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After hours vet care questions.

By 9 August 2012 20

A friend of mine had reason to take her young dog to the vet on a recent Sunday evening.  Her local vet advised that the symptoms indicated that the dog had a mass in her stomach and should be taken to the after hours emergency vet.  The consulting vet there, after an x-ray and noting my friend’s advice that the dog had the usual puppy habit of chewing socks, diagnosed the mass in the dog’s stomach as likely to be a sock.  She/he advised that emergency surgery was required and that without it, the dog would die.  Costs were discussed, and the vet undertook to cap the cost at $2,200.  Surgery was undertaken immediately.  My friend was advised to collect the dog no later than 7.30am on Monday and take it to her usual vet for follow up care.

 My friend received a phone call later in the evening to report that the vet had in fact found dog food in the dog’s stomach.  The dog food was in the form of dog biscuits, and ‘seven spoons full’ had been removed.  The dog is a medium sized puppy, a spaniel cross, say about twice the height of my jack Russell and very long (with BIG feet).

 On being presented with the bill, she saw that it was for $2,500.  She protested to the receptionist, advising of her agreement in writing with the vet of the $2,200 cap, but was ignored.  Literally ignored – the receptionist neither acknowledged that she’d spoken nor reviewed the bill. 

 So, a couple of issues here.  Was an excess of dog food life threatening?  Possibly so, but I’m not a vet.  A sock, definitely.  Was a considered diagnosis made, or were assumptions made that a puppy had done what puppies do and surgery undertaken a little too readily? 

 The cost.  A large amount in anyone’s world.  Yes, it was Sunday, and I’m very thankful that vets are ready to provide emergency services.  But based on vet care I’ve received over many years for my dogs, that’s still a huge amount (and for regular readers, that includes Feral’s recent general anaesthetic for some dental work – he’s got a lovely, albeit gappy, smile now).

 I’m really interested to hear of people’s views and experiences.  In the meantime, the pup in question is now home, fit and well, and wondering what all the fuss was about.  And just a quick message from our sponsors – 20 August is RSPCA  cupcake day.  Donate by baking or eating – both are good.

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20 Responses to After hours vet care questions.
#1
Pitchka3:06 pm, 09 Aug 12

Im no vet, but i would have just stuck my fingers down the dogs throat and made it throw up.. I would have done it for half the price…

Seriously thoe…. It amazes me that the vet could not distinguish the differemce between a sock and food mass.

#2
EvanJames3:25 pm, 09 Aug 12

It’s quite hard to make a dog vomit. The after-hours emergency places tend to be quite expensive, due to the nature of the care, what they do and how they do it.

Unfortunate that a stomach-full of food was diagnosed as a malady though. We go to a one-man-band vet, who does use the after-hours place, but is quite sensible about diagnosing things.

#3
pink little birdie4:31 pm, 09 Aug 12

Our vet just does the after hours thing with a phone call before you come. He’s quite good.

#4
Msl4:52 pm, 09 Aug 12

pink little birdie

Are you saying that there is somewhere else in Canberra besides the Fyshwick vet that does after hours?

#5
threepaws6:33 pm, 09 Aug 12

EvanJames said :

It’s quite hard to make a dog vomit. The after-hours emergency places tend to be quite expensive, due to the nature of the care, what they do and how they do it.

Unfortunate that a stomach-full of food was diagnosed as a malady though. We go to a one-man-band vet, who does use the after-hours place, but is quite sensible about diagnosing things.

After an after hours incident with my dog and half a kilo of sultanas (potentially toxic to our canine friends), Google advised that the best way to make a dog vomit is Sodium Bicarbonate, which can be found in the laundry aisle under the name of Granulated Washing Soda. My vet confirmed this the next day when I took my dog in for a check up.

I quite simply don’t have time to write everything I would like to about the after hours vet in Fyshwick. Suffice to say it is well worth your while finding a good vet who offers some sort of after hours service. They are out there.

#6
Ko.8:04 pm, 09 Aug 12

Find a good vet who does afterhours call outs. Your pets will thank you. When you have a distressed dog freaking out the worst thing you can do is introduce a stranger.

I use Steve Connell at Kaleen. He’s been fantastic

#7
Golden-Alpine8:27 pm, 09 Aug 12

The problem is not all foreign matters clearly show up in an x-ray, it sounds like the Vet diagnosed something was there and based on your friends input that the puppy has a habit of eating sock erred on the side of caution. What if they didn’t do that and proposed that it could be just undigested food lets wait a couple of hours and the worst happened?

I suggest getting some pet insurance to make these events a little easier to manage.

#8
gazket8:44 pm, 09 Aug 12

I think the puppy would of choked if it tried to eat a sock. Find a new VET.

#9
schmeah8:46 pm, 09 Aug 12

My dog was terribly sick last year, had to spend 2 nights .. or maybe 3, at the Vet Emergency Centre and 2 full days at the local vet undergoing constant observation. No surgery, but the bill topped $3000 … worth every penny I think. That said, when our dog was there we dealt with two vets. One was a cool headed middle aged woman who did her best not to frighten us about the seriousness of our dog’s sickness, the other was hysterical and ranting about all the medication she would need, the x-rays, the IV and how much it would cost .. I left thinking my dog was going to die but not before I spent 10K on saving her.

That said, I still think the ED vet is a very busy and valuable service run by dedicated people.

Little puppies never know when to sop eating food .. beagles and labs are the worst.

#10
threepaws10:00 pm, 09 Aug 12

gazket said :

I think the puppy would of choked if it tried to eat a sock. Find a new VET.

Absolutely untrue. I know a young labrador who ate a pair of children’s denim shorts, and the shorts were almost entire when they were extracted in surgery. Saw the shorts with my own eyes.

#11
EvanJames9:43 pm, 12 Aug 12

Hmmm, I have been discussing this with a friend who works in the veterinary field. Apparently, the “spoons” they use in surgery for animals are in fact more like ladles… they’re very big. So, a smallish dog with 7 ladle-sized spoons of matter in its stomach, that’s kind-of odd. It’s a wonder the dog didn’t burst.

#12
pink little birdie9:14 am, 13 Aug 12

Msl said :

pink little birdie

Are you saying that there is somewhere else in Canberra besides the Fyshwick vet that does after hours?

Yeah our vet is Geoff Boydell in Kambah. Last time we used the after hours service it was in the morning (sole operator starts late open late) but instant service (call – bring dog over). Our little kitty is getting old so she has lots of visits to the vet atm.

#13
Pitchka11:22 am, 13 Aug 12

pink little birdie said :

Msl said :

pink little birdie

Are you saying that there is somewhere else in Canberra besides the Fyshwick vet that does after hours?

Yeah our vet is Geoff Boydell in Kambah. Last time we used the after hours service it was in the morning (sole operator starts late open late) but instant service (call – bring dog over). Our little kitty is getting old so she has lots of visits to the vet atm.

Sorry to hear that, on the upside, kitty will make a lovely satay chicken and cashew stirfry one day…

#14
pink little birdie11:30 am, 13 Aug 12

Pitchka said :

pink little birdie said :

Msl said :

pink little birdie

Are you saying that there is somewhere else in Canberra besides the Fyshwick vet that does after hours?

Yeah our vet is Geoff Boydell in Kambah. Last time we used the after hours service it was in the morning (sole operator starts late open late) but instant service (call – bring dog over). Our little kitty is getting old so she has lots of visits to the vet atm.

Sorry to hear that, on the upside, kitty will make a lovely satay chicken and cashew stirfry one day…

Kitty will be lovingly wrapped in her blanket, buried in the back yard and Roses planted above her.

#15
Pitchka11:40 am, 13 Aug 12

pink little birdie said :

Pitchka said :

pink little birdie said :

Msl said :

pink little birdie

Are you saying that there is somewhere else in Canberra besides the Fyshwick vet that does after hours?

Yeah our vet is Geoff Boydell in Kambah. Last time we used the after hours service it was in the morning (sole operator starts late open late) but instant service (call – bring dog over). Our little kitty is getting old so she has lots of visits to the vet atm.

Sorry to hear that, on the upside, kitty will make a lovely satay chicken and cashew stirfry one day…

Kitty will be lovingly wrapped in her blanket, buried in the back yard and Roses planted above her.

Just hold that thought, depending on her breed, she can sell for a fair bit of coin… Exotic breeds like persions tend to get the best price, there meat is soft and tender. Tabby’s and your common everyday cat not so much…

Hit me up when she carks it, im happy to negotiate on price.

#16
JazzyJess12:21 pm, 13 Aug 12

The problem is that outside of normal business hours the Emergency Vet is your only choice. A few posters have obviously got ace vets that will make house calls but I certainly don’t. Last time I took miss kitty to the ER the receptionist advised it would be a $150 flat fee just to take her for a consult. Medicine, procedures etc would be on top of that. It ended up costing almost $1,000 for her to spend one night on a drip. I’m grateful the service exists but it seems to me that they do gouge quite a bit.

#17
NoAddedMSG12:39 pm, 13 Aug 12

threepaws said :

EvanJames said :

It’s quite hard to make a dog vomit. The after-hours emergency places tend to be quite expensive, due to the nature of the care, what they do and how they do it.

Unfortunate that a stomach-full of food was diagnosed as a malady though. We go to a one-man-band vet, who does use the after-hours place, but is quite sensible about diagnosing things.

After an after hours incident with my dog and half a kilo of sultanas (potentially toxic to our canine friends), Google advised that the best way to make a dog vomit is Sodium Bicarbonate, which can be found in the laundry aisle under the name of Granulated Washing Soda. My vet confirmed this the next day when I took my dog in for a check up.

I quite simply don’t have time to write everything I would like to about the after hours vet in Fyshwick. Suffice to say it is well worth your while finding a good vet who offers some sort of after hours service. They are out there.

You mean sodium carbonate (washing soda), not sodium bicarbonate (which is baking soda.)

It may seem like a trivial differenence, but think about the difference between H2O and H2O2…….

#18
Malteser12:53 pm, 13 Aug 12

Pitchka said :

pink little birdie said :

Pitchka said :

pink little birdie said :

Msl said :

pink little birdie

Are you saying that there is somewhere else in Canberra besides the Fyshwick vet that does after hours?

Yeah our vet is Geoff Boydell in Kambah. Last time we used the after hours service it was in the morning (sole operator starts late open late) but instant service (call – bring dog over). Our little kitty is getting old so she has lots of visits to the vet atm.

Sorry to hear that, on the upside, kitty will make a lovely satay chicken and cashew stirfry one day…

Kitty will be lovingly wrapped in her blanket, buried in the back yard and Roses planted above her.

Just hold that thought, depending on her breed, she can sell for a fair bit of coin… Exotic breeds like persions tend to get the best price, there meat is soft and tender. Tabby’s and your common everyday cat not so much…

Hit me up when she carks it, im happy to negotiate on price.

You’re a dick, shut up.

#19
pink little birdie1:46 pm, 13 Aug 12

I agree with Malteser

#20
water_lily1:32 pm, 26 May 13

water_lily said :

Hear Hear! would advise anyone to avoid the animal emergency centre in Fyshwick. My daughter and her boyfriend took his cat there in November. I gave my daughter permission to use my credit card. For some reason the payment did not go through. Not one phone call from AEC in Fyshwick to tell us payment had not gone through and could we please fix the matter. Instead, they went straight to a debt collection agency, who with one phone call got through to my daughter, who was so distraught she paid not only the $700 AEC fee but also the $191 debt collection fee–even though she had never been advised there was a debt to pay. AEC refuse to refund the $191 to my 18-year-old daughter, even after having been told by the debt collection agency that they were convinced she knew nothing of the matter. Very unreasonable, extremely poor customer/client relations, care nothing about engendering goodwill. Find a good vet who does after hours visits and avoid Animal Emergency in Fyshwick.

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