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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fleaces And Other Random Things

Today is just a few quick and simple comments and answers.  The first one is probably only going to be found amusing by my veterinary colleagues.

Today one of my associate doctors was talking about looking for "flea dirt" with one of our techs.  For those who don't know, flea dirt is the little black specks you will see on the skin in pets who have active fleas.  These specks are the feces of the fleas and is pretty distinctive.  Since it's flea feces, we know that the fleas are actively feeding.  As she was discussing this, I mentioned something about flea season and she heard "flea seas..."  Her mind immediately related this to flea feces, and she coined a new term...FLEACES.  So in our clinic from now on we're going to call flea dirt fleaces.  Anyone else can feel free to use this term, as she's hoping it will catch on.

Now a couple of quick questions from reader Cindi...

In a current blog post, you mention about vetting hamsters.
Do you charge the same for a hamster, as you do a dog?

Yes, I do.  The office visit charges cover the basic costs of an exam and the vet's initial time and knowledge.  Since a hamster visit takes the same time as an average dog visit and I'm doing the same basic exam, I charge the same.  My skills and expertise are worth the same regardless of which species I'm seeing on a given visit.

Second, do you pay yourself/clinic for you personal animal care?

I manage my location but don't own it.  Part of the employment agreement with the practice owners is that we get basic preventative care (vaccines, blood tests, fecal exams, and so on) completely covered for up to three pets.  For any further pets or for any services beyond the basics, we pay out-of-pocket with a 15% discount.  So yes, I do pay for much of my own personal pet care, including heartworm and flea prevention.

What many people don't realize is that most veterinary practices are incorporated.  Because the practice is a corporation (even if it is a single location with a single owner), the business is financially separate from the owner's finances.  If the owner or an employee doesn't provide for care or services, then in effect they are denying the corporation it's rightful revenue.  Practice consultants recommend that the practice owner pay themselves a set salary rather than just relying on pure profits. 

Hope this answers your questions, Cindi.

And don't forget everyone...fleaces!