I understand what you are saying, but it is your responsibility to make sure the office people know you WANT the vet to come out. If you feel your animal needs a vet, then you tell them that. Office personal are usually just that, office personal. Most of them don't know the difference between an emergency or not, you have to tell them. Force them to listen if need be. Demand to talk to a vet.
As an animal owner, YOU are ultimately responsible for the care your animals receive. I understand your loyalty to this vet, BUT there may come a time in the future that you have to rely on another vet at another office.
You need to explain to this vet friend how you feel you were treated. Then the vet needs to evaluate his office personal and find out where the bottom fell out of this mess. However, even if your horse or foal had died, YOU are still the one that would be considered wrong. No judge in the world is going to make your vet pay for something they did not do. Even if it fell through the cracks of the front desk, even if the vet felt they did not need to come out, YOU are the one to have to decide to find another vet if your animal is in trouble.
If one of your family members was having a heart attack and you went to the doctor and the doctor was gone, would you wait for that doctor to come back or go find another doctor? I realize this is sorta a stupid comparision, but YOU sometimes have to make decisions based on the needs of your animals, even if that mean using another vet. Ultimately you are responsible for the decision not to get another vet out that night, for not continually calling the vet clinic the next day until they sent someone out and waiting until your horse was down and having the vet finally show up. There was nothing to stop you from calling another vet except your loyalty to the friend vet, and it almost cost you.
Sorry, I am not trying to be harsh here, but when someone calls us at the clinic and says they have an animal in trouble and we say do you want a vet out right now.. If yes, we sent out a vet as quick as we can. If they say" well maybe I will watch the animal for a day or so and it dies, it is not our fault. .
I love the vets I work for and have worked with them for years and years. BUT, if I had an emergency and neither could come out because they were both busy, you can bet I would be calling another vet immediately, if my animals life was in jeapordy I would not be waiting around. Plus your vet the friend, should understand that.
You are responsible for the bill. Period. But I still imagine you can explain what happened and he might do a reduction. Do not expect the office personal to be able to decide if you need help, most are not experts and can't make a decision like that. Our practice is small and the vet techs do the front office also, we are able to help give advice to a point, but always go to the vet to either ask them to talk to the person or tell us what to say. Some offices are so big and busy, the front people just make appointments.
Last edited by wyominggrandma; 05-12-2011 at 12:14 PM.