Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mom on Sunday

The cats are asleep, so I'm taking over for today.

1). The kids are getting a bit stiff these days, I've noticed a hesitation to jump from both of them. Especially Leia. I guess it all looks higher up than it used to. The bed now has three separate options to help them both get up without too much of a jump. I need to do something about the couch, though they can always get up using the seat cushions. They usually jump from floor to back of the couch.

2). Toby's dental - when he was being treated at the other vet for his UTI we talked about his need for one. She tried to convince me he was a "Stage 4" out of 5. The price? A mere $571! That's more than my rent. Because of course, a Stage 4 is more expensive than a 5, right? And naturally, it would have been extra for extractions or complications.

Now, I'm not a vet or a tech and my medical expertise is limited, but what I do have are eyes - and a suspicion of corporate owned vet hospitals. I could see for myself that Toby had nothing that seemed horrible. No blackened teeth, no signs of pain while he ate, nothing like that. The pics she showed me looked nothing like him at all. I know there could have been something I wasn't seeing, so I reserved my final opinion until he was treated at Other Vet - for $161. That included the bloodwork.

I begrudge no vet a healthy profit but this seems almost unethical. Pricing like this does a disservice to pet owners; a lot of us simply can't afford that much. Thankfully there are vets who do charge a reasonable price. And to be fair, Other Vet handles the highest volume in the city. They don't have time to play games.

I think my biggest irritation here is not with first vet's price, but with the feeling I was being manipulated into paying for more than was needed. I actually felt guilty for awhile because I didn't want to pay that; but then my common sense and suspicious nature kicked in.

I'm so very, very thankful that Tobers is home, safe, healthy and we are DONE with his dentalwork. And I am so very not looking forward to Leia's in January. If Toby is like a big teddy bear, she's more of a leopard and eel combined when it comes to the PTU and going to the vet.


  1. I am glad that the other vet was so much more reasonably priced. The overpricing by many vets will stop a lot of people from getting treatment for their pets when it is needed. Our vet practice has got bigger over the years but we are still able to choose who we see unless it is an emergency. The prices they charge are on the higher side, but not extortionate. They were taken over by a country wide consortium a month ago. I imagine I will soon be seeing changes and if they increase their prices too much I shall look elsewhere.

  2. If the kitties are feeling a bit stiff, you might try giving them Glucosamine and Chondroitin suppliments - that can be helpful. Also, next time they are at the vet, ask for recommendations.

    My human tries to educate herself as much as possible on kitty health stuff so she can talk knowledgeably with vets, and make informed decisions. She knows what inflamed gums and tartar look like (a rotten tooth, like Binga had once, was really obvious), so she is able to agree (or disagree) with a vet's opinion about dental needs. Sometimes veterinary clinics get too corporate - it's always good to find the ones where your cat is treated like a true patient, and the care is personal.

  3. My new brother, Anderson, is havin' some dental stuff done tomorrow. My doctor is gonna do it at the same time he gets uh... um... you know. Seemed easier to do it all at once which is good 'cause Andy wasn't the easiest cat to get to the doctor in the first place. He doesn't use carriers, apparently.


  4. There is no vet here, probably none in Canada, who would do a dental for $161, blood work included, even if it was straightforward. A regular cleaning, no extractions, will run about $600+. Not kidding. I left my previous vet after they gave me an estimate for a regular cleaning for Derry that ran from $900 at the low end to $1600 at the high end (if problems were found). Now, Derry had 9 extractions back in June 2010, to the tune of $1255.37 all in, so how could it cost that much to clean his few remaining teeth? Nicki's last dental, a year and a half a go (?), ran just under $600 all in, and that was just a regular cleaning. Vet costs here have SKYROCKETED in the past dozen years, especially the past half dozen. It's insane. You have to be pretty well-to-do to afford decent vet care here, unfortunately. Which might be why I've had to remortgage my townhouse 3 times in recent years (much of the reason, at any rate.)

    So that you got Toby's done for that inexpensive price is AMAZING. I hope Leia's goes as well when it's her turn.

  5. I'm glad you got a second opinion and found a vet that was more reasonably priced. And that Toby did so well through his dental. As for Leia, you may want to try giving her cosequin or some other type of glucosamine supplement.

    Island Cat Mom

  6. Our vet seems mid-way for pricing but the clinic is so close I'm hesitant to look, they do a lot of pro bono work for the pets of our local homeless population, something which I think is fantastic. Having said that, I do feel it is terribly expensive! Pet health insurance isn't much better, either.

    I gave Kona cosequin for a month and didn't notice any real difference...your "milage" may differ.

  7. Thank goodness you got that second opinion. The exorbitant pricing by the first vet for what wasn't even necessary is unconscionable. You might want to try Cosequin for Toby and Leia. It has always helped our older kitties when arthritis kicks in.

  8. I brush my cat's teeth, and haven't spent a penny on dental care beyond toothpaste during his 8 years--and his teeth are beautiful. I know some cats aren't compliant, but it is really worth a try. It took about a month of daily work to get him accustomed to it, but we've been fine ever since. (I figured that if I could train a horse to allow me to ride him, I could train a cat to let me brush his teeth.)