What I’m Pondering Today…

I have a thing to ponder.  It’s a big thing.

I was speaking to a client today who has an old dog who has been my patient for the last 10 years.  This dog has had a myriad of health issues and the client was reflecting on how lucky he is that he’s got the means to take care of all of her veterinary needs.

He wondered out loud what people who aren’t so financially fortunate do to take care of their pets?

Frankly, I’m not sure. 

Those of you who are clients know that we are not a low-cost animal hospital. 

There are basically two business models for vet med (in my limited business experience).  The high cost, low volume practice, and the low-cost, high volume practice. 

The vet has to make a living one way or another, either he sees hundreds of patients a day on the cheap, or he charges more so he can spend more time with fewer patients. 

Dr. Sharp has chosen the higher cost, lower volume philosophy.  We love that we can spend the necessary time with our patients to get to know them, thoughtfully work up cases, and develop relationships with our clients. 

What happens to the people who can’t even afford the low-cost places? 

SPCA sees healthy pets at their facilities, but what about the sick ones? 

American Animal Hospital Association has a fund for people who have low incomes to help cover vet bills in an emergency ($500 max for something like a fracture, etc.) that can provide a little help.

There isn’t a Parkland for pets (Parkland is the county hospital in Dallas that is a “safety net hospital”  that takes care of needy patients regardless of insurance or ability to pay.)

Is there a need for something like this for pets?

Will people abuse it?

Are pets a luxury or a necessity? 

These are some of the things I’m mulling over.

Now, onto my  next appointment…will have to mull later 😉

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4 thoughts on “What I’m Pondering Today…

  1. well until we change some laws and take pets out of the “they are property” laws we wont get anywhere.

    Is there a need for it? Not yet. Not until we develope more as a society. Once the law begins to view animals as Sentient beings then I think a movement towards care for pets of the poor can be done.

    Is there a moral value to it? That I do believe is true and I would hope that all pet owners contribute a little towards recsue groups that provide care to homeless animals.
    I do and it makes me feel pretty good when I do that.

    1. That’s a loaded issue isn’t it? On the one hand, I think the value of a pet far surpasses that of “property”, but on the other hand, I don’t want changing that law to result in the avalanche of lawsuits that has turned human medicine into an insensitive, impersonal wasteland of paperwork and beaurocracy. People start suing over mental anguish over a pet lost through an unavoidable surgical complication, etc and I’m outta this profession!

      1. you have a point. However I was thinking more along the lines of the laws that protect animals. In most states an animal owner is not required to have medical checkups or to provide routine medical care ( except for rabbies vaccine). The only time an owner is required to take an animal to the vet is if it is life and death.

        I wont go into the details because it is to upsetting for me but I have two dogs living next door to me that go wothout food and water two to three days a week.
        Even with the 21 pictures I provided of the environment did not help.

        Animal control tipped off the owner and did not investigate on the weekends ( which is when this neglect always occures).

        Now the dogs are kept in a shed and see almost no contact with anything.

        These two dogs are still victims and my wife and I are also victims too because we have to witness this.

        I cant even file a Malfeasance complaint because these dogs have no rights or value.

        surely constant dyhydration is not healthy for the skin, muscles or organs. If a vet check up could be required I think we could move these dogs out of these bad situations.

        I know for a fact most of these types of owners would not want to spend the money for the exam.

        If the owner could actually show they cannot afford an exam then medical care could be provided.

        I also think it would be a good thing if those without funds could have access to basic medical care.

        As far as your fear check out this article.
        A lawyer sued a fisherman for pain and suffering to a fish.

        http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/02/18/20100218swiss-lawyers-for-animals.html

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoine_Goetschel

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