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Old 01-24-2014, 11:18 AM   #21
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I have been owned by many pets I loved, and also have been urged by vets to make decisions on their behalf with which I did not always agree. But for for the most part I have used vets I respected and trusted.

My current vet told me about Petzlife Oral Care products. PetzLife Oral Care - Natural Pet Products, Dog Dental Care - PetzLife

She finds that she very rarely needs to clean any animals' teeth when the owners used this regularly. I use the salmon gel weekly on my papillon's teeth, and it works really well. I got a soft gum brush that are sold for infants and toddlers....put the gel on it and brush each side of his mouth gently for a few seconds. Hold water and all food for 30 minutes after.

There are some concerns about liver function because of the alcohol in this product, but using once a week has not created any issues for me.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:04 PM   #22
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Similar observations about vets and dentists. Dentist tries to sell me oral cancer screening on every visit and pushes whitening procedures on his web site.

Vet is selling prepaid pet maintenance packages and every routine test seems to have an up sell (regular fecal exam or super fecal exam?)

I do brush the dog's teeth daily, but then greyhounds have a predisposition to dental problems.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:47 PM   #23
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We have an old Lab mix with an abdominal cancer. Checked it out with an X Ray. Surgery is not reccomended because when you mess with that kind of stuff there is often a spreading to other parts of the body causing more troubles than letting nature take its course. Total for visit was $129. Good to have a reasonable Vet.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:50 PM   #24
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sanfan, our good old hound Carl had cancer in the same area. He lived a comfortable few months more after the diagnosis at 15 years old, and we said goodbye in our front field on a sunny day with the help of our kindly vets. Sorry for the diagnosis, but you'll have a bit of time to spoil him, hopefully.
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:25 PM   #25
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We had a new vet who specialized in cats setup shop very close to our house. DW took the cats in for a checkup there last year and the vet recommended teeth cleaning for both our cats at an astronomical price. We didn't see any evidence of them needing cleaning so we passed on it. When we returned to our original vet this year for checkups, she didn't see any evidence of them needing teeth cleaning.

As for spending money to treat our cats, one of our 13 yo cats stopped eating shortly before christmas, so we took her to the vet after a few days of her not touching her food. After doing bloodwork and xray, vet suspected fatty liver (but the possibility of a tumor was mentioned). Our baby spent a week in the cat hospital and had a tube inserted for hand feeding until she started to eat on her own. The bandage that holds the tube in needs to be changed weekly and the requires return trips to the vet. We have been dispensing meds and 3 feedings a day since then, and there has been some progress followed by several setbacks along the way that made us think it may be time for kitty heaven. Nevertheless, we wanted to give her every chance to recover, and this week started to add prednisone to her treatment and have seen a dramatic recovery. We are hoping this will do the trick, and that its indeed fatty liver vs cancer.

We have spent ~ $2500 thus far trying to get her well. Its really difficult to say we can no longer afford to treat a treasured pet, but I am not sure we can continue both emotionally and financially to do so. We are really hoping these past few days are leading to a good recovery.
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Old 01-25-2014, 01:08 PM   #26
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I have my fingers crossed for your kitty DFW-M5 and have instructed my 3 to cross their paws for you too. In fact, the eldest is sleeping with her paws crossed right now.

Best of luck. It's always worrying when our pets go through these difficulties.
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:25 PM   #27
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Thanks Major Tom
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:00 PM   #28
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There is a company called VCA Antech that has been aggressively buying small veterinary offices for years. They currently own
Quote:
over 600 free-standing animal hospitals in 41 U.S. states and Canada
.

I believe this is a big part of the recent huge increase in vet costs.
Their stock symbol is WOOF (nice touch) and Morningstar has their one-year total return at over 49%.

Personally, I can't stand them. Bad experience when our favorite vet sold her practice to them and they turned it into a money printing machine (with dental procedures in the forefront).
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:33 PM   #29
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The industry plays on our emotions. As a kid we had a mixed breed mutt that we had gotten as a puppy. She lived to 14. Ate Alpo, went to the vet ONCE her entire life (as a puppy - she was totally constipated). My current dog is 7 and has cost me an average of $2700 a year - because I drink the Kool-Aid of the pet industry. However, I can't stop myself .... we are currently trying to figure out why she has soft poops. $2k so far with no diagnosis.
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:55 PM   #30
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[QUOTE=Helen;1406969]

Yesterday, I took our two cats in to this vet. It was close to $300 for each cat to get to vaccinations and to have a basic examination. She said our 7 year old female cat would need her teeth cleaned next year as there was a little bit of plaque building up. Then she said Tyler, our handsome male cat, needed a tooth pulled and his teeth cleaned. She explained that some cats, and they don't know why, are prone to cavities and have chronic teeth problems. She said it would be between $800 and $900 dollars!!!!

/QUOTE]

I don't know why the annual exam/shots would cost so much unless the vet also did blood work in preparation for the dental work. My cats' annual costs about $130 each including nail trim and city license. A full blood work panel cost me $180 a couple of years ago. The costs for the dental work sound about right (assuming it is necessary). My oldest cat's last dental cleaning to include the extraction of one tooth was $620. The anesthesia alone is $150 and the extraction was $200. It was a complicated tooth to remove as it had broken into pieces. But she was 12 years old at the time and it has been two years now and she has not required another cleaning. I spoil her by feeding her wet food which is not good for her teeth. I lucked out with the younger cat as she refuses wet food and eats only dry (or prey as she is also quite the little hunter).

Once my older cat hit about 10 years old, my vet bills escalated. It was $1400 last year and has already cost $600 this year to remove an external tumor. The vet thinks she has chronic pancreatitis and want to perform some expensive $500+ scan to verify - the $225 pancreatic blood panel is not conclusive.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:06 PM   #31
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The industry plays on our emotions. As a kid we had a mixed breed mutt that we had gotten as a puppy. She lived to 14. Ate Alpo, went to the vet ONCE her entire life (as a puppy - she was totally constipated). My current dog is 7 and has cost me an average of $2700 a year - because I drink the Kool-Aid of the pet industry. However, I can't stop myself .... we are currently trying to figure out why she has soft poops. $2k so far with no diagnosis.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:56 PM   #32
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One thing I will also add, that if your animals, cats especially, have had 4-5 years of regular vaccinations, they likely have enough immunity motto require annual vaccinations after that. We don't have our adult cats on any vaccination schedule except 3 year rabies shots.

The dogs are on heartworm preventatives (a must in our state) and rabies, but are likewise not annually vaccinated after 5 years. This is a pretty common practice.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:23 PM   #33
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I've had a couple of situations thru the years where I have now adopted a belief that when it's their time to go, it's their time to go. The difficult thing is determining "when" that is and when it is "more for us" than it is for "them".

The first was our first schnauzer who at 3 years old, developed hemolytic anemia. We didn't know what it was before we were already $1,500 into it (17 years ago prices). Went the whole gambit with Internal Vet Specialist, chemo, doggie ICU, oxygenated tent and multiple blood transfusions. $4,000 later he still died. I swore I'd never put a dog or myself thru that again.

Last year we lost one of our then two schnauzers to complications from diabetes. Again for about 9 months I was on a roller coaster trying to get him stabilized. Within 6 months of taking insulin he was blind, then deaf. The morning he started having seizures, I woke my husband up, said let's go, called the vet and we put him down.

I agree with what Sarah from SC says regarding vaccinations. I keep them to a minimal and what is legally required as well.

The thing I hate is when we have to periodically board them. Our cat recently came back sick from boarding for 3 nights. Had to pay the vet bill for something she caught there. She still has a cough...and I need to take her in as she has already been on one round of antibiotics.
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Old 01-26-2014, 03:20 AM   #34
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We live in a very rural farming community and our vets do lots of large animal care. They are pretty conservative with advice regarding treatments so that helps. We have quite the little zoo going on here and our largest most expensive animals are our horses (3 horses and a pony). Not very frugal I know but can't imagine life without them. Our vet comes out once per year in the spring for all animal vaccinations and we try to do the minimal necessary.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:18 AM   #35
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......... We have quite the little zoo going on here and our largest most expensive animals are our horses (3 horses and a pony)...........
If you are ever forced to cut way back on spending, sell the horses and buy a boat and a plane.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:51 AM   #36
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The only service we use that I feel is too expensive is prescription dog food. Our Malteese can't handle anything except it. His digestive system is sensitive, he gets very ill on all regular dog foods, even the premium ones.

When he got up to almost 20 lbs. I took him in as I feared the complications that come with obesity. Explained to the vet the dogs health insurance(me) didn't cover joint replacements.

Oh there's a diet version, same price. He went from 20 lbs. to 12.5 in 6 months. So much more playful, happy. The other Shitzu/Japanese Chin mix eats with him so we get to buy it for 2 dogs. She went from 17.5 to 12 lbs. at the same time. So the dogs are more playful, happy, and active, at $80 a month they better be. Glad we don't have a Great Dane!

Stuff is amazing, just think I should be able to buy it without a prescription, and lower cost.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:07 AM   #37
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Oh there's a diet version, same price. He went from 20 lbs. to 12.5 in 6 months. So much more playful, happy. The other Shitzu/Japanese Chin mix eats with him so we get to buy it for 2 dogs. She went from 17.5 to 12 lbs. at the same time. So the dogs are more playful, happy, and active, at $80 a month they better be. Glad we don't have a Great Dane!

Stuff is amazing, just think I should be able to buy it without a prescription, and lower cost.
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Is this diet dog food fit for humans?
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:04 PM   #38
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If you are ever forced to cut way back on spending, sell the horses and buy a boat and a plane.

Haha! We are lucky because we are able to make our own hay and our horses are at home with us. If we had to board there is no way we would keep that many horses. We may sell one of our horses this spring, should really just have 2. Pony stays for grandkids and sentimental reasons.

Ps we have two boats, an older pontoon and a small fishing boat. My DH just put all new seats and carpet in the pontoon so should last us another ten years (hopefully). No plane .
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:31 PM   #39
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We have a breed of dog that is prone to horrific allergies. My research led me to decline the multitude of annual vaccinations, as many feel this compromises their immune systems, leading to itching, chewing, oozing, and various other charming habits.

I get the 3 year rabies shot, and don't take them back in between unless it's an emergency. We argue about the shots I refuse, but this dog has lived to be 9, which is old and longest we've ever had one of these dogs. I refuse the teeth cleaning, etc., and manage to get the heartworm meds renewed each year (after threatening to take all my business elsewhere).

I now kind of feel about vets like I do car and timeshare salespeople. Kind of sad. I know they need to pay their bills too, but there has to be a better way.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:41 PM   #40
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I now kind of feel about vets like I do car and timeshare salespeople. Kind of sad. I know they need to pay their bills too, but there has to be a better way.
Is there another vet in your area? They can't all be bad........
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