Doesn’t everyone walk into a veterinary hospital hoping for their own “happily ever after” ending?
I mean who wants to get bad news? Right? Don’t we just want peace of mind for our inquiring parental worries?
The Fluffy version of “take one of these little pills, get some rest, and call me in the morning,” and POOF! everything is all rainbows and unicorns again. (Phew, dodged that one!).
Wouldn’t that all be nice? And, yet it doesn’t always happen. We don’t always start at the finish. Especially in veterinary medicine. Too often we start at the beginning. Is that a problem? Maybe not? Maybe if you have all the time, information and money, in your favor it isn’t? But, maybe everyone who walks into a veterinary clinic doesn’t have all of these?
What happens if you don’t have one, or, two, or maybe any? What then? How do you get your own “happily ever after” without all of the time, money, and options available?
Our job, the whole purpose of Pawbly.com, is to help you get your pet a happy ending every single time. While we cannot be everything to everyone at all times, is to be as much as you need, as often as you need it, and a true friend to your pet at all times.
If the ending is what you are at looking for why don’t we start the hard cases at the end?
How do you do this? It means that in some cases you need to talk about the end before you start. This is most imperative in the cases of limited resources, or minimal time to intervene before worst case scenario unfolds and you are left half between broke and “The End.”
In many cases a diagnosis can be reached rather quickly. Ask about a diagnosis, even a presumptive diagnosis, as soon as the veterinarian finishes the exam on your pet. This is your beginning. The beginning (examination) should cost you about $50 to $100 US at a vets office or ER.
Ask the vet to list the possible diagnoses for your pet in order of most likely to least likely.
Here is where we need to fast forward to the end IF you have a shortage of 1) Money, 2) time, or 3) ability.
If you don’t have the time, money and/or ability I suggest you fast forward to the end.. work backwards, save time and money and approach the case like this;
From the presumptive diagnosis list ask the vet which ones are treatable? Anything that isn’t treatable gets nixed. (Now I realize “treatable is a tough word to swallow or accept, but in some cases this is the reality).
START with MOST LIKELY AND TREATABLE. Then start treating. Asking your vet for a “Happy Ever After” can be a negotiated, compromised plan. If you aren’t sure how to get there ask for help from your vet. Talk about every option. Write them all down. List them out individually with diagnostics needed, itemized invoice for each, and prognosis if this is the underlying cause to your pets condition. Often being able to visualize each disease as a separate list and prognosis helps make decisions for the road to cured less bumpy.
Always start with “I want to give my pet a Happily Ever After.”
Then ask for help getting there within your financial ability. Ask them to minimize steps (if possible) so you have resources for the treatment. A great example is a urinary blockage in a cat, or, an intestinal foreign body in a dog. The diagnosis for each of these often lies simply in an exam and a radiograph (x-ray). From here the treatment options are both surgery. If surgery costs $2,000 and you only have $2,000 just jump to the surgery. Skip the rest of the diagnostics. While it is not always ideal, it may help get your pet their “happily after after!”
Be well everyone.
And please remember, if you need help for your pet we are always available for FREE at Pawbly.com.
For more help on affordable options for your pets care see our other blogs, or the amazing staff of Advisors here at Pawbly. You ask, we answer, your pet wins! always free! You get to win too!
We all know the story.. It’s 2 am and you and your pet are at the ER. The estimate for the care the vet tells you is needed is beyond your ability to pay, and payment for the deposit is required before services are provided. You and your pet, need options.
You are stuck. Your pet is in dire need of help. And, there aren’t other options available until 6 hours from now,,, and you don’t know if your pet can afford to wait 6 more hours.
The options provided to you look something like this;
Option A, “the recommended” plan is $3,000 plus. It’s 2 am and your credit card doesn’t have that much cash on hand, the bank machine will only spit out $200, and you aren’t approved for CareCredit. Who outside of a loan shark has that much cash at 2 am? Option A is not an option.
Option B, “medical management” at a fraction of the cost of Option A, and an explanation that this option sounds dismal and disheartening.
Option C, “do nothing”. If you wanted to do nothing you would be sleeping.
Option D, “euthanize”. The words make you recoil in anger and abhorrence. WHAT??!! Why would anyone consider this an option? Am I leaving my pet to suffer if I cannot come up with $3,000 right now? What are the odds my pet will survive if I do spend $3,000? What if they need anything past the $3,000 I already don’t have?
The self doubt, dismay, defeating, shameful, and bleak reality of 2 am and not knowing what the heck the vet is saying, and what the heck to do, is overwhelming. Life at 2 am in an ER is always overwhelming. That pit of desperation in your stomach is something no one ever forgets.
What do you do if this happens to you?
Here’s what I tell my clients;
If you can afford Option A go with it. You are in good hands and the veterinary staff will do everything they can to help your pet. Go home, sleep, and they will call you in the morning to update you and provide further recommendations.
If you cannot afford Option A speak to them respectfully and directly. They are people who want to help your pet. They may be busy, and tired but they want to help. Sit down with Option A and ask them how to get to the treatment part on a budget? Ask to remove every line item that is not imperative to a successful outcome. What does that mean? It means that you decline everything except the surgery if your dog has a pyometra, or a foreign body obstruction, or a GDV, or a puppy stuck inside the mom. EVERY SINGLE LINE ITEM. You sign every paper they ask you to sign saying that you understand cutting corners worsens your pets prognosis. But dead is dead and Option D is not going to happen until you both walk through every other Option on the list. Also, ask them to omit every diagnostic that does not have a treatable option. Don’t waste time and money looking for a diagnosis that is not curable or treatable IF you are on a budget. Start looking in the areas that have treatable options, or immediate life threatening consequences. Manage the finite resources smartly. Ask the vet to spend time talking. You paid for their time. Stay all night at the ER if you have to to manage the line items one-by-one.
If they will not negotiate ask for in patient hospitalization and basic care until your vet opens, OR,
Ask for the nearest ER that is not a referral practice AND NOT corporately owned. Drive there. Start the process over again.
Get onto Pawbly.com and ask for moral support. We are here for you, even if it is to tell you that we care, we are on your side, and you did the best you could. Don’t ever feel alone, because you are not alone. Compassion is free, and there is compassion here.
Please follow us on our Facebook page. Please join our Pawbly.com team, and please remember how important our pets are to our lives.. for some of us they are our whole life.
Top 5 Reasons Why Kids and Dogs Go So Well Together
Children love dogs and vice versa. Both species are kind, playful and friendly. Many kids will ask their parents for a pet dog at some point and it is natural for them to hesitate. First of all, pets are a big responsibility. They also need training and proper care. Most kids on the other hand like the idea of having a pet but don’t like taking care of them. If you’re a parent that’s still on the fence, there are actually benefits to having pets at home.
For instance, young children who grow up with dogs at home have a lower risk of developing asthma. Kids with pets also spend more time outside and pet owners enjoy fewer visits to the doctor. Here are other reasons why dogs and kids go so well together.
It can be hard to be a kid especially if you’re an only child. You don’t have a lot of playmates and you’re often alone playing by yourself. Sure, mom and dad are there but they are also busy with work and household chores. A pet on the other hand can give you constant companionship. The best indoor dogs can help your child feel less lonely.
Aside from companionship, pets can also be a source of comfort for children. When they feel stressed, sad or afraid, they can turn to their dogs for comfort. According to “America’s Veterinarian” Dr. Marty Becker, pets such as dogs can help increase production of prolactin and oxytocin; also known as the feel-good hormones. These hormones lower blood pressure and reduce stress. Having a pet dog can also boost production of serotonin and dopamine, hormones that prevent depression.
2. Fresh Air
No matter what the size, your dog will need physical exercise. This means they have to play outside and take regular walks. Spending time outside with pets can help kids avoid obesity. Dogs like spending time outdoors. They want to run, play and socialize with other dogs. Dogs are a good excuse to get kids out of the house to get some exercise and sunshine. You can ask your kids to walk the dog every day so that both of them get exercise.
According to doctors, a 30-minute walk can do wonders to the body. Dog walking will not only keep your child healthy but responsible too. A dog could be the cure for the console-loving son or social media obsessed daughter or the couch-potato husband.
Dogs don’t ask much. They need food, water and attention and you get unconditional love in return. However, dogs also need proper care so that they have long enjoyable lives. Entrusting these responsibilities in young children can help them come to terms with more serious responsibilities in life at an early age. If you are able to instill the importance duty to your young children at a young age and make them understand how serious they are, you are instilling a lifelong value that will make them into better adults.
Even something as easy as making sure that the dog has adequate water every day can give your child an early glimpse of obligation and accountability. The responsibility of having a pet can also help them develop higher self-esteem by seeing that their care has a big impact on their pet’s survival.
4. Compassion and Empathy
Compassion and empathy develop connections between people. Kids with pets can learn this because they develop a bond with their dogs. Kids that take care of their pets are more aware not only of their responsibility but also on the impact they have on their pets. For example, not playing with their dog can make them miss each other. Bonds make us mindful about how the other party feels and how we affect their feelings. By making them conscious of how another being could feel because they acted a certain way, they will become more aware of their actions and impact on other people or society.
Aside from this, kids also learn to show kindness not only to dogs but to humans and other animals too. Simple acts of kindness to dogs like letting them rest or giving them a treat for a job well done can translate to bigger actions when they are adults.
5. Happy Kids
Kids that have dogs are not only healthier, they are also happier. Dogs can help lower your stress levels, blood pressure and even blood sugar levels. But aside from this, dogs help us to produce endorphins or “happy hormones”. Studies also show that people who have dogs recover faster after an illness.
Another way dogs make them happy is by being social. Not only is the dog your child’s best friend but it also helps them socialize with other kids. Dogs can attract other kids when your child plays with them outside and as they say, the more the merrier. In other words, dogs can help your child make friends more easily.
There are many studies that show how dog ownership is good for the physical and emotional wellbeing of kids. They can confide all their secrets to their dogs because their pet won’t judge them and will always listen. Some say this is the same as having siblings or friends. However, siblings and friends can talk back and can respond in a hostile manner. Dogs simply listen and know to empathize by instinct.
Dogs can teach children responsibility. They are responsible for the life and health of this majestic creature. The responsibility can be daunting especially for young children but teaching them this value at a young age can help them become stronger and more independent adults. Anybody who has adopted or owned a dog can tell you how wonderful the canine-human relationship is. Dogs can have a big impact on our lives no matter how old we are. They give companionship, comfort and can help to physically heal us. All science aside, dogs are fun, they help us interact with other people and can brighten your kid’s day.
Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. Anna’s passions are education about proven methods and best practices in the industry and her dog Max, who is always well-fed.