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I'm taking my dog in for surgery.. AGAIN

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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:33 PM
Original message
I'm taking my dog in for surgery.. AGAIN
About 4 months ago she had surgery to repair a luxating patella (kneecap out of joint). It's a common surgical procedure and is something like 98% effective. The surgery was a complete failure, as she hasn't put weight on the leg since. Her leg muscles are now almost completely atrophied. Last week my doc suggested he re-open the knee and take another look.

Here's my question.. Should I make a big stink about the price of the new round of surgery? I mean, I've already payed $1300, and it didn't work. Do I keep shelling out a grand here, and a grand there until they get it right? Or do I complain and ask for a significant discount (minus hard costs)? I certainly want to help my dog out, but it's literally breaking the bank. I'm going broke because my doc messed up. Last time I was there I mentioned that I'm poor and that I sacrificed for the first surgery.. He kind of mumbled that he'll help me out, but I got the vibe that he wasn't really happy about it.

What are my rights here? I mean, the initial surgery was preventative and not 100% necessary. She was basically living a normal doggie life before, no pain at all. Now she has a gimp leg and lives in constant pain. Meanwhile I'm going broke. She goes in tomorrow for an estimate and I'd like to know if it's standard practice to negotiate these things.
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. I would get a second opinion from another vet

Hopefully it would not be a friend of the doctors.

He should not have grumbled. If he really cared about your dog IMO he would be happy to reduce the fees.

If another vet gave you a good feeling about repairing it then I would go with my gut feeling.

Hope your dog feels better real soon.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Well, that's a problem
If I go with another vet, I forfeit any possibility of a discount. The doc comes highly recommended by several impartial sources, so I don't think he's incompetent. The staff adores my dog, so I think she's getting good attention.

I'm basically in the middle of a veterinary paradox. I'll see what he says tomorrow.
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jukes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. find a new vet
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 12:44 PM by jukes
they have overhead, o/c, but it's supposed to be a profession w/heart. if you're willing to put out that amount of cash (& most aren't), & if the initial didn't take, they shd let you go on costs.

i wdnt schedule the op if i didn't get a reasonable quote, my vets have *always* been responsible w/ a redo.

good luck w/your pup!
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histohoney Donating Member (584 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
4. Time
for a second opinion. What could it hurt.
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sleepyhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
5. Perhaps go for a consult
With a board-certified surgeon, who can present you with alternatives. No, it's not standard to negotiate, but maybe you can set up some sort of payment plan. Sometimes surgeries don't turn out the way they're supposed to - unfortunately, medicine is not an exact science. You might want to look into Care Credit , which is a line of credit that you can use for veterinary emergencies. Depending on the amount of the bill, you can get up to 15 months to pay it back interest-free. Takes about 5 minutes to apply, and you will have your account set up immediately. Good luck!
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