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Rant about vet visit

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So I had finally saved up enough money to get my 6 and 8 year old cat their very first dental cleaning. Every time they were in the vet they said they had some extra tartar so I wanted to get them at least 1 dental cleaning to prevent any bad teeth or problems in the future. I knew it would be expensive so I was prepared for the price, but that wasnt even my issue.

I bought the cats in and before i even made the appointment I was told they need an EKG and prescreen before doing the cleaning (on the phone), so offcourse I thought this was very important to do. After dropping them off when payment time came (before the cleaning) the person at the counter didnt even say for them to get this done! I was like "uh my cats are not too young dont they need the prescreen and ekg?" She was like "oh yeah they should get if you want". That doesnt sound like a knowledgable person and if I hadnt done research would never have known to do that. Then they said your cats MUST get the rabies shot for them to even do it, again, when I called on the phone twice nobody ever said this, so I had to lay out extra for that. The only right thing they told me was not to feed them after midnight the day before.

Then on the paperwork they were asking if the cats were on any medications on the past month, I asked if Advantage (for fleas) counts. The person at the counter said "well I guess it would still work if the medication is still on them" What type of answer is that i want to know if it will affect them under anesthesia not how long it will kill the fleas!

So finally the cats were dropped off (I wasnt too happy after this) and I called every 2 hours to check on them. But not even after 30 minutes after drop off did the vets call: "we did bloodwork your oldest cat has worms so she is getting de-wormed and we are de-worming your other cat as a preventative since they use the same litterbox" I was happy they picked up the worms, BUT, this same cat was just in the vet less than a month ago for a fecal exam because she has been having diarrhea for over 6 months and there was no other explanation other than worms (she was never de-wormed before in her life the vets always said she didnt have any even after the test) So I found it hard to believe this past year after having 2 fecal tests it ALWAYS came back negative, and now they suddenly say she has it?

Then they call again and say the same cat has high white blood cell count so she has an infection "somewhere" they said, couldnt even tell where! So they gave antibiotics. Again, my cat was JUST in the vet less than a month ago with green gunk leaking from her eyes, and the vets said it was just something in her eye even though I insisted she wasnt acting right and her eye never had a scratch the vet said after!!!! I was really mad!

Hours later I went to pick up my cats after hoping nothing else bad happened! My younger cat is fine his teeth are all good and the rest of his health was fine. My older cat they were about to charge for an extraction then the lady at the counter was like "oh sorry, I meant to say one of your cats teeth was already extracted". I was like my cat never had an extraction before what are you talking about? She was like no we didnt charge you for it, you cat is missing a tooth we didnt pull it I jsut wanted to tell you your cat has a tooth missing. The way she first said it sounded like they pulled it today... then she adds "well we gave a penicillin shot in the hole in case it had an infection", even though this could have been an old injury!

They just kept adding more and more stuff onto the already high price like they were "finding" all this stuff on purpose now to get the most money out of the situation. So I was really mad about that and the fact I think my cat has been sick for many months because they refused to do proper testing for worms or treat her infection. It's almost like you have to spend a certain amount at this vet to get True results back.

Total for 2 cats dental cleaning + extras= $2,000 !!!

Were thinking of switching, luckily my cats are fine from the ordeal and their teeth look clean but I think this is the last time for this!
post #2 of 15
Oh Keith, I'm so sorry. It really does sound like you need a new vet!!!!! Several cats had a dental the same day, and Spooky had two teeth extracted. It was over $1,000, but definitely not that high!

And yeah, an elevated white blood cell count usually is a sign of some type of infection, but they don't necessarily know what, why or where. But give your kitty had gunky eyes, I'm guess that was related to the problem, especially if she wasn't ever treated. But why didn't they do the blood work then?

Time to try a new vet!

Laurie
post #3 of 15
Keith, dental cleanings are expensive, nothing you can do about that. My cat's cleanings are around $550. I've had two already in his life, he's only 5.

At my vet, they always do a blood screen, so it's a normal expense. Otherwise, I just see the vet wanting to treat everything they find wrong the the cat - not trying to rip you off. Even you say the cat has an eye infection and loose stools, so it seems like the vet is right on the money.

As far as the bill.... seems OK for Long Island.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by RarePuss View Post
Even you say the cat has an eye infection and loose stools, so it seems like the vet is right on the money.
Still, shouldn't they have caught at least some of the stuff during previous visits? That's the problem I would have, that stuff was let go before.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebrillblaiddes View Post
Still, shouldn't they have caught at least some of the stuff during previous visits? That's the problem I would have, that stuff was let go before.
Maybe I read it wrong.. i thought his previous visit was a different vet.... Keith?
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RarePuss View Post
Maybe I read it wrong.. i thought his previous visit was a different vet.... Keith?
No it was the same vet, just a month earlier. I even told the vet my cat has green gunk coming out of her eyes and has had diarrhea for a few months (at the sick visit last month) and was not acting right. All the vet said was it may have been an eye scratch, not an infection. They had done a stool sample but it came out negative, yet they never fixed my cats problem so I dont see why to begin with they didnt try a different test to try and find out what it was earlier.

My cat was sick, and that COULD have put her at risk more under anesthesia, so it would have been good to have her healthy before this was done.

Oh yeah a small update, the same cat seems to have some pain in her back leg, she can jump and walk, but it seems to hurt her a bit, do they give any shots or intravenus in the back leg while getting this done? Im worried while she was still "under" and waking up she may have hurt her leg. She is eating and using the litterbox fine and was playing but she is known to not show pain very well she hides it good, she used to be a stray.

Both my cats also have this white gunk that look like paint stuck to their fur, they had this ever since they came home, water wont make it come off, what could it be?
post #7 of 15
Hmm, don't know about the gunk, but if were me, I'd be interviewing some other vet practices now, just to see if you find an office where you're more comfortable, and can move the records over on a non-emergency basis. I just don't know - my practice has been very good about questions when I called in (and did I have them when my girl was on a clavamox course).

My experience with dental cleanings is that they tell you to allow twenty minutes at check-in to go over everything with a vet tech, not the receptionist (including blood panels and anything you may want done while the cat is asleep), and my vet spent 10 minutes at their annual check-up/shots discussing who should get teeth cleaned, what's involved, what they recommend, etc.

Granted, sometimes they can't predict the exact amount you'll be charged (turned out my girl had an anal infusion, as her anal glands were more impacted than anticipated, with a small absess forming - and believe me, I'm not surprised vet didn't catch that at the annual check-up), but my practice asks when did you want to be called if there's something 'extra' - for example, my girl didn't appear to need more than a cleaning but if there did need to be an extraction or x-rays, did I want a call or just pre-authorize it - like with the anal infusion.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by keith p View Post
Both my cats also have this white gunk that look like paint stuck to their fur, they had this ever since they came home, water wont make it come off, what could it be?
Where is the gunk? Base of tail, top side?
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RarePuss View Post
Where is the gunk? Base of tail, top side?
Side of the stomach (right side) and a little by the back of the neck. It's dry and feels like if paint dried on your cats fur (looks like white paint or white out). I tried cleaning it off with warm water but it wont come off. When my cats lick it you can see it tastes bad to them.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by keith p View Post
Side of the stomach (right side) and a little by the back of the neck. It's dry and feels like if paint dried on your cats fur (looks like white paint or white out). I tried cleaning it off with warm water but it wont come off. When my cats lick it you can see it tastes bad to them.
Then it's different than what I had with Marsh... he had gunk at base of tail when he was 5 months... my breeder told me it was something about cats getting it before they're fixed. Once he was fixed, it disappeared. But while it was there, it lasted for good 2 months.

If this sounds familiar, let me know, I'll post a picture for you of what it looked like back then. It was white and sticky, that's why it reminded me.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Could it be de-worming meds and they licked themselves after or spit some up while they were at the vet? They both we de-wormed.
post #12 of 15
Possible, but deworming meds my cats spit out wiped off fairly easily.

Keith, I'm sorry about all of this. I'm still of the opinion you need a new vet. This one didn't catch the problems before - that's just not OK.

Laurie
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yeah there is another vet I would like to try nearby, but would my old vet have to transfer all the paperwork over?
post #14 of 15
Depends upon their history. If there have been no major illnesses, you can just tell them what's been up. The only thing they may need faxed over from the old vet are the vaccination records.

It's just like switching doctors. The old vet shouldn't have an issue with it. As a consumer, there is NOTHING WRONG with wanting a second opinion. And if you happen to decide you don't like the new vet either, nothing prevents you from going back to the old one (except it seems like they suck. ).

Our cat Flowerbelle would not be alive today if we'd relied on the advice of our old vet. He's fine for regular exams or dental work. And if there were a true emergency, we'd go there. It's 10 minutes away. But after we rescued Flowerbelle, she was in the hospital for 2 1/2 weeks. We' been VERY actively rescuing for over a year, and they'd seen and spayed/nuetered 10s of ferals for us. We knew everyone there REALLY well. Well, it came time to bring Flowerbelle home for fostering (initially the intent. ). She had a cough for two days. Gary said he didn't like the sound of it. I said - well, let's go get a second opinion. We got a referral to a great vet - 45 minutes away. Thank god we went. That cough was not a URI (to which she was susceptible because of the herpes problem). It was a very rare parasite (for these parts) - lung worm. Turns out the regular vet FORGOT TO DO A FECAL BEFORE SENDING HER HOME. Now, in our minds, this was really quite unforgiveable as every single animal we brought in there was feral, and we had standing orders on all of them to do fecals, and fecals on the day the release them to us. The new vet made Gary come look at the microscope - he had never seen a fecal so packed with parasites in his 20 years of practice. She was DROWNING from lung worm. Had we waited even another day, she probably would have been dead.

We never bothered saying anything to the regular vet, because we didn't want to transport caged ferals 45 minutes. But whenever we took a cat there, we went through the "checklist" of everything before we'd leave with the cat. And we started taking all our pet kitties to the vet 45 minutes away. And thank God we did that, because the idiot old vet thought Tuxie's lethargy was due to the flu. Turns out he had an autoimmune disease that would have killed him. But the old vet didn't do bloodwork because Tuxie had just had his annual 2 months before. The autoimmune disease caused his body to think the red blood cells he was producing were a virus, and his was severely anemic. So anemic, in fact, he had to have a blood transfusion to keep him alive.

So all of that said - don't stick with a current vet because you're worried about time or paperwork. The health of your kitties is far more important.

Laurie
post #15 of 15
Any vet practice should be like a human practice - you can call and say you're interviewing for for a vet and set up an appointment to visit. Normally you should be taken around the practice, and either the office manager or the vet should discuss things like their philosophies, their hours, who covers the practice after hours, that sort of thing. Sometimes it's good to just sort of pop in to make the appointment - you can get a feel for how the front office staff handles calls, etc., while you're waiting to make the appointment - sort of get the vibe of the practice. They can discuss how to handle record transfer - at most, the original vet should charge only a nominal amount to transfer the records, either to you or to the new practice.

I know it can be hard to make a change - ask most women about how hard it can be to switch hair stylists! - but it might be worth it...and I truly believe it's better to check around, and even come in for a routine check-up, before you really need a vet for an urgent matter. After all, once you're a client, you may be a little higher up the list when it comes time to make an appointment than someone calling out of the blue. And you never know - maybe you'll end up liking your original vet the most, but all you'll lose is some time to at least visit/call a few other practices.
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