Thursday, February 13, 2014

I Can See Clearly Now...

As you probably know, I've had an ongoing struggle with my current dog vets' office, because they are constantly pushing extra, unneeded charges on me and practically hold me and my pet hostage until we sign a contract agreeing to some treatment or procedure that is optional and has nothing to do with improving the dog's quality of life.  I had collected a list of dog vets recommended by my local blog readers and others, and I had planned to see a new vet next time one was needed.

However, my husband set up an appointment with our old vet to get Stewie checked out, because it was convenient that the old vet's office was right near another office where my husband had another appointment right after Stewie's appointment.  I warned him that they would try to squeeze every penny out of his wallet and advised him to stand his ground.  $140 later he got a well pet visit, a Dhpp booster, tri-wormer, and a fecal analysis.  He was told to come back in three weeks for another medical consultation and another Dhpp booster.

He asked for an an estimate for neutering.  As you can probably guess, the vet insisted that a bunch of Stewie's baby teeth would have to be pulled because they were not coming out on their own.  He threw in a microchip "special", two boxes of some unknown drug, laser therapy on the gums, and dental radiographs.  When all was said and done, the estimate was for $850.

There was no way I was going to pay that.  Plus all we wanted was for him to be neutered.  If the vet just did what we asked instead of pushing all this other crap on us, it would have cost around $300, which was still way too much.  So, I took him in this morning to a spay and neuter clinic that prides itself on low cost services.  They were very efficient, asked what he has already had done, but did not push anything on me.  They just brought up all the options.

I asked about those baby teeth -- why they had to be pulled, and the vet said they would come out naturally on their own.  She said that his permanent teeth haven't even finished growing in, so there is no rush to get those baby teeth out.  She recommended no dental surgery.  The old vet claimed that one baby tooth was fused to the permanent tooth.  She said, "Nope.  Everything's normal.  There are no fused teeth."


Just wow.

It really pays to get a second opinion.  Now that I know that this old vet is willing to flat out lie to us to get more money out of us, and to perform unnecessary surgeries on our pets, I'm going to let everyone know to avoid his office like the plague.

I was unclear on what vaccinations our old vet gave to Stewie already since I didn't attend that appointment, so they told me to go find out and call them back.  It turned out that he only got the Dhpp -- no Rabies, no Bordetella.  Somehow that didn't surprise me.  My old vet has a knack for dragging out the vaccinations so that you have to keep bringing your dog in every few weeks and pay an additional $45 well visit fee in addition to the cost of the vaccines, and you have to be held hostage while they continue to push all the other unwanted, optional crap on you.  So, I called the clinic, and they said they could give him the Rabies and Bordetella today, but we will have to wait until next week to get the Dhpp booster because of the timing.  Oh well.  At least everything will be cheaper and less stressful.

The neutering alone will be $75, and they offered to trim his claws for just $4!  My old vet charged me $35 for a nail trim, and then didn't even trim all of my dog's nails.  Though Stewie doesn't need to have any teeth pulled, the vet said it would only cost $4 per tooth if he did.  Holy cow!  Where do these vets come up with these outrageous prices for dental work when there is a clinic that only asks for $4 per tooth?  The vaccines were $8 and $11.  Whoopie!  There are reasonable people in the world after all.

And now I am going to go enjoy my quiet, puppy-free day and spend some time with the horses.


Katharine Swan said...

I use a low-cost clinic and I love them! They have regular vet services during the week, and on Sundays they have a shot clinic where you are charged only the price of the shot -- no office visit fee. It's nice, especially for puppy and kitten shots, where you have to go back several times for boosters. I have found with mine, though, that the low-cost clinic is not as well equipped to handle specialized things, such as when our dog had a bad form of pneumonia a couple years ago, so we often end up going to specialists for that sort of thing.

In any case, I'm so glad you finally found a reasonable vet!

C-ingspots said...

Wow indeed. If I had that experience with any vet, they'd be fired. And fast! There is never justification for outright lies, and milking the customer for more money. Glad you found out the truth about them...might be interesting to let them know exactly why they're going to be replaced. :)

Sam said...

Oh dear lord. I've never payed that much for anything. I think I know who are you using - my sister uses them and I brought her cat there to be put to sleep while they were on vacation. I nearly fell out of me chair when they handed me the bill.

Cheryl Ann said...

Nuzz, I take our two dogs to an animal clinic, which is about 10 minutes from our house and I will NEVER again take them to a regular vet. I did take Lady there for an exam as she has bad allergies. $200 later, she had her ears cleaned, eyes washed out, and I walked out with a bunch of meds for her. I liked the lady vet at the clinic and their prices were much more reasonable than a regular vet! With 5 horses, I can't afford big vet bills for the dogs and I think her DPPT booster was only $12.00??? I can check on that...maybe it was $24...whatever, it was MUCH cheaper than a vet's office and the vet tech did it and did a good job!
Cheryl Ann

achieve1dream said...

That is awesome! So glad you found a nice, reasonable vet.