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Veterinary Care Costs - Viewer Comments Part I

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Last week, the topic was "money hungry" vets -- prompted by recent forum posts and a viewer submitted piece titled: "Money Hungry Vets" vs "Proper" Ownership". I wrote an article discussing ways the Internet can help pet owners, and what the Internet cannot do. (Please see: Veterinary Q & A: Help I need a Diagnosis!. In last week's newsletter, I asked viewers for their comments. And boy, did the comments come in! I will highlight a few this week and next. The opinions are wide ranging, from all types of pet owners. If you have something you would like to say, please submit your opinion here.

Please click here for Part II of viewer comments on veterinary costs.

Viewer Viewpoints & Opinions

Veterinary Charges
Submitted by Emily
You bet vet bills are too high. Furthermore, every vet I have dealt with, some worse than others, is eager to "test" and prescribe or sell me any number of products at inflated prices. I understand the need to "make a living", however vets have become as greedy as MDs (medical doctors), charging whatever the traffic will bear because the"traffic" has no choice. I shelter 4 cats of varying ages, all rescued in one way or another and I love them all. But I am disgusted with the "profession". It has become like so many other areas of our society a money grubbing business. Why no where in this area is there even a hint of a low cost neuter-spay "clinic"...a donation of vet's time for the sake of saving stray animals. As with human cancers, surgeries are recommended and performed even though the vet knows full well they do little to extend the life of an animal but only add to the expense and trauma for the pet. Thanks for listening... you asked did you not?!

Between Life & Death
Submitted by Shirley
I am able to go to an emergency room if I am sick, not insured, and someone will examine me, and possibly save my life. I can pay nothing, or request charity help. If my cat is sick and I can not pay a vet for his care, I have but one choice, and that is to watch him suffer at home and possibly die a slow and painful death.

I had my "Missy" female cat for 15 years. She was diabetic, and I went to a cat care vet specialist. She lived a wonderful life and brought me great joy. I thought I had found a wonderful and caring vet as well. I adopted a four year old male after that and he was diagnosed with stones in urinary tract. I took him to this caring vet, and after two days in his care charged me $343.00. My wonderful " Mickey " still had problems and he put him on prednisone, and special diet, didn't help. he was now beginning to urinate frequently and beginning to pass blood. I know this is a painful stage at this time. Since I did not have the money to return him to this vet and he would not take care of him for me otherwise ( now costing me another $300.00 or so), I had to have him put to sleep. I loved that big boy, and it killed me to do this.

That is the difference between a human and an animal. How sad!! I have now adopted another female little girl. She also was four years old when I adopted her. She is a very feisty little girl with a mind of her own. Of course she was scared at first and now is a darling. She had adopted us now, and we can stay here and live with her. I took her for a checkup to my vet (cat care lover one) and he said he will not be able to check annually (and maybe if she is sick) because she tried to bite him, peed in the cage, and is too mean. This is supposed to be a cat care vet. I had to put a cat to sleep because of how caring he was. I will find another vet if I have to, and this cat is sick but I have to tell you with a fixed income, and retired on s.s. (Social Security) I hope I can find someone who cares if my cat lives or dies, as do hospitals for humans. My baby deserves it as well as I do.

Vet Costs
Submitted by Russell
I have seven dogs, so I expect to pay a considerable amount of money to care for them. The only cost that mildly irritates me is the charge "for coming in the door". The examination may take 2 minutes, but the charge is still constant. However, that same charge may apply to a 30 minute question and answer session between the vet and me. So, in the long haul, it is fair. I think the fee structure is probably fair from most vets.

Most vets I have done business with do a lot of free work. This is admirable.

Finally, I believe if you can't afford a pet, including medical care, you should not have one.

More comments to come... please stay tuned. Your comments can also be posted in the Veterinary Medicine Forum as well. I don't want this to be an "us and them" argument, rather an open discussion about how viewers and veterinary personnel view fees, veterinary care, pet ownership responsibilities, and any solutions or tips people have for making pet care the best it can be -- for pet and for owner.

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