One of the annoying things about the medical business in the US is that most doctors smell money when they see a patient, which includes vets. The wast majority of vets we’ve encountered in the past 14 months are all charging huge fees.
Not only do you have to pay to become a customer, which at times will cost $165, but you have to pay for every little test or pill. Vets actually rely (and some demand) on extensive tests in order to diagnose the animal.
It’s not that I don’t believe in these tests, but should vets not at least attempt to assess the animal and use some medical skills to give some prognoses? My assumption, which is apparently wrong, is that vets should squeeze, poke, listen and examine the dog to at least give some preliminary diagnose. Or, is that too much to ask?
But no! Here you visit the vet for an assessment. The vet looks at the dog, inserts a thermometer in the anus and then chats for some minutes to understand the animals history. Then they might suggest a blood test, to “scan” the usual numbers, which of course is chargeable.
If they find something (which they will) in the blood sample, the vet will most likely suggest additional blood tests, scans and other treatments just to check again. And, these tests are individually charged!
We actually challenged a vet some weeks ago, in regards to a medical examination of our lab, and he was not happy at all. How dare we question his skills as a vet, which were clearly lacking, and we should of course just pay for all these strange tests – neither which would provide any inside into our dog’s illness.
As it turned out, his assessment and lack of understanding of his professional “calling” was completely off. He had been fairly certain that our lab had Addison disease, but he wanted more tests to confirm. However, after consulting with another vet, we quickly learned that our lab’s heart was failing.
What’s even worse, a huge pet hospital in the area who had also examined the lab some months ago and had diagnosed his heart as fine.
I think the obsession by vets to charge astronomical fees is because they can get away with it. People treat and love their pets, and blindly trust the vet’s assessments + recommendation of further tests.
Why would you question your vet?
The only reason we started to question the vet was because of our dog’s age. Why would you need to run three blood tests to pin point whether the dog has Addison disease or not, and why would you need to run scans + x-rays?
More importantly, shouldn’t the vet be honest and advice you about the best option for your dog, given the dog’s age, even if that means suggesting to put it to sleep?
Our lab would not survive the many treatments and surgery some vets suggested, not to mention staying in ICU for several weeks. I didn’t even know they had ICU for dogs!
Then again, they have water therapy, chemo, acupuncture, nutritionist, holistic healing and other interesting treatments for animals, not to forget a hospice centre for the last days/weeks.
All I can say is, be cautious about what the vet is suggesting and charging you for. Use the Internet to do some research before blindly accepting the treatment. It is possible to get herbal remedies for dogs too, which may aid and prolong your animals life.