Ok, this is going to be a long winded rant as I get something off my chest that has been building for a couple weeks now. I’m going to touch on (but not get into) a controversial topic in pet health, I’ll get into detail later, because its not the real cause of my upset. For those of you who don’t want to read further, lets just say that my (now) former vet should be very happy I’m not the sueing type!
For those of you who are willing to read further, its a long story…..
Back on 2/28 we took our new puppy into our vets office for his new puppy checkup. We knew going in that we were probly not going to meet a happy vet as we have chosen a non-standard vaccination schedule for our dog. Sure enough the vet walked into the office prepared to administer vaccines (which even under the standard schedule shouldn’t have been the case at 10weeks of age), and then had a fit (I’m a vet, you’re not, I went to school…..), insisted we sign a waiver that we knew we were going against her wishes, then tried to tell us that the blood work we wanted (a vaccine titer, it tests for antibodies for the diseases vaccinated against) wouldn’t tell us anything helpfull, that she didn’t want to do one, and that she had no idea where to send it out to have it tested (which frankly OUGHT to be complete BS, any lab that can test for Lime disease can do a vaccine titer, never mind we’re all of an hour from Cornell). We stood our ground, and insisted that we would have a vaccine titer done between 11 & 12 weeks of age. She finally agreed.
Fast forward a week and a half, I bring Apollo in to have blood drawn for his titer, and they inform me that its going to cost $212 to have done. I took a deep breath and agreed to have it done at that price. I’d neglected to do my research to find out what the going rate was, and since at that point the puppy wasn’t travelling well at ALL I decided it wasn’t worth hauling him home to do so.
I fixed that lack of information as soon as I got home. Online research showed that Cornell charges less than $40 for the titer in question. Calls to several other vets offices resulted in an average rate between $50 to $100 depending on the lab used and their base rate for a vet tech’s time. I was seriously peeved at that point and made the decision that once his titer results came back I would move all 3 animals to a vet closer to where we live now (the former vet was closer to where we were living). And I did.
Apollo’s first checkup went fine. The vet questioned my choice of vaccination schedule, but after determining that I was sure that was what I wanted, and that I knew WHY I wanted it, she agreed that they would work with me to manage what I wanted. They charge $63 for the titer in question.
The first appointment for Trouble and Janie weren’t quite as smooth, or rather Janie’s wasn’t. Trouble has always been healthy as a horse inspite of being a pudgy kitty, and so her portion of the visit was fine. However when we got to Janie we discovered that not only was there no record of what medication the former vet had chosen to treat her thyroid with, they hadn’t recorded her thyroid levels in the records either. Thankfully I knew the numbers that the vet had told me, and I had brought her pill bottle with me to the appointment. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I wasn’t going to have to deal with that vet any further.
The new vet suggested a different medication for Janie’s thyroid, one thats in a chewable flavored tablet that might be easier for us to get down her (and it is!), took another blood sample from her to make sure that her thyroid had settled properly, and we went home.
The next day (!) the new vet called me with the results of the bloodwork. Her thyroid had finally settled at normal, but her kidney and liver numbers were still high, better, but high. News that I greeted with dead silence. The previous vet had never said ANYTHING about her kidney and liver numbers being off. AT ALL, but apparently they had put it in her medical records (but they couldn’t be bothered to record her thyroid levels???). I said as much to the new vet, who promptly had her own moment of silence. She explained then that high kidney and liver values weren’t unusual when the thyroid had been off for as long as Janie’s had been, and that although they weren’t back down to where they should have been they WERE dropping. She wanted to test again in another 6 weeks to check on them, but at the moment Janie didn’t seem to be suffereing from any negetive affects from them so she was willing to leave her be. I agreed and went on with my week.
Unfortunetly a week and a half ago that changed. My husband called me at work to inform me that Janie was puking up everything, AND had diahrea that looked like flem. I told him to call the vet, and I took her in that afternoon. Two Xrays, and more bloodwork later (some of it very expensive bloodwork), and we have a diagnosis of pancreatitus. Thankfully it seems to be responding to medication, and there’s a very good chance that has her liver and kidney numbers return to normal it will become less and less of an issue. Sigh. Poor kitty!! She is NOT happy with the number of pills she has to take, and I don’t blame her. I’m just peeved. Though I’m liking the new vet more and more!