Did you read our Irreverent Vet article entitled "Irreverent Vet Speaks Out on Clients That Say, "Are you just going to let my cat die?
The Irreverent Vet is known for speaking his mind and in this case it has sparked a lot of emails and controversy. Check out the article
We received many comments on this article. Here is one of them. I'd like to say that I totally understand and respect your point. Dr. Jon,
"Regarding the Irreverent Vet's article on "Are you just going to let my cat die?"
I feel that the writer of this article has to take into account that clients more often than not feel that their pets are family members, not "objects" such as a car as used as one of the examples. We tend to think of healthcare for our pets as we'd think of our own human healthcare systems and forget that it is a business for most vets. While there may be caring there for animals, it is a "business" as the writer has stated and that comes across the moment that one steps through an emergency vet centre's doors.
I've had many occasions to be in a vet emergency clinic over the years for differing reasons and the very first thing that is asked for, is a credit card or cash right up front...before my pet has even been looked at. I can understand this with an inanimate object such as a car but, not only are my pets LIVING BEINGS but, they are my family, first and foremost.
At one point, I was in debt with one cat with health problems. Over a 3 year span, I was at the $9,000.00 mark with money I did not have! I am not joking. I begged and borrowed money from family and friends that they didn't have to pay for this cat's treatments. I put the bills on credit cards and took out a line of credit to pay off those cards, then family and friends, and took another 3 years to pay off the line of credit! I worked overtime and at one point, another part time job to pay it all off. I'd have done anything to make sure my "baby" was looked after because I had children who also loved that pet. He was their best friend.
I, thankfully, have found a vet who loves animals and though he has to be able to pay for his practice and staff and everything else that goes along with it, his clients can tell that he's in it not just as a living but because he truly loves and cares about animals. When people have said to him that they cannot afford the care, he quickly says, "let's do what we can right now to stabilize and we'll work something out".
That's the thing that I think a lot of emergency vets have forgotten. Every vet has to remember and keep in mind that to a panicked, loving family, a pet is a "child"/family member/friend.... NOT an object. For clients this is about life of a loved one so, the emotional factor IS going to be there. It's not a "business" to us at that moment even though during less emotional times, we DO understand that it costs to keep a clinic running whether it is purely business or whether it is because the vet loves animals or any combination of the above. However, at that very moment....while watching a loved one ill and possibly dying....BUSINESS if the furthest thing from our minds. Saving that pet's life is what is uppermost in our hearts and minds. Money and how much a vet makes is not our first thought when we are emotionally involved and in panic mode.
I hope I've presented the other side of this and that the "Irreverent Vet" gets to read this because it's not just one of his/her articles that have had this type of idea presented in it.
Jamie W. H.
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Jamie, it really sounds like you love and try to do the best for your cats. I admire you. But I want to point out that some clinics have tens of thousands of dollars of bad debt. I've seen vets lose their practices so I can also see why the Irreverent Vet wanted to write this article.
There are two sides to every issue and I'm so glad you shared yours.
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