I will clarify and agree regarding yesterday’s post that I am looking for web sites that help owners understand a vet’s diagnosis and treatment plan, NOT ones that claim to make a diagnosis themselves.
For every great site out there, there are four or five of these sort, which I link to only because it’s the kind of thing that explains my awful teeth grinding habit:
HOME PARVO TREATMENT, courtesy of the “Thrifty Fun” website. Yes, alongside articles about turning used toilet paper rolls into festive Thanksgiving decor, you too can find ways to treat the gut-melting effects of parvo in the comfort of your own home.
Pedialyte, colloidal silver, other assorted sundry items: $100 (which by the way will also buy subcutaneous fluids, anti-nausea meds and antibiotics at many vets.)
But why pay someone else to do it when you can have the satisfaction of doing it yourself? Because vets are expensive money grubbers, and giving your pet an enema while his guts slough off and you haven’t given them any sort of pain control is thrifty! And FUN!
To those who are making a grocery list and planning ahead, might I propose an alternative? Parvo vaccine. $20.
*Not that I think I need to state the obvious, but for the love of all that is holy, do NOT view my linking to that site as any sort of endorsement. One, this was an older puppy who had at least one vaccination, which is a very different situation from a 12 week old puppy with no vaccinations. Two, while not everyone can afford a $1500 intensive care hospitalization, even $100 can get a parvo dog some sort of appropriate medical attention.
Sadly, while I agree with everything you’ve said–at my clinic, $100 doesn’t even cover the emergency fee ($130 for previous clients, $160 for referrals from other clinics).
Again, that said–it’s SO MUCH CHEAPER to give a parvo vaccine than treat the subsequent illness…not to mention, if you get a puppy from a shelter they’re already vaccinated, whereas the sickest puppies I’ve seen are the ones from “breeders” or pet shops where a) the owner has already spent (usually) over $1500 just on the pet, and has no money left to pay for treatment, and b) the puppy’s never seen a vet except for the “health certificate” to be sold.
I guess my point is that if you don’t have the money to spend on necessary vet treatments (like yearly exams and vaccines) then you probably shouldn’t have the pet, much less the very very expensive “purebreed” mutt from the shop.
AMEN to everything you said.
We just had two different people at my clinic who adopted dogs from the San Diego shelter who can’t even afford an exam and eye medication ($75). They just got the dog, but can’t pay for even the most basic expenses… why did you get the dog, again? You didn’t plan very well. They ended up having a pledge from a local foundation that covers emergency medical bills. I can’t imagine what will happen when another health problem comes up in the future.
Lisa W says
Teri and the cats of Furrydance says
oh, yeah…Thrifty Fun. Not how I previously viewed enemas. I grind along with you when I find stuff like this, but it’s worse in person when it happens and try as I might, these kind of people don’t want edumacating since they know it all already, but it still doesn’t stop me from trying…
AHHHH! Did you see some of links at the bottom? If your puppy has Parvo, force feed him 3 raw eggs every day? :::shudders:::
Dr. V says
Oh, there are just no words for that. No. words.
Holy Jeebus. So in addition to the horrible intestine-sloughing diarrhea and vomiting the poor pup already has, you’re going to give him salmonella? Oh yeah, these guys are the shiniest lightbulbs in the whole frickin’ lighting section at Home Depot.
Dr. Sarah says
Um, what I love best about this is that the dogs already had one parvo vaccine under their belts, and that is probably the reason they pulled through — not because of all the owners’ ‘interventions.’ While the illness wasn’t completely warded off, they likely at least had primed immune systems.
If they’d stuck with just the antibiotics from the feed store and the pedialyte, the dogs probably would have still pulled through and been much less miserable without the enemas.
Ugh. Oh well. Dr. Google strikes again.
Dr. V says
Curse you and your reasoned logic. Begone from the interweb!
anytime I look up symptoms on The Interwebs I usually end up with something like “You have…. ebola, cancer, or…. the flu.” When I shamefully relate my latest worry, my people doctor usually smiles at me and says “you’ve been on the internet or watching House again…” but he isn’t condescending. he will patiently explain why he’s pretty sure I don’t actually have lupus LOL. by the same token, I few times I was on to something that prompted my doctor to do some tests or research a new medication he’d not heard of, so I think it works both ways. It’s so difficult when people take the Internet as gospel instead of as resouce. *sigh*
marvistavet.com does a pretty good job of explaining various conditions and treatments.
A great resource for pet owners to keep at home is The Dog Owner’s Veterinary Handbook, 4th Edition. You can pick it up for around $20 at Amazon. It goes over every body system of the dog and is a real help when you aren’t sure if the dog needs a vet immediately, in a day or so, or if it’s truly a watch and wait situation. Does a good job of explaining things in fairly common terms, too, so you can make sense of what your vet just told you when those questions you forgot to ask pop up.
Of course, the danger is that some people would use this book as a replacement for the vet, but that’s not the intention of the authors. The authors just hoped to make dog owners more informed consumers. I’ve found the book to be helpful as a pet sitter when I can’t reach the client to allow them to make a decision immediately.