Report and ?: My first vet trip with Harley

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Report and ?: My first vet trip with Harley

Post by Melanie L Cha » Mon, 03 Jul 1995 04:00:00



Having never taken a dog to the vet before (I've taken hamsters), it was
an interesting experience for me.  Harley checked out OK, except for a
loose front tooth, major tartar, and luxating patellae (oh well, guess
there goes her projected agility career), which I kind of expected since
she's a kind of randomly-bred (but gorgeous! :) rescue Pom.  Also, I
found out she weighs a whopping eleven and a half pounds!  I had thought
she weighed around eight.  Well, guess I fail on the conversion from
metric system test.

Being a vet neophyte, I had a couple of questions.

1)  Is it normal for a vet to express ***glands (they didn't really
need it) without telling you it would involve an extra fee?  I know how
to do it, and would have preferred to do it myself, I just didn't know
I'd get charged $10 extra for it.  Or is it just understood that extra
things cost extra money, and I'm just clueless?

2)  Is a quoted fee of around $100 normal for a tooth cleaning involving
sedation?  I was told that this mostly pays for the anesthesia (I haven't
had it done yet, but I will, because Harley looks like she's getting an
abscess in a back tooth she never lets me get to when I brush her teeth),
but being as how I have no idea what going rates are, is this low,
average, reasonable considering rates vary by area, or just totally
outrageous?

I was REALLY worried when I saw Harley's teeth, but was told that their
state was about average for dogs.  The front ones are clean, the back
ones are kind of brown.  However, I'm not taking any chances, especially
since Harley loves to very thoroughly chew her food.  I'm also cutting
out the soft treats except for very special occasions.  Sorry Har.

Anyway, the vet was very nice and Harley seems to have gotten over her
exam trauma.  :)  If anyone has answers to the questions above, I'd
appreciate them.  Thanks!

--
         _
        / \      _-'
      _/|  \-''- _ /
 __-' { |          \
     /              \
     /       "o.  |o }
     |            \ ;           Peace,
                   ',           Melanie L. Chang
        \_         __\          Department of Anthropology
          ''-_    \.//          University of Pennsylvania
            / '-____'
           /                    ** May the wolves run by your side,
         _'                             not at your heels. **
       _-'                  

 
 
 

Report and ?: My first vet trip with Harley

Post by Lynda Oleks » Wed, 05 Jul 1995 04:00:00


Quote:
>Having never taken a dog to the vet before (I've taken hamsters), it was
>an interesting experience for me.  Harley checked out OK, except for a
>loose front tooth, major tartar, and luxating patellae (oh well, guess
>there goes her projected agility career)

Actually ... ask your vet (or an orthopedic specialist) about it before you
totally give up the idea.  And talk to some people who run mini-dogs in
agility -- for a dog that small, luxating patellas will probably never cause
real lameness.  And I spent quite a bit of time with two mini-dog owners
watching the little guys at a trial in May -- about 80% of the minis showed
signs that their kneecaps popped during their run (basically, they'd "hop" on
a back leg for one or two strides then go back to normal).  I'm not saying
it's *good* to do this -- but it doesn't seem to cause a lot of problems.  Oh
-- and one of the mini-dog owners already got an AgI and 2/3 of an AD title on
her dog -- who has luxating patellas.

Anyway, agility for FUN is still possible -- Kati loves to play on the Aframe
and the tunnel and jump low jumps, despite the fact that she's 78 pounds and
has a steel hip, a dysplastic hip, and two luxating patellas.

Quote:
>1)  Is it normal for a vet to express ***glands (they didn't really
>need it) without telling you it would involve an extra fee?  

Well, I guess you should assume that this vet will charge you "a la carte" for
everything.  Mine doesn't -- she doesn't charge extra for nail clipping,
scraping tartar off with her thumbnail, or any of these little things -- but
most vets do.  (and I've used all the vets around here, so I should know!)  If
you're not sure, ask.

Quote:
>2)  Is a quoted fee of around $100 normal for a tooth cleaning involving
>sedation?  I was told that this mostly pays for the anesthesia (I haven't
>had it done yet, but I will, because Harley looks like she's getting an
>abscess in a back tooth she never lets me get to when I brush her teeth),
>but being as how I have no idea what going rates are, is this low,
>average, reasonable considering rates vary by area, or just totally
>outrageous?

It sounds a *little* high for a dog his size, but if she's got a loose front
tooth and lots of tartar, and an abcess in the back, it's probably reasonable.
 I had my cats' teeth cleaned for about $35 a few years back, but (1) I live
in an area where vet care is dirt-cheap and (2) their teeth were in good
condition, there was only a moderate amount of tartar and no infections.  Does
this amount include pre-anesthesia ***work??  If so, the amount is TOTALLY
reasonable (***work would run about $30 here -- my cats didn't have it
before their teeth were cleaned).  You could ask other questions -- like "Are
you planning on using a gas-anesthesia?"  But as long as you're comfortable
with your vet, this amount isn't totally off-base.


& Edric the Wonder Mutt, Kati the world's hairiest Akita,  __     /|__
Gypsy the brindle pinto pogo stick, ah, I mean Akita,     /  \___/ ^_/  
and Battlecat & Cringer, who think all dogs are dumb      \ \/     |  
(oh, yeah, there might be a husband under all the hair)    \ / --\ /
 "If I don't vacuum for another year, maybe I'll finally   ||     ||
  have wall-to-wall carpeting!"            

 
 
 

Report and ?: My first vet trip with Harley

Post by Erin Mill » Wed, 05 Jul 1995 04:00:00




Quote:
>Being a vet neophyte, I had a couple of questions.

>1)  Is it normal for a vet to express ***glands (they didn't really
>need it) without telling you it would involve an extra fee?  I know how
>to do it, and would have preferred to do it myself, I just didn't know
>I'd get charged $10 extra for it.  Or is it just understood that extra
>things cost extra money, and I'm just clueless?

It also may be a "get to know you" kind of thing. My vet has the option of
charging $7 (? maybe $10) for nail clippings, but that is really vet
optional. She does not charge us. She may not charge any of her regulars,
or she may not just charge us because we've already paid for one year's
morgage on her house and she feels bad for us 8-).

Quote:
>2)  Is a quoted fee of around $100 normal for a tooth cleaning involving
>sedation?  I was told that this mostly pays for the anesthesia (I haven't
>had it done yet, but I will, because Harley looks like she's getting an
>abscess in a back tooth she never lets me get to when I brush her teeth),
>but being as how I have no idea what going rates are, is this low,
>average, reasonable considering rates vary by area, or just totally
>outrageous?

Last year both Perseus (15 lb cat) and Romy (12 lb cat) went in for teeth
cleanings/extractions. I should hope they don't charge differently per
species if they are the same size, but maybe the operation is different.
Anyway, assuming they are the same, here is what we paid per cat:

Each had 3 extractions (2 were baby teeth Romy never lost and were rotted
    to hell) = $22.35;

Dental Prophy-Feline (K/V) Qty: 1 (don't know what the K/V means, and
since they note "feline" maybe the do have different rates)
      Diazepam Injectable, Qty 2
      Ketamine HCL, Qty 50
      Cleaning, Curettage & Polish
      = $ 69.00

(anyone who wants to translate, please do!) So we paid between $90 and
$100 per cat (plus $12.50 for antibiotics for the lost teeth sockets).

Quote:
>I was REALLY worried when I saw Harley's teeth, but was told that their
>state was about average for dogs.  The front ones are clean, the back
>ones are kind of brown.  However, I'm not taking any chances, especially
>since Harley loves to very thoroughly chew her food.  I'm also cutting
>out the soft treats except for very special occasions.  Sorry Har.

DON'T let it wait. The reason Romy and Perse had to have teeth extracted
was because he didn't listen to his last vet that said the needed
cleaning (well, actually he did the "I don't want to put them thru that")
and look what happened. 3 teeth pulled EACH!

Quote:
>Anyway, the vet was very nice and Harley seems to have gotten over her
>exam trauma.  :)  If anyone has answers to the questions above, I'd
>appreciate them.  Thanks!

If you think you are getting good service, and you like the vet, that is
the most important thing!

-erin

--
                    Breed Rescue: the best of both worlds!  
           SABRE: http://www.moonsgarden.com/~ermiller/somrescue.html
                    Index of Rescue & Shelters Online:  
            http://www.moonsgarden.com/~laird/Dogs/Rescue/
                   *               *                 *
  Erin Miller                 http://www.moonsgarden.com/~ermiller/erin.html

 
 
 

Report and ?: My first vet trip with Harley

Post by Ellen Pa » Wed, 05 Jul 1995 04:00:00



Quote:

>>Having never taken a dog to the vet before (I've taken hamsters), it was
>>an interesting experience for me.  Harley checked out OK, except for a
>>loose front tooth, major tartar, and luxating patellae (oh well, guess
>>there goes her projected agility career)

>Actually ... ask your vet (or an orthopedic specialist) about it before you
>totally give up the idea.  And talk to some people who run mini-dogs in
>agility -- for a dog that small, luxating patellas will probably never cause
>real lameness.  And I spent quite a bit of time with two mini-dog owners
>watching the little guys at a trial in May -- about 80% of the minis showed
>signs that their kneecaps popped during their run (basically, they'd "hop" on
>a back leg for one or two strides then go back to normal).  I'm not saying
>it's *good* to do this -- but it doesn't seem to cause a lot of problems.  Oh
>-- and one of the mini-dog owners already got an AgI and 2/3 of an AD
>title on her dog -- who has luxating patellas.

I have to agree with Lynda on this one.  My favorite trainer at the
obedience school we attend has Poms and Chows.  All of her dogs
compete in agility, tracking (yes! she has tracking titles on her
poms!), and obedience.  One of her poms has luxating patellas and
competes just fine, again he shows the characteristic hop for a few
steps, but it apparently works its self out right away again.  She
keeps a close eye on it, to make sure he isn't in any pain and has
said she will retire him if it gets to bad, but he loves it so much
that she doesn't want to unless absolutely necessary.  He's such a
little cutie, he barks happily all the way through the course, and
bounces all over the place when done, raring to go again.

Ellen

--
'If you want to look young and thin, hang around old fat people'
                                -Jim Eason

 
 
 

Report and ?: My first vet trip with Harley

Post by Cindy Davi » Thu, 06 Jul 1995 04:00:00



: 1)  Is it normal for a vet to express ***glands (they didn't really
: need it) without telling you it would involve an extra fee?  I know how
: to do it, and would have preferred to do it myself, I just didn't know
: I'd get charged $10 extra for it.  Or is it just understood that extra
: things cost extra money, and I'm just clueless?

Vet's seem to vary wildly in there fee structures, communications with
patients, and "automatic" services.  At one clinic we frequent, the vet
checks out the dog, leaves the room for a while, the tech comes in with
an itemized list of services the vet proposes and there charges,  she
leaves, you have a few minutes to look over the list, the vet comes
back, and you can discuss any/all of the procedures before they are
performed.  "no, I really wouldn't wait on that." and "yes I can show
you how to do that, no problem".

The other vet we  go to doesn't do any such thing, but his prices
were very low, and he seldom recomends any sort of elective procedure.  
If doc says you need it.  You do.  No question.  Just really different
attitudes.

One thing you should do is let the vet know your circ's.  "I am a
student, I am on a budget,  I am willing to pay for important services,
but would like to economise where I can without taking chances with my
animals health. "  Most vets (having been starving students themselves)
are quite willing to work with you.

-- Cindy L. Davies