needed to be done.

                                  It is not the cost I’m concerned with. (I paid close to 3k for a spay, dental, and hip rads with no real complaints about the fees - just my checking account was sad.) It’s the lack of explanation and communication about her analysis and care plan for my dog. If it’s important, I need you to tell me.

                                  FWIW, in a month or two I will likely look for a new practice and have the enzymes checked there if the vet recommends it. (There are other issues that bother me about my current practice that come into play as well.) I really like our rehab vet and their team, so I’ll probably try them. Fingers crossed the regular side of that practice is a good fit too!
                                  Last edited by sheep with a gun; Oct. 21, 2020, 12:59 AM. Reason: Added ETA section

                                  Comment


                                    #57
                                    Originally posted by Anne View Post

                                    Um, you say this like this list makes you a gold star extra special client. It doesn’t. These are the things we expect from all clients.

                                    Um no. I expect to be treated like I'm not an idiot nor like a bank account.
                                    Fortunately there are plenty of vets out there (including mine) that are fantastic.
                                    No mourners, no funerals

                                    Comment


                                      #58
                                      Originally posted by sockmonkey View Post
                                      I will let you all in on a big secret in the small animal vet world. We hate nurse clients the most, then horse people. I wonder why.
                                      wow... probably why I really like the large animal vets. They seem to really understand that there are practicality issues and the idea that a month too early is far better than a day too late. Pet vets sometimes come off with the attitude that every avenue must be attempted. I'm sorry but 6 months more, full of treatment, misery and a hellish end plus a bunch of money is not a good thing.

                                      I was pleased, however, that my regular (older) pet vet felt comfortable handing me the vet wrap and bandages for my puppy who had dew claw removal at an older age - for bandage changes... The vet techs were surprised by the order to give me the stuff. She healed perfectly -as I do know how to wrap things - you know - as one of those PITA horse people... just sayin....

                                      Comment


                                        #59
                                        Originally posted by Anne View Post

                                        Um, you say this like this list makes you a gold star extra special client. It doesn’t. These are the things we expect from all clients.

                                        um, we've stood in line behind the the client who is blowing her top about a bill and how money-hungry and cruel you are. We have sat in the waiting room trying to keep our dog away from the mannerless brute whose oblivious owner hasn't bothered to neuter or train, so he harasses everyone else and pees on the wall. We've sat next to the idiot who did not follow your instructions and is now back two weeks later with a dog full of infection and somehow it's still the vet's fault.

                                        Those of us who pay our bills, engage in civil and reasonable discussion with you, follow instructions and bring mannerly pets to the clinic, we are pretty darn good folks,lol.

                                        Comment


                                          #60
                                          Originally posted by TMares View Post

                                          um, we've stood in line behind the the client who is blowing her top about a bill and how money-hungry and cruel you are. We have sat in the waiting room trying to keep our dog away from the mannerless brute whose oblivious owner hasn't bothered to neuter or train, so he harasses everyone else and pees on the wall. We've sat next to the idiot who did not follow your instructions and is now back two weeks later with a dog full of infection and somehow it's still the vet's fault.

                                          Those of us who pay our bills, engage in civil and reasonable discussion with you, follow instructions and bring mannerly pets to the clinic, we are pretty darn good folks,lol.
                                          Not to pick on you by quoting you, but generally, I don't think other people's bad behavior necessarily makes the behavior of people following common courtesy and decency any better. It just means that a lot of people treat veterinarians and their staff like garbage. Some on this thread, apparently.
                                          https://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628

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