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Old 01-01-2010, 03:17 PM
PoodleMommy PoodleMommy is offline
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Default Opinion on Vets: Service or Money?

This debate has been going on, on another forum I am on, long story and not mine to re-type so very simply put... someone brings their dog to the vet in serious distress, vet refuses treatment without payment upfront, vet then also refuses to put the dog to sleep... the dog ends up dying at home after suffering for hours... assume rural area, no other vet in town.

Was the vet right or wrong?

I thought that the vet should at least agree to PTS and set up a payment plan for that.

Many thought that the vet was right, services shouldnt be rendered without payment. The argument was that vets shouldnt be expected to provide free services and likely the person wont pay once the dog is gone.

I feel like there are ways to force payment, if a contract has been signed... time consuming yes, but still available. And I would think a vet would want to prevent suffering even if they never got paid... I dont expect them to provide costly services but I cant imagine any vet is going to go under due to a few euthanasia shots.

But, obviously this wasnt the popular opinion... so whats your opinion?

And Yes, I know you shouldnt have a dog without a financial reserve for emergencies or a CC available... I wouldnt... but assume its too late, whats done is done.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:29 PM
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Xandra Xandra is online now
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That's one of those cases where I feel the vet was well within their rights to do nothing, refuse services.

But honestly, imagine being in the vet's shoes. I can't see myself not putting down the dog, for the dog's sake. I can't see a person who cared about animals refusing to put down an ailing dog. Hell, if they didn't want to waste the euth drugs they could've gone over with a rifle, since it was a rural area. Depending on the owner's attitudes towards the situation, that might even have been the better method.

Some people don't care about animals one way or the other, so it would make total sense to me if they just said "tough". But a vet? I just don't get it. Forget about people, a few bucks, an hour or two or time. Do you, or do you not care about animals???

In short I don't think the vet was in the wrong but I do think that they are one f'ed up vet.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:31 PM
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corgipower corgipower is offline
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I can't even imagine a vet not treating an emergency. If it were my dog, I'd be contacting the AVMA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoodleMommy View Post
And Yes, I know you shouldnt have a dog without a financial reserve for emergencies or a CC available... I wouldnt... but assume its too late, whats done is done.
The financial reserve can also become quite insufficient. I've been lucky to not have emergencies that cost over $1500. But many times a vet bill can end up costing $5000+ and not a lot of pet owners are going to have that kind of reserve.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:31 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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Quote:
I thought that the vet should at least agree to PTS and set up a payment plan for that.

Many thought that the vet was right, services shouldnt be rendered without payment. The argument was that vets shouldnt be expected to provide free services and likely the person wont pay once the dog is gone.

I feel like there are ways to force payment, if a contract has been signed
First, this. Now yes, it would be nice for a vet to be able to put the dog to sleep, then make a payment plan. That is how people see it from the customer viewpoint. You have to realize, that from the staff viewpoint, when somebody has a pet pts at a vets office, something rediculous like 95% of the time, they change vets. Payment plan is no good if the person is no longer there to make payments.

Legally wrong? No, he was fully in his rights. Morally wrong? Yes, very, very yes I think the very principal of the vet letting the dog suffer instead of ending its suffering, that vet needs to rethink his career choice. You become a vet because you love animals, and do not want them to suffer. It should ALWAYS be love before money, IMHO
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessLough View Post
Payment plan is no good if the person is no longer there to make payments.
and that's definitely an issue. we have had clients close bank accounts, cancel credit cards, vanish.

but i still can't imagine a vet not stabilizing a pet in crisis before even addressing the money issue. the vets i work for have certainly refused treatment on the grounds of no money, but never for anything immediately life-threatening. maybe that's just because i've worked for the right kinds of people? i don't know.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:37 PM
PoodleMommy PoodleMommy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessLough View Post
You have to realize, that from the staff viewpoint, when somebody has a pet pts at a vets office, something rediculous like 95% of the time, they change vets. Payment plan is no good if the person is no longer there to make payments.
well if there is an outstanding bill, they can be taken to court... not the ideal situation but still an option for the vet.
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:54 PM
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If I were a vet there's no way I could refuse service like that and still sleep at night. Sure, it's perfectly within a vet's right to do that... but assuming you go into the profession because you want to relieve the suffering of animals, well, it just doesn't make sense. I really don't think it'd have been that big of a deal for them to perform the euthanasia and possibly not get payment for it (POSSIBLY--can't assume this person won't pay it back). My vet has performed many services for free for us and he hasn't gone out of business because of it.
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:59 PM
AGonzalez AGonzalez is offline
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My hometown vet was known for doing everything she could, whether the person could pay upfront or not. She's been known to come in in the middle of the night to pump a poisoned dogs stomach and make a payment agreement since the owner couldn't afford it.

I think the vet could have at least put the dog down for them. That is not NEARLY as expensive as they charge for, otherwise how could one place charge you $40 while some it's well over $100? it's the same medication.
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:13 PM
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I know it is the vet's legal right, but morally I can't imagine refusing treatment like that.....
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:36 PM
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There is no question about it at my work. If a dog comes in the door in distress, there is no question we treat it. The first thing we do is stabilize, then tell the owner that we will do our best and to go home and relax. Payment is the last thing that my boss worries about. I don't think she has any trouble sleeping at night

There have only been a few times that someone has walked out on their bill completely...I think 2 times. Maybe its just due to the area or the clients we have.

One of our clients forgot their wallet at home in an emergency situation and was freaking out about not being able to pay right away. We told him to calm down and that everything will be ok.

Heck, the day before yesterday a woman, not even a client, brought in a tiny 8 week old puppy that she had found on the side of the road. Freezing, starving, raging staph infection from a previous injury not being treated, blind, seizures every 3 minutes, and homeless we still treated this puppy. No one is paying for it except my boss, out of pocket.

I guess this raises a question of one of the things you ask a vet when you interview them before you actually go to them.
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