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Vets and their Meds

2187 Views 25 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Jeanie
[Rant on]
What is it with Vets and their meds? My cat has been on no less than 4 antibiotics, two versions of an antihistamine, eye drops, nasal sprays, and an appetite stimulant. All of which have done nothing. Twice I have asked for a prescription, to help with costs, and I get, " won't save that much.".

I'm sorry, but after spending $600 in one month and seeing a result of NOTHING, NADA, ZIP, ZILCH...who is the one who needs consoling? Me who has a sick cat who is losing weight or the vet who doesn't get a few more pennies for selling her stock (or overstock).

I asked today what she thought we should do, since my cat is still ill and she wants to TRY a steroid...thinking maybe it will help. I am so pissed right now. TRY, TRY? After a month you would think she would have a better decision. After a month and two vets, why am I the only one who has any slight idea on what's going on? How many vets do you have to go through until you find one that is interested in helping your pet?

Am I out of line here? We go to the vet expecting some sort of tests to be done to zero in on the problem. Our vet looks at the cat, tests temp, checks wait, writes it in the chart and says, "Lets try this antibiotic.". Three days later, same routine but, "Lets try this more expensive one.". Three days later we switch vets, new vet reviews the charts and tries a third antibiotic that has "no conclusive results" but worked well for other cats. My Dad, a pharmacist, says that the drug she prescribed is not normally taken orally and he was not sure it had any healing power taken that way. We pursue on and today she says, "Lets try prednisone." I told her no. The only positive sign that has come from the cat, was from giving him the appetite stimulant. He was becoming more vocal, eating and drinking more, and beginning to show signs of recovery. We only had 4 pills and ran he is back down again. Sorry for the rant, but were getting pretty sick of this treatment.

People take your money, don't offer any type of discount after spending several hundred dollars with them, then give you grief when you want to get your meds elsewhere.
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I totally agree and sympathize with you Newt. My cat's regular vet retired a few months ago. He was the best vet ever! My male cat Moe recently started peeing in random places in my house. I figured I should take him to the vet to rule out any bladder problems. I took him to a nearby vet and I am now truly appreciating how great my cat's previous vet was. This new vet seemed good initially. She explained things in detail and all but I am beginning to believe she is only in it for the money as well. The vet wanted to test Moe's urine as expected. Moe hates vets and for some reason he really didn't like the new vet (maybe he knows something I don't). They had to sedate him to stick the needle in him to get the urine sample. They told me to leave him with them for the day and they would call me later that day. I took him in at 10am and by 4pm I hadn't heard anything so I called them. They mentioned that they wanted to keep him overnight for observation. They said they wanted to see if he had problems peeing. I don't know how they would have observed him because when we picked him up the next day he was so groggy I doubt he could even walk to the litter box. Of course I was charged for the overnight stay and all. From what the vet said the urinalysis ruled out crystals and an x-ray ruled out kidney stones. They couldn't find any bacterial infection but the vet mentioned that perhaps a culture would show that.
As a result she prescribed an antibiotic for the potential bacterial infection, an anti-anxiety drug for a possible inflammation of the bladder, and special food. I started thinking of the logic behind prescribing all this stuff and realized that they are trying to treat three separate things all at the same time with no proof that the cat has any of these. I called the vet today to inquire further about the drugs and food and was told she was busy but she would call me back. Well, 5 hours later I still hadn't gotten a phone call so I called and the vet was still busy but I talked to a vet assistant or someone. That just turned into a bad situation in which I was looking for a plausible explanation for all the drugs and the woman had no explanation that satisfied me. At one point she mentioned that the food was for crystals in Moe's urine. I told he that the test ruled that out so why is he on the food. At that point I was told the vet would call me but probably not today. I told the lady I talked to that I had issues with the drugs my cat was on so one would think that would be a priority for the vet but apparently not.
The anti-anxiety drug makes Moe really lethargic and very spaced out. The vet assistant said that the dose may be too strong and that I should try cutting the pill in half. However, she informed me that the pill would be very bitter and Moe may foam at the mouth. If that happens I'm supposed to wash his mouth with water and try again. I told her that scenario is not likely and if he foams at the mouth then I'm not giving him the pill. It seems ironic to cause my cat that much stress for an anti-anxiety pill.
So in the end all the tests and drugs cost me $460 and I still don't really know what's wrong with him. I asked if a culture of the urine was done to determine if in fact there is a bacterial infection. It turns out that no there was no culture done so really they are just guessing it's a bacterial infection.
The vet wants me to bring Moe back next week for another urinalysis. In other words, another day or two at the vet, sedative which makes him sleepy for days, and a needle. All to test to see if the infection in the bladder is gone. They couldn't detect bacteria in the urine initially so what's going to be different when I take him back?
This whole vet visit was really hard on Moe and I really don't want to subject him to it again to pad the vet's pocket (if that is the real motive). However, I also don't want to take the risk that if something is wrong it may go untreated if he doesn't see the vet.

Any advice?
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Don't be intimidated by the title. Vets are highly educated, and I so respect that. However, you are employing them. As professionals, their first duty is to care for the animal. If you believe their first priority is money, question them about it.

There is a difference in motivation in vets, as there is in all professions. I sent my cat and dog to the vet with my daughter-in-law because I was very ill and couldn't go out. The procedures were all agreed to on the phone, and I was given a price. When my DIL got there, the receptionist started telling her what tests would be done, etc., and my DIL said, "I'm just the taxi driver. Jeanie owns the animals." Nevertheless, all of the extra tests were done, doubling, almost tripling the amount due.

When the animals were ready to come home, and I discovered what had happened, I told them exactly what I thought, and told them they should be ashamed of themselves. The price and procedures had been decided long before I sent the animals, and they took advantage of my illness and inability to take them myself. After several calls and review of the unethical behavior, the vet compared the procedures agreed to by phone to what was actually done, and removed the extra charges. I have been going to that animal hospital for years, but the original vet and owner retired, and I told the new vet he would be ashamed of what the hospital had become. This was a blatant attempt to make more money by doing unnecessary and not agreed upon tests. My cat was there to be spayed, and my dog for his annual shots. I won't be taking my animals there again, and they know it. And they should know it. Tell them. As I said to the them, SHAME! (I sound like my mother!) And they should be ashamed!
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That's awful. :x

I got that feeling from my two previous vets as well. You have to remember, this is a business for them. With the economy in the dumpster pet owners are putting expensive treatments and tests on the back burner and buying what they can from This leaves Vets out in the cold, they have stocks of medicine going bad. This doesn't mean that YOU have to pay for that problem though.

My 2nd vet was prescribing but not doing the necessary tests. I want a vet to test, review the results, give me there opinion, give me my options and let me decide. Period. On my 3rd vet I told her exactly this. The 3rd vet said she would probably have prescribed what the 2nd did. My response was that I want to know what the test say first, then you can prescribe and I can decide.

At the conclusion of the third vet visit, she told me the tests for FIP and x-rays were going to be expensive and she apologized but said that was the only way. I agreed to it. She gave us some Hills I/D for no charge due to the $256 bill for his visit. Since then she has called daily to check on him and give me his results and her opinion, that is the difference. The other vets just called and said, "based on this were prescribing this come by to pick it up and pay."

How do they know? There are tons of different medicines to take for something and if one doesn't work, switch to another. This is the equivalent of changing car parts for a ticking gets expensive.

Have your vet perform the tests, give you the results and then you decide, do the research. Take your meds by prescription only. If they give you any lip find a different vet. It won't be cheap, but you will get the answers you are looking for and not waste anytime and tests can be transferred from one vet to another to avoid re-testing.

We are lucky Newt has only been sick a month and has been eating off and on. Could you imagine what would happen if we went another month or two "trying" different meds? Good luck, sorry for the rant but that is why I started this thread. :)
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Doctors are used to being treated like gods. (not God), and what we need to do is to be intelligent consumers. The good doctors, MDs and DVDs, would agree with this. We need to be informed and not so intimidated that we are afraid to ask questions. Have you ever noticed how we always address a doctor or vet by his title, but they often call us by our first names? You don't need a course in Social Psych. to know what effect that is supposed to have on us. (I don't mean the half conscious or very ill patient. We respond better to our first names when ill, so there's a good and practical reason for that.)
Since then she has called daily to check on him and give me his results and her opinion, that is the difference.
I agree Newt, this is what good vets do. It shows you that she will take time to call you and give you advice that she doesn't get PAID for. I am pushy with my vet - not too pushy because I don't want to seem like I think I know more than her, but I will ask questions until my face turns blue or until they kick me out of there. I find it comforting that I can call her anytime (while she is at the office, of course) and she will answer any questions I have if she isn't busy. And if she is busy, she doesn't take 5 hours to call me back! I feel that she really cares for my pets and I hope she doesn't retire anytime soon!

I am glad you found a better vet Newt, and I am praying for your little guy. I have a soft spot in my heart for black cats and I hope he gets better soon!!

Take care,
Tanyuh, your vet is one of the reasons we should seek alternatives to bad treatment. There are wonderful vets out there! Why accept anything less? :) She took her vow seriously!
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