Who should pay the vet bill? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 51 Old 05-12-2011, 01:27 PM
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To me it sounds like the planets all aligned and twice things just did not work right.

I am hesitant to point fingers at the vet(s) or you.

In your case I would make an appointment to sit down with the head vet of the practice to discuss having the bill lowered because of the issues. This will also give you an opportunity to explain what happened and hopefully give your vet some insight into an area of the practice that needs looking into.
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post #22 of 51 Old 05-12-2011, 02:09 PM
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You are talking in circles.

The decision to own horses is yours. The decision to breed your mare is yours. The decision to not have her foal at a facility that is equipped to handle special needs cases is yours.

When you called in you asked IF they attended a foaling. MOST mares do just fine on their own - thus the office would say - no they do not need to attend.

YOU need to pay the vet bill.
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post #23 of 51 Old 05-12-2011, 03:51 PM
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No you are not whining. But like I said, yes you trust your vet to take care of your animals, but the front office people might not have a clue you are putting all your trust in them and wanting them to tell you what to do next. so, next time, either ask to speak to a vet or have a message that you need to speak to one asap. Just remember, if YOU feel your animal needs a vet, then YOU speak up and TELL the front office you want a vet. You know your animal better than anyone. Depending on how big the practice is, you might just be a number to the front folks, but a good friend of the head vet, but get lost in the middle.Don't ever be afraid to say "I need to speak to a vet, this is an emergency".
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post #24 of 51 Old 05-12-2011, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Alwaysbehind, what I will do is write a letter which explains my thoughts and gives my perspective. He can call me or respond in writing which I think gives both of us the opportunity to say clearly what we think w/o making a knee-jerk response or saying something that we didn't mean.

MLS, I appreciate your point. I don't see where I am talking in circles. Maybe you didn't see where I wrote that the lead vet said that he would have come out immediately to check on our foal had he known that she had foaled. The office staff made a decision for him that is contrary to his personal judgment. They didn't send a vet and they should have. While most mares foal w/ no problems, the lead vets opinion is that a vet should attend in every case. Now if I had refused to let the vet come or had delayed him, the bill would be mine. The delay came from his office staff so some degree of responsibility should be theirs.

I'm not afraid to demand the vet attend and I did just that the next morning when the mare was in crisis. At the time of the birth, I didn't understand that a vet should come out even though the birth seemed to me to go w/o a problem.

Again, thanks for everyone's input. It has prepared me to better understand how the vet might feel about the situation before I talk with him.
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post #25 of 51 Old 05-12-2011, 06:14 PM
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There's a part of this that I really don't understand -

Checking for retained placenta is pretty simple and doesn't require advanced training. You spread the placenta out and look for holes or gaps.

No placenta at all after four hours? You have an emergency and should call the vet and tell them the mare has failed to deliver the placenta.

The mare delivers the placenta, you check it, if you think a piece is missing, you call the vet, tell them, and that's a legitmate emergency.

The mare delivers the placenta, you think it's intact, but 24 hours later she develops symptoms of septicema, you call the vet, it's a serious emergency.

What I don't get in this story is that you have a mare with a history of retained placenta, but don't check the afterbirth (that's what I'm concluded from what you've said, if I have that wrong, I apologize) and wait until the mare has developed symptoms of speticema before calling the vet.

If the mare has a history of retained placenta, and I couldn't get a vet to attend the foaling, I would be checking the afterbirth *very* carefully, and probably taking the mare's temperature every couple of hours, alert to the possibility that she might develop systems.

I don't know exactly what your experience or situation is; and I do get the sense that there was a serious communication problem here between you and the vet's office. But I can't avoid the sense that you didn't take the actions I would expect an experienced mare owner to take.

Last edited by maura; 05-12-2011 at 08:47 PM.
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post #26 of 51 Old 05-12-2011, 07:03 PM
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I have only read the OP, so bear with me.

Sueing your vet for the money is going to be a long, expensive process. It's best to call them up and talk with them calmly, discuss why you are upset, and hear their take on the issue.

We had a similar problem two years ago. We had a maiden miniature foaling, called the vet up, and she gave us some advice and said she was coming. Gave her our address while the mare was having major problems. Five minutes later, we lose the foal, and her response on the phone? "Do you still want me to come out?" Apparently she was sitting in the bathtub, said she was on her way, and would not get out of the tub to come.
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post #27 of 51 Old 05-12-2011, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Doveguy View Post
I am in N. Virginia. I have known this vet office for years and have respect for lead vet's competence. It was the on call vet who refused to attend and the front office women who said it wasn't necessary to attend us. It is my opinion that the office staff made the error of not sending out a vet. I consider it an error of omission. They didn't do something to cause the problem but the problem happened as a result of them not attending. They know we rely on them and we are happy to pay for their expertise. Our vets are busy and have to be careful to not just waste time on calls where they are not really needed. The problem is they decided I didn't need them when I really did need them. Then when the did finally come, there was damage because they didn't come when I called them to come. I am happy to pay for the exams and the placenta levage and what they did that they would have done if they had come out in a timely manner but all the crisis management and emergency work was a direct result of them not attending on time and they should pay for that. I will probably send a letter to the lead vet and ask for a corrected bill. It will be interesting to see where this goes.
I would tell the vet just this and I would think they would negotiate the bill. Something similar happened to me and they didn't come when called so it resulted in an after hours emercency call which I up front told them I was not going to pay as they should have come earlier. They didn't question it and they didn't charge me
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post #28 of 51 Old 05-12-2011, 11:33 PM
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Honest opinion here.

You made the decision not to call another vet. Whatever reasons you may have, you still made that choice.

IMO, any emergency situations that arise from a decision that you made are your responsibility.

I am not condoning the vet's actions (or vet staff). They should have come out when you called them.

However, your horse, your responsibility. If you were not happy with their decision to not attend, make one of your own and find someone who will attend.

If you trusted their opinion that they didn't need to attend, then you absolved them of any responsibility should something go wrong, which obviously it did.

You had the option to put your foot down, either with your vet, or another vet and say "No! I want a vet out here now!" You didn't do that. The responsibility is yours and no one elses.


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post #29 of 51 Old 05-12-2011, 11:40 PM
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I did call several vets when my mare was in very bad pain to find the one to come out ASAP. It's not about friendship or trust, it's about my own animal in pain, which needs a medical attention.

Personally in your situation I'd either talk to the owner of the clinic or write a letter explaining the whole situation and that you think the bill is their responsibility. That's the easiest way to go at the moment (if you don't want to sue).

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #30 of 51 Old 05-13-2011, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Doveguy View Post
MLS, I appreciate your point. I don't see where I am talking in circles.
Doveguy, did you read my post #17. You are talking in circles some.

I have to agree with HC and Maura.
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