• Quote of the Day
    "The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases."
    Carl Jung, posted by Daniel
More threads by David Baxter

Daniel

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Why my local animal hospital now accepts Trupanion insurance for direct payments:


Trupanion, the leader in medical insurance for pets, today announced that its direct payment solution is now available to thousands of additional hospitals through a strategic partnership with ezyVet, a cloud-based practice management software used by veterinary hospitals globally.

An accident insurance plan with Trupanion is less than $14/month for a dog.
 

Daniel

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Accidental poisoning (like rat poison--which I never use), dog bites, snake bites, hit-by-car, eye injury, foreign body ingestion, etc:


Covered emergencies include accidental poisonings or other toxic ingestion, snake bites, broken bones, bite wounds, eye injuries, and other emergency veterinary care services. This is a great option for older pets, as there is no maximum age limit on accident coverage.

Luckily, I have never had a dog or cat have an expensive emergency (yet). But I have had a number of close calls over the years with dogs, so I try to avoid most of these potential problems by not letting the dogs outside unattended.

And I keep the shed doors always closed since I have seen snakes in there. When walking dogs or taking them to the vet, I preferably use a harness or other means since a regular collar can slip off.

And since I have eight dogs, I take attendance like a kindergarten teacher after each outing to the backyard :)
 
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Daniel

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"I now start from the idea that all owners know their pets better than I do. Even when they can’t put a name to it, they can have a “spidey-sense” about what is going on. Thus, we should be extra cautious when we think an owner is wrong."


"Catastrophes are more likely to be prevented when small problems and near misses are taken seriously."



"Many things that frustrate your staff probably also frustrate your clients."

"Creating joy is about listening to your staff, hearing their concerns, and then working TOGETHER to fix problems. One way to show someone they are valued is to implement one of their suggestions and then to celebrate improvement it brings."
 
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Daniel

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While still working at VCA, Gutierrez went missing from her family for days and was eventually hospitalized for suicidal ideation. When she returned to her job, she found a disciplinary “No call/No show” write-up from her manager, for missing work.

Despite Gutierrez insisting she gave her manager a doctor’s note and that she was listed on the FBI’s missing persons list, VCA still asked for more information about the absence. Gutierrez said that security camera footage would show her physically handing the note to the manager, but the manager claimed to have never received it...

Gutierrez’s bouts of anxiety and depression seemed to go beyond pandemic-induced stress. In June 2021, she walked away from VCA Specialists of Connecticut, describing the company as “the most toxic place I have ever worked & I feel so much better now that I’m out of there!”

Many of the workers who spoke to the Prospect characterized Vanessa Gutierrez’s suicide as an entirely avoidable tragedy that epitomized everything wrong with the current state of veterinary medicine.

One veterinary technician who requested anonymity said that half the deaths by suicide she knows of in her life were by other veterinary professionals. The technician said, mournfully, “It’s paralyzing hearing about the suicidal ideation among your co-workers.”

--------

Online petition:

 
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Daniel

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They are my favorite part of the annual rodeo here.

But I have trust issues with horses. As a teen, my family's horse once bolted while I was riding him. It was fun and horrifying at the same time :D
 
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David Baxter

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I learned to ride (English style, not American) on an older mare who was hilarious. Whenever she had a rider, she would suddenly start wheezing and gasping for sympathy, especially if you tried to urge her into a trot or a gallop. She was hilarious. :D
 

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Many readers responded to that letter by recommending fostering. One, from Washington state, mentioned "seniors for seniors" programs in which a senior pet is matched with an appropriate senior citizen, with ongoing assistance. While "permanent fosters" allow the animal to be placed with a person, the shelter retains "ownership" of the pet and is responsible for the vet bills. This is a worthwhile program for someone who may have the time and love for an animal but not the resources, and it helps get older pets out of the shelters.
 
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David Baxter

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They have something similar in the local Humane Society.

Mo9st people adopting cats or dogs want kittens or puppies. They match seniors animals with seniors and cut the adoption fees in half (includes neutering and shots). That's how I got Mindy who was 5 at the time, now 10. :)
 

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90% of saddle thrombus cases have underlying heart disease...

Some heart conditions do not make themselves known through physical examination and laboratory testing.

“Performing a cardiac ultrasound is sometimes the only way we can determine this. EKGs are often inconclusive in these cases, though that may have helped,” she conceded. “It’s just not yet part of our standard screening for cats. Not when everything else checks out fine.

Our job now is to decide how we treat this. Why don’t we focus on that for the moment?” she urges.

That’s when she gives you a couple of choices:

1) Immediate intensive care at the specialty hospital where they’ll place her in an oxygen cage and supply drugs to support the heart, treat the congestive failure and blood thinners to help dissolve the clot.

Here she’ll receive more imaging (a cardiac ultrasound and perhaps a CT scan) and more labwork. In 35-40% of treated cases (typically if they're treated early on), cats will recover well enough from the damage done to their nerves (a result of the poor blood supply) to use their hind legs again. Because of her congestive heart failure, however, her chances are slimmer than that. She may well die during treatment.

Surgery can sometimes be effective when 1) we catch these cases very early on (within hours), 2) when there's not another clot within the patient's heart potentially waiting to imminently dislodge itself, and 3) when the cat isn't in congestive heart failure. In this case surgery’s not likely an option due to her congestive heart failure and the fact that this happened sometime overnight. But it may still be worth a shot. It all depends on the facility's capabilities and your surgeon's aggressive tendencies.

And…

2) Euthanasia.

“That’s it? I have no other choices? Can’t I give her medications and treat her at home?” At least she can die in peace in familiar surroundings, you reason. “Or perhaps you could treat her here?”

But your vet is firm on this. “There’s no way to responsibly manage her severe pain without electing for definitive treatment,” she offers. “You have to be willing to choose one path or the other. There’s no middle ground here. It’s Saturday," she goes on to explain. "We have no 24-hour care. This is a serious condition I could treat with halfway measures to some effect but I’d be doing Kitty a huge disservice. Even if I could get her well again the pain relief she requires means continuous monitoring. I know you don’t want her to suffer so I’m giving it to you straight. You have no other choices.”

In the end you drive her to the specialty hospital where she dies overnight in spite of the internal medicine specialist’s best efforts. A complication of her kidneys and her heart failure, you’re told, since lab tests revealed her kidneys also received a clot.

From a negative review where an ER vet missed an obvious diagnosis (at VCA Canada Ottawa Veterinary Hospital):

My cat was taken in through the ER last night. We thought he broke his back legs. The vet took x-rays, and kept him 6 hours, only to let us know he had potentially torn ligaments in his front right paw. This didn't make sense because his back legs were dangling before he was brought to the vet. We took him home, and they still were. Today, we have been informed his is paralyzed and now the vet refuses to answer any questions before he is "busy". This is completely unacceptable and I wouldn't recommend this location to my worst enemy.

The vet should have caught this when my cat was under his care for several hours yesterday. He didn't. I will never bring an animal here again, and we will be going to the emergency vet on Alta Vista because they atleast know what they are doing.

Editing to add: after taking him to Alta Vista, they discovered he had nothing wrong with any limbs and was throwing blood clots into his spine. If the vet would have caught this, he wouldn't have suffered for two additional days.

Moral of the story: Be an informed consumer, e.g. be knowledgeable about the prevention and signs of common cat emergencies and/or common dog emergencies (just as we are aware of strokes and heart attacks in humans).

In general, cats are masters at hiding symptoms of progressive disease, even more so than dogs.

For example:


Many times cats hide the signs of breathing problems by simply decreasing their activity. By the time an owner notices changes in the cat’s breathing, it may be very late in the progression of the cat’s lung disease. There are several causes of breathing changes but the most common are feline asthma, heart or lung disease.
 
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David Baxter

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The Alta Vista Animal Hospital was the location that rang up over $5000 to treat my son's dog when he had eaten half a frisbie - ultrasound, CT scans - in the end, after all that, exploratory surgery disclosed the frisbie. They should have been able to determine that from the ultrasound and CT scans if they knew what they were doing. As I probably said once before, they paid for all this fancy equipment and they wanted to use it. :mad:
 

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Yes, I would be the first to throw any animal hospital under the bus. I am glad that the Internet now provides almost instant second opinions, like with vets and vet specialists at JustAnswer, Vetster, etc.

My nephew recently lost a puppy, who was discharged from the animal hospital after staying overnight but died later at home anyway.

I could leave a one-star review for some of the experiences I have had at the animal hospital I still use now (not to mention they provide cat declawing). But they did a great job today and in the past with urgent-care matters since they have more staff than anyone else in the county.
 
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Daniel

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Important fine print for Pawp.com emergency insurance (only available in the US):

"The Emergency Fund only pays for the initial emergency care. All other follow up care is at the expense of the pet owner."

"Clients can not access any funds if the pet has been admitted prior to contacting one of our veterinary team for funds."

"You have up to a maximum of 8 hours to take your pet to an emergency clinic or any vet clinic of your choice after being referred by our veterinary professionals. If you exceed the 8 hour period to use your emergency funds, the funds will not be released for your pet's care."

"The emergency fund will not cover additional costs associated with euthanasia, such as cremation or memorabilia."

"We do not cover emergencies associated with breeding or pregnancy issues."

"In order to gain access to your emergency fund, we require completed profiles for all of your pets with their name, age, weight, breed, and a clear photo. If this information is missing, you will not have access to your emergency fund."

An alternative without such restrictions is accident insurance with Trupanion, though that would not cover emergencies due to medical illness.
 
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Daniel

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I went to a pet ER for the first time. It was a great experience, especially since I was just there as a pet sitter and didn't have to pay :) Cost-wise, I thought it was very reasonable and just a little more than the a regular vet. Total cost was about $335. $105 for the exam. Less than $100 for two generic medications (prednisone and gabapentin). And about $140 for a shot of methadone, an opioid pain killer.

The total wait was about two hours, but the dog was taken in immediately for assessment/triage and stayed in the back for observation. Everyone waits in the waiting room the whole time except to talk to the vet. They had free coffee, bottled water, and funny animals on TV.

Reason for visit was occasional but very loud yelping/whining and decrease in appetite. (The dog is very old and weighs about 70 pounds.) The diagnosis was neck pain from arthritis and/or low-grade disc disease. The dog's pain seemed to go away completely by the next day. They did not need to do x-rays, which would have cost at least $400 since they send their x-rays out for a radiologist interpretation.

For next time, I will have my minivan already ready to go with a pet bed, blankets, etc. So getting all that ready took an extra ten minutes or so, not that it mattered since there were at least a few cases already waiting at the pet ER. Near the end of my waiting time, I was the only one in the ER left until a dog came in with an eye problem.
 
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