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post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm probably going to raise some hackles by this post, but I feel I must say something in defence of vets.

I read another string where somebody had little money for vet care & felt his/her vet was inconsiderate not treating the cat. I'm friends with a vet who I speak to on a daily basis, and I get to hear the other side of the story.

1) Somebody recently brought in a small dog who had been mauled by a larger dog. The person who brought the dog in didn't own the dog. My friend treated this dog for some time & managed to get it stabilised. The owner was finally tracked down, and absolutely abused her for trying to save this dog's life, and refused to pay for the veterinary care. She said if he wasn't willing to have further work done, to at least let her put the dog down humanely. He refused, preferring to take the dog home & shoot it, to save the vet costs.

2) She often treats people's pets for free, and rarely gets a thankyou. Most vets will tell you that people are willing to tell them off, but very few will thank them.

3) I quite often have to sit talking to her for hours at a time because she is so distraught as a result of her job. It's not all about money at all...but there has to be a line drawn.

I know this sounds harsh, but our pets are our responsibility. I don't think it is up to vets to treat our animals for free, at the end of the day, they are a business, just like a plumber or electritian are. Would we expect a plumber to come out & fix something for free? I doubt it. You will find that most vets DO care, but there comes a time when they have to say enough is enough. They can't take responsibility for people who don't have the money for proper vet care. Most are willing to come to the party, and offer some kind of repayment scheme, but they're not obliged to do it. Knowing my friend, and what she is like, I take it personally when people say that vets who won't treat animals for free don't care, because it's just not true.

If I didn't have money, I'd not have cats. Only ever have the number of cats you can afford to keep. Always have a credit card on stand by just for unexpected vets bills. And believe me, there will come a time when you do get an unexpected bill, and it's always at the worst time. In this Xmas period, I have had to shell out around $1000.00 on my cat, and it came completely out of the blue. But, they're my cats, and they're my responsibility.

I hope I've managed to show at least some the other side of the coin. Most vets do a darned good job, and they deserve all the thanks in the world. And it's only fair to expect to pay them. They darned well earn that money.

This following article is worth a read, and a ponder...before we whinge about our terrible vets.


post #2 of 5
I agree completly! Not all vets are in it for the money! Unfortunatly some are and they give the others a bad name! Thanks for remnding us that there are alot of good out there we just need to find it!
post #3 of 5
I have had my share of the bad ones, and it is in dealing with the ones who are incompetent, that I now have the best vets around. It was a hard lesson to learn though, at the expense of a few animal's lives. I ask a ton of questions now and bug my vet when I go to see him. He is very patient with me and says when it comes to cats I am the most experienced layperson he has ever met.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
I imagine vets are like every other person on this planet, there are good ones & bad ones. My local vet mis-diagnosed a cat of mine, but from research, my online vet friend & common sense, I realised he was wrong. I just use him for vaccinations now (as he does house calls for me).

I HAD to take my cat to him recently because hubby had the car, and the vet I use for real medical problems lives 15kms away (too far for a pregnant lady to walk with a cat, lol)...and her condition was what I considered to be an emergency. He treated her, but a week later, the same problem came back again (I already had my suspicions that he had mis-diagnosed her). Again, hubby had the car (he has the car about twice a year, it is just unfortunate both days she got sick, he had the car). So, she went back to the local vet, he did the same thing. Last week, I took her up to the other vet for a second opinion, he finally correctly diagnosed the problem, and she went in for an operation. I felt absolutely terrible she'd suffered for two weeks because of this mis-diagnosis, it was just exceptional cirsumstances that forced me to use the local vet. But I learned an important lesson, if you are at all in doubt of a diagnosis, get a second opinion immediately. As it is, my cat's condition wasn't life threatening, but she was in pain, and being treated for something she didn't have. It's up to the pet owner to decide which vet is best, and I also believe it is our job to at least be partly educated. If my vet told me I had a diabetic cat (I don't, thankfully)...I'd be online learning everything I could about diabetes, I'd read every medical book I have (and I have lots), and be an educated owner, so when it came to a plan of action, I would understand my options. Not that any of this is relevant to what I originally posted, I'm just waffling.

All of this aside, good vet or bad vet, our pets are OUR responsibility, and I don't think it's right to whinge about any vet because we don't have the money to pay for vet's bills. At the end of the day, it is a priviliege to own a pet, NOT a right. I know for a fact that many vets have treated pets of owners who can't afford it, but promise to pay it back, only to have them renig (sp) on such a promise once the pet is better.

We have a choice to own pets, and we have a choice as to which vet we use. It is our duty as pet owners to always be prepared for the worst, and to find a vet we, and our pets are comfortable with.

I know it sounds very cold, but as I said before, medical emergencies crop up out of nowhere, we must all be prepared for them. Most people I know (myself included), have a back up credit card which is only to be used in such a situation. When I was single, and on a low income, I had less cats, because I didn't have the money to properly care for 9 cats. Instead of pet insurance (we only had one company, and it was a rip off), I put money aside into a special bank account, which was just to be used for pets. There's usually always a way to get money when one is in need. Borrow from friends or relatives, get a small bank loan, ask your employer for a sub (I had to do that once). I've seen people on expensive computers, on the internet complaining they can't afford vet care for their pet. Simple, pawn or sell the computer. Our cats rely on us for prompt medical attention. It is our job to ensure this happens, every time.


PS: I forgot to mention, I was talking to my online vet friend, saying I'd actually like to write an article for my website about an owner's responsibility to their pet, including being willing & able to pay one's vet. She said if I write the article (I should do it), to title it "Listen You Sods". LOL.
post #5 of 5
I agree competely about the vets. I am so lucky to have a good one. She actually cried with me when she had to put down my (very old) cat last Spring.

As for owning a cat/pet, I think that most people take on this responsibility with good intentions. They can afford the annual vet visit, shots and dentals. Where people get into trouble is when the pet develops worrysome symptoms and needs to return to the vet again and again. Luckily, I have always had the healthiest of cats that lived to a ripe old age. However, the one I have now developed a disease I had never heard of and I've spent over $3,000 in the past year with vet visits, specialists, biopsies, medicine and blood work. I'm sure this is the exception, but when I got the cat, I expected him to be just like the others - to live a healthy life well into old age. Life is full of surprises!

I do agree that people should give a lot of thought before getting a pet as to whether they would be able to care for it if a sudden, unexpected illness happened. They need to prepare for this and look at options and what they would do if something happened.
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