Bad experience boarding with our vet (1 Viewer)

Joined
Sep 18, 2010
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St. Augustine, FL
I'm a little ticked off with my vet after a weekend boarding issue that I feel my vet mis-handled and wanted to get input from fellow pet lovers.

Our 6 y.o. Golden Ret./Chow mix ,super awesome, friendly, never sick dog was boarded at our vet over the weekend. We have done several boardings with our vet over the past year or two with no issue. This weekend was different. My wife went to pick him up today and was told she needed to speak to the Vet., Once greeted by the Vet, she was told that our dog "exploded" the day before. (my wife is fairly sensitive about our dog so she didn't take well to this terminology). She was told that our boy was vomiting foam and had bloody diahrea. (To me this sounded like heat stroke or something similar but I am not a Vet.) The Vet continues on with a laundry list of shots and pills they gave our dog, without our consent, and without so much as a phone call to tell us what was going on! The final punch was the hefty bill detailing the cocktail of crap they administered.

among the drugs given were shots for nausea and pills for diahrea. sounds like the vet was treating the symptoms and not the cause which has yet to determined and the Vet didn't seem interested in.

Has anyone had an experience like this while boarding? Does this just happen sometimes or should I really press this issue.
 
Joined
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vomiting foam? I would want to know why and yes they should have called you although they may operate under some kind of implied consent in those situations, I would go in and talk to the Vet again and hopefully get some more info.
 

Cuerno Largo

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Don't know about the agreement with your vet, but the boarders we send our dogs to occasionally have a clause in the contract that they can take our dogs to the vet for anything they think it is necessary for and we will cover all fees.
 
Joined
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I concur with both posts above. Go talk to the Vet, ask for a copy of the chart, and find out what caused yr adult dog to have huge GI issues. Sounds more like obstruction than heatstroke myself, but then I'm not a DVM either. Did they do xrays? Bloodwork? What is the Vet's diagnosis?

Is yr dog better now?
 
Joined
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Thanks, yes my dog seems to be feeling much better and appears to be back to normal. and yes, as I suspected, there is a clause that they can administer whatever they want if they feel it necessary.

what I don't get is why they didn't contact me and why they didn't bother doing anything to try to figure out what was wrong with him. They just gave him meds for symptoms. They are a Vet, not just a boarding house, so I find that strange.

The way I look at it, if my child had the same symptoms and the daycare just gave him some Pepto-Bismol and didn't call me.... I'd bitch slap somebody.
 
Joined
May 18, 2011
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I agree with you about the phone call, as minor as it may be they still provided a treatment and you should have been made aware of it.

As far as the symptoms go- our ridgeback ate some bugs last week- which our four year old supplied him- apparently ladybugs are nasty. He foamed for an hour until the taste went away and had loose stools for a day or so. Is it possible your dog ate something and the vet deemed the symptoms as mild, then treated as such?
Since moving to the country I have learned that there is a big difference between city and country vets. Maybe yours has a more laid back disposition?
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
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I can try to add my two cents for what little that is worth as someone who boards dogs for a living.

First - and I'm not saying I'm right or wrong just how I'd probably act depending on the client - if I knew you were on vacation, I would try to only interrupt your holiday if it were a "real" emergency. So if the dog were a happy, bouncy boarder who "exploded" then I likely wouldn't bother the owners. I guess it really would depend if I knew you as a client or not and how I thought you might react. Some, believe it or not, get pissed if you call - and I've lost clients for that.

Second - The stress of boarding is a relatively common cause for diarrhea and one your vet has likely become numb to over the years. These are often "simple" diarrheas and most respond quite nicely to symptomatic therapy - as in therapy without diagnostics or a diagnosis. From your original post, it seems you were a bit "surprised" by the additional fees to treat the diarrhea - yet you were also "surprised" no diagnostics were done. The vet was likely trying to save you money as in - diagnostics would have easily doubled the bill that you were "surprised" at paying - and he likely knew from experience that MOST dogs would get better just by treating and he also likely knew that a thorough diagnostic workup would yield NO answers as to why the dog had diarrhea to begin with.

So - perhaps he used poor word choice with "exploded" when he met you in the exam room - maybe he should have called but he likely didn't see the issue as dire and he likely didn't want to worry you on your vacation - he was trying to resolve the issue by treating and save you money by not doing diagnostics - as long as the dog was happy, eating, playful, etc. then diagnostics could wait until you got home and could authorize.

You're watching your neighbors house and watering their flowers - they're on a second honeymoon on their dream trip to Paris - there is a small brush fire on the edge of their property that quickly spreads a little ways into the back yard - the firemen are called and successfully put out the "blaze" as it's described by the neighbors and house is "saved" (never was threatened) - do you call the owners of the house and tell them or do you wait to share when they get home? If nothing was harmed on their property other than some grass, not sure that I would - depends on the neighbors I guess - but I wouldn't be watering flowers for those neighbors.
 
Joined
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I can try to add my two cents for what little that is worth as someone who boards dogs for a living.

First - and I'm not saying I'm right or wrong just how I'd probably act depending on the client - if I knew you were on vacation, I would try to only interrupt your holiday if it were a "real" emergency. So if the dog were a happy, bouncy boarder who "exploded" then I likely wouldn't bother the owners. I guess it really would depend if I knew you as a client or not and how I thought you might react. Some, believe it or not, get pissed if you call - and I've lost clients for that.

Second - The stress of boarding is a relatively common cause for diarrhea and one your vet has likely become numb to over the years. These are often "simple" diarrheas and most respond quite nicely to symptomatic therapy - as in therapy without diagnostics or a diagnosis. From your original post, it seems you were a bit "surprised" by the additional fees to treat the diarrhea - yet you were also "surprised" no diagnostics were done. The vet was likely trying to save you money as in - diagnostics would have easily doubled the bill that you were "surprised" at paying - and he likely knew from experience that MOST dogs would get better just by treating and he also likely knew that a thorough diagnostic workup would yield NO answers as to why the dog had diarrhea to begin with.

So - perhaps he used poor word choice with "exploded" when he met you in the exam room - maybe he should have called but he likely didn't see the issue as dire and he likely didn't want to worry you on your vacation - he was trying to resolve the issue by treating and save you money by not doing diagnostics - as long as the dog was happy, eating, playful, etc. then diagnostics could wait until you got home and could authorize.

You're watching your neighbors house and watering their flowers - they're on a second honeymoon on their dream trip to Paris - there is a small brush fire on the edge of their property that quickly spreads a little ways into the back yard - the firemen are called and successfully put out the "blaze" as it's described by the neighbors and house is "saved" (never was threatened) - do you call the owners of the house and tell them or do you wait to share when they get home? If nothing was harmed on their property other than some grass, not sure that I would - depends on the neighbors I guess - but I wouldn't be watering flowers for those neighbors.

I wish you were closer to Atlanta....the lady who boards our dale just called and said she is canceling everyone for the next 4 weeks or more!
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
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I wish you were closer to Atlanta....the lady who boards our dale just called and said she is canceling everyone for the next 4 weeks or more!

Ouch!! Hope you're able to find something. The receptionist just told me that we're overbooked - another little boarding scenario that tends to really piss people off.

Have a boarder now that is urinating blood - have I called the owner?? - no.... but I do have a note to speak with her at pick up. Why haven't I called? Because I called her about the blood in the urine when the dog boarded in March. She consented to diagnostics at that time which more than doubled her bill (I wasn't complaining). But she won't allow me to take the stone out of the dog's bladder - go figure.
 

MTNRAT

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To avoid all of this I have trusted people I know, (usually early twenties), move into my house and take care of the animals. Dogs are always happier when they can stay at home. Never had an issue in 20 years.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
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St. Augustine, FL
thanks for your perspective TLC.

since we decided to try a new place, last weekend we boarded our dog at a great place that specialized in boarding with a Vet next door. This place was very well kept, people are on site 24/7, and the care they gave our dog showed when we picked him up. At the old place, he'd be a little flaky for few days after we would pick him up, that's the best I can describe it. This time with the new place, he was himself immediately, no odd behavior.

It was almost double the cost of old place but well worth it IMO.

At check-in we shared some of our preferences with the new place and mentioned some concerns and the situation we had dealt with (without naming names) and they immediately asked if he had been kept at the place we had a problem with... I guess we weren't the only ones who felt they had a negative experience.

To the point about being 'surprised' at the bill after the incident, I was only surprised that they seemed nonchalant about the issue yet prescribed two different medications for him to take for up to two weeks afterward. The medication requirements didn't seem in keeping with a case of diahrea caused from nerves at the vet. but.... I am not educated in that field and I respect that.
 

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