Loving the Lame Horse - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 91 Old 08-01-2018, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by thecolorcoal View Post
thanks twix! i've been reading yours as well and i LOVE your drafts.
Thank you! Its so interesting to learn about one another's journeys and experiences.

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post #42 of 91 Old 08-03-2018, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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it looks like we might be right back to square one... I seem to reset myself a lot. I'm not a vet, nor would ever want to be, but all my experiences of vets have been bad. People who tout their alleged degree and charge left and right just because they can, and with the assumption that horse owners have money. I have money enough to afford Tyra, but eating regularly is rare now. I try not too mooch off of mom and dad although they give me some cash for gas when I need it. I'm not living in a cardboard box or anything, but if I was I probably would be if it weren't for my mom and dad helping.


People don't understand how expensive california is. 1.8million for a house around here is CHEAP. That's a steal. And yet everyone assumes it must be a mansion when that is how much you must spend for a 1 level ranch home.


1.8m:




14m:



So you see the issue when one talks about prices? Especially vet prices? While one person can get their vet down to do vaccines at $150 a visit, mine charged me almost $400 for a 30 minute appointment. At that price point I should have done them myself.


So why would I trust vets, especially when they seem to only care about money? Yeah, they need to pay for their business but there are things that deserve to be expensive and things that don't. I feel vets should tailor their price points based on the financial situation of their clients. That, or don't offer services to people who can't afford it. That way we all know where we stand.


I showed Tyra's x rays to a track vet I found online, who found me through a facebook post on my mare's papers. He wanted to help me find a way to get her documentation and asked why it was so important? I told him about the injury, and the fact that when it happened mattered so much to her career as a jumper. If she fractured it at the track during the one year time gap when she left racing and returned, that meant she probably would be fine. But if she fractured it upon leaving the track, that gave more credibility to our first vet's prognosis...


So now we are right back to the nail biting, pacing anxiety that started my terror that any bad step would instigate the tendon tear that the vet promised would happen. Within 2 months. I remember neurotically checking her legs three times a day, looking for any kind of swelling. I did so many self-lameness tests that Tyra probably thought she'd been sent to a crazy owner. How could I trust she was sound when I didn't even KNOW she was lame to begin with, and apparently "magical dr zee" saw something nobody else did?


All I want is for someone to tell me "if it was going to happen it would have happened. The fact that it hasn't happened means it probably will never happen." One vet got close to telling me something like that, but they all don't want to give me unnecessary hope. I find that cruel. Are they even telling me the truth but holding back because they are afraid of me suing them if they turn out to be wrong?



Now I don't even trust if we have the right x rays. This vet lied to me about my horse having chronic colic and sent us to an affiliated vet hospital that gave her a financial kick back for every patient when she would have been FINE being treated at home. She has sent me into unnecessary whirls of fear more than once and I loathe this woman. Despise. If I could put a restraining order against her coming near my horse I would.


She has put me into such an awful state of paranoia and my first horse owning experience has been nothing but a nightmare from start to finish. Instead of supporting me and telling me we would figure it out together she told me to euthanize my beloved horse. ON TWO OCCASIONS!


I know my new vet is nothing like her, and as blurry as these x rays are they DO show something and the radiologists HAVE been able to look at them, to a degree, and tell me what they see. out of 5 vets, 2 have told me not to worry, one was on the fence, and now two are telling me no jumping. Who do I believe?


it's time for a new set of x rays. But I want to make sure that everything is done right and that we have a plan of attack should these x rays not improve the prognosis. If we need to surgically remove the chips, i'd rather do that. If with chips removed there's still not a great chance she'll jump again, I'll save my money and ride her on the flat.



I don't like to jump anymore, but she's SO good at it. And she loves it. I love dressage. I hate that once again I am worrying about this, but we are no longer at fancy barn and things are a bit less... groomed at this barn. I just don't know how I am going to afford another set of x rays...
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post #43 of 91 Old 08-03-2018, 06:43 PM
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I can 100% understand your frustration with the vets. Now, here is where I play both sides of the fence. Veterinary medicine is a science, and just like doctors, nobody ever wants to be wrong. Vets and doctors will go to one side of the spectrum, best case or worst case scenario. I've had vets tell me to put a blind and deaf puppy to sleep because she would have no quality life. That dog grew up and turned into one of the smartest, gentlest dogs I've ever owned. My point, I guess, is that nothing in medicine (or life) can ever be 100%.
Now, back to your side. You need to find a vet that you are comfortable with and confident in. You need a vet that you can trust to be honest, even if it's not what you want to hear. We lucked out with our equine vet. Yes he is more expensive and just getting him out costs $100, but we trust him and his opinion (even when its not the news or answer I had hoped to hear)

So, now, if I were you, I'd save for the x-ray because the last thing you want to do is somehow make her worse. A properly done x-ray should give you an answer and help formulate a game plan. Another route, try reaching out to a veterinary school to see if they will review the scan and give their input. Radiology is not nearly as cut and dry as people seem to think it is. And many times you will have different treatments from different doctors based on their previous experiences with success vs failure in similar cases.



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post #44 of 91 Old 08-03-2018, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by thecolorcoal View Post
I have money enough to afford Tyra, but eating regularly is rare now.
No, "afford" is not the term I'd use. In my books, you can "afford" a luxury if you can pay the bills, eat, have no revolving debt to pay off, have an emergency cash stash, put money aside for retirement, and spend the leftover on your luxury of choice. You are in a precarious situation, and as a consequence so is your horse, unless you are implying that you are skipping meals to max out your Roth IRA.

Last edited by mmshiro; 08-03-2018 at 07:06 PM.
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post #45 of 91 Old 08-03-2018, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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@twixy79 , i guess that is where I get upset. These vets charge as if they know the answers but then they are willing to end an animal's life early because they aren't sure? Well, you did the tests! What do the tests say? If tests are not accurate, if we cannot trust the doctors to give us the absolute answers, then why do we use them in the first place?



My bad experience with vets (and doctors mind you, it's been both) has led me to teach myself very basic vet medicine. I know how to suture, diagnose basic ailments based on symptoms. I don't have any formal training but I have discovered you don't need vet school for some of this stuff, just actual experience with the issues.


@mmshiro , i don't count living paycheck to paycheck being able to afford anything. that's walking the financial tightrope of which i am at right now. bank of mom and dad only send me their loans for certain things xD. I am growing up, have to afford things on my own and it is HARD.
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post #46 of 91 Old 08-03-2018, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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@mmshiro i also guess i am dumb and don't have a pool of money saved for emergency vet visits. we live in the moment, hoping nothing bad will happen. i'd rather spend my hard earned money on ways to avoid the vet than be forced to subject myself to their awful billing schemes.
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post #47 of 91 Old 08-03-2018, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by thecolorcoal View Post
@mmshiro i also guess i am dumb and don't have a pool of money saved for emergency vet visits. we live in the moment, hoping nothing bad will happen. i'd rather spend my hard earned money on ways to avoid the vet than be forced to subject myself to their awful billing schemes.
Vet bills are tough to swallow sometimes, that for sure. But put it in perspective. That vet probably has close to a 1/2 million dollars in debt when (s)he graduates from vet school. Then he either goes to work for a big conglomerate, either he buys his way in (more debt) or he's a wage slave like you and I, albeit better paid per hour. You're paying for all those years he spent learning how to diagnose and deal with these animals. Large animal vets are getting fewer and farther in between, it's the least well compensated area of vetting and the most dangerous. When you have horses, you just have to develop the attitude that "it costs what it costs" and deal with it. It's not easy, I'm never saying that. And yes, $400 to do your annual vaccines is INSANE, but those vaccines are going up every year. I do all of my own and what used to cost me about $50/horse is now closer to $130. Add farm call, yearly physical, Coggins and maybe a teeth float in there and it goes up real fast.

I used to buy a box of syringes for around $10 for 100, now it's more like $25. A 10 dose vial of vaccine used to be around $100 and now it's over $500. Just the Rabies used to cost me $10 and this past year I paid about $50 for just that one. And you can't even buy that in CA. You have to get it from the vet (and most of them insist on doing it), so that triples your cost.

If you're going to have horses, you just have to suck it up and choke on it every now and again.

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post #48 of 91 Old 08-03-2018, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
Vet bills are tough to swallow sometimes, that for sure. But put it in perspective. That vet probably has close to a 1/2 million dollars in debt when (s)he graduates from vet school. Then he either goes to work for a big conglomerate, either he buys his way in (more debt) or he's a wage slave like you and I, albeit better paid per hour. You're paying for all those years he spent learning how to diagnose and deal with these animals. Large animal vets are getting fewer and farther in between, it's the least well compensated area of vetting and the most dangerous. When you have horses, you just have to develop the attitude that "it costs what it costs" and deal with it. It's not easy, I'm never saying that. And yes, $400 to do your annual vaccines is INSANE, but those vaccines are going up every year. I do all of my own and what used to cost me about $50/horse is now closer to $130. Add farm call, yearly physical, Coggins and maybe a teeth float in there and it goes up real fast.

I used to buy a box of syringes for around $10 for 100, now it's more like $25. A 10 dose vial of vaccine used to be around $100 and now it's over $500. Just the Rabies used to cost me $10 and this past year I paid about $50 for just that one. And you can't even buy that in CA. You have to get it from the vet (and most of them insist on doing it), so that triples your cost.

If you're going to have horses, you just have to suck it up and choke on it every now and again.

you know dream, now that i think of it, one of the reasons we moved to the new barn is because they are large and host "vet clinics," where a vet will waive a call fee in exchange for doing 20-30 clients a day. it's pretty awesome. i'm going to their natural balance float. I did the same clinic last year at another barn and it only cost me $350. The procedure was pain and stress free and they were able to cut a button tooth out of tyra that had been bothering her with bitting! I was thrilled.


if the practitioners are kind and actually care i have NO problems paying. NONE. its when i get a "cheated" vibe that i get upset and *****y and resentful.


I didn't expect a 150 vet bill for some ointment my vet dropped off for me but when i read the bill and the charges I also saw she included a low-cost physical exam (which wasn't neccesary), and I was very happy she did this. She gave me call immediately after and walked through how to apply the antibiotic in Tyra's heel cut, and some nutrition-related questions I had. I was 110% happy with her service and paid the bill the moment I got it, instead of waiting 15 days like i did with the other vets because I needed to wait for my next paycheck...


Usually i have some dispensible savings for vet visits. I always save ahead of time for vaccines and shots but I am not always financially prepared for emergencies, like when we had the EHV outbreak a month ago. I was slapped with a 690 vet bill for a medication i NEVER AUTHORIZED. The BO PROMISED she would pay for it. she didn't.
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post #49 of 91 Old 08-03-2018, 08:27 PM
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YEAH that LAST part is a HUGE no. id tell the vet that you THE OWNER never authorized that and the BO has to pay. im positive that is against a law somewhere... I mean if my horse is getting shots at a clinic and i have someone who is NOT me handling her the vet CALLS to confirm WHAT shots she is getting.

i do agree most vets come out in the whole. i no longer use one because 90% of the time he is "out of town" aka on vacation. he accidently sent me a text meant for his brother about going shooting while he was on his vacation *cought* i mean "out of town". the man makes a racket. he has 8 kids who all go to collage. he lives in a nice house. owns a vacation house, gives 10% of his income to the church and STILL makes MORE then enough to cover all his expenses. also he runs his business out of his house. no overhead of a clinic. he is mobile only.

Im Like the OP in being Jaded by vets. found a good one and im holding on to her for dear life! Is this the current Bo or is this the old one? because i would let all vets in the area know that NO treatment shall be authorized unless you are given a call and ok it either in person or over the phone.
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post #50 of 91 Old 08-03-2018, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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my mom and dad stepped up and helped me but NONE OF US were happy. I specifically said a) can't afford and b) i didn't want her vaccinated because the horses who did get sick were very very old. I was very confident we would be ok. But oh well... Parents very angry because this outbreak was not our fault. We left the day quarantine was lifted.


This was the old BO, the fancy barn we left.


I told the new BOs of our barn that they need to call all 4 listed numbers BEFORE making any kind of emergency decision.


Paying parents back for the valtrex vaccine. I really want to shoulder all my emergency horse expenses. care bills are my responsibility, and mother and father have agreed to pay for board. its nice having financial help - in this economy trying to keep your head above water is tough.


But as @mmshiro said, the horse might be a "luxury" but i, personally, could not go on without her.
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