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Thread: Zack's neutering...

  1. #11
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    fyi - Many, if not most, vets do not work on commision so it really doesn't matter to them if they sell more or less. so don't assume that because they're suggesting a diet it's to make a profit. most associates (i.e. employees, not owners) make a flat rate regardless of what they bring in. this is changing some, but i think it's still more common than what you are suggesting.

    therefore - most vets are making suggestions based on what they believe is best for the pet. i think it would be considered pretty unethical for a vet to suggest something just to make a profit and i'm rather insulted that everyone always assumes this to be the case.

    rory did go home with pain meds for his neuter and I was grateful for them. I probably gave it to him for 3 days. it is not unusual and really depends on the circumstances. some dogs hardly seem to notice the procedure while others seem really put out by it and painful for a few days.
    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
    --Roger Caras

  2. #12
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    Sorry the neuter was over the top stressful on both you and your boy.

    I had one of our boys neutered for his new owners-- he had one testicle retained-- the neuter took almost two hours. They started at his inguinal area and had to proceed into his abdominal cavity (the testicle "pipping" was hooked up high near the kidney. I didn't do the blood work (boy was 6 months old and had always been healthy). Total cost was 200.00. This boy had a reaction to the internal stitches-- they seeped and the vet saw him twice and didn't charge me any extra for these trips. This and my razor burn males are my only experience with neuters. Neither was ideal. Sandy

  3. #13
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    Good points, and I certainly don't mean to insult vets generally and I know it isn't the individual vets who make a commission. But it is the overall practice which increases its income from sales of additional items. Food is a very profitable source of adidtional income and I have been encouraged a few too many times to -- for example -- buy expensive diets for sensitive stomachs that cost considerably more than I would pay for an excellent commercially available sensitive diet formulation from Royal Canin or James Wellbeloved. I'd have greater belief in the benefits of the prescription diet for basic stomach upset if I didn't have so much experience now of dealing with cats in particular who respond very well to the commercially available sensitive diet formulas. Before trying to get someone to pay very high prices for prescription diets vets should (dependent on circumstances of course) suggest clients try (and perhaps consider selling!) a food that might resolve the problem at considerably lower cost over the lifetime of the animal than something only available thru the vet.

    I've been told directly by vets, and read posts elsewhere from vets noting, that some are pushed to add on items such as foods to an ordinary bill by the head of their practice. This is well documented in human medical practice as well, especially where insurance companies are covering the bill. I have particular vets I avoid as they will always, always find a few things that can go on to the bill. And I know those who will say, try doing x, y and z and IF those don't work, consider coming in so we can try something else -- as long as that is an appropriate option.

    I like to stick with the latter; and also people who don't add lots onto the bill after the fact.

    The last 'extra' I had added on a neuter was when a rescue dog recently needed an umbilical hernia repaired and this wasn't apparent til he was on the table. The vets were extremely apologetic for having added this extra cost and took time to explain why it was necessary on the phone then again when I collected the dog when they went through the bill item by item. As I know these vets I know this was of course the right judgement call and appreciated their concern.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  4. #14
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    I was curious so I pulled out Jake's records from his neutering. His castration was $155, microchip $44, 5 rimadyl tablet $12.50.

    I'm sorry you has such a bad experience. You've both been through so much before.

    Hope you're both feeling better this evening!
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

  5. #15
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    The boy that had over 6 inches of incision only had two days of pain control. On day two he was trying to escape his x-pen and play with the other dogs. Days later the incision LOOKED awful-- but he didn't need the e-collar and he didn't bother the incision at all-- even when it puckered and weeped. I hope your boy is doing much better now. Sandy

  6. #16
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    It seems the process is going ok, zack has seemed fine since 1am, Karlin called it exactly, it was 12 hours. 15 minutes earlier i wouldn't have thought he could become so much livelier, like his usual self. he is taking it easy today, not sleeping so much but quiet. I'm keeping an eye on him, he's wearing the onesie, not sure if it's fitting right or not, i put the collar on him when i went to bed last night, dont' want any setbacks.

    Kendall, both his testicles were descended. I don't thnk they encouraged the bloodwork because he was ill before. They didn't seem to be treating the whole thing that personally, i feel sure it's something they present to all patients and was not related to his history. That's the way their form that you have sign is worded.

    after reading your post, i decided to give him a tramadol today, but i dont know for sure if he needed it, he kept laying down and then getting up and moving to another spot, so i thought maybe he was having discomfort. But if i hadn't had any pain pills, i wouldn't have thought that he needed them. i guess it's good to have them, for first aid, in case i ever need them for him.

    I'm glad you said the worst day might be the third one. Even if it doesn't happen, it's better not to have him act worse on the third day and not have expected the possibility.

    i do agree that vets recommend treatments because they think it's best for the animal, and i dont' think that they were recommending things to me just for the money. But it's convenient if it works out that it makes extra money for them. Reflecting on my angst about the surgery yesterday, i was angry about the bill and i was also angry about that woman who told me i had to give him pain pills whether he needed them or not and had to wear the collar because if he licked one time, he could get infected, i didn't need her to be encouraging me to be alarmed like that. Also, when i picked him up she gave me the bill and i was reading it, and she asked for it back, and i said "just a minute," and she kept demanding it back, and then she grabbed it out of my hands! she was a social retard. This kind of thing led to my calling them slime balls.

    when i first dropped him off, she took him from my arms saying she was going to go ask the vet a question i had asked about giving him the homeopathic remedy after surgery, and she came back without zack, told me the vet would not give him the remedy, and then I said "Well, can i say good bye to him?" She went back to where he was and then came out and said "No, they are already doing stuff to him." i felt so sad when i got in the car to drive away.

    I guess i'll write a letter to the head vet who owns the practice and just let him know that i would expect when i ask how much a procedure costs, to be told what to expect, what routine common charges could be anticipated such as the bloodwork, the pain shot, the collar and the pain pills. I should tell him that i won't be able to continue to recommend them anymore when i'm chatting with other dog owners.

    i do like the vet who did the surgery, i like how she can think in creative ways. that can come in handy. I'm thinking i would not go back to them for routine stuff anymore, no more neuters there, just go to my original vet who i think is fine for the routine stuff and has never given me the sense that they were trying to bill me for all they could. Just the opposite. But if Zack or another pet gets some illness that no one can figure out, i will call this woman who neutered him.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by karlin
    .... I've used that line before when the vets try to push special bags of diet foods etc, which is one way they get a nice big margin from sales. They will get at least a 100% markup on those bags of food for example, so they REALLY like making those sales, and you can do just fine unless it is really a major medical issue, by adjusting the diet appropriately or getting a 'sensitive' diet from a good food maker where it isn't a 'prescription diet'.
    When zack was sick and not getting better when i first had him, i went to a new vet and i liked her, she seemed intelligent and knowlegeable and experienced, and i liked her manner, which open minded and flexible, searching. The other vet hadn't suggested i do anything with his diet. She said to give him Hills ID Diet, which i was to buy from her. She sold me a certain amount that she said he should try to see if it helped. It was canned. I had only been giving him kibble before, and i believed he needed some kibble in his diet, and i didn't want him to get spoiled eating only canned food (which is funny considering what happened subsequently) so i went back to get the same kind of food in kibble form. I was unhappy to find that they only sold a huge bag of it, not the usual size i get, so that if he didn't eat it or if it didn't help, i was stuck with a giant bag of dog kibble and it cost about $25. It didn't help and i only fed it to him for a few days before learning more about the healthy brands you can buy at the store which had better ingredients than the ID Diet food, which contained various grain allergens And also, i don't have any place to store a bag that size. The doctor didn't try to sell me that, i did that on my own, but in an irrational emotional state of mind where i was in a mode of grabbing at things to try. But i was told that the kibble only came in those big sizes, you can't get it in a smaller size.

    Anyway I hope he is doing well. They typically LOOK as if they might be totally out of it -- and they are, due to the anaesthetic, not due to pain! It takes up to 24 hours ofr the anaesthetic to clear their system enough that behaviour gets back more or less to normal -- usually about 12 hours though -- then they go from looking out of it to their old selves.
    You are exactly right. I was told the surgery was around 1pm and he suddenly became more like his usual self at 1am. 10 minutes before, i wouldn't have considered it possible. So we were up late last night.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rory
    The pre-op bloodwork usually checks liver and kidney values....
    He had liver and kidney function tests and blood cell counts and a Buffy Coat profile. i got a copy of it. i've never seen a Buffy Coat profile before. must be expensive.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodHaven
    ... I had one of our boys neutered for his new owners-- he had one testicle retained-- the neuter took almost two hours. They started at his inguinal area and had to proceed into his abdominal cavity (the testicle "pipping" was hooked up high near the kidney. I didn't do the blood work (boy was 6 months old and had always been healthy). Total cost was 200.00. This boy had a reaction to the internal stitches-- they seeped and the vet saw him twice and didn't charge me any extra for these trips. This and my razor burn males are my only experience with neuters. Neither was ideal. Sandy
    That's how i think it should be. That's how i'd like to think i'd do business if it was me. This vet i went to is apparently more expensive than most, i already knew that. It's not the price so much as not being informed about it when i called around and asked. I was already on the fence between choosing this vet for the neuter for $200 or taking him to the one that was $120, since i expected it to be a simple procedure and know that they all do a lot of them, i was considering the less expensive one. I knew the vet i chose to go to was a little more than the others for office visits, a few dollars more, and so i wasn't surprised when they said $200. I just assumed that would include things like necessary bloodwork or pain shots during or after the surgery.

    Poor little dog, what a rough operation! What's a razor burn?

    My daughter's dog was spayed for under $200 too, including bloodtest and whatever else was needed. I thought $200 was a little high, but acceptable. i never would've had them do it if they'd been open about what would not be covered that they would be recommending.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by karlin
    ......I've been told directly by vets, and read posts elsewhere from vets noting, that some are pushed to add on items such as foods to an ordinary bill by the head of their practice. This is well documented in human medical practice as well, especially where insurance companies are covering the bill.....
    i went in to my doctor to have my cholesterol checked one day. It just so happened that i was coming down with a cold or flu that day. when they took my temperature, they said i had a slight fever. A week or so later i got a letter from the doctor saying my cholesterol was good but that a heart disease marker was elevated and inviting me to come in to discuss it. I went in and was told that my CRP was elevated and this might be an early warning of heart disease. I asked if anything else could cause the CRP to be elevated and she said that infection can elevate it. I recalled that i was coming down with the flu when i had the blood drawn, and had a fever. She didn't seem very interested in that. She said i should take a supplement that her office sells, take it for 3 months and come back and have the CRP checked again. I bought the stuff but i decided not to take it because i wanted to see if the elevation went away without taking anything. It did. CRP was normal when i went back. The doctor thought it was because i'd been taking the supplement. I'm pretty sure it was because it was only elevated because i was sick with a fever that day.

    I've noticed over the years that doctors offices are selling various vitamin supplements more and more, my mother's doctor does this. I like to think they really believe in it, they are recommending it for the good of the patient. but it's way more expensive than supplements you can buy at the store, and i've had a doctor tell me that while you can buy it from the store, the kind they are selling is more reliable as to quality.

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