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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Vet Care Today: What's Been Your Experience?
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The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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11 July 2022 - 2:16 pm
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Now that Nellie joined us, we are having very eye opening experiences trying to get vet care. Things have changed a LOT since our Wyatt left us in 11/20. As many of you know, we live in our RV and move around a lot. Getting care for her has been tough. The only reason we got into one clinic is because we had an existing relationship when Wyatt was with us. But that clinic is 50 miles away. Another clinic closer to us saw her for urgent care needs, but only after waiting in line for almost an entire day.

This article in the Atlantic takes a good look at the current problems in veterinary care:

There are not enough humans to take care of all the animals.

I found that this story is spot on. 

I’m curious what experiences are like for everypawdy in your parts of the world. How are your pets getting vet care? Have you come up with any strategies that help you get into clinics sooner?

Please share so we can all learn!


Member Since:
22 August 2008
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12 July 2022 - 8:03 am
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This is unfortunately a common problem.  Waits at our local ER clinics are often 6-8 hours and sometimes even 24 hr clinics have to call “capacity” if they are out of cages. Often it is a staffing issue; not enough support staff/techs to care for all of the pets even if they have the space.  It is frustrating for everyone!  We have started taking new clients again and have opened our doors to letting clients come in with their pets but still have a closed lobby (trying to prevent overcrowding).

The wait time for a routine vaccine appointment is about a month but we do have a drop-off system to try and get more pets seen for emergent issues. We are planning an expansion but right now we also run out of cages/space sometimes. Many of our staff did elect to quit/retire during COVID and have not returned and often front office or other support staff will leave for the human field where they are paid much more. I would also agree that during the pandemic people have kind of lost the ability to be courteous to each other; I know that pet owners are frustrated but we have had our staff members verbally and physically assaulted. One receptionist had a client throwing things at her and another had a large man shove past her into the lobby and twisted her arm to the point she needed to go to her doctor for a sling. Luckily she is a dedicated employee and has returned to work and yes that client is fired.

Hopefully this issue will be resolved soon but it takes time for new techs and vets to graduate. Everything costs more these days and we have also had to raise prices a bit in order to retain valuable staff members. Now is a good time to look into insurance for your pet especially if they are young with no pre-existing conditions.

Pam

New England
Member Since:
11 January 2022
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12 July 2022 - 8:52 am
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My vet practice is booking appointments about 4 weeks out.  I (thankfully) haven’t needed emergency vet service, but I’ve heard wait times at the emergency practices nearby have very long wait times to see pets.

Last fall, right around the time I adopted Loki, I was at my vet’s office picking up a prescription refill and overheard a staff member talking to someone over the phone saying they were requiring a $75 deposit for new client appointments.  They did not charge me this deposit when I added Loki to my account.  So there was probably context that I was missing from what I heard – maybe it’s only for humans who have never brought a pet in to this practice before or maybe it was a human with other pet clients with a known history of no showing for appointments.  

I’ve also noticed a steep increase in costs at my vet practice in the last year or so.  I hope this means they are paying their staff well, but I’m sure most of it is related to the cost of everything increasing.

I’m also very fortunate to have some friends in the veterinary field who I can text if I’m seeing something off about one of my pets.  They can help me figure out if it’s something to watch or if I do need to get in to see my vet.

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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12 July 2022 - 7:38 pm
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Thanks for sharing your experiences, this is so important for folks to know. The current situation all came as such a shock to us. We used to be able to travel anywhere in our RV and get care on the road. Now, unless you’re established in a practice, you’re kinda hosed for a while. 

One thing is clear, and it’s that vet clinics are operating during the hardest times ever. And yeah Dr. Pam, I’ve heard so much about the abuse you guys are taking from clients who are losing their you-know-what. The clinic we took Nellie to has big signs everywhere saying “ZERO TOLERANCE ABUSE POLICY IN FORCE,” and I can see why. It’s so sad that people have to be reminded to be kind to the humans who are saving their pets’ lives.

Please hang in there Dr. Pam, you are such an awesome vet. The animals of Puyallup and surrounding areas NEED YOU and your team too! We all appreciate what you do in more ways than you can imagine.

10-4 on the pet insurance! 



Member Since:
16 October 2012
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13 July 2022 - 5:51 pm
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Yep, my vet is like 2 weeks out for routine care.  Normally a clinic that has 5 plus vets is operating with 3 full time vets plus one that does urgent care hours and a part time that just started.  They opened the “urgent care hours” to help lessen on the urgent clinics and possibly do routine care during that time but it is a higher fee. 

I have had to use those hours several times that it wasn’t a major urgent care thing but urgent enough not to wait the 2 weeks to get into see our regular vet. 

I have talked with Dr. Rock-Paul just during our visit and she said the same thing Dr. Pam said that staffing issues and just not being able too hire is a big issue.  Our clinic has been opened to everyone coming in.  They did it in stages and the clinic staff is still mostly wearing masks unless vaccinated and most of the vets are anyway.

Still spaced 6 foot in the waiting room and at most 2 people in a room per pet (just allowed within the last month) otherwise it was 1.  They will still do curbside if wanted. 

Hugs

Michelle

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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14 July 2022 - 10:33 am
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Thanks for sharing Michelle. It’s incredible how similar these experiences are, all over the country. I’m curious if our international members are seeing the same thing?

The vet / practice owner that Nellie saw told me something interesting. He says that in his experience, new vets coming out of school don’t want to work the crazy hours that are typical for the field. His practice has 10 vets on staff to cover different shifts, and they’re trying to hire more, but he’s having trouble finding anyone who wants to work weekends or evenings.

I asked him “Do you think things will ever get back to the way they were?” His answer? Nope.



Member Since:
16 October 2012
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14 July 2022 - 11:45 am
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Dr. Rock-Paul said they can’t even get vet students to commit until “after they take the boards”.  She said that it’s very hard to even find any that want to work.  Her statement to me was they have so many loans for being in school so long you would think they would want to have a job when they get out of school.

It’s crazy

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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8
14 July 2022 - 3:07 pm
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Yikes, now that is super scary to think of what’s coming down the pipeline! In some ways I can understand why they’re feeling so overwhelmed and unable to commit at a time like this, but on the other hand, yeah, with all those loans, you’re just asking for more stress later on if you graduate without a job. Ugh!



Member Since:
16 October 2012
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14 July 2022 - 4:05 pm
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Yes, exactly.  I hope this all straightens out soon. 

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

Livermore, CA




Member Since:
18 October 2009
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14 July 2022 - 9:42 pm
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I’ve been going to the same practice for 23 years, and until last December I had the same vet for 20 of those years.  Last December my vet, Linda, decided to sell the practice to another vet there and retire so I’ve transitioned my pups to the ‘new’ vet.  Thankfully Linda decided to say on part time until they can hire a replacement vet which hasn’t happened yet. There are now 2 full time vets and one part time. So far most everything I need done at the primary practice or the specialty practices are routine and have been scheduled ahead of time.  However quad Pug Obie has some ongoing issues and it has taken a bit longer to get him into the primary vet- maybe 2 to 3 weeks as opposed to being able to get in the same week.  It’s also taking longer to get callbacks on tests or blood work results.  In general that was 24 hours or so, now it may be 3 or 4 days.  I have complete confidence that the vet would call me right away if there was something in the test results to worry about, so now if I don’t hear for a couple days I figure she getting to the more critical cases first.  In one case my vet had to wait several days to get the results back from the lab.  She has called me after 7:00 pm several times in the past few weeks to go over test results and determine next steps… they close at 5:00 pm.

The are still not allowing people into the building but that’s because the building is pretty small and they are doing a full interior renovation.  Hopefully I will be able to go in soon, it’s so much easier on the pups if I’m with them.

The PC vet referred Obie to a holistic vet who does acupuncture which is luckily just a town away. He had his first treatment today, I was able to get an appointment is just a week.  They are letting people into the clinic but also offer curbside if you prefer.

Obie turns 16 tomorrow and Elly is a 7.5 year old Tripawd so I am very concerned about the availability of emergency service.  The nearest ER is two towns away (that has always been the case) and here in the Bay Area depending on traffic that could be a 30 to 45 min drive.  I’ve heard from a couple people that they were at the ER for hours before their pups got in.  I’ve been to the ER several times in past years and I never waited more than 20 minutes for the initial consult.

Karen

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

New England
Member Since:
11 January 2022
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18 July 2022 - 5:29 am
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I just got off the phone with my vet’s office to make a vaccine appointment for Loki.  They were able to get us in next week for that, so at least tech appointments aren’t booking too far out.  

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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18 July 2022 - 10:08 am
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Oh that’s terrific news! Good to know that sometimes these things can happen. Thanks for sharing.

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