Archive for the ‘Money! Pet Healthcare Spending’ Category

What to get your vet for the holidays? An online vet review!

December 19th, 2011

online vet reviews, ask a vet, what to give your vet for christmasPerhaps it has never crossed your mind to get your vet something for the holidays, but there are a number of pet parents that do shower our clinics with tokens of appreciation. (Thanks guys!  You are in the minority and are appreciated!)

It is almost always in the form of desserts. Cookies, brownies, homemade candy…our lunch room overfloweth with endless calories that most of us really don’t need.

Instead, this year if you would like to share the holiday spirit with your vet and their staff, I would encourage you to give something of lasting value that also happens to be free—a positive online vet review.

It’s no secret that angry people are far more likely to go the trouble of ranting online with negative reviews than satisfied customers.  It is no different in the veterinary world.

As a veterinarian, I have received many handwritten cards, letters, and thank you notes from clients over the years; I cherrish and keep every single one. They warm my heart and remind me of why I am in the veterinary profession, which all the thankless irresponsible pet parents our there do a pretty damn good job of sometimes making me forget.

But I am the only one who sees them! Read the rest of this entry »

Jasmine Needs Your Help

December 21st, 2010

dog health problems, dog skin problems, dog health illness symptomsYou may remember her from her guest post “Leak under the Kitchen Sink.” Jana Rade is one of the most dedicated pet owners I have encountered, and now she and her family are in need of our help.

Today’s blog will be dedicated to helping Jasmine. Jasmine has had a difficult road as a dog, suffering from one medical mystery to the next. Lucky for Jasmine, she was blessed with truly loving and committed pet parents that didn’t stop when veterinarian after veterinarian dismissed their list of abnormal dog health symptoms.

Though it has taken many surgeries, and avenues of treatment, both traditional and eastern, Jasmine has pulled through each battle triumphantly. Now though they are faced with the horrible reality of being having no more financial funds and the decision is upon them that no pet owner ever wants to face: how far can we go for treatment?

For Jana and her husband Jerry, it really is a matter of can and not should. Jasmine is merely troubled by a skin infection this time, a fairly common dog illness, and they do want to continue treatment, but are simply tapped out. Please read their story here, and consider contributing. Every dollar helps.

abnormal dog health symptoms, dog medical mystery, common dog illness

Pet Presents: Giving in it’s many different forms

December 15th, 2010
online veterinary advice, dog health problems, pet vet

Dogs in Diamonds: What's wrong with this picture?

As the holidays are right upon us, I have been nothing short of shocked at the ritzy and expensive gifts that are on the market for our four-legged family members.

Louis Vuitton pet carriers for $2100, doggy diamond collars for $378,000 and home pet spas for over $1200?

Actually this last one may have some hydrotherapy benefits depending on it’s features that could potentially save owners of dogs with limb injuries some money over the course of a lifetime.

I am honestly surprised a market for these extravagant gifts exists, but then again, I don’t have jewelry or Louis Vuitton on my Christmas wish list.

I guess the point of giving your pooch $3000 cologne is your pet will honestly love it. Of course, they would honestly love a new boomerang squeaky toy just as much, but it is without doubt that pets are much more gracious and appreciative at receiving gifts than we are as people.

dog health problems, sick dog symptoms

With pets, there is no baggage, no ulterior motives, and no fear of misinterpretation. Which is why we love our pets so much!

Unconditional love.

While we did spend some money on our pets this Christmas, I think their real joy will be some extra lap time and love, or for the dogs, a trip to the park off leash when we get our first big snow.

If you haven’t purchased a gift for your pets, consider giving something else entirely. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Things a Great Vet Does Without Credit that You Never Know About

November 14th, 2010
lunch in toilet, lunch, toilet, bathroom, no time for lunch

A typical vet's lunch break

Vets on the whole are a humble crowd, and there are many things they do on a daily basis that you aren’t aware of. Here are some of the top unrecognized practices that an excellent compassionate veterinarian does that you likely don’t know about.

10. Giving up our time.
Many vets don’t get to leave the hospital for lunch, or even have time to have a designated lunch time while at work. We are often so busy and accommodate walk-ins that our “us time” must be spent completing diagnostics, medical records, checking on patients, returning phone calls, emergency surgeries…the list goes on.  The occasion we get off work on time is so rare it’s cause for celebration.  Vets almost ALWAYS stay late for clients and their pets.

9. Pulling up an injectable drug with one needle, and switching out the needle so your pet gets a new perfectly sharp and less painful needle for the injection.
This costs the vet more money (double the costs of needles in a vet hospital and it is not insignificant), and is only for the comfort of your pet out of kindness.

8. Using high-quality surgical practices.
Many clients don’t know or care what kind of surgical care their pet receives at the vet. An excellent vet will use IV catheters (not inexpensive) so they always have venous access in case something goes wrong–which sometimes it does. They also will provide IV fluids during surgery, as well as have different methods (EKG, blood pressure, pulse oximetry) to monitor your pet while under anesthesia. My anesthesiology professor in vet school told us, “Anesthesia is the closest the body will get to death without dying.” He is right. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Things You SHOULDN’T do at The Vet

November 13th, 2010

Maybe you are already in the know, and I hope you are, but here are my suggestions for the top things you should not be doing at your vet appointment. Some of them aren’t rocket science, but some pet owners are still clueless.aggressive dog

10. Don’t keep your pet’s biting record a secret.
If your pet is aggressive, please tell us!   If your pet is
particularly aggressive towards one gender, tell the receptionist when you are scheduling the appointment.

9. Don’t let your pets wander freely in the lobby. Pets should be restrained or contained either with leashes or pet carriers. This isn’t social time, and other pets may be aggressive, scared, or sick. This is after all, a pet hospital.

flea8. Don’t ask the vet questions about your own health. I can’t tell you if those bites covering your legs are flea bites. Common sense should tell you this when you have a flea-ridden dog at your ankles, but I am not a human doctor, and am not trained in human medicine.

7. Don’t be thankless. If you vet does a great job, please thank them! Most people don’t, and it goes a long way.

6. Don’t request me to euthanize your pet because he or she has become inconvenient to you. You will be asked to leave and put me in a horrible mood for the rest of the day, and I will hold a grudge. I will forever remember you as “that client,” and so will the rest of the hospital staff.

5. Don’t give your barely-driving teenager the chore of bringing your sick pet to the vet when they know nothing about why you have sent them there. They don’t know what is going on, and are a poor substitute for your pet’s advocate. We need YOU there to talk to us!

4. If you have financial concerns, don’t agree to treatments or diagnostics without knowing how much it willmoney, dollars, coins cost. Yes, bringing it up will be awkward, but it’s better than giving us permission to proceed then being furious with us. This really is your vet’s responsibility, but if you nod your head and sit in silence, you too become part of the problem

3. Don’t go along blindly with your vet’s vaccine schedule! Talk with you vet about which vaccines are necessary for your pet! Learn vaccine truths here.

medicine, medication, pills, drugs, antibiotics, designer drugs2. Don’t spend all your money on expensive name brand medications. Generics are available, and they often work just as well. Diagnostics are where you should be spending your money on. After all, if we can’t definitively diagnose the disease or condition, how successful do you think the treatment will be?

1. Don’t keep going to the same vet if they suck. You know better. There are plenty good vets; go find them.

What other tips do you have to offer fellow pet owners?

Dr. Laci


Dr. Laci Nash Schaible, DVM

This post is part of the 2010 Blogathon Fund Raising Charity Initiative.

VetLIVE is trying to raise money for National Mill Dog Rescue. National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR) has saved over 3828 dogs and counting. At National Mill Dog Rescue, “It’s all about the dogs.” NMDR has pledged to put an end to the cruelty and evil of the commercial breeding industry, more commonly known as puppy mills.  Through educating the public and through the use of their 500 volunteers, NMDR is on the cutting edge of saving mill pets and helping improve the industry. NMDR is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Please simply press the “Donate” button below to contribute. All size donations are accepted!

Has the Economy Affected Your Pet Healthcare Spending? | Ask a Vet

November 4th, 2010

shihtzu dog | Ask a vetBy Edie Jarolim

I love pet blogging for a lot of reasons, including that it’s a great democratizer. I would never have felt comfortable asking my own vet to write about the benefits of pumpkin for dogs but when Dr. Laci Schaible commented on one of my blog posts, I checked out her site, discovered it was new and interesting — and immediately felt comfortable pumping her for information about pumpkins. She came through, in spades, as you can see here.
Dr. Schaible in turn asked me to write a guest post — fair is fair! — from the perspective of a veterinary client. So here we are.

When it comes to economizing in these tough times, I find some things easier to give up than others. I work at home so I don’t really need new clothes (no videoconferencing for me!). That funny noise my car is making? I can ignore it a while longer. And — dare I admit it? –I’m okay with skipping the occasional annual medical checkup, which always seems to sock me with hidden fees for diagnostic tests. I’m feeling fine and if that should change …well, that’s why I’m paying those exorbitant health insurance rates.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why is veterinary care so darn expensive?

October 25th, 2010

After getting a dermatology bill in the mail for $571 for the biopsy of a dark mole on my shoulder (don’t worry, it was benign) and a $282 bill for a pathologist’s interpretation, I showed it to Dr. Laci and asked her what we would have charged for the same procedure.

Illustration of how expensive health care is

I mean, $853 dollars for a mole?  We both agreed that we would have removed the mole rather than biopsy it because the cost of biopsy at a veterinary hospital is about the same as removal when local anesthesia can be used.   We wondered why people with veterinary jobs would have charged at least one seventh and why it took 1.5 weeks to get the results back when we can get results from board certified dermatopathologist in
24 hours.

As the quality of veterinary medicine increases and medical advances are made, the cost of cutting edge vet medicine is rising – but not at the same pace of human medicine.  More often than not, people feel that they are getting ripped-off by their vet and that their fees are way too high.  The studies verify these sentiments and it is all over the veterinary industry news. Some pet owners feel many of their simple pet medical questions go unanswered. Many people also assume that their vet is raking it in.  Is this true?

Compare the median salaries and schooling of several professions: Read the rest of this entry »

Ask the Vet | 10 Things You SHOULD Do at Your Veterinarian’s Office

October 20th, 2010

Online vet, Dr. Laci, discusses the 10 things you should do at your veterinary clinic

Online vet Dr. Laci discusses vet office etiquette

Educated Owners make Happy Happy Dogs

In an ideal world, everyone would get the same treatment, but as we all know, we don’t live in an ideal world, and as humans, our emotions often have a way of influencing us, even as professionals.  The following list is composed to not only help you have a successful visit to the vet, but also to help cultivate a relationship that is beneficial to your pet.

10. Do call before you show up. If you just show up as a walk-in, you will likely have quite a wait ahead of you. Even if you have a sick dog, sick cat, or sick pet and are in your car driving there, calling ahead is courteous and helps us better prepare and rearrange our schedule if necessary.

9. If your veterinarian offers you to take a peek in the “back” or wants to show you something under the microscope, go ahead! Unless you are squeamish or get sick easily, this is a great way to form a bond with your veterinarian and get on his/her list of interactive (read: good) clients. We really appreciate this; all too often we are talking in front of detached owners that are texting. Plus you will likely learn something interesting, and feel more comfortable seeing where your pet is kept when you aren’t there.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ask a Vet About Navigating the Emerging World of Pet Insurance: How to Pay for the Pets Without Breaking the Bank

October 8th, 2010

I must admit, pet insurance is not something that myself or Dr. Laci have ever purchased for any of our kiddos, but with two veterinarians in the family, we felt we could afford vet costs with relative ease…

We were wrong.

Ask a Vet | do not break the piggy bankIn today’s world with pets having fully proven themselves as family members, more and more people are willing to seek out specialists when their pet needs advanced care, and that kind of care often comes with a heavy price tag.

There are lots of choices out there:  there are many providers, plans, coverage options, and all with varying costs and benefits.  So how do you go about deciding if your pet needs insurance and what sort of research should you carry out?

Read the rest of this entry »