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...to not want to take my dog to the vet?

(85 Posts)
BroccoliSpears Fri 29-Feb-08 15:40:59

I have a lab who hasn't eaten her breakfast shock.

She's been throwing up bile yesterday and today.

I suspect that she ate something she shouldn't have on her walk with the dog walker on Wednesday. She has a very sensitive tummy.

Now, my immediate reaction is to phone the vet and firstly describe symptoms and see if they think I should bring her in, and then carry on following vet's instructions until she's better.

Here's why I don't want to:

They ALWAYS say to bring her in. Of course they do. They are a business and they don't get my £30 consultation fee if I don't bring her in. It's frustrating though to initially be told "Oh yes, definitely bring her in" and then later that day be standing in the consulting room while the vet says vaguely "Can't immediately see anything wrong with her. Bring her back tomorrow if there's no change. That'll be £30 please".

They ALWAYS want me to bring her back in 24 hours. "Oh look, she's better. That'll be another £30 please".

They ALWAYS start talking immediately about scans and blood tests and other expensive things.

They never actually do anything to fix the dog. She always gets better by herself. They often manage to adsvise me to give her rehydration salts or a jab of something "just in case, and that'll be another £60 please".

I always leave feeling I've been fleeced.

So instead I'm sitting here feeling guilty that I'm not taking my dog to the vet because of money.

Are all vets like this? It's frustrating having so little knowledge about dog health, so I can't be in charge but have to do as they suggest.

Chequers Fri 29-Feb-08 15:47:01

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BalletMum Fri 29-Feb-08 15:50:09

My lab is the same-often sick etc but then she does eat anything and everything. I never take her to the vet unless she is ill for 24 hours or so. I wouldn't take my children to the Drs unless they were sick for that long so why rush to the vets with the dog...?

sdr Fri 29-Feb-08 15:50:14

Have a Lab as well and they are apparently the most common breed for having their stomachs pumped. Apparently for the vomiting does she seem ok? If so, I'd wait till tomorrow and try to make sure she drinks water. You know your dog best and it sounds like if you haven't gone down yet you may not be too worried. When you do give her food, perhaps just a little bit.

eternalstudent Fri 29-Feb-08 15:50:37

Our dog (and vet)is the same, we don't take him to the vet. Give it another day IMO.

BalletMum Fri 29-Feb-08 15:51:01

Oh just seen that this started yesterday-see how she goes. Do as you would for the children IYSWIM

NatalieJane Fri 29-Feb-08 15:51:52

I am not a vet, but I tend to agree with you about eating something, but make sure she stays hydrated, try offering boiled chicken and rice, watch out for signs of doziness, or laboured breathing, if any of that happens get her to the vet ASAP.

If there is no change in the next 48 hours I'd take her in TBH.

Hope she is OK, a lab off her food, she's got to be feeling pretty rough!

BalletMum Fri 29-Feb-08 15:51:58

Give lab rice and eggs for tea.

BroccoliSpears Fri 29-Feb-08 15:57:39

She is very easily sick. She's sick if she misses a meal or if her meal is delayed, sick if she eats anything different. It's not unusual. Not eating her breakfast is more concerning. I'll go and tempt her with some fresh biscuits in a clean bowl - maybe dd spilt something wrong smelling in her bowl. Still, she's a lab - since when do labradors not eat what's in their bowl?

If the vet cost £100 but I knew it was what she needed we'd be there like a shot, but I hate feeling so taken advantage of. They're more interested in my credit card than my dog. Perhaps I should change vets. Last ones were the same though.

Oh dear, I think I am being unreasonable.

Chequers Fri 29-Feb-08 16:03:27

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BroccoliSpears Fri 29-Feb-08 16:05:46

Thank you Chequers. Me too.

pelafina Fri 29-Feb-08 16:12:14

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soopermum1 Fri 29-Feb-08 17:22:39

i took my cat in with sickness once, left the vets £700 poorer. everyone thought i was mad for paying so much for a cat, but she's my pet and i would've spent £1000s if i'd had to.

yes, i am mad grin

serendippity Fri 29-Feb-08 17:26:43

At the risk of sounding blase, for us we take our dog they say "give him chicken and rice for 48 hours, give us 50 quid".
We have stoppe dtaking him unless really concerned and give him chicken and rice for tummy upsets. Try that for 2 days and see how she is. YANBU.

SparklyGothKat Fri 29-Feb-08 17:31:11

My cat has Lower feline urine tract disease and everytime he has a outbreak of it, we have to go to the vets for a jab, costs me £40 each time, my excess is £40 so have to keep forking out.

sophiewd Fri 29-Feb-08 17:43:42

rice and chicken/scrambled eggs very good for upset stomachs, my lab is the same

Emprexia Fri 29-Feb-08 18:05:47

As long as she's drinking i wouldn't worry too much. Try her on the chicken/rice thing.

lucyellensmum Fri 29-Feb-08 18:14:40

Brocolli, i would do exactly what you are doing tbh. Has there been any diarroeah at all? I would monitor tonight and then if no better by the morning, get her along to the vets. The only reason i say this is because its the weekend, and our practice, as are most around here, are only open until 12 noon on saturday and then after that its the out of hours vet (£90 consultation fee shock!!!).

The advice you have been given re a bland diet is a good one, and check hydration by grabbing a load of skin and if it pops back lovely then shes ok in that respect. Look at her membranes in her eyes and mouth, if they are nice and pink and not pale or yellowing then its ok too. You say she is often sick, do you think she might be of a sensitive constitution?? You might want to consider a hypoallergenic food if she will happily eat complete food for a while. James wellbeloved is very good, go for a caplian and tapioca mix as very often they become intolerant of some of the chicken/beef/lamb varieties - of course that is a long term solution and JWB aint cheap. Its the only thing my rottie could eat.

Yes, SOME vets are money grabbing sods, one of my old bosses would be like this and it would drive me nuts, dog would come in with a tummy bug and owners spent £40 before they started, with antibiotics that i feel unncecessary and some kaolin and morphine (very useful actually). Then the offer of scans (£40!) and blood screening (up to £95). Best part of it, if our children have V+D we will quite happily treat at home. My other bosses (three partner practice) were not like this. We would NEVER charge someone again if they were told to come back the next day or in five days, but if it is an ongoing condition they would be charged a reconsultation fee which is two thirds (i think) of the full consult. Still ridiculously expensive imo.

Trust your judgement. The only thing that would watch for is if she is trying to vomit and can't, and she doesnt poo, also any swelling in the tummy and obvious discomfort, then it has to be vets ASAP, even if it is 3am. That could be a twisted gut which can be fatal if not treated quickly, saying that, labs are not particularly prone to this.

Hope she feels better soon.

lucyellensmum Fri 29-Feb-08 18:17:25

Sparkly, you should have a chat to your vet about the insurance policy, most policies will treat an ongoing condition with only one xs payment required. So it may well worth putting in a claim if you are having to make regular visits. Some companies will only insure one condition for up to a year, some for life, but you should be able to claim something back, so if you have forked out say £150 in a year, you could get £110 back.

SparklyGothKat Fri 29-Feb-08 18:19:42

unforturely Nemo has his first outbreak and was diagnosed before we took out the insurance, so have to pay anyway.

lucyellensmum Fri 29-Feb-08 18:29:28

oh, thats a pain sparkly

redclover79 Fri 29-Feb-08 18:33:10

We have the same problem with our vets, so I sent dp (who is tight as a ducks arse!) and he found out that it's free to see the vet nurse at our practise. She did temp and weighed cat and all the basics that would have cost us a small fortune had the vet done it!

BroccoliSpears Fri 29-Feb-08 18:33:12

Thank you all for your thoughts and advice.

I remember the first time my vet told me to do a small amount of chicken and rice and to bring her back urgently if she doesn't poo by tomorrow morning. I did. She didn't. We went racing back. She was absolutely fine - it was simply that a small amount of poached chicken and rice didn't generate enough roughage for a poo in a big dog! I can't help feeling that the vet might have known that.

The good news is that since first posting she has eaten some biscuits and had a drink and been out for a potter and a piddle. She seems well in herself and is currently asking me for supper (she only ate her breakfast and/or lunch about an hour ago but it is now Supper Time and she'd hate to miss a meal hmm grin- that's my girl).

Thank you for your thoughts LEM. You're absolutely right about bland diet. She used to be very much worse - vomiting on almost a daily basis, but we have found that she is fine on Bakers Complete Chicken if that's all she has. The trouble arises when (being a lab) she eats anything and everything she can find when she's out or when dd manages to sneak her something. Mostly we control it well these days I think.

I'll check her gums and eyes, and have a gentle feel of her tummy.

She seems to be fine now. Will keep an eye.

SparklyGothKat Fri 29-Feb-08 18:35:30

yes it is a bit, but when he was shot and the bill came in at £1800 i was pleased to have insurance. and then he was missing for 2 months and came back with a raging bladder infection, due to the FLUTD, and a lame leg, the vet said that the blood tests and xrays were needed for the leg rather than the infection so only had to pay £40, but his pelvis was actually infected which was affected his leg.

lucyellensmum Fri 29-Feb-08 18:41:35

The reason not pooing is a concern, although you are right, if she hasnt eaten then its less likely she will poo, is that if there is a blockage in the gut somewhere, and obviously being a lab, with a tendancy to eat anything/everything then its worth keeping an eye on. Vommiting with no poo is a bit of a worry, but from what you say, it just sounds like she was feeling a bit off colour.

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