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Ricky Went to the Vet

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  • #21
    If he doesn't feel comfortable with you helping him out financially, can he at least go do the exam himself and see what the vet recommends?
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

    Comment


    • #22
      How do I contribute?

      Went to the Chip in account, but don't see how to actually chip in. Where's the button that takes the donation? All I get is info about Chip In.

      Comment


      • #23
        I looked at your ChipIn - $2000 for a dentistry? Holy Crap!

        My old girl had a dentistry and 23(!!) extractions last year and it cost me a whopping $250.

        I also had her spayed and her anal glands removed and the total bill was $505.

        I'm not being judgemental, but your story highlights why preventative care and establishing a relationship with a veterinarian is so very important for your pets. My dog needed emergency surgery to his eye and at the time I had just bought a house and this same dog had just been hospitalized with a case of parvo and my bank account was really bruised. I think the fact that I had been a stellar pet owner who never missed preventative visits or vaccines and was always proactive about bringing my pets in before an issue became catastropic, it wasn't an issue for me to break my surgery cost up into several payments. My vet said that he hates when people let things get so bad that the situation becomes dire and then ask for charity. He said that he'd be more apt to donate an exam charge and some meds instead of more urgent and intensive care. It's just one of the annoyances and frustrations he has to deal with on a daily basis.

        Comment


        • #24
          Snowflake, most clinics I know of, a single extraction would cost 250 with anesthesia. If a dog has a mouth full of rotten teeth, I'm not surprised by the 2k number. (if it includes the extractions, the anes, and the antibiotics)
          A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

          Might be a reason, never an excuse...

          Comment


          • #25
            The rescue I volunteer with just had a dog with 17 extractions. The bill was $675, they did give us a 10% rescue discount and it included his neuter.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #26
              ChipIn help needed from earlier poster

              If I have only halfway created the ChipIn account, hopefully the poster who has experience with it can educate me. It appears to work when I access it (but ChipIn automatically recognizes me as the creator).

              $2k is the estimate I received from Caring Hands Animal Hospital in Arlington, VA last year. $2k was the no surprises low end, and yes was all-inclusive up to a certain # of extractions. That estimate is in line with estimates I received from many NoVA vets when researching for my own dog.

              Thus I went to MD for my dog's surgery and will take Ricky there. Prices are a little better. Counter intuitively, Ricky's teeny size ups some fees.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #27
                Originally posted by Snowflake View Post
                I'm not being judgemental, but your story highlights why preventative care and establishing a relationship with a veterinarian is so very important for your pets.
                Completely agree!

                My current situation of price shopping, jumping state lines, and ---no I won't say it for fear of a jinx--- has lost some of my frequent flyer miles. If I had an emergency that could not handle a drive, I would not be fresh in the minds of the local practice. That is a worry. When I had one pet and fewer medical bills of my own, I purchased standard vaccs, heartworm prev, even flea prev from the vet to support their practice.

                Ricky is a huge example, in a tiny 5lb package, of why preventative & routine care is essential. Brushing his teeth is free. If the weight loss is an internal parasite, a monthly pill could have prevented that.

                Grain-free or faster treatment of the skin issue may have prevented the antibiotics, steroids, and antihistamines likely in his future. When my old man Joey starts itching and I can't stop in with the usual tools my vet and I have added to the toolbox, he goes in. I get laughed at, "This little spot? We never see it this mild." I know what it'll get like if it is permitted to continue.

                Comment


                • #28
                  Initial Exam $40
                  CBC/Chem $116
                  Heartworm test $40
                  Fecal test $16
                  12m heartworm preventative $56
                  __________
                  ok, dogs don't need "routine vaccinations". If the dog has had its full set of puppy shots and boosters, all the dog REALLY needs in future is the rabies shot as required by law- that's every three years in most places. If funds are as limited as it seems, I certainly wouldn't even consider doing any other vaccinations.

                  When you go in for your initial appointment, why would you do a heartworm test? heartworms don't cause hair loss and itchiness. Skip that one. I'd skip the fecal test too, unless the dog has diarrhea along with the hair loss.

                  I'd ask the vet for the basic exam first, and then his thoughts plus price estimates for anything else proposed. After that, if the vet thinks it's warranted, you might be looking at a skin scraping or a blood test, both of which would be reasonable. Or the vet might take one look and say "there's a big lump here" and won't need the skin scrapings or the blood test.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Wendy, if OP's father is planning on keeping the dog around after his immediate needs are treated, I would think a HW test would be necessary.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      OP, I don't know what to tell you about Ricky, but when you mentioned a greasy coat, that rang a bell with me. Do a bit of reading on secondary seborrhea and see if that corresponds with some of the symptoms your dad's dog is dealing with. If it does, ask the vet about that being a possibility (probably as a result of a primary, untreated medical condition).

                      One of my dogs has primary seborrhea, but it took five vets and four years before it was correctly diagnosed and successfully managed (there's no treating it).

                      Good luck.
                      Full-time bargain hunter.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        I agree with Wendy, "routine vaccines" are not needed and I would never ever do any vaccine while a dog is sick. Tell them absolutely no to those until he is better (and then, if you must just go to a clinic where they are decently priced) Can he get a Care One credit card? They are usually pretty easy to get and typically allow for 0% if paid off within a certain amount of time.
                        The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Found the button

                          The Chip In is fine and working. Are you near a vet school? Sometimes they offer services for lower fees. Agree that mature animals do not need yearly vaccines except as by law and mosquito exposure.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Looks like the ChipIn is working fine. I don't have much to contribute (can't even afford my own meds!), but I'll see if I can pass it around. Keep us updated! How is your dad reacting to all of this? Any progress in the past few days?

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              Thanks onelaneroad for the tip about secondary seborrhea. I will research that.

                              Regarding the 'routine vaccs,' that is the only reason my dad is consenting to the appt: I need Dad to let me take Ricky to the vet. I agree with not vaccinating a sick dog. I also don't like to do multiple vaccs in one sitting on a tiny dog. The only vacc Ricky needs is rabies.

                              I did not noticed any lumps or bumps. I wish it was something obvious. I want the fecal & HW test because of the weight loss, exposure to various dogs via public places, and lack of routine care. Rumor is tricky Ricky has dinged for Lyme's so vet may suggest blood draw.

                              So I walk in to the appt and say, 'I have extremely limited funds for my dad's dog. Dad has no funds. Dog never had consistent vet care, was obese now he's skinny. He's scratching his hair out and his teeth are rotten. Alleged prior Lyme's diagnosis. What do we need to do?' Honestly I've never done that. I always have a game plan or steps I want to take.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                I'd be sure to have a thyroid panel done. Weight changes and hair loss are two common signs of thyroid imbalance.

                                StG

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #36
                                  Dad Wants to Resched and Pay

                                  He told me last night to reschedule Ricky’s vet appt until after Jan 18 because he will have more money and because he has to work this Fri.

                                  I told him this is a gift. No go. I told him what I want is different from what he wants, so let me pay for what I want and he pay for what he wants (shots). No go. I asked him to let me satisfy my curiosity & concerns. Yes, he says, he trusts me to relay what the vet says “but you can understand that I want to be there, can’t you?”

                                  The second problem -besides $- is he wants to be present. I want him to hear directly from the vet. On the other hand, our two different goals may bind the vet's hands. His part-time job only schedules the current week. Since starting this job, he has always worked Fri, Sat, & Sun: the days I’m able to do this. Dad says he will request time off a future Friday. I don’t want to wait because 1) of my concerns for little Ricky and 2) I’m halting all plans until I know what treating Ricky will cost. I did not tell Dad that.

                                  He went on to say he doesn’t want to start 2013 owing money, he’s able to pay for this, things are better now, he’s proud to pay for it, etc. He is proud…sometimes in the not so great way. I do not think he can afford this without sacrificing his health. He has his own dental crisis* he needs to save every penny for. I know he does not have a spare $300, especially after Christmas.

                                  Most importantly, to me, is that this is something I see as important. Dad doesn’t. Dad has always paid for regular care (before he lost everything) and, luckily, our animals were always hardy. He says Ricky lost weight because he put him on a diet. Hmmm I remember Dad expressing concern over a sudden weight loss. Dad says Ricky is scratching because of a sweater. Dad has watched this happen very gradually whereas I saw the dog for the first time in months and thought, “Holy Hell what is wrong?!!”

                                  What would you do?

                                  *If it is Ricky’s teeth and a $2k surgery will fix it, I’m sure family will say spend that money on your dad not that dog. Your dad’s health and lifespan is more important than a dog’s. I have anxiety so I’m anticipating all sorts of bad scenes.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Bicoastal View Post
                                    He told me last night to reschedule Ricky’s vet appt until after Jan 18 because he will have more money and because he has to work this Fri.

                                    I told him this is a gift. No go. I told him what I want is different from what he wants, so let me pay for what I want and he pay for what he wants (shots). No go. I asked him to let me satisfy my curiosity & concerns. Yes, he says, he trusts me to relay what the vet says “but you can understand that I want to be there, can’t you?”

                                    The second problem -besides $- is he wants to be present. I want him to hear directly from the vet. On the other hand, our two different goals may bind the vet's hands. His part-time job only schedules the current week. Since starting this job, he has always worked Fri, Sat, & Sun: the days I’m able to do this. Dad says he will request time off a future Friday. I don’t want to wait because 1) of my concerns for little Ricky and 2) I’m halting all plans until I know what treating Ricky will cost. I did not tell Dad that.

                                    He went on to say he doesn’t want to start 2013 owing money, he’s able to pay for this, things are better now, he’s proud to pay for it, etc. He is proud…sometimes in the not so great way. I do not think he can afford this without sacrificing his health. He has his own dental crisis* he needs to save every penny for. I know he does not have a spare $300, especially after Christmas.

                                    Most importantly, to me, is that this is something I see as important. Dad doesn’t. Dad has always paid for regular care (before he lost everything) and, luckily, our animals were always hardy. He says Ricky lost weight because he put him on a diet. Hmmm I remember Dad expressing concern over a sudden weight loss. Dad says Ricky is scratching because of a sweater. Dad has watched this happen very gradually whereas I saw the dog for the first time in months and thought, “Holy Hell what is wrong?!!”

                                    What would you do?

                                    *If it is Ricky’s teeth and a $2k surgery will fix it, I’m sure family will say spend that money on your dad not that dog. Your dad’s health and lifespan is more important than a dog’s. I have anxiety so I’m anticipating all sorts of bad scenes.
                                    Maybe I'm grumpy because I haven't had my requisite morning coffee but this makes me very angry.

                                    From what you have said, this dog is sick. I think your father might be stalling because he doesn't want to have to process bad news about his little friend but frankly, that is not fair to the dog. If he's skinny because Dad put him on a diet, then Dad needs to start feeding him more. If he's itchy from a sweater, stop putting a sweater on him. It's really not that difficult and I would expect your father to be able to solve that equation himself. Because those are simple fixes, I think both you and I know that's not the root of the problem.

                                    Someone needs to put this dog first. Someway, somehow that needs to happen. Your dad needs to suck it up, and take the dog to the vet himself if that's what he wants to do, and do what needs to be done for him. If he can't do that, it's not fair to that poor dog to keep on' keeping on with the status quo because it's clear the dog is not well. If he truly can't afford it and the dog is suffering, either put him down or reliquish him to a shelter/rescue. F'reals.

                                    Your father is an adult - you don't NEED to be there at the vets office. If you want to be able to help out, you can call the vet's office ahead of time and put a credit balance on his account, so that way the amount of your donation will be deducted from his amount due when he goes to check out. He can then deal with how he wants to handle your generosity when he gets home.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      Originally posted by Snowflake View Post
                                      I think your father might be stalling because he doesn't want to have to process bad news about his little friend but frankly, that is not fair to the dog. If he's skinny because Dad put him on a diet, then Dad needs to start feeding him more. If he's itchy from a sweater, stop putting a sweater on him.
                                      I completely agree. I'll respond with clarification then let others pipe up. The sweater is gone. Two bites of people food is a meal for this tiny dude. I, too, think it is BS. My dad either 1) can't see it 2) wants to downplay it or 3) doesn't want more bad news.

                                      My dad has a personality disorder. He was supported/enabled by his parents and is still supported/enabled by his siblings. He is not even comfortable with his own kids, only babies and animals. So yes he is weirdly attached to this dog and unable to be objective. That's why I monitor as best I can and provide care when I see it is needed.

                                      I cannot make him be an adult while at the same time I try to [break my bad habits and] respect him as an adult. I do not want to send him into a 'I can't take care of myself' spiral by handling this Ricky vet issue too severely. Please trust me there. I have worked that out with a shrink.

                                      I want to take Ricky to the vet so I know it happened, the diagnosis, and the options.

                                      When my dad lost everything dear to him, he walked out to the back corn field. He sat on the highest point of the hill with his hands in his lap holding his stupid ivory-handled 'Western movie' pistol. It was a dog impatiently nudging his elbow begging for pets that kept my dad here.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        We removed the link to the ChipIn account, as we don't allow fundraising for non-501c3 organizations on the site.

                                        Feel free to use the site for brainstorming ways to handle the situation and for health-related questions, but please keep the fundraising off of the site.

                                        Thanks and good luck!
                                        Mod 1

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Bicoastal View Post
                                          I completely agree. I'll respond with clarification then let others pipe up. The sweater is gone. Two bites of people food is a meal for this tiny dude. I, too, think it is BS. My dad either 1) can't see it 2) wants to downplay it or 3) doesn't want more bad news.
                                          None of the options are fair to the dog. I do believe some tough love is appropriate here so that the dog's needs are being met. A 7 pound dog should be getting at least 1/3 - 1/2 cup of dry food per day depending on activity level. That's a bit more than two bites of people food per meal.

                                          Originally posted by Bicoastal View Post
                                          My dad has a personality disorder. He was supported/enabled by his parents and is still supported/enabled by his siblings. He is not even comfortable with his own kids, only babies and animals. So yes he is weirdly attached to this dog and unable to be objective. That's why I monitor as best I can and provide care when I see it is needed.
                                          If your dad has an issue that prevents him from providing for a dog properly, he either shouldn't have one or should only be allowed one under the strictest agreement that he cannot be the sole decision maker in the care of the pet. Someone of sound mind should have the power to veto and override him. My uncle who had Down Syndrome loved animals and he "owned" at cat, but we didn't illusion ourselves to think that he could make reasonable decisions regarding it's care. So we bought the food, we showed him how to measure the food and when it was time to go to the vets, we scheduled the appointment, packed kitty and uncle up and took them both with us. Kitty was owned by family members who had the financial ability and cognitive function to be able to properly care for him. That way, we had the power to make any necessary decisions regarding it's care. In essence, my uncle didn't own the cat, but he fostered and cared for it. The cat did bring value and joy to him but we didn't do that at the expense of the cat's well being. We still honored the fact that it is a living thing and not simply a therapeutic tool.

                                          Originally posted by Bicoastal View Post
                                          I cannot make him be an adult while at the same time I try to [break my bad habits and] respect him as an adult. I do not want to send him into a 'I can't take care of myself' spiral by handling this Ricky vet issue too severely. Please trust me there. I have worked that out with a shrink.
                                          And here in lies the problem. The longer this goes on, the more that dog suffers. What is going to happen to your father if Ricky dies before he musters up the finances and courage to take him into the vet? I'm sure the loss of the dog will be much more traumatic than the idea of "I can't take care of myself." I believe you may need to take some time to negotiate with your father, don't take no for an answer and work on a suitable arrangement (possibly like the one I referenced above with my uncle) with him so that you don't run into this situation in the future.

                                          Originally posted by Bicoastal View Post
                                          I want to take Ricky to the vet so I know it happened, the diagnosis, and the options.
                                          This is tricky. The issue with this is that he is not your dog. Unless you can convince your dad to a change in the ownership arrangement, I don't think you can demand to be there.

                                          Originally posted by Bicoastal View Post
                                          When my dad lost everything dear to him, he walked out to the back corn field. He sat on the highest point of the hill with his hands in his lap holding his stupid ivory-handled 'Western movie' pistol. It was a dog impatiently nudging his elbow begging for pets that kept my dad here.
                                          While that's a sweet sentiment, it still doesn't justify keeping the dog if he cannot care for it. How many severely neglected horses have we seen come across this board and the story is always the same - "I lost everything and had nothing to live for and this horse kept me alive." Well, great that you found something to live for but was it necessary to do so at the animal's expense? How many animals have died because people loved them too much to give them up? I'm not saying that your dad needs to give up his dog, but clearly the situation needs to change in some capacity because the basic needs for care are not being met for Ricky right now.

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