Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I received a really odd phone message today.  It was Midge's old vet's receptionist calling to tell me to bring Midge in to have her urine retested for a third time and to put her back on antibiotics.  Say what?

The first time I brought her in, the doctor tested her urine, put her on antibiotics, and then charged me somewhere around $250.  She told me to bring her back for a follow-up appointment to test her urine again.  Usually, a follow-up appointment is included in the price of the first appointment, however I was charged another $250 for the second urine test, exam and antibiotics.  I understand that I have to pay for the medication each time, but a follow-up really should be included in the first payment. 

I was not instructed to bring her back for a third follow-up, because they were sure that two rounds of antibiotics would kick the urinary tract infection.  When Midge started exhibiting different symptoms, I took her to the new vet, and he said that the two rounds of antibiotics that the other vet put her on inflamed her intestines.  He chose a different type of antibiotic to kick the intestinal infection.

She actually finished off the last of the second round of antibiotics that her old vet gave her back in February, so it seems strange that they would call me at the end of March to tell me to bring her back in for more antibiotics.  It almost appears as if business is slow for them, so they are looking for reasons to charge clients more.  It just feels like they are treating Midge like an afterthought, unless there's some rule about waiting one month before putting someone on a third round of antibiotics.  Also, why would they suddenly call me out of the blue right after I took her in to see another vet?

It all seems a bit fishy to me.  The receptionist at the new vet's place asked me if I am new to the area.  I explained that I've been around for 23 years, but wanted to try a new vet, because the last two I tried said rude and insulting things to me.  There only are two other veterinary clinics in town, so I wonder if the receptionist might have blabbed to someone about my story and it got back to my old vet.  It wouldn't surprise me.  This is a small town and it is very difficult to find professionals who understand the meaning of client confidentiality.


Katharine Swan said...

Small town or not, I would think business competition would still matter to them. I'll bet your first guess -- about slow business -- is more likely, or perhaps piss poor management and they didn't write down in Midge's chart what they told you last time.

As for follow-ups, I was surprised when you said they are usually included. I've never heard of that, with animals or with people. Perhaps that was just your first vet's policy? Of course, it may just be different in your neck of the woods, but that is certainly not the norm here.

Cheryl Ann said...

Honestly, it sounds like you made the right decision to seek out another vet. Here in the desert, too, ALL the vets belong to one insurance company and they ALL have extremely HIGH prices! I'm glad I found a low-cost clinic.

Venom said...

You know what? If your story of feeling ill-treated got back to the other clinics - then GOOD!

Maybe it will prompt the vets or managing partners or office manager or the accounts payable clerk or whoever... to remind the entire staff that happy customers keep coming back, and unhappy customers tell everybody who asks just what kind of treatment they received.

Customer service in any business is key -- too bad so few places and people understand that these days.

Breathe said...

Seems more likely that a reminder for a follow up came up, and based on what your new vet experience it really sounds like this old one has a system to drive up costs.

Finding a good vet is tough. I'd follow up with the one you've got now and see if they think it's needed. Poor midge. Hope she's still doing well.

lilyrose said...

Finding a good vet that is affordable is tough. Sounds like your last one was looking to make more $. If you end up here in Apache Junction, I can steer you to a good one. He's not cheap, but he's thorough...and my dogs love him! I have a great equine vet too that comes to you if you don't want to drive to his clinic. Here's hoping Midge is feeling like her old self soon!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

lilyrose - That sounds great. The final appraisal came in today, the sellers look like they are moving out, and it looks like the loan will go through, so please do send me that information.

achieve1dream said...

It's probably some sort of automated alert system on their computers. I worked at a vet and their systems are weird to say the least!!! It's very easy to get backed up on reminders too, so they may just be slow getting them out. I'd just be done with them since they were so rude and not worry about it.

Since she's on the new antibiotic for the pancreatitus I doubt she needs any more for the UTI. I'm glad she's feeling better. :D