View Full Version : Experiences with Veterinary Clinics

25th September 2006, 11:43 PM
I just got off the phone with the vet and it would be a correct assumption to assume that I am a little upset.

I took Kos to class on Saturday and he got "attacked" by another dog and the dog scratched his eye. The place on his face where the tear stains show up is what seems to have taken the brunt of the scratch. However, I am a little concerned that he might have gotten a scratch inside of his eye.

I have been following the advice of others on the board and I am happy to report that his discharge has slowed down considerably and his eye almost looks normal again. Avi thinks it's fine but of course I'm a little more maternal than him. A piece of mind is worth $60, right? If he's OK tomorrow 100% maybe I'll keep him here, but if I see any discolored discharge at all I'm going to take him somewhere.

I have toyed around with taking him in and tonight I decided maybe I should just to make sure everything is ok..

So, I called the vet, and do you know what they told me?! "I am sorry, we are booked until Friday, did you want to make an appointment?!"

Excuse me!! Make my baby wait 4 more days! :x

I maybe am off path a little bit here, but I think they should make a small space to accomodate me!! After all I have spent around $1500 at that vet's office!! Back home my vet told me "regular business hours are such and such, however if you need me, I'll be here. Also, here's my house number in case you ever need any advice or assistance!!" I could get ahold of her 24/7 if I needed her!

Are all vets rude and non-accomodating?! Am I doing the right thing by saying :swear: , I mean, buzz off to this vet and finding another one?

Cathy T
26th September 2006, 12:17 AM
You know what??... Find another vet!! If I call my vet they are always able to get me in on an emergency basis (it costs about $15 more than a regular visit) but they can always always see me that day. What if you had an emergency? Would they make you wait 4 days?! No way. I love the relationship I have with my vet's office. The girls at the front desk are always super friendly and helpful and the vet techs are always willing to talk to me over the phone and then advise if I should bring either in for an office visit. I trust them completely and am thrilled with our relationship.

26th September 2006, 01:50 AM
When you called the vet, did they give you any advice on what you could do for the little guy in the meantime? Did they call you later to see how he was doing? If not, drop that vet like a hot potato!

You have every right to be upset. A good vet will go out of his/her way to give you peace of mind. That's not to say that they should make room in their appointment book for every little cough and sniffle, but I personally think a scratched eye with discharge is pretty important.

I'm so sick of bad vets. I've seen 3 already and I'm still not pleased with any of them. At one vet, a man brought in a stray dog that had been hit by a car. The vet refused to see the dog because the man wouldn't (or couldn't) pay the charges!

26th September 2006, 02:00 AM
Our local emergency vets won't look at a dog until they have your credit card in hand. Too many unscrupulous people have left them with problems and no $$$. It still galls me that that is the first thing they ask for.

26th September 2006, 02:03 AM
Hey Sara

I am so sorry to hear your Vet was so inconsiderate.

I know my Vet is a bit far for you to go, but they are on call 24 hours a day and will meet you at the clinic in any emergency.
This was one of the big reasons why I chose them, plus they don't seem to charge as much as the Vets here in the City.

I don't think I would be going back to your Vet, you could try the one on Yonge Street I told you about. It is still pretty far, Pm me if you want more info, remember I go to the same Vet as Peggy.

I personally think they are the best, but it also depends on which Vet you get.

I will try and give you a call tommorow. :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

Did they offer to do anything at class on Saturday or the owner of the other dog.

26th September 2006, 02:29 AM
I'd be in two minds here. This is because not all vets can or choose to offer an emergency service, and run their office like a doctor's office -- which tends to mean, if they are booked up, you need to try another doctor or opt for an urgent care provider.

For a few reasons, I don;t think it is necessarily fair to expect a vet (or a doctor) in general practice to offer an emergency service or fit in extra appointments when they are booked full... as what that means is, accommodating me and you potentially puts out the entire schedule for the day if the office is run to a tight schedule and many others will be required to sit and wait for treatment. There's always a bad knock on effect from unexpected appointments and late clients and it isn't any fun when you made the scheduled appointment and have to wait to be seen way beyond the scheduled time. I have had this happen too many times to count back when my vets used to have open hours for unscheduled appts and scheduled times. They always ended up running late on the scheduled times and this could cause serious problems for me on my own schedule. Now they do only scheduled appointments because it was just to chaotic for them otherwise.

On the other hand most vets, if they can, do try to work people in or offer a number to contact for emergency care. My vets will try to get me in idf they can but I don;t expect them to if they are booked full.

If I couldn't get in to my usual vets I'd simply go somewhere else, if they were totally booked. I know several different vet practices at this point and have no issues with simply calling someone else for something quite general, where the vet doesn't actually need to have the entire history of the dog (in other wiords, if it isn;t an urgent situation for a condition the vet has been treating on an ongoing basis and knows my dog best for that care).

It is worth asking when first going to a vet what kind of provision they have for emergency care/after hours care, if any. If they provide none, that might either influence a change to someone who does or who provides clients with the emergency/urgent care contacts they will need. I like my vets because they group with a couple of other vets to offer constant cover around the clock; and also in their own three practices, are available on Sat, Sun and bank holidays for at least a couple of hours. :)

From my own perspective as the daughter of a doctor and the best friend of another -- I've found people forget they also have private lives and want to leave the office, and tend to want them to offer care that really does go beyond allowing them a normal life and I know this is also the case for many vets, who almost always seem to end up in the office beyond closing time, catching up with appointments for the reasons noted above. Scheduling appointments and sticking by those schedules is one way of guaranteeing you have dinner with your family and aren't always running late in the office. :) We all know how we would feel if a boss expected us to stick around to deal with unexpected extra work. From time to time, OK, but not as a permanent situation. 8)

26th September 2006, 02:58 AM
I think his eye is getting better as time passes but I wanted to make SURE it was alright and maybe put him on some kind of an eye ointment to prevent an infection should one occur. I don't think we're out of the waiting area yet but I hope he continues to do well.

The trainer just told me "oh he'll be alright.." I didn't realize his eye was all messed up until I got into the car with him. It was evident to me then, but by that time all of the saturday vets had closed. From now on I will NOT in ANY CIRCUMSTANCE let Kosmo off leash in class nor will I follow any large dogs or let them follow me if they are off leash. If my trainer doesn't like that then I will find another center. I can't deal with Kosmo being hurt. He's not a dominant dog at all and when the other dog came above him and attacked he tried running but then just layed down on the ground... :huh: After that though it seemed to be emotionally traumatizing on him because he wanted to sit on my lap and that's IT. He wouldn't listen to even sit down after he got scared from that dog he just jumped on me and wanted to be held. I try not to act like it bothers me and I even told Kos to beef up a few times but I felt awful once I realized what had happened. I know trainers cant' discriminate but I don't think that dog should be allowed off leash EVER. ANd it doesn't help that the owner has to sit right at the entrance for the ring. If I have to pass the dog ever again I will hold him. Thank God he's portable. ;)

Kingston's Mom,

Nope no advice at all, just to "wait until Thursday or take him to the emerg." To be honest I think they should try to fit me in. I know they have appointments and such but I could have come right after the last appt tonight and would only have had to stay 10 minutes or so to get some eye ointment. If I was a vet, I would do everything possible to accomodate my patients. How do they expect to keep business just passing people off like that? I told her of the situation and actually waited for them to open so I didn't have to pay the emerg. ;(


Lord do I ever know about that credit card thing. She said to me "Or you could take him to emerg.." So I called up emerg and asked how much they charged.. $236 plus taxes!!! Oh my goodness, $250!!! that's why I didn't take him Saturday. I stayed home and cuddled with him all day and night and that seemed to help. :D I am covered by ins. less 10% anything above that but still that's too much.. I'de only take him there if I had a REAL emergency and his eye was bleeding or something. It was just excessively teary and irritated. I think that's because he was scratching and I was poking and prodding. Not too much but I washed it out and was trying to look at it. He's had discharge from the eye since then but it seems to be getting progressively less with each nap.

Cathy T,
If I had an emerg they would send me to the $250 per visit vet!! That's insanely too much money to pay. It makes me sick that they charge that much, whether it's 2PM or 3AM. I am used to vets being compassionate and going out of their way. We have a horse vet down the street at home who once went to his friend's vet clinic and scooped some de-worming medicine for me late in the evening. Was so nice of him ;) We had a puppy puking worms. :yuk:


How much does your vet charge for an after hours call? Yeah it doesn't surprise me that the vet did that, Avi thought it was stupid they couldn't squeeze me in anywhere during the week. You knew I wasn't happy with the vet to begin with though. How far is your vets from ajax? lol. I have to wait until I get a car and then I will see about getting a new vet. I think the one on Yonge might charge a LOT to be honest, but I will call them to find out. I did find a vet in whitby with a cavalier on their online website though. :lotsaluv: if I get a Cavalier from Peggy maybe the puppy could have the same vet all of it's life, lol.. aww how cute. ;)

matties mum
26th September 2006, 07:46 AM
My vet has got an appointment system as well but also has a general surgery every day bewent 9 - 9.30 in the morning and 4--until 6 in the evening also if you need to go during the night there is always some one comes to you in an emergency I think this is quiet good :) Aileen

26th September 2006, 08:32 AM
You could find and register at another vets just incase this happens again...or find another vet and write a letter explaining your concerns to your old vet, telling them why you left. Check if any new vets offer a 24hr emergency service as well.

Eyes are serious and I would have wanted that looking at as soon as possible, even if you could have waited until the end of clinic.

If this happened within an organised class ask your trainer about their club insurance to cover your costs, I know we have cover within our club, or ask the owner of the dog who did the damage to cough up for the bill.

Hope all is well soon :flwr:

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

26th September 2006, 09:09 AM
I deal with it pretty much like Karlin. I have three vet practices i take Zack to, i have a favorite one that i call first, and they have always been able to get me in, but once Zack was really sick and it was the July 4th holiday and he was seen by her the friday before, then he got skin lesions that night, which she didn't see, and there was going to be blood work results, so i tried to have a follow up appointment for her to see the lesions but they said they were booked until Wednesday the 5th.

There are 3 vets in the practice and i'm guessing the other two were probably on holiday vacation and she was probably covering the office by herself. always before i could get in pretty much the same day, they are open 7 days, til 7pm weekdays, 5pm weekends. Because she was booked, i took Zack on Sunday to one of my other vets. they are open 7 days too, til 6pm weekdays and til 5 on Saturday and til 3 on sundays, and it's easy to get in the same day usually, though they are really busy. I had the first vet's office fax the blood test results to the second vet on that sunday when i took him to the second vet to have the lesions looked at.

That second vet on another occasion gave me a referral to another vet in my area that's open til 8 or 9 because i wasn't able to get in by 6pm one night when i thought Zack had eaten a sharp piece of plastic. I've never gone to that one but i have the number in my Palm, in case i need it.

All the vets in my area refer to the same emergency hospital for after hours emergencies or urgent care that can't wait til the next day. I had Zack there the first month i had him. Typical emergency room experience, in at midnight, out at 4am. $425. I liked them, good to know they're there. communication was very good with them. I dealt with them followig the visit several times over an insurance problem.

So anyway, based on my experience, i can recommend having a collection of vets, as a kind of safety net.

I'm so glad Kosmo's eye seems to be clearing up. When Zack scratched his eye, the vet got him in the same day. That is terrible that he was attacked by an off leash dog. It happens so fast, there's nothing you can do. That's a terrible vulnerable scary feeling.

26th September 2006, 11:38 AM
Sorry Karlin, but I am inclined to disagree slightly with you here. I have spent the majority of my working life in Pharmacy and it is just taken for granted that if you get a call from a hospital or GP to dispense a prescription that is needed that day then you will stay behind.

These people (Vets, Dr's, Dentists, Pharmacists etc) all earn more than enough money to stay and deal with emergencies. If they cannot be bothered to deal with this then they are in the wrong profession.

My own Vets are fantastic and on more than one occasion I have called them in an emergency and they have just said 'come right down we'll ask the Vet to wait' or asked me to go to their other surgery where there is a vet in attendance.

The only time I have ever had a Vet say they can't see an animal (even an injured wild one) was when I took my babies to stay with Alison. Maxx became quite poorly and was obviously in a lot of pain. Alison phoned her Vets who wouldn't see him until the next day.

I brought both dogs home and went straight to my own Vets where we saw a locum. He couldn't believe that a Vet had refused to see a sick animal and said that if left overnight, Maxx's condition would have gotten much worse & that he was already extremely poorly.

Sara, as Alison has said, eyes problems are always potentially serious & should be treated as such (speaking as someone whose Cavalier would have lost an eye if it hadn't been for an emergency Vet opening his surgery at 7am!). If you are not happy with that surgery then find another one. Vote with your feet and take your business elsewhere.

Big hugs to little Kos and you too - bet you need them :flwr:

Cathy Moon
26th September 2006, 11:52 AM
You might want to look for a large practice of vets - they take turns working late and taking night calls. The animal clinic that we go to has 11 vets, and I have never been turned away if I needed an appointment - as long as I will go with whichever person has an opening and I may have to go at an inconvenient time. It's no big deal being seen by a different vet than my main one, because they all have access to the centralized medical records.

Because it's such a large practice, they seem to have more time to spend with individual patients, and they also bounce things off each other, so you get an immediate second opinion!

Just a thought - don't know if there are any available relatively near you.

26th September 2006, 12:12 PM
Our vets normally have normal appoints from 8.00 to 9.30 then in the afternoon 2.30 or 4 to 7pm (closed Wednesday pm), normally during the time inbetween they are operating... and if I am stuck can go to one of the other two branches if they have appointments, but as soon as they shut at the end of the day there is an emergency number either with them or another vet they have an agreement with... I know that I can always get there in case of emergency no matter what - whether 9.00 pm or later at night.... I would definately look into finding another vet.

amanda L
26th September 2006, 01:49 PM
I too have had some problems with vets, I now have a best 3 list, my number one being Anicare in Dublin ( they are brilliant with cavvies) and a big thank you to Karlin for suggesting them :flwr: . I have had one very bad experience with a vet involving an eye laceration, and I will never go there again. Sara, I can understand your worries about Kosmo's eye, I too was really worried about an eye problem.

Maxx's Mummy wrote

eyes problems are always potentially serious & should be treated as such (speaking as someone whose Cavalier would have lost an eye if it hadn't been for an emergency Vet opening his surgery at 7am!).

My dog could have had serious eye problems if I had not sought the opinion of another vet

26th September 2006, 02:11 PM
We took our boy in when he was stung by a bee-- his face swelled horribly and I was afraid that his throat would swell closed. We called the emergency vet and asked their opinion-- they wouldn't tell us how much benedryl to give - nor what else we could do. We took him in and they made us wait in the room for a half an hour-- gave him a shot of benedryl and a steroid and handed us a bill for 200.00 . We told our vet and he said we should have called him at home.

Cathy Moon
26th September 2006, 05:39 PM
We really should all ask our vets how much benadryl to give our dogs if they should ever get stung! Then if it ever happens we can give them a dose while trying to find an emergency vet.

I'm going to try to remember to do this at our next appointment! This could save a life in an emergency!

27th September 2006, 12:53 AM
Good idea Cathy, being prepared.
when zack was sick in June he was rubbing himself on the furniture and the floor, and the vet said, over the phone, to give him childrens liquid benadryl 1 tsp ie 12.5mg. when i got the bottle, the dosage by weight suggested that at zack's weight he should get more like a half teaspoon, so that's what i gave him, but maybe the vet was right, it may be ok to give them more. If he had a bee sting, or some obvious severe allergic reaction, i think i'd give more. On the label it says 1tsp is for 25lbs or more, 3/4 tsp for 20lbs or more. Zack was about 14 lbs at the time.

27th September 2006, 11:12 AM
I have never heard of that one - our books say use vinegar on a sting...

27th September 2006, 04:57 PM
the benadryl is for internally. i would put vinegar on sting too. the vet suggested zack may have had spider bite, but i never saw any sign of one.