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To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

They shoot dogs, don't they?
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Cindi    Posted 10-18-2004 at 04:37:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
It’s been a long time since I took an animal to the vet. By the very nature of farming, you tend to get to the point where you do a lot of things for yourself. I have put in sutures, given antibiotic shots, oxytocin shots, pain shots, anti-inflammatory, rabies, vitamin and iron shots, used both injectable and oral wormers and the list goes on. I have helped with difficult births, put down, either by hand or by tool, and buried countless animals.

One of the few things I am not capable of is setting a bone. Aside from not having x-ray capabilities, the whole broken bone thing is a mystery to me, so it is in the best interest of the animal and my own peace of mind to seek out a professional when a broken bone pops up. Like it did with Red Dog last week.

Red Dog can never be accused of being too bright, so when he underestimated the height of a fence, catching one back leg as he went over and snapping the bone in said leg neatly in two, no one was really that surprised. Except for maybe Red Dog.

So I loaded his broken-boned behind in the truck and hauled him down to the vet. 24 hours later I was handed a bill in the amount of three hundred and sixty dollars. At that point, a feeling washed over me, a feeling that I am very comfortable with and accustomed to; the feeling that I was fixin’ to embarrass myself.

“How…how….what…how much?!?”

Then another familiar old feeling crept over me… the feeling of falling down on the job. I felt like I’d failed myself by not getting a written estimate. Is it out of line in such a situation to ask how much up front? It feels like it should be, because that indicates that I would be able to make a choice as to whether I would seek medical attention for this dog had I known in advance that it was going to be expensive. Or worse yet, that I would ‘shop it around’ while the dog suffered patiently until I found an affordable solution.

I’m trying to understand how it costs one hundred and twenty-three dollars to anesthetize a seventy-pound dog. I’m trying to understand how I can buy a hundred milliliters of penicillin for ten bucks at the feed store, but antibiotics for this dog cost one hundred and fifteen dollars through the vet.

I realize that a certain amount of the bill compensates the vet for his learning and training. He went to special schools so that he could be there to help me when I ran into things that were above my head. So imagine my surprise when I found out that the vet was on vacation and his assistants handled the procedure in its entirety.

After a little research I found out that I could buy all the drugs that were used on this dog for almost what I paid the vet for one or two injections. I know the difference between intramuscular and subcutaneous. I can make a danged splint out of two sticks and a rag.

In the end, needless to say, I felt like I’d been robbed, but the worst was yet to come. I still had to tell Fred about the bill. His reaction was anything but unpredictable. There was a slew of cusswords and the standard “I’ll never get ahead” speech that I know by heart and have considered putting to music, just to make it a little more enjoyable.

“That damned dog is lucky that I wasn’t there or he would have gone to ‘dog hill’.”

We are in central Florida…we have no hills.

“For about thirty-five cents” he went on, “I would have fixed that leg where it would have never bothered him…ever again. Get me?”

I got him.

“That is not a productive animal, he will never be able to repay us for this investment. If it had been a hog…”

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. But when I look into Red Dog’s big dumb brown eyes I know that I could never have let that happen. I also know that Fred was just blowing off steam, and he wouldn’t have been able to follow through either. There is too much emotion involved. You get attached, because those big dumb dogs are the absolute worst when it comes to wrapping you around their little fing…pad….paw. You get attached to big dumb red dogs, and the vets know that…and that’s when they get you.

Willy-N Another Point    Posted 10-18-2004 at 23:42:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
Reading the posts below made me think about another point of veiw. We spend quite a bit of money on our dogs we own now and in the past. We have spent a week tring to save a cow once covering it from the hot sun and moving the cover as the sun moved. Keeping it warm when it got cold, proping it up with bales of hay so it could breath better ect. I wonder how many who would spend thousands of dollars to save one sick dog if they would spend that to save 10 dogs from the gas chamber because nobody wants them? As much as we love all dogs we will only take in Neufoundlands that are old and unwanted. Been doing it for years now. They are old, sometimes crippled or mis treated but they have a home here till there time is up. We can't take in every dog nor do we have the money to save them all. If I did have the money to spare I would be helping a lot more to live and not be put down at the shelters. I am saying this as another point of view in saving a dogs life, not looking down at people who will spend what ever it takes to save there dog as we will do what is nessasary if it will give them quality of life and we have the money to do it. We set a limit of 5 Neufoundlands at a time, do to the work that is involved in there proper care. If you do have extra money donate it to causes that take care of un/wanted animals or Spay and Nueter Programs that help to limit the unwanted dogs and cats in the world. This would help many of them from suffering needlessly. Just a thought. Mark H.

KellyGa    Posted 10-18-2004 at 17:36:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hokaaayyyy...I am gonna put my 2 cents worth in. After all we are all entitled to our opinion, right? lol

I figure it like this. If you take in an animal, as a pet, you are responsible for them. You are their keeper, their owner. You are responsible for their well being. If you don't have time for the animal, if you don't have the money, don't have it.

Way back when my iguana was about 3 years old, she matured and began laying her eggs. They lay whether they are fertile or not. Her first batch was about 22 eggs. Next time, she got egg lodge. We have only one reptile/avian vet in GA, and I had to take her to them, up on the northside of Atlanta. They X-rayed her and saw not only the eggs, but a bladder stone, a huge one, practically obstructing her "hole" where she would poop or lay the eggs. She had to have surgery, so while they were in there they also spayed her. That bill was $800.00. She is now almost 14 years old and still kicking, feeling pretty good for a senior citizen. Never regreted it, because it saved her life, and she is still around.

Now, let me tell you another story. We used to have an almost all albino cat. She began to have some sort of trouble when she was about 10 years old. Took her to the vet. They surmised it was liver trouble which is common in albinos. They wanted to do a biopsy of the liver, that would cost 300 dollars, I had already shelled out over 600 dollars before they informed me of this, and they still hadn't come up with a definite answer, and I was getting pissed about that, so why would I want to give them more money to tell me the results of a biopsy of the liver. If it came back as bad news, they had already told me nothing could be done for her.

That cat was miserable for two weeks, but it was my husbands cat, and he wanted me to keep trying, so for two weeks I force fed her, they put fluids under her skin every other day to hydrate her, she ended up with a feeding tube, and still couldn't keep the special food down that they gave me to push down the tube with a syringe.

After two weeks, I could take no more. I told Ian I was taking her to be put down so both her and I could have some peace and it would end. I stayed in that room while they gave her the overdose of anesthesia. She at least deserved to die with some one by her side.

Now, I would have had that cat put down WAY before Ian had.

My point is, if it will save their life, do it, if it will only prolong the suffering and they will end up dead anyway, end it.

I don't care if its a hamster or a horse, every pet deserves the best care its owner can give it. If you made the decision to keep this animal, you are entrusted with a life. Animals love us unconditionally. How can anybody say they aren't worth it? No matter how many times we leave and come back, they are happy to see us, and its like you have been gone forever to them, so they are just happy you are home. They don't criticize you for your shortcomings. All they ask for is your attention and love, and a decent life. They give so much back.

I think a lot of people could take a lesson from animals. I have known a lot of animals, and a lot of people, mostly, I like the animals.

Cindi, you did right by Red Dog, I am PROUD of you!!!!! Thats a sweet dog, and he loves you all the more for taking care of him. :)

RichZ    Posted 10-18-2004 at 19:19:39       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Kelly, I couldn't have said it any better than you did!!! You took the word right out of my mouth!!!

Three years ago, our mastif, Mulder, started limping. X-rays showed that, somehow, he blew out both knees. We had to take him to a veterinary orthopedist, and he had to have surgery on each knee at $1400 each. No, we didn't have the money, and had to put it on a credit card, and took a looong time to pay it off. My wife and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Pets are family!!! Mulder is fine now, he can run and play, and his love has paid us back infinitely!!! If any of our dogs, cats horses or goats have a problem, they are seen by a vet. Our vets are farm vets, and they tell us what to do if we can handle it. They also give us a discount, since a month doesn't go by without a vet visit on our farm. And sometimes they don't even charge us. If you have a farm, I think it's essential to have a good relationship with a good vet.

KellyGa    Posted 10-18-2004 at 19:47:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thankyou RichZ, lol. I do have my moments don't I??? ;) There is no price I would not pay to save my Tip. If it was a sure thing to save her, I would do it in a heartbeat. If I didn't have the money, which most of us don't I bought beg borrow and steal for her. :)

I must be tired    Posted 10-18-2004 at 19:49:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
That last sentence made no sense. I meant to say...I WOULD beg borrow and steal for her. DOn't know where that "bought" came from, lol. Maybe I better go get some rest, only had 4 hours last night...could be why. KellyGa

Jimbob    Posted 10-18-2004 at 08:40:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
The older one gets, the more expensive everything is. I remember 20 cent gallon gasoline, 5 cent candy bars & autos for under $2K new.

EngineerJoyce    Posted 10-18-2004 at 07:45:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know a feller who's house dog was sick and took it to the vet. Vet said "such and such is wrong with him" The guy asked how much $? vet says $400. Guy adores the dog but says for any more than $200 I'll just shoot it. Vet did entire procedure for $200. I'm not sure I would have spent the $200. I'm like Fred - dogs don't recoup money, they are lucky to get bought feed. Sorry. I don't mean to be hard hearted, that's just they way I was raised.

Moral of the story: Figure out what is reasonable to pay the vet, then hand-deliver a check for that amount ONLY. Make it clear that anything above that is unreasonable and will NOT be paid. And next time, ask first.

Patria    Posted 10-18-2004 at 07:28:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey Cindi..Remember Fonzy, our chihuahua?
We found him on the road with a big hole in his leg. Cost us two hundred and forty dollars to mend him.

cowgirlj    Posted 10-18-2004 at 06:59:50       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The Vet you used is a ROBBER!
I work for a Vet, a Large Animal Vet. For a horse to be anesthetized, we charge $92.00 for the first hour, and a flat fee of $45. for general induction. We are talking about a 1200 pound animal, for an hour. Surely they didn't have the dog under for a whole hour to set a leg.
I would call around to other Vets in your area and get some prices, then approach this Vet or the owner of the Clinic, in person, by appointment and discuss the possibility of a discount on your bill. Don't tell them that is what you want the appointment for when you make it, or you will never get past the receptionist.
You never know, if you don't try. Some Vet's are willing to work with their client's financially to keep their good reputation.

Donna from Mo    Posted 10-18-2004 at 07:01:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Cowgirl, where on earth have you been? I haven't seen you post in ages.

cowgirlj    Posted 10-18-2004 at 07:13:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Donna.
I know, I appologise! We had some major computer issues for awhile this summer, not to mention it has been pretty busy around here.
I don't want to hi-jack Cindi's thread here, so email me if you like. Its

Patria    Posted 10-18-2004 at 07:10:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey Donna..:-)

Yep you doing?!
The last I heard from you was about your husband being sent to DR instead of PR.
It's great to see you posting here again!

cowgirlj    Posted 10-18-2004 at 07:16:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey Patria.
I hear congrats are in order for a belated Happy Anniversary!

I sure have missed chatting with you guys!

Patria    Posted 10-18-2004 at 07:21:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
oh don't sweat it..we married twice..make sure you're around by March 4th! LOL

MW/Ks    Posted 10-18-2004 at 06:48:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
Our vet should have a new wing built bearing our name.God gave us these animals for a reason,to keep us broke.But,we love them,one and all. Mark in Kansas

Chad K    Posted 10-18-2004 at 05:16:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
I hear ya on the vet bills! Last time I figured it out, it costs pretty much an even 10x more for the vet to admister a shot than if I'd do it.

I imagine I'll catch hell for this... I'm with Fred on the dog. Not that I do it often, but I just can't see spending a bunch of money on a near worthless animal. heck, the vet prices are so outrageous that we sometimes send a cow off to the market instead of calling the vet. Keep in mind thats in cases where even with the vets help, there's still a slim chance of survival. Why run up a big bill and loose the animal anyway?
Mini rant over, Chad

ret    Posted 10-18-2004 at 06:49:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
about three years ago took one of our dogs for his shots, and the heartworm test was positive. The girl tech was astounded when I told her I would not pay $400 just to start a heartworm treatment that they told me might not work anyway. Total cost was to be around $800. Well, to make a long story short, the dog is still doing fine. Sometimes you got to draw a line, like it or not

And then...    Posted 10-18-2004 at 05:28:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
There are the people that will pay from 'hundreds' to 'thousands' on a 'pure-bred' that will end up shedding all over the house just as much as a free dog from down the road...

Salmoneye, Who Refuses To Pay For A Dog

Chad K    Posted 10-18-2004 at 05:52:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
I will pay for them, we've gotten them from the humane society before, only problem is they are usually not very well adjusted!
The 2 we have right now came from a breeder that had an oops moment, good for me. These two are the smartest dogs I've seen in a while. they're Cocker Spaniel/Heeler cross's

Donna from Mo    Posted 10-18-2004 at 06:14:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
My mutt is about half Blue Heeler, and one of the smartest dogs I've seen. It must be a smart breed. The trouble is, she is also very strong-willed. I don't have a lot of problem with that, but my husband is not a patient man when it comes to dogs. So I just try and keep her out of his way. For what we've spent on vet bills getting her vaccinated, wormed and neutered, we may as well have paid for her: I think so far she's cost us $160.

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