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Saturday, January 21, 2012

"You're Going To Let My Dog Die?"

Today my associate saw a dog who was in pretty bad shape:  painful in the abdomen, lethargic, not able to urinate or defecate, and generally not doing well.  She found a firm mass in the abdomen and the dog had apparently eaten part of a steak bone. However, the mass was larger than the size of the bone, so she knew something else was going on.  Being a great doctor, she obviously developed a treatment plan that started with radiographs and went from there.  

As commonly happens the client said that they couldn't afford to do anything, and in fact had come to us because they couldn't afford the $100 to walk in the door at the emergency clinic.  We gave them the information for Care Credit, and they were declined.  She didn't really have many options at this point and told the client this.  The client's response?

"So, you're just going to let my dog die?"  followed by "What vet doesn't take payment plans?"

Really?  

And this isn't the first time I've run across this attitude and comment.  Plenty of clients think that it is our obligation to treat pets and do surgery, even if the client doesn't have any way to pay.  After all, if we really loved animals we'd just go ahead and do it (another comment I've heard before).  If the client can't pay and we decline to treat for free, somehow we are the ones letting the pet die, not the client.  It's our fault that we won't give away hundreds or thousands of dollars in services, but it's not the client's fault that they don't have any funds in a savings account or have such horrible credit that they can't qualify for a payment program.

I really think many people don't realize that we can't operate a veterinary practice without charging.  There are so many little things that people never think about....payroll, rent, utilities, liability insurance, worker's compensation, taxes, and many dozen other items that quickly build up and take up any revenue.  We as vets have our own personal mortgages, student loans, and other debts, as well as families to support.  And most vets aren't driving BMWs or Lexuses while living in 4000 square foot homes.  If we give away too many services, we can't pay our bills.  If we fall behind on our bills, we have to fire staff, cut services, and eventually will go out of business.  In fact, such discount practices are the number one reason veterinary practices close, and it's much more common than anyone outside of the profession realizes.

It's also not smart for most vets to set up their own in-house credit system.  I've seen this done, and more times than not clients fail to make payments appropriately.  Practice consultants routinely say that this is a bad idea for vets to do.  And if someone doesn't have good enough credit to have credit cards or Care Credit, this means that their revenue and ability to repay people is below acceptable standards.  In other words, they are very poor risks. So why should the vet take those risks?  I know that everyone says "Oh, don't worry, I'll be the one to make payments on time."  Call me cynical, but in my personal experience that is rarely the case.  Which is why most vets don't take payments, especially for first-time clients (which this dog was).

So what happens in these situations?  Unfortunately, the pet suffers.  But who is responsible for that pet's care?  It's the owner, not the vet.  The vet is the agent of treatment, but we can only advise decisions.  Ultimately the client must agree to the treatment plan, and the client is also ultimately responsible for the pet's well-being.  If the client can't pay, it's simply not the vet's fault or responsibility.  And most of us have learned not to let the client guilt us into doing it anyway.

In this case the client had enough money to afford euthanasia, which was the best decision if they couldn't do any diagnostics or treatment.  The dog didn't have to suffer for long.

It's about personal responsibility, folks. Something I think that much of American society has forgotten.  Too many people want to blame others for their failings and hard situations, when the huge majority of the time the fault is really with the person themselves.  People need to take responsibility for their own actions and for the care of the people and pets entrusted to them.

34 comments:

  1. I blame the health care system in this country. Everyone knows that if you don't have insurance you just go to the emergency room and they have to treat you - whether or not you have the ability to pay. I'm sure many people think the vet system should or will be the same.

    Personal responsibility - what a concept! We get the same accusations at the shelter when people don't want to pay redemption fees on their pet - especially after several impounds, as the price goes up each time they come in. Oh yes, we WANT to keep your dog in a stressful environment and possibly end up euthanizing it instead of you keeping the dog at home with you like a responsible owner....

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  2. I often suggest: why not borrow from a relative or friend? If a client has no friends or relatives willing to lend money for veterinary care, that says something. Why should the veterinarian be faulted for refusing to offer a payment plan to these deadbeats?

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    1. deadbeats? Isn't that a bit harsh of a judgement to call someone you don't even know. Just because a person has no friends or family does NOT make them a deadbeat. I understand the challenge of someone trying to gauge a persons trust or reliability in paying back their debts, but deciding because one had no family or friends that makes them a deadbeat is pure rude and heartless. I myself, actually grew up in a family tattered with abuse and alcoholism. When I got old enough to be responsible for myself I left all that trouble. So, NO, I would never have family to borrow money from. This does not make me a dead beat. In fact, it makes me a stronger person for getting myself out of that horrible situation! I have plenty of friends, but sadly they aren't all filthy rich ready to hand out thousands of dollars. I'm sure if they were they'd help me in a heartbeat. I am currently at the university studying veterinary medicine. College takes money and loans which I work hard for. I also hold a full time job. I had the misfortune of having many of my cats fall ill due to a genetic problem. I invested thousands of dollars to the point my care credit was maxed out. My friends helped when they could. I worked and had money in savings for any "just in case" scenario. No amount of "what if" thinking, prepared me that I'd need to keep the amount of money I have invested thus far into savings a long time ago. Not all friends are good friends for one thing. Not everyone is willing to hand out money. I was fortunate enough to have great friends who did help me. Sometimes that sum of help isn't as large as you need but its help nonetheless. Sometimes that isn't enough even at the end of the day when you've invested everything you've ever saved or earned. So I take high enough to someone being so ignorant to judge someone as a deadbeat because their friends or family can't or won't be there to help them. I am the farthest thing from a deadbeat. I earn my way through life and work hard for everything I've ever had. By the way, I understand those who fear taking a risk on a client because they may not pay them back, but if you are going to talk about the facts don't just play it to one side. I have had the same vet for years for my animals and she let me do a payment plan against her normal desire, and that outreach to me meant more then anything in the world. I paid her back every single penny I owed her and in a short time frame as well! Not ALL or MOST clients fail to make return on their word. I understand the apprehensions and the point you guys are trying to address but the way you went about it was pretty callous and one sided. No it is not the vets obligation to put themselves at risk financially. But it is the vets obligation and their staff to have some compassion. Especially when you have a client who is under heartbreak and probably doesn't mean the things they are currently saying. They are too busy focusing on their pain and what in the world are they going to do now moment. As the vet as you say you are experienced with this moment so then you should realize you shouldn't take it to heart. If you want people to understand your stance as a vet what you go through then the road goes both ways. Try to understand the client and what they are going through! This entire article along with your careless insults lacked "forethought" as mentioned earlier and was expressed pretty awful. So by this I should assume you are a deadbeat? I doubt it. I think just misinformed and quick to judge. You should try to put yourself in another's shoes and think before you speak next time.

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  3. Another great post. And I totally agree with Jenna as well. Why would I loan money to someone with no friends, no family, no credit, and forethought?

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  4. Agree with all above.

    They don't have to pay at the emergency room, why should they have to pay us? Similar to why some clients think our prices are SOOOO high. $300 for a spay??? Outrageous! But this is because they have no clue how much it actually cost for their hysterectomy since the cost was buffered by insurance. And, unfortunately, it's the people who can't afford emergency veterinary care who also believe that veterinary insurance is too expensive.

    As Jenna said, if your family won't loan you money and a large company isn't going to take a risk on you, why would I??? I have allowed payments before for long term clients that can pay enough up front that if they skip out on the bill, we haven't lost a ton on the deal. We will occasionally hold checks (even though I hate it) but charge a fee for doing so. I had one lady get really mad about that, "You're punishing people who don't have money by charging us more money!". True, but we're taking all of the risk too and have been burned more times than I like to think.

    We have one client that, on good faith, I treated their renal failure dog for 2 days and he ended up dying by the end of the second day. His kidneys were just too far gone. Owners racked up a $1000 bill and bailed. Never made a single payment, never called, and have since moved. Lovely. But, as you said, everyone wants us to believe that they will be different!

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  5. It is good to see someone shedding light on this all too common situation. I completely agree.

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  6. Ok. well My situation was no cash on hand and won't get paid til next week....My job covers it with no problem!

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  7. I think you are all heartless idiots.

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  8. Babygirl88, there is no reason to be insulting. If you want to contribute to the discussion in a polite, worthwhile way you can certainly do so. However, if you continue in the current vein, I will delete any comments you make. Thoughtless insults will NOT be tolerated. I will let the comment stand for now, if nothing else to show that I don't believe in censorship. But I have deleted posts and closed discussion for similar attitudes, and will not hesitate to do so again.

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  9. Part of your job is customer service. You clearly have no people skills. If you speak to customers this way you are a terrible person. A payment plan is NOT going to put you out of a job. You'll get your money just the same. You do not know everyone's situation. Putting all the blame on the client is wrong. I'm not saying vets are at fault at all I'm just saying payment plans SHOULD be in place. I just spent every last dollar I had on my kitty and unfortunately have nothing left to give for her further care. I am doing everything possible to get her healthy but every vet clinic wants money up front. Anyway your post really rubbed me the wrong way and I just hope you don't continue to put so much blame on your clients. They love their pets as if they were their children which is why they get so emotional and distraught.

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  10. Actually, payment plans don't work. You can ask vet after vet and you will find that everyone one of them has been burned by allowing someone to pay things off. In fact, look at the comments from other vets. We are not set up to be financing institutions, and it is not our responsibility to carry the burden for the clients. You may think that we will still get paid, but decades of experience tells me and other vets the contrary. I've had to send many, many clients to a collections agency because they "promised" to come in to pay their bill but never did.

    I'm not "blaming" my clients at all. I understand that not everyone can pay for everything. But that wasn't my point in the discussion. However, you and other clients shouldn't "blame" vets who ask to actually get paid for their services at the time that they provide them. The entire point of this post was that it is not the vet's fault when a client can't pay for treatment. And I don't hold anything against a client who can't pay. But it is not our responsibility to carry that financial burden.

    If you want to make payments, put it on a credit card, use Care Credit or similar services, or take out a loan. If you can't qualify for those kinds of things because of poor credit or a low income, why should the vet take the risk? It comes down to business, and if you don't think that medicine is a business (human or veterinary) you're a bit unrealistic.

    Also, I will NOT tolerate profanity! That post was deleted, as will similar ones in the future. If you want to participate in an intelligent discussion, please do so. But resorting to name-calling, insults, curse words, and similar language will not be allowed.

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  11. This is what i think. Accidents happen and i think that people just don't have compassion anymore. This recently happened to me. I have a pomeranian he was 12 pounds and the sweetest most loving thing i have ever had in my entire life. Honestly he is the only thing that has ever shown me how much something can love me. I'm a child of parents who do not care and i raised myself. My father is a pervert and my mother jumps around from man to man. Which leaves me alone. When i found pepper it was hard for me to trust anything and to love anything because i have never been shown it. But over the last couple of years he has shown me he trusts me regardless if i trust him or not. He has laid across me when i'm crying so hard i can't see. He had forced a smile to my face when i just feel like i can't get up. He taught me how to be.

    Well, i had to move from south carolina to Mississippi to be with my cousin who knew that i had just lost my job and was having financial difficulties he agreed to help for a short time but my dog could not come inside. I didn't leave the house the first couple of days because i was so scared to leave him outside. Granted there were 3 other dogs out there that he got to spend time with. i hardly spent any time inside because i didn't want him to feel like i was leaving him outside because i didn't love him. If i had to leave he went with me. But eventually i had to look for a new job. So i bought pepper a crate from walmart with the last 20 dollars that i had. It zipped up in the front. He willing goes into his house but if i would leave to look for a job he figured out how to unzip it. The day after i found this out i left pepper with my cousin long enough to fill out 2 applications. When i came home. He was laying on the side of the road and had just been hit. My cousin said he had only been gone 20-30 minutes.

    So i rushed him in to one vet who didn't pay attention to that fact that my dog wasn't awake. Just that he had a broken leg and wanted 2500 dollars up front. So i took him to another vet. Who gave him fluids bandaged his leg and took xrays of his chest and legs. He told me at the time he was just in shock and should come out of it in 24-72 hours. He also gave me and estimate which was in the thousands mark. I applied for care credit and got denied. I have always been one to pay my bills so i'm not sure why i was denied and having no one to fall back on but myself i had no choice but to take him home and pray and pray and pray.

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  12. About an hour later i noticed blood spray from his nose. So i had to take him to an animal hospital. The vet came out 2 seconds later and said he was in critical condition and didn't know why the second vet i went to didn't keep him over night. I was never told about bleeding that could happen later on. The second vet said his temp was at 100 which its supposed to be 101 and his blood pressure was a little lower than it should be but it could be fixed with more fluids. He never told me about head trauma or anything else. But his vet did. He told me if the second vet i had went to would have kept him and monitored him he would have had better chances. And he wouldn't be surprised if i left pepper there if i would get a all in the middle of the night saying he was gone. I asked him if he had ever seen a pet come back from this and his exact words were " yes, i have but it takes thousands of dollars and tons of doctors visits." my reply "i will do anything sell my car stand on the side of the road pick up pennies i will do anything if you an help me.. please" and he said no. he had to have it up front. I had to put my baby down that day so he wouldn't suffer anymore.

    And here i am three days later and haven't eaten haven't slept i can't stop crying. Because i left my baby for a max of an hour and a half. And no one would help me. The first true time i have ever in my life asked for help. I'm crying writing this and i'm sorry but no i do not understand why my baby was taken from me and why i have had the misfortune of meeting so many people who just do not care. I lay up at night wondering every step of the way what I could have done differently that would make him still be alive. i was not his owner and he was not my pet. i was his mother and he is my son. and i just lost a part of me that will never be replaced. so please take people like me into consideration when holding someones entire life in your hands.

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  13. Some vets are no good for nothing we have a vet in our local town I took my dog to them paid $100 for them to tell me to take her to there city office to have blood work and X-ray done now I don't have the money so they can at least check her out that money should have added to the bill I would have been one thing if my local vet would have done anything.so now my dog has not gone to the bathroom in 6 days and I have to put her down it not that I can't pay the bill it just that I can't pay it all at once

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  14. Danny did you kill your dog then?

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  15. Sherry I"m so sorry, thats what gonna happen to me in a few days

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  16. I've refrained from posting to the last few comments, because doing so wouldn't really help the discussion and the people posting clearly didn't understand the topic or read the other comments and follow-up. But I feel that I need to at this point.

    Sherry, I'm very sorry for your loss. It has nothing to do with the vets and others not caring. They simply couldn't give away thousands of dollars in services. Believe me, most of us want to be able to treat every pet no matter what the circumstance. But it costs a LOT of money to run a veterinary practice and giving away services like this will cause someone to go out of business. The bank doesn't care if our mortgage or loan payment is late because we gave away $5000 in services to "needy" people. Our drug suppliers won't give us products unless we can actually pay them, which we can't do without money from clients. Again, this isn't about being heartless, it's about the realities of running a business.

    Danny, it's hard to read your post without proper punctuation, and I can't comment on what the $100 included. But "not being able to pay it all now" is not the same as "being able to pay". As I and other vets have said, payment plans don't work, and the majority of clients that we do this with end up getting sent to a collections agency for lack of payment. We can't run a business if we don't get paid, and credit options are often risky.

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  17. I deleted the first part of HaloLight's initial comment because of inappropriate wording and curse language. As I stated earlier on, I will NOT tolerate such things and posts that include them will be deleted. But here is the rest of her post...

    "I have no money to get my dog a 1200 operation. The reason why. My husband died fighting for YOU in the U.S.M.C. and the widow gets the financial bang of bills and bad credit. First my husband now my dog. I'll kill myself if I can't find any help because I could NEVER live knowing that my dog was only 2 and had a piece of bone in him that could be removed. I don't have anything to live for without him no matter how crazy people think that is. So basically I can put him to sleep so he doesnt have an agonizing death one day when it perforates. I have probably 10 days to spend with him and he's completely health otherwise. But the thing is, he is acting fine now, but the vet said its going to rupture. How can I even put a dog for a car ride and he's happy and then take him to die. Thats why I dont care anymore. The world has become to cruel. I don't care anymore about what happens to me if he dies I die. I bet the vet would read it in the newspaper and not even bat an eye."

    Halo, I'm very sorry for your loss and current situation. I'm a big supporter of the military and have had many friends and family in various branches. You and your husband's sacrifice are certainly appreciated.

    That being said, a vet still needs to get paid for their work. Many practices (including my own) do give a discount for military families, so always ask for that. But for the same reasons I've mentioned many times in this post and comments, we can't give away thousands of dollars in services and still expect to stay open. It breaks our hearts to see situations like yours, but our business bills still have to be paid, and that won't happen if we do expensive surgeries for free.

    On a better note, if your dog is acting good now, there is a chance that the bone may pass, depending on how big it is. A rupture isn't automatic, though is certainly a risk. You may get lucky this time.

    If you haven't already, Halo, I would also recommend finding help from a counselor, psychologist, or pastor/priest. I can see that you're hurting terribly and you shouldn't have to face that alone. I've struggled with clinical depression myself and have found great help from trained professionals and spiritual guidance.

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  18. Reading both the initial post and the followup comments has disheartened me greatly. What I am seeing is blame being levied on both sides, and divisive positions mounted and adhered to, when both sides have the same essential interests: Compassion and care for sick and/or dying animals.

    That being the case, what both sides are overlooking is the reality that it is NOT "deadbeats" or greedy, non-empathic veterinarians, but rather our monetary system of valuation that is causing these animals to suffer. When we are forced to, or willingly decide to triage based on purses and pocketbooks, rather than compassion and need, something is ethically and naturally wrong, and everyone suffers. If both sides feel the sting of that injustice, then both sides should take social and political action to improve the corrupting force of capital-based valuation on the preservation of life, both human and animal.

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  19. Interesting viewpoint. So what do you suggest as a different option? What would be a better system?

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    1. Dr. Bern,
      I do not really wish to cast aspersion but, the person above you "in this new and old place" makes a valid point..let me elaborate.
      I started a keough or a retirement in 1971 when they first started being the thing to do I contributed to it every week or month last year I was diagnosed with cancer at the same time I switched medical insurance providers, I had amassed roughly 3 million dollars between my contribution their contribution and the interest paid on the accounts whenever they used it for an investment. The insurance provider refused to pay a single dollar as they were new they said it was a preexisting illness whether it was properly diagnosed or not...the hospital actually refused to treat me well I used every dollar I had, sold my cars and my house and it was still not enough a pancreatic cancer association stepped up and paid the rest of my costs, I am now broke living in a rental with a junker car but I am alive, but the biggest contributors to this dilemma were the doctors..no payment up front no treatment, mind you I had exhausted all my savings and anything else I could sell. So, this valuation statement is a true reality. Now, I am also a combat skilled medic and a nationally licensed paramedic and I have a dog that need to be put down and a vet that I have been using since the dog was born diagnosed him with cancer and refuses to put him down for lack of payment up front...he too, chooses payment over life or humane death...but here is the moral to the story...karma is a bitc* I was driving back from a friends house and I came upon a highway which I know because this vet has a business there and cop cars were all over the place...An state trooper pulled me over because I have paramedic plates and combat medic specialty plates and asked me to take a look saying he believe I could help and low and behold the same vet that refused my dog care had been shot in a robbery attempt and had a sucking chest wound a serious condition and probably on the verge of a collapsed lung because of loss of ambient pressure I walked up to with in a few feet and noticed it was the same vet and refused to help...I am not a resident of north Carolina nor actively employed there and as long as I do not step into the scene I am not obligated to help so I declined got in my car and drove home some several hundred miles away...so what goes around comes around karma will get you every time...I did tell the trooper first responder how to save his miserable life., Though I felt like not doing it by applying the same set of standards, pay me first and I will help you as I have said he knew me and I have owed him money in the past and always paid it timely, usually in a few weeks, but to let any living thing suffer in so much pain for the sake of a few dollars really su*ks Karma and ones fate often co exist, he has tried to sue me but lost as I received summary judgement on my legal stance to refuse to help. Yes, he did live based on the care the trooper gave him.

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    2. Wildthing, I have many times offered to adjust off the cost of humane euthanasia if the client cannot afford treatment. So I can sympathize in this case. Personally, I don't think it's appropriate to value human and animal life the same, but that is my own belief. I will save a human over an animal 99.9% of the time.

      I will ask the same question I mentioned above. What other system would work better that would be more equitable to everyone?

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  20. If people get support and hospitals reimvursrd why can't vets?

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  21. I'm not sure that I completely understand your question, Spencer. Can you elaborate a bit?

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  22. Does anybody think there's an unfair extrapolation from human medicine? Human doctors do have a legal duty to provide life-saving care regardless of ability to pay, so maybe that's what clients think vets should / have to do as well.

    Dr Bern, there are LOTS of nationwide charities that help pay for pet care for low-income people, and I'm guessing your state has more. Maybe you could have a list to give to clients? I emailed you some nationwide charities, and I bet I can dig up some Georgia-based ones.

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    1. I'm currently going through this dilemma with an injured dog. Our old vet retired and we have used other vets as well, but we have never encountered this before. We offered this vet cash upfront and a huge lump sum by the end of the week, but no, his receptionist said they are charging $37.00 per day to keep her and that they will keep her indefinitely. So instead of taking half of the payment now he opts to run the bill up exponentially until we won't be able to afford it at all. Then, since my dog is a mutt and he can't sell her to recoup his loss, he will end up euthanizing her. So we end up losing our family pet and he ends up with $0. This is what's called cutting off your nose to spite your face. Yes, I'm angry. Perhaps we could agree on Christian apologetics, and I know we agree on The Princess Bride being an excellent film - but sorry, Dr. Bern, I don't agree with you on this.





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    2. Actually, Augusta, I don't disagree with you. Personally I wouldn't keep a pet indefinitely and charge further boarding fees. First of all, if someone can't afford the initial bill, how are they going to afford several days of additional charges. Second, there are no laws that state that a vet has the authority to do this. Third, if the client then decides to abandon the pet the vet is stuck with the sick/injured pet and isn't going to get anything. It's as no-win situation for the vet and the client, and I don't think this is a good way to run a business.

      I still stick by the point that the vet shouldn't be responsible for the bill. That's why I always get agreement on treatment cost before starting any treatment. If the client can't afford it we may have to have them go somewhere else that does do payments (few and far between as I've said), but I'm not going to treat a pet when the client has no way to pay us for the services. There are options for outside companies and services that may extend credit or give grants, all without risk to my business. And if someone can't qualify for those, why am I obligated to risk a very obviously bad credit situation?

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  23. Hello again, Dr Bern,

    Just to let you and everyone else here know, the evil critter doctor won. ;) This has been the most frustrating situation I have ever experienced in my life. The primary reason being the ever increasing ransom! It all eventually ended with an additional $200.00 tacked on. My best friend who now lives in England offered to put it on her credit card. We just knew he would have a problem with that but lo & behold he accepted the card. The kids were so relieved.

    I totally understand the payment issue, Dr. Bern. My problem is that this was an emergency situation and my dog was in extreme pain (she has an elbow luxation). I just feel in circumstances like this a vet could be a little more understanding and empathetic.

    Anyway, thanks for hearing this emotional mom out. It was very cathartic to have a vet to vent to. ;)

    Btw, do you have an apologetics blog? If so I'd love to check it out.







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  24. No problem, Augusta. I'm sorry you had to go through this with your dog.

    I do have a blog about my Christian side (The Christian Ninjate...see the link bar to the left), but I'm nowhere near as active on that as I am here. But look for a post this week on this blog that addresses that issue.

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  25. I guess I kind of understand where you're coming from, but I was really disheartened. And to the people who called people with bad credit and no friends to borrow money from, shame on you.

    I think there should at least be some kind of government program that can pay for vet bills if the owner can't afford to. It's just not fair to allow animals to die.

    My 5-year-old dog has had three seizures in the last six months and I'm taking him to the vet for the physical this week. There is one by me that offers free physicals to first time customers. I'm terrified. If the vet tells me I have to get some kind of brain scans, I won't be able to afford them.

    I'll be honest and say that I really don't trust vets. Most that I have come across try to sell you services that you don't need just to make money.

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    1. Government can't solve all problems and shouldn't be involved in people's lives to that degree. Why should there be a government program for pet care? Having a pet is a privilege and a choice, not something that is forced on anyone. You shouldn't expect anyone else to pay your bills. It may not be fair for some pets to die, but the responsibility lies on the person who accepted that pet and the care that comes with it.

      Most vets really aren't trying to sell services you don't need. Most pets really do need the services we recommend, though there are certainly some vets in it just for the money. Keep in mind that because you don't think there is a reason for something doesn't mean that there isn't a legitimate medical reason for the recommendation.

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  26. Welcome to medicine, Heather. There is never a guarantee that a treatment will be successful on the first try. A doctor does their best and makes the best decision they can, but sometimes things are more complicated than initially determined. That means that we have to go back and try again. But any "failure" of the initial treatment does not mean that there is any malpractice or incompetence. Medical therapy is not always 100% and can't be perfect. I've dealt with foxtails myself and they can burrow far under the skin, much further than you would expect. You can also have multiple foxtails in a single wound, so when you remove one you may think the problem is fixed when there are more in there. That's not obvious on the first view, and may require a larger, more extensive procedure. The money you paid was for the procedures performed on the first visit. If the vet has to do another surgery they are having to use new drugs and instruments, which costs money. You are not paying for the same services, but new ones. And if the vet was not directly at fault, that's part of what happens.

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  27. Sorry, I accidentally deleted Heather's post when I meant to allow it to be published. Here is what she wrote, unedited:

    Well I paid 360 dollar's to have a fox tail removed and now. 17 days later it still looks the same. I took my dog back they looked and said well its really hard to get them all out. so we can do a x-ray and make a larger cut and dug to try to get the rest out. but now I HAVE TO PAY AGAIN FOR SERVICES I ALREADY OAID FOR. you tell me how that's ok. I should have to repay anything that's what the money was for the first time. thanks

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