Paying for veterinary expenses! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 07-11-2011, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our almost 10 year old lab mix has always been a healthy dog.  We love her so much,

 

She got sick a few weeks ago--couldn't keep food down, drinking alot, peeing more often, etc.  Lab work showed evidence of kidney and liver disease.

 

Two days of hospitalization and IVs, plus bloodwork and an ultrasound cost about $700.  We did some major shifting around to come up with that money.  It helped that this month is a five paycheck month.

 

She was feeling better for awhile, but she started throwing up again a few days ago.  So it's back to the vet tomorrow. 

 

I found out that our vet doesn't accept CareCredit or make payment arrangements.  Any advice on affording vet bills?  Should we switch vets even though we've been going to this vet for years?


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#2 of 6 Old 07-11-2011, 01:37 AM
 
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May I ask- what do you feed your dog? Kidney disease is common in dogs that have had a lifetime of kibble.

 

Kidney disease is also reversable. Raw diets, coupled with a glandular supplement (like Canine renal support from Standard Process) to help reverse the process is your best bet. And cheaper than ongoing vet visits.


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#3 of 6 Old 07-11-2011, 05:04 AM
 
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I'm so sorry your dog is sick. I have two elderly pets that are both having health issues too. It's really hard :(

I just switched vets after going to the same one for twelve years. I loved the doctor but they just charged waaaaaay too much because they are in an affluent area and have a fancy office. My friend recommended a vet without all the prestige and they were just as nice and charged literally half of what our original vet was charging. I was very nervous since we had been with the first vet for so long but it was ridiculous what we were paying. 

I would definitely shop around in your case. An office that won't work with you on payments when you've been with them for ten years is probably not somewhere you want to be. 

 

 


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#4 of 6 Old 07-11-2011, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadingMama View Post

 

I found out that our vet doesn't accept CareCredit or make payment arrangements.  Any advice on affording vet bills?  Should we switch vets even though we've been going to this vet for years?


Quote:

Originally Posted by ilovemygirl View Post

 

An office that won't work with you on payments when you've been with them for ten years is probably not somewhere you want to be. 

 

 


yeahthat.gif

 

And does your vet KNOW about CareCredit? I introduced my chiropractor to CareCredit and she was pleased as punch to hear about it. She had it implemented in her office within the month.

 

Sorry 'bout your pooch.

 

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#5 of 6 Old 07-11-2011, 05:47 AM
 
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I'm really sorry to hear about your dog being sick. 

 

My first suggestion would be to get to the bottom of what is causing this sudden onset of kidney/liver disease.  Is it something the dog is getting into?  Have there been changes in food or surroundings or any major upsets in the household.  Until you figure out the cause, you'll only be treating symptoms.

 

We've had this situation happen twice.

 

First dog was a rescue lab mix who had been abused.  After we'd had her 7 years, she suddenly developed kidney disease.  The cost of keeping her at the vet's to be on IV fluids combined w/ her terror of being away from us led me to ask our vet to teach me how to do sub-cutaneous fluids w/ her.  It's not as quick a fix as IV, but I could do it at home, as needed; saving stress on the dog and our budget.  Turns out, anytime we had a change in our household like DH returning home from a deployment this dog would go into kidney failure.  Using the sub-cu I was able to get her through a cross-country move, and 2 deployments..... she lasted another 2 1/2 years, well beyond what the vet expected.  And she never had to stay at the vet's during that time.  But I did have a vet who was willing to work with our situation... that's an important thing, just like w/ human doctors.  When we moved I "interviewed" several vets to find one that would work with our situation...

 

With the other dog, I switched him to a lamb & rice dog food and within a week we had to put him down due to severe kidney failure!  Needless to say, I'll never feed another animal that brand/type of food again.  Don't know whether it was something wrong w/ the food, or just that particular dog's reaction, but it's not worth taking the risk KWIM?

 

I hope you are able to get to the bottom of what's causing the issues and also either work w/ your current vet, or find one who will work w/ you.  Do you know any other dog/pet owners you could ask for a recommendation?

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#6 of 6 Old 07-11-2011, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much.  happytears.gif

 

I've been feeding Raven Canidae dry food for most of her life.  We moved out "to the country" 6 months ago and we don't have a fence up yet, so it's possible she got into something.  (Not from running around, but because a wild animal would have access to our backyard.)   She did eat some kind of bone that had been on the street in front of someone's house for a week or so.  Not sure whether it was a chicken bone from the trash or a wild animal bone.  The vet has to wait another week to retest her for leptospirosis antibodies (the first test was negative).

 

I am committed to a diet change.  The vet recommended Hill's Prescription Diet of course, but I don't want to do that.  I'm looking into home prepared meals, but am a little unsure about it.  Dr. Pitcairn has some recipes in his Nature Health for Dogs and Cats book.  He recommends feeding the meat part of the food raw.  My concern about going totally raw is that it might not be appropriate for a dog with kidney disease.  Something about the high phosphorus level versus calcium in meat.  From what I've read, lowering phosphorus is important.

 

I was surprised that the vet wouldn't let me make payments since he doesn't do CareCredit.  Basically what that means is that if you can't afford to pay cash right now, your pet doesn't get care.  No other options are available.  Even though we've been going to him for almost 10 years and have never skipped out on paying.  And we don't use credit cards.  This is our first big expense since getting rid of the cards.  I really like our vet, but I guess if our dog has chronic health issues, I need a vet with more flexibility.  I guess I'll have to find one who accepts CareCredit because since we'll be new patients, a vet certainly wouldn't allow payment arrangements.  greensad.gif

 

And in the meantime, we need a savings account!   


Book-lovin', relaxed homeschoolin', dog snugglin' mom of the best kid EVER!  AND...waiting for baby #2, due 5/9/14!  stork-boy.gif

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