Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Three-Year Vaccinations

Midge finally got her three-year vaccinations including rabies. I called the new vet and asked if they could just give her the vaccinations without the wellness exam. The doctor was the one who answered the phone and she snapped at me, "I cannot give vaccinations without a wellness exam because of Nevada Law!"

Say what? I was taken back a bit. First off, why do pet stores do vaccination clinics? I don't see any wellness exams being performed there. It's just a long line of pets getting shots. The lady seemed too angry with me for trying to save money that I didn't want to push it by arguing with her.

So, I explained that I lost my job and have to ask how much everything costs. She quoted me for about $83. That's a heck of a lot better than anything I've ever had to pay at my old vet, so I asked to set up an appointment. She wanted me to bring her in within the next hour. Some alarms went off in my head. I can see a vet clearing her schedule for an emergency, but this is an annual maintenance appointment. I found it odd that she didn't have any customers right then. Every time I drive by this vet hospital I never see any cars in their parking lot. For some reason the locals just don't do business with them.

I said I couldn't come on that short notice and set up an appointment for first thing in the morning. As usual, the parking lot and waiting area were empty. They took me right in, but the doctor was on the phone so another vet came in to examine Midge. I felt like I had taken a brand new car in for an oil change and the mechanic was desperately trying to find something wrong with it, so he could charge me more. Between the doctor and the vet tech, they must have asked me half a dozen times if Midge has had any diarrhea, vomiting, scratching or lameness. It was like they didn't believe me when I insisted that she was fine.

Then came the sales pitch to remove the tarter from the teeth. Sigh. They forced me to take an estimate for a teeth cleaning and made me sign a legal document saying that I read the estimate. It was bizarre. It was like they were going to sue me if I didn't get my dog's teeth cleaned. I wondered if they remembered me from when they pressured me to get Scrappy's teeth cleaned and I didn't follow through because Scrappy's previous caregivers recommended against it. They felt he was too old and too small and too weak after just having surgery to be put under anesthesia again.

Then this new vet started laying a guilt trip on me regarding annual wellness exams, saying that they are very important because they have to check to make sure the tarter on the teeth hasn't gotten any worse. Sigh. They are obsessed with that tartar, aren't they? I've never had a dog die from tartar, even though I know bacteria can get into the bloodstream and stop the heart. If it were an epidemic, I'd get the teeth cleaning, but this is more like getting an expensive and potentially dangerous medical procedure done to prevent something that rarely happens.

They had Midge's medical history from my old vet, and they probably went over it with a fine-tooth comb and noticed that I don't bring my dogs in for annual wellness exams. So, this doctor was making it sound like if I wanted to do business with them, I had to bring my dogs in for their annual wellness exams. The whole time I was thinking about the one last small animal vet clinic we have in our area, wondering if that would have been a better choice.

We had a hot air balloon float over the neighborhood this morning, which got the dogs excited. If any moving thing out of the ordinary comes near our property, the dogs go nuts. So, when I walked Midge into the vet clinic waiting area and there was the clinic's resident cat sitting there in the middle of the floor, I expected Midge to charge it. Instead, she completely ignored it. I guess the difference if that she was in the cat's home as opposed to cat being around her home.

While I was taking pictures of the hot air balloon, I heard a noise behind me. I turned to see yellow leaves pouring off our tree and knew this might be the last day of our fall colors, so I snapped this picture of our front yard...

Green, red, and yellow side by side with the white backdrop of a snowy mountain.


Judi said...

Since I have had pets get bad teeth and paid big $$$$ to have the teeth removed, I have started brushing my cat's and dog's teeth. Now, when I take one in, all I hear about is how good their teeth look.

I do my cat's every day because I don't always get it very thoroughly accomplished. Cats are definitely not as easy as dogs. I try to get the dog at least every other day. My new dog just loves the toothpaste, and that is a whole different set of problems!

It is an inexpensive form of prevention if you have the time and pets with the right temperament.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Judi - Yes, I brush my dogs' and horses' teeth too.

achieve1dream said...

I love that last picture. Gorgeous!

Your vets sound like money hungry freaks. I don't know why vets have to be so crappy. They probably are experiencing financial problems with the economy especially if they have a bad reputation of any sort. I know when I worked at a vet clinic I could not believe how much crap they talk about each other! It's like high school lol.

I don't blame you at all for not wanting to do dentals. I got one done of Storm because she'd never had one and they assured it was completely safe. Now she has chronic dry eye (can't prove they didn't put the drops in) which is expensive to maintain and even more expensive to attempt to cure. So yeah, pass on unnecessary sedation. So not worth it!

Maybe you should check out that other clinic. :)

Maery Rose said...

I've had the same problem with vets. I've been reading that animals don't need vaccinations as frequently as vets insist on giving them. Rabies are required every two years where I live so i guess you have to do that, but all shots, after initial puppy stuff only needs to be done every 3 years like what you are doing. Yet they make you feel like you are negligent if you try to discuss this with them. It's pretty frustrating.

fernvalley01 said...

I am glad you got the shots , I was sitting here scratching my head about the wellness exams .I always get an amazing deal from my vet, my neice the vet student who has vbeen working for him , laughed at me when I questioned another clinics prices .She told me that is the regular price but Dave gives me a special rate! but I know this is the same for everyone at the clinic.The wellness exam ia included in the cost of the shots(not in addition to) the only extras beyond the vaccination is fecal testing if you get it done and deworming.I know things are different here but .The theory is a vet cannot/should not imunize an unhealthy animal .that is on them to determine ,not you ,and should not be an extra cost

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Pretty fall foliage photo.I thought of you today because it SNOWED! Not enough to stick, but there were about 2 hours of light flurries. We still have several trees covered in yellow or green/brown leaves, but the colder weather along with the wind blew most of them off today. Maybe Fall is finally over now. sigh.

I don't do wellness exams either. I'd rather save up my money to cover the emergencies, injuries and
sicknesses for when they do happen.

As for brushing, we don't bother, at least not every day, until they're older and not able to chew food as well.
Our vet says that healthy dogs who eat hard food and are given crunchy things to chew don't need to have teeth cleanings every year. She encourages folks to try and brush a couple times a week, though, just to keep on top of any tartar that might form.

Our previous GSD had several cleanings in her 16 years, and we brushed her teeth once or twice a week. When she died of old age she had beautiful shiny white teeth.
We also had to fly her into Arizona to have a canine tooth capped when it broke off during a flight to Florida. She got stressed and tried to chew her way out. Thousands of dollars spent for her pearly white smile.
Doggie dentistry can be more expensive than it is for humans.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh! And I was just thinking about that form they made you sign for turning down the procedure.
Reminded me of my last eye exam. I turned down the glaucoma test because I had just had it done at eye care center in Albuquerque when Apache kicked me in the eye. I didn't think it was necessary to have it done again, just a week later.
The eye doctor seemed very upset and annoyed and made me sign a form releasing her from all responsibility if I had any eye problems in the future, due to glaucoma. Sheesh!


BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Ugghhhhh...The whole 'upselling' and guilt trip thing would make me look elsewhere. I have never in my life brushed an animal's teeth or had any dental procedure done except for my horse's teeth floated. I'll tell you I sure as heck do not have every horse done, every year either. Moon is the only one who needs regular touch-ups, thanks to an abnormally narrow mouth.

Good luck finding someone who is simply willing to provide you with the services you are requesting and not trying to guilt you into spending more than you want to do or can afford. Ridiculous!

Jame said...

Beautiful photos, as always :)
"Enslaved by Ducks" is great-usually I only like reading books about horses & dogs, & even though there's none of those in this book, it keeps sucking me in. It's hilarious, & real-no magic solutions or anything, but plenty of muddling through life & having fun. If your mom is interested in pet stories, it's certainly a good one :)

duffylou said...

Gut instincts are usually a good indicator of a bad situation. If you are getting an uncomfortable feeling from this new vet, maybe you should check out someone else.

Horses Are Our Lives said...

geez, I can't believe the bad manners of the vet, as that is what I think it was! I probably would have been pi$$ed off and left! lol I actually give my own dog vaccines so I don't need to see a vet for that!

We had rain, but you had some snow! oh no, winter is coming. But yes, we have had a long gorgeous fall this year - at least 6 weeks of beautiful riding! Our leaves are brown or gone!