Post # 1
I have a 13 year-old lab who got a bad case of heat stroke over the weekend (we went on a walk and he tried to keep up with the younger dog). By the time we got him to the vet, he required sedation and admission to the ICU. It was very scary and the first night they gave him a 50% chance of making it through the night. Luckily, he did and we got to go see him yesterday. He looked much better. He ate and used the bathroom normally and they were able to cut down on his fluid IV a bit. His bloodwork came back normal This morning, the vet’s office called to tell us that they would like to sedate him to check his throat, that they think it might have been induced by asthma. They are also pushing us to go ahead and have him fixed while he’s under sedation. This will require another night’s stay in the ICU.
I’m no vet, but this is getting rediculous. I hate to say it, but I think that the vet’s office is trying to run up the bill as much as they can. This is not our normal vet, it is the office that our vet refers people to on weekends. We are already above the high end of the estimate we were first given and they are still wanting things done and in some cases doing them without contacting us first. Let’s face it. He’s old. I know this. I don’t see the point of subjecting him to unnesseary tests.
Post # 3
That does sound a little shady, if they’re doing tests without asking you.
However, what I’ve learned about older dogs is that they’re not very good going under sedation multiple times. Which would make sense that if they do want to put him under to check his throat, why they would want to do the neutering then.
But if you’re not comfortable with these things being done, then don’t get them done. Seems a bit weird the vet is pushing tests on you.
Post # 4
@cirk: Unfortunately, FI does not want him fixed. The younger dog we recently rescued is fixed and now that he sees the difference between the way they act he’s decided that it’s not the worst thing in the world, but once again at this point it’s a little too late to worry about that with the older one. Hell, his hips wouldn’t let him mount anything anyway.
Post # 5
That must have been so scary for you guys, I’m sorry this happened to your baby 🙁 But that’s fantastic he’s feeling better. I used to be a vet assistant and know that most tests are used as precaussionary because they have a duty to cover all their bases so the owners don’t come back to them and say “How come you didn’t do all you could for my dog??” You know what I mean? So the asthma thing I could see as possibly them being really thorough. However the fixing thing is not necesssary. They’re supposed to recommend it cause the states are getting very tough on stray doggies. In this case they’re thinking “While he’s under sedation we might as well do it” since sedation has a fee of its own normally.
The decision is TOTALLY up to you guys though. If you feel intimidated, then speak with your regular vet by all means. It’s your baby and it’s how comfortable you guys feel with where he is getting his health taken care of.
Post # 6
Honestly, I think I’d tell them no thanks. Sure, they are looking at for the dog, but he’s 13 – why on earth would you neuter a dog that is already at what is considered to be the lifespan (ugh – I hate thinking that, as I have a lab too).
Have you called your normal vet and asked them for their opinion? I know my vet was more than willing to do calls with me when my boy had his surgeries, even though we took him to another vet (specialist) for them. They called to follow up on him and to just go over things with me. Heck, before I did the surgery the vet spent a good amount of time on the phone just giving me opinions on everything.
Post # 7
I wouldn’t allow it. Its not good for old dogs to go under and have work done, because their bodies cant recover as easily and sometimes they cant even wake up. Tell them you are coming to pick up your dog and to stop all work.
Post # 8
@Sugaree: If you guys don’t feel it’s needed, then tell the vet that. Don’t get it done. I wouldnt put a dog of that age under anyways, due to bad experiences with my own older dogs (my grandparents breed champion Boston Terriors for years). Espeically if he’s already been put under since being sick.
I would tell them you don’t want any more tests done, and if he’s ready to go home, that you want to take him. ANd if not, let him rest under no stress at the vets until he is.
Post # 9
Thanks ladies! I’m glad I’m not being blinded by the situation. I think we’re going to go ahead and bring him home. He’ll be on house arrest for the forseeable future to keep him from overexerting himself. It’s funny, as a puppy he used to run himself until he dropped and had to be carried out of the woods. In the last several years he’d gotten better about pacing himself. I think he remembered the lake at the end of this trail and decided that this would be his last great adventure in the woods.
Post # 10
is your regular vet open now that it’s not the weekend? I would tell them thanks, but we’ll discuss with our regular vet any further testing/procedures. I get wanting to fix pets…..but wanting to neuter your 13 year old dog who has just been through a serious health crisis seems unwise.
Post # 11
@hisgoosiegirl: My regular vet is open. He is somehow associated with this clinic. His name is on the door and he must work some rotating weekend shifts, but we’ve never seen him there. Also, some (but not all) records are shared between the two clinics. Like, they’ll have vaccination records on one dog, but not the other even though the shots were given on the same day at my regular dr’s office. Or they have record of only one dog being dewormed at the weekend clinic. If for some reason, they don’t release him and don’t convince us that he needs another night then I’ll be calling the regular vet directly.
Post # 12
There is no way in hell I’d neuter a 13 year old dog who had just had a health trauma. I wouldn’t neuter a 13 year old dog period. I can’t believe a vet would even suggest that.
Post # 13
I work at a vet so hopefully I can help you! 🙂
Sometimes its hard to see it from the vet’s eyes:
1. the vet wants to check his throat as a precaution. Ok picture it from he vet’s perpsective:
someone comes to you with a problem with their pet. you can fix it and send them home. Done. Or you can fix and find the root cause. most vets will want to find the answer and help come up with a PERMENENT solution.
IE. an extra $300 test now… may save you from this happening again 6 months from now and costing you another $1,000!
2. the Spay/neuter is not necessary. Vets will aways recommend this to ANY pet who passes through the vet only because its deemed that spays/neuters are good for several reasons I wont go into details about…. BUT… its just a suggestion. I would politely decline this, personally.
Would I suggest the throat thing? It depends. I wouldnt want to spend more money than I already did on the visit…. but do I really want to end up at the office again in 6 months, a year, 2 years, kicking myself that I should have just spent the extra $300 and really found an asnwer?
I know you may see it as the vet just want to jack up your bill.. but thats not the case. So many people just think ” they are looking for money” rather than, thinking ” they are trying to do everything they can to help”
think of it this way…
if you showed up at the doctor with a rash… do they just send you with cream and send on your way to fend for yoruself? NO, theythey do allergy testing and try to find you a cause and solution. Its just best medicine.
Hope I helped shed some light 🙂
Post # 14
damned if you do damned if you dont lol..
- you dont give them a throat test, then the problems happens again and you get screaming clients ” why didnt you catch this! why didnt you do everything you could have to help us, yo uare incompentent!
- you GIVE them a test and you ahve screaming clients that you are just money hungry
Post # 15
I have been lurking this site for wedding related stuff, hope you don’t mind me registering to comment. I am a new vet grad doing an internship so I hope I can be helpful.
I’m not sure what exactly this clinic has been telling you or if you may have misunderstood something, but dogs don’t really get asthma, it’s more of a cat thing. It sounds like they are most concerned about laryngeal paralysis which can be common in old labs. Does he make a lot of noise when he gets panting heavily?
The larynx is at the top of the trachea, and when laryngeal paralysis happens they can’t move their cartilages out of the way to properly let air in and out. So it makes a loud noise and the dogs have to work very hard to breathe against the resistance. That is why they want to sedate him to look in his throat, to see if those caritlages are able to move or not.
Just forget they even mentioned getting him fixed, at this point in his life it doesn’t really matter. But having a sedated exam to look in his throat would probably be a good idea.
Post # 16
I’d recommend going in and taking some time to talk to this vet, or to your own vet, about your dog and your concerns. The vet is probably trying to practice good medicine. A good veterinarian will give you all the options that they feel are valuable for the well being of the animal, and then let you make the choice without judging you for it.