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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Crazy Week

First up is a Posey update: She's doing wonderfully! The vet had my mom increase the amount of food she was getting at each feeding. He said he wanted her to have a "Buddah belly". My mom has been doing middle of the night feedings, which she hasn't done since I was a baby. Posey has Libby's old carrier, a heating pad, rice socks that get heated up, and already uses the itty-bitty litter box my mom keeps in the back of the carrier. Posey also believes that Mom is her mother and is quite attached to her.

I got to meet Posey on Friday evening, as my parents came up for a quick visit this past weekend. She's just itty-bitty and completely adorable.

Libby is being a good "big sister" to Posey. She likes to lick the remnants of Posey's food of her face after Mom is done feeding her. Libby wants to play with her, but Posey is still too little for that. But so far, Libby hasn't pulled a jealousy act.

The last week at work has been pretty crazy. Last Friday alone we had four puppies test positive for Parvo. If you don't know about Parvo, it affects dogs - usually puppies because they don't have a strong immune system yet. It's a pretty ugly deal, lots of vomiting and diarreah. And it can get expensive to treat, usually $300 is a safe bet. On Friday there were two puppies brought in by two different people, who had gotten their puppies from the same litter. Both girls were devastated and in tears. In the end they took the puppies back to where they got them, and gave them back. Later in the afternoon, a local large animal only vet called and talked to Dr. J saying that the owners of the puppies wanted the whole litter euthanized. Since she really only deals with large animals and is also still new at the vet thing, she wanted Dr. J's advice. He advised her to not do it.

Later the owners of the puppies called our office, requesting the litter be euthanized. Dr. J wound up doing that. It broke the heart of all of us in the office. A litter of 8 Labrador puppies.

You might be asking where the puppies got infected. Their own backyard. If those pups contracted the virus having never been anywhere other than their own home, that means those people have the virus in their house and yard. The virus can live in the soil. Anything that comes into contact with the virus must be washed or bleached. If those people wind up with another litter, I can almost guarantee that those pups will also contract the virus. Not to mention the 3-5 day incubation period for the virus; meaning those puppies had it well before they were given to new homes. You might also be asking why Dr. J agreed to euthanize the litter. In reality, it was the most humane thing to do. Upon reviewing these people's account, they have a bill over $2000. They paid $100 on it this May. And it took a year for them to pay that. Treating those pups could easily have cost those people another $1000. Which, according to their billing history, they won't pay anyway. The other option was to try and see if those people would treat those pups at home themselves. We weren't convinced they wouldn't do something inhumane. It was a sad day.

Then there was the guy who, three months after his burro was vaccinated and wormed, contested his bill. His claim? That he nor his wife asked that the burro be vaccinated or wormed. They only needed the vet to administer sedation so the farrier could work on his feet. The owner of said burro was out there with the vet and he couldn't have said anything then? Dr. J spent nearly half an hour with this guy on the phone. The guy was basically insinuating that Dr. J had just gone ahead and given the vaccines and worming paste without consent to "run up the bill". Dr. J actually gives out more discounts than the other doctors. I found the day he went out there in my appointment book and someone had told me to take vaccines and worming paste because I wrote it in by the appointment - each vaccine they wanted and which worming paste. In the end, Dr. J told our office manager to take off the vaccines and the worming paste the bill. *sigh*

Yesterday (Monday), we had to deal with crazy. Actually, I didn't, E did. I sat there and remained quiet as I didn't want to create a worse situation. If E had needed any serious back-up, I would have piped up. As it was, the customer was creating enough drama. A gal had called and talked to E, warning her this crazy gal was going to be coming in. Crazy came in, with her Chihuahua wrapped up in a blanket, saying it had been attacked by a neighbor's Rottweiler. Crazy also stated that Gal was going to pay for it, and that it needed to go on her tab. E called Gal (the gal that had called to warn E that Crazy was coming in) to verify payment. While on the phone, E asked me to pull Crazy's file. I did and opened it noticing the "Written Off" paper in her file. I pointed it out to E who was getting off the phone. E told Crazy that Gal had agreed to pay only a portion of the vet cost, not all of it and it wasn't to go on her tab. E then told her that she could call the Humane Society to see if they had funds available for an "emergency loan contract" - where the person agrees to pay the Humane Society so much a month until the bill is paid in full. We couldn't reach the gal that runs it at the time. Crazy was adamant that her dog receive medical attention. E told her that we had taken her to court (collections) due to lack of payment on her account. Crazy then said that she could take us to court because "they" (meaning the vets) had given her puppies in a ziploc baggy and one of them was still alive. E politely told her that until she pays off her account, we are not allowed to do any work for her. Crazy stormed out.

We hollered at Dr. R to chat with him about what just happened. Upon reviewing this woman's file, the doctors had removed dead puppies out of a bitch that had been in labor for two days. The bitch wound up with a pyometra (puss in the uterus), therefore all the puppies were in fact, dead. When we told Dr. R about her accusing them of giving her live puppies back to her in a ziploc baggy, he could only shake his head.

We hate to turn people away like that. Our doctors would rather try to help. But considering how much money the average vet's office writes off as "bad debt", it becomes a money issue. Amazingly there are people who never pay on a $20 bill. Some accounts are for several hundred dollars. But the amazing ones are small amounts that for whatever reason, people refuse to pay. Everything the vet uses and does costs money. And the clinic I work for is about one third the price of clinics in bigger cities. Our doctors are still good at trying to help people out, giving discounts on things or not charging for certain services rendered. Our doctors know that our area is full of people who barely scrape by.

I'm hoping the next week won't be so crazy. But considering it's still Parvo season, I'm not holding my breath!

12 comments:

  1. Parvo is so awful. My friend had a dog who was in "intensive care" for a week with Parvo and racked up a bill about the size of the national debt.

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    1. Yeah, our $300 is at least double if not triple city vets.

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  2. Now that is a crappy week. :( But why would someone ever want puppies that are dead? Is this the norm or am I missing something?

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    1. Yeah, none of us could figure that out. The last time she was in, which was deal with the pups, was 2009, so the doctors couldn't even remember the situation. We were all baffled.

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  3. Sounds like Crazy needs to NOT own any pets....geesh! *shakes head*

    Sad about the puppies :-(

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    Replies
    1. Seriously, people should be required to have a license to have pets.

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    2. Um, people should need a license for kids as well...

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  4. $300 for parvo is way cheap. I know everything is more expensive down here in social, but $300 would maybe take care of day 1. Parvo is one of the worst diseases dogs can get and it can so easily and cheaply be prevented with vaccines, people are so ignorant and stupid about this stuff. I think nothing attacks crazies like a vet hospital, I hope the chi got the tx he needed. People have no idea how expensive veterinary medicine is, your docs sound like pretty nice people. :)

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  5. You would think people would know about parvo, but it really is amazing how many people are clueless. Same with something like kennel cough. When in doubt simply ask your vet, they are more than happy to explain about how vaccines work and the consquences of not vaccinating.

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  6. My vet cautioned me about the dangers of parvo. Luckily we live in a town where it's not common.

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    1. You are very fortunate its not common.

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