Vet Ethics

Health topics and issues with Chow Chows.

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pfordeb
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Vet Ethics

Postby pfordeb » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:57 pm

I'm in shock. After paying $26 for 7 pain pills for Sullivan, I asked the vet if there was anything as effective but less expensive we could give her. He said no, so I asked about getting a prescription so I could fill it on the internet. He charges $8 to write a prescription but that was still going to be cheaper than buying the meds from him. So today I go to pick up the prescription, and he said he wouldn't write a prescription unless he did blood work, which is $80 to $100, plus another $40 for the exam. He had previously said he didn't need to do any more blood work because she's at the point where she has weeks if not days.

I honestly don't know what to do except change vets, because I feel he is unethically profiting from Sullivan's illness. She's actually still doing OK on the pain meds, though there is no way of knowing if she'll suffer a fast decline. This isn't even so much about the money, because I know I'll have to pay another vet for an exam and probably blood work, it's just ethics.

Any ideas on vets or what to do? I have a call into the humane society and I wrote to the Ohio Association of Vets, because I am going to ask about ethical practice. Obviously vets don't have to follow anything like the Hippocratic Oath, at least this vet doesn't.
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby vicster605 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:35 pm

WHAT??? :twisted: :twisted: Thats crap Debbie!!! I can't believe that.....Ok let me get this straight....Sullivan needs more pain pills and there isn't anything cheaper than $26 for 7 pills???? I find that hard to believe.........
He previously didn't need to do lab work but since you want to fill the Rx on the internet....now he has to do lab work??? So if you wanted to get another Rx for 7 more pills for $26 then he would go ahead and give it to her WITHOUT lab work??? :twisted:
You sure there wasn't a misunderstanding or something????? I would do just what you are doing......bad timing GEEZ,but at this point, is he going to be there for Sullivan if she needs him for stronger meds....comfort measures etc??? Are you going to trust him now??? See if you can get her records and her previous lab work.....tell them you need them for YOUR records. Call around and ask to speak to the Vets PERSONALLY.......so you can explain the situation........ Perhaps you can find a good sympathetic Vet who will help her and you......and use her previous lab work and not run up a huge bill......I am so sorry this Vet did this......I hope someone will do something to stop him from continuing to try and take advantage of pet owners who need their care and COMPASSION at the end of their beloved family members lives :cry:
How far do you live from me....darn I want to get all redneck on this guy!!!:twisted:
I am soooo sorry this happened :cry:
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby Laura » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:47 pm

That is horrible and it is ethics and I am sure you will have to change vets but it is worth it for your comfort and peace of mind. You are mad at this vet now (as you should be) and you have enough stress and worry with Miss Sullivan w/out adding this to it. I would find another and pay them for the bloodwork. I'm afraid they might require it and who knows what else with her being a new patient and ill. I would ask...or demand my records and take them along for the new vet. Your vets only concern at this point should be Sullivans comfort and your peace of mind. I know he has to make a living but exploiting your pocket book isn't how he should do it. I am so sorry this happened!
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby Layla » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:13 pm

I would write to your state board for vets & complain personally. That is utterly uncalled for IMO. I agree, change vets :twisted:
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby TJordan » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:54 pm

This sounds horrible to me. It sounds like he is taking advantage. I would certainly look into a new vet.
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby Jeff&Peks » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:24 pm

"I honestly don't know what to do except change vets, because I feel he is unethically profiting from Sullivan's illness."

What else is new, Gee a Vet profiting from a dogs illness. I wouldn't be surprised if half of Sullivan's problems were made up or caused by the vet, especially from the meds he is prescribing.

Try looking for a vet on the AAHA website in your area.

http://www.healthypet.com/
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby pfordeb » Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:32 am

Thanks everyone. I'll let you know what happens.
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Re: Vet Ethics & Veterinary Income

Postby Kris L. Christine » Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:35 am

PERMISSION GRANTED TO CROSS-POST THIS MESSAGE.

Veterinary trade publications have frankly addressed the issue of the link between vaccines and income.

A related story Improving Veterinarians' Income a Top Goal of AVMA President-elect candidate Childers. can be found at http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/mar04/040315g.asp.

In an August 2004 cover story in Veterinary Economics entitled Targeting Changing Vaccine Protocols by Roger F. Cummings, they state that: "In the 1970s and ’80s many veterinarians derived a substantial percent of their total incomes from vaccinating dogs and cats. .....And in many practices today, the vaccination reminder is the one thing that drives visits from healthy pets. So changing your vaccine protocols could have a significant affect on practice finances."

Dr. Alice Wolf, Professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, stated in an address (Vaccines of the Present and Future http://www.vin.com/VINDBPub/SearchPB/Pr ... R00141.htm) at the 2001 World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress that: “some veterinarians use the recommendation for vaccinations as a way to ensure client visits for yearly examinations and, least appropriate, as a ‘profit center.’”

In an October 1, 2002 DVM Newsletter article entitled, AVMA, AAHA to Release Vaccine Positions, http://www.dvmnewsmagazine.com/dvm/arti ... p?id=35171, Jennifer Fiala reports, "The statement stresses AVMA's stance on education, a reduction in the profession's dependence on vaccine sales, which account for a significant portion of practice income, ..........Veterinarians must promote the value of the exam and move away from their dependence on vaccine income. "

DVM's July 1, 2003 article, Developing Common Sense Strategies for Fiscal Responsibility http://www.dvmnewsmagazine.com/dvm/arti ... p?id=61694 declares that, "The purpose of this article is to focus on the third of these essential cornerstones: the economic realities of protocol changes, and how medical and surgical standards including reduced frequency of vaccination can be compatible with financial viability; and, yes, even success. ........For a real eye-opener of potential revenue loss, research practice records for the most recent 12 months of client activity to determine the estimated number of adult canine patients that were seen for annual vaccinations. Multiply this number times the revenue loss calculated above on an individual patient basis to determine the total potential lost income. "

From a July 1, 2003 DVM article entitled, [B]What Do We Tell Our Clients? , http://www.dvmnewsmagazine.com/dvm/arti ... p?id=61696, "It has finally happened. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has released canine vaccine guidelines. Some practitioners may dread it and consider the recommendations as a 'practice buster.' ......The concern of course is the loss of our 'vaccine hook.' "

On Page 18 of the American Animal Hospital Association's 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines, the task force declares: "However, the ethical issue that our profession struggles with today is whether economics justifies giving an animal a drug (vaccines are biologic drugs) that is not necessarily required. As a minimum, we should allow pet owners to make this choice rather than make it for them."

Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and Don't Know, Dr. Ronald Schultz http://www.cedarbayvet.com/duration_of_immunity.htm

The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are accessible online at http://www.leerburg.com/special_report.htm .

The 2006 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are downloadable in PDF format at http://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocumen...s06Revised.pdf .

Veterinarian, Dr. Robert Rogers,has an excellent presentation on veterinary vaccines at http://www.newvaccinationprotocols.com/.

If anyone would like copies of the American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines, the 1992 French challenge study demonstrating that dogs were immune to a rabies challenge 5 years after vaccination, the 2003 Italian study documenting fibrosarcomas at the presumed injection sites of rabies vaccines in dogs, as well as Dr. W. Jean Dodds' papers on vaccinal adverse reactions, please e-mail me at ledgespring@lincoln.midcoast.com.
Last edited by Kris L. Christine on Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:51 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby chowwoman » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:18 am

Thank you for that! This is why I read forums!!!!
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby WildThings » Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:29 pm

Deb, that's awful for your vet seeing Sullivans health issues as an easy way to make money. Some vets see owners completely commited to their pets and all they can see is dollar signs because they know people like you and many others will pay what they need to to help their pets. There are vets who will work with you to find the most cost efficient way to treat major medical problems. Years ago, my family had a cat, who at 18 years old was starting to have numerous health problems. When she developed diabetes, the vet gave us her initial medicine, basically to show us how to give her the shots, etc...but then gave us information for a local pharmacy that sold the supplies and insulin at a much lower price. She has done the same thing with medications for our pets.

Luckily, the Columbus area has many, many vet options. I would at least call around and talk to some of the others, there has to be someone out there not just seeing you and Sullivan as an extra paycheck.
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby Auddymay » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:27 pm

Deb, I only say this because I know you have the guts to repeat it. Tell your vet he either gives the perscription at no charge, or you are out of there. If he waffles, say sorry you feel that way, and that you will be needing all the records on all your dogs. There must be some compassionate vets in your area, and in fact, I would shop around before making the ultimatum, so you can tell him where to send the records if he chooses to play chicken. With the economy being what it is, he cannot afford to lose patients. Unless he is Dr Doolittle, which he has proven he is...NOT!

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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby Jeff&Peks » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:46 pm

I wouldn't even take the prescription until she see's another vet, if she thinks he's that unethical and he's profiting off of sick dogs who knows what he is prescribing. Keeping them sick keeps them coming in, Just like an auto Mechanic. Like the Vet that did Pekoe's biopsy, Its only a dog if she dies get another one, Now thats a vet I want to go back to.
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby Kris L. Christine » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:02 pm

Why don't you try a holistic http://www.holisticvetlist.com/ or homeopathic veterinarian http://www.theavh.org/referral/index.php?
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby pfordeb » Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:53 pm

I talked to the Humane Society today. They told me that vets actually aren't regulated in terms of what they charge or how they run their businesses. But they also suggested I contact the Ohio Vets' Association, which ironically I already had, but I haven't checked all my e-mail so I don't know if they wrote back. I can file a complaint if I feel he is being unethical. If nothing else, everyone has said he should be more compassionate, which he is not in the slightest. The Humane Society also gave me information about euthanasia, cremation, and funeral homes. At this point, we are still planning to donate her to OSU, if the timing is right. They also gave me the name of another vet and put me in contact with a pet loss support group which I might check out on Tuesday night.

Forrest is also not helping the situation. He just told me he does not want to be there when they put her to sleep (the humane society will do it for $75 but you can't be there) and he also doesn't think the other dogs should be there which I've heard is a good idea. As I've mentioned before he also says he'll leave me if I get another dog, so I'm dealing with two people without compassion now, though I think he's really as broken up as I am.

So thank you everyone for your support and to Kris for all those great links. Ironically, our former vet is one of the best locally who practices both traditional and holistic medicine. I'd love to take her back there, but our son used to work for him and he did not leave on the best of terms. I might just bite the bullet though if some of the other recommended local vets don't pan out.

By the way, she is doing pretty well on this new medicine. We still take it day by day and know it's just a matter of time, but it's at least worth the cost to see her doing OK. She is still milking her diva status for all it's worth -- she's been trying to get us to walk her in places she knows she can't go (like in that creek behind our house as I mentioned or in other people's back yards). I'll keep you posted.
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby Red Dragon » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:55 pm

It's the same way where I am, they won't give dogs prescribed medicines without tests because they are covering their rears. If they give you a drug and you dog has liver or kidney damage already, then the medicine kills the dog, they are liabal. My current vet knows me very well and I still can't get anything that requires a test first. See what happens when people get lawsuit happy? We all pay dearly!
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby Jeff&Peks » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:08 pm

I can see where the vet would want to run test before he prescibes meds, I would prefer it that way with all meds but the money thing is what bothers me. I guess in my black and white world I would think a sick animal or Human when it comes to death would be treatment first then money, Ya I know, thats a laugh. It happened with Lassie.
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby Red Dragon » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:15 pm

Ha! The last dog that I had that was deathly ill went to the emergency room, they were more concerned with getting the money than treating the dog, in fact they brought out a sheet with an estimate that could go anywhere from $4200 - $10,000 for treatment and needed a credit card before they would do anything. So much for ethics, that doesn't exsist except with maybe your rural vet these days. It's show me the money! :shock:
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby Jeff&Peks » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:29 pm

There are a few, when Pekoe went through Cancer treatments they gave me an estimate but the only up front money they Needed was for the Vaccine to be sent from Wisconsin after that they never mentioned money, they got it all but never said they wouldn't treat her or not do something unless I showed them the money first. Sometimes I had to remind them I owed a payment. With what Pekoe put them through and the amount of time they spent just trying to make her comfortable with a whole hospitol full of animals Pekoe always came first, they even had to cancel and rescudeule People just to treat her, Pekoe always went way past her appointment times fighting them all the way, they should have ask me for more money.
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby Chow Chow Mama » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:41 pm

Red Dragon wrote:Ha! The last dog that I had that was deathly ill went to the emergency room, they were more concerned with getting the money than treating the dog, in fact they brought out a sheet with an estimate that could go anywhere from $4200 - $10,000 for treatment and needed a credit card before they would do anything. So much for ethics, that doesn't exsist except with maybe your rural vet these days. It's show me the money! :shock:


The emergency clinic here is like that. They want to know that they have their money first before seeing your pet. I hope that I never have to go back there, too, because they were all quite rude. Holden was having a bad reaction to his pain meds after his neuter and I had to rush him in. He had bloody explosive diarrhea and made a complete mess of me, the waiting room, the exam room, and the hallway. I had gone out to ask if they could bring some cleaning items in for me (he did this while we waited about an hour to even see the vet on duty and I could hardly breathe!) and they were so mad that he messed up the room. Well I'm sorry, but it's not like he did it on purpose! The sad thing is that is the only emergency clinic here, too. :?
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby Laura » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:21 pm

I am so sorry for all that you are going through. You do have us though and we are here for you! ((hugs))
As far as vet ethics I think mine is pretty sweet. He didn't even charge me when I had to have Kody pts. All I paid was the cremation fee which was handled by an outside source. He also sent me flowers the next day which I thought was wonderful and his staff did a paw print and included a poem and other little things with his remains. He has also done a few other minor freebie things but I do tell him that I am putting his kids through college and I expect them to thank me at graduation. :lol: There are still some good ones out there.
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby pfordeb » Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:50 am

Thanks everyone. I'm calling the vet the humane society recommended. A couple friends recommended theirs as well. Then I'm calling my vet. The thing is, he had already prescribed the medicine, did blood work about 6 weeks ago, said we didn't need to test again (period), then changed his whole tune when I was going to send in the prescription. He's thorough but doesn't have any bedside manner anyway (he also will not go to homes to pts). So, unless he'll give me the prescription, I'm saying so long.
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby vicster605 » Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:18 pm

Ya know, I think if you are in Medicine or Vet. Medicine.....if you can't or don't have a good bedside manner then you almost don't have any business in Medicine in the first place...JMHO
I'm glad Sullivan isn't doing any worse and is hanging in there [:D]
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby Larry Harris » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:53 pm

You and Sullivan are in our thoughts and prayers, everyone on the list is with you in spirt in your trying times. With your furkid being sick I wish all you had to worry about was him. Oh and tell Forest we are all mad at him too. If there is ever anything we can do please call.

Deb, please give us a call in the morning and tell us what he is on. Terrina is going in Monday with our new girl to the Vet and we will get them at our rescue discount and send them to you.

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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby pfordeb » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:29 am

Thank you so much. I'm probably too late, but Sullivan is taking one 227 mg pill of Previcox a day. Honestly, I appreciate your help so much, but I don't want to put you out. I can PM you my number if you haven't already gotten your supplies. (It's about 1:30 on Sunday afternoon, Eastern time).

I'm going to bite the bullet and at least try to talk to our vet again tomorrow. I doubt he'll care we're pulling our 3 dogs, but I may have to do the blood work just so she can at least get a week's supply of meds and get a prescription. I feel like I'm a heroin addict trying to buy drugs off the street just to get pain pills for my dog. There really needs to be better regulation of pet meds and vets who distribute them, but the world needs to change in a lot of ways IMO.

I guess everyone reacts to grief in their own way and Forrest saying no more dogs is his way of dealing with it. I don't know if he'll change his tune, or maybe I'll even change mine (very doubtful on both counts). I may have to pull what I did with Charlie -- OOPS how did this dog get in here? :D
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Re: Vet Ethics

Postby Chow Chow Mama » Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:58 pm

pfordeb wrote: I may have to pull what I did with Charlie -- OOPS how did this dog get in here? :D


:lol: :lol: That is so me :lol: :lol:

I will blame my dad for that behavior because he used to do that to my mom all the time. Once we were visiting my grandma and there was a red Chow running around and grandma said it had been running around a while. Well of course us kids were begging mom to take her home and mom said "We don't need another dog!" Dad went out and got her and hid her in a blanket (on his lap) during the ride home. How my mom didn't realize there was something in that blanket I will never know... Needless to say we got home and my dad was like "Oh my gosh, how did she get in there?! #-o " And once she was in the house there was no letting her go. So we had a new Chow! :lol:
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