If my dog’s death counts for anything, it will be to save your money and your loved one.
When Oni checked into an animal emergency hospital in Torrance, she would never leave. If I had followed the advice below, perhaps she would have lived. I hope that you can avoid unnecessary costs including the life of your loved friend.
Unnecessary Medication Costs
Two of the things you should know: you have a right to reject medications and procedures, and you have a right to not only inspect your bill but question what items on it are and what they were for. This is a consumer right according to Department of Consumer Affairs. If your doctor is the least bit honest, she’ll not overwhelm you with medical terminology, but declare the common name for your prescriptions. Here are some:
Famotidine. This is commonly known as Pepcid***. Johnson and Johson is always putting out coupons for it including on their website. There should be no reluctance on your veterinarian’s part to use pills that you bring in. In fact, after Oni died, I assisted the hospital in purchasing supplies-before I concluded that they killed her-and brought them tons of packages of Pepcid. They’d just popped them out of the packages and put them into vials. They’d use them at the hospital or send them home with owners. They’d charge about $8 for one pill, and that was 10 years ago.
Cimetidine Tagamet HB***
Veterinary hospitals also use rubbing alcohol, neosporin, corticosteroid and antifungal sprays and creams straight off the retail shelf and charge you inflated prices.*
They’ll also run to the fast food joint, feed a reluctant eater a 99 cent burger, and charge you a premium for a “special meal.”**
Don’t Touch My Pet
In the last days of Oni’s life, I lived at the hospital. Like anywhere else, you’re going to find good medical techs and bad ones. One asked me to inject her hand with horse steroids. Supplies were found to be mysteriously missing. Another slammed a scared dog on the ground to give an injection in front of me.
Then there was an overnight tech who neglected to provide hourly fluids for Oni. The next morning her levels were elevated, and Dr. JQ vowed he’d never come near her again. He was subsequently let go several days later.
On the eve of being released, Oni began coughing up blood in the middle of the night. I called out for help. Not only was the fired tech on duty, but he was assigned my dog by Dr. Q.
In this case, the overseeing doctor’s “ban” was fictitious. But enunciating your wishes for who does and does not handle your dog can save your dog’s life.
You’d think that a hospital would be sterile, but it wasn’t. I slept on the floor of an examination room. Ear wicks weren’t the worst of what I saw down there.
Originally brought in for kidney failure, Oni died of Klebsiella which contributes to 10% of hospital borne human deaths, according to the National Institute of Health. Without admitting fault, Q paid for all treatments subsequent to that diagnosis.
The antibiotic resistant bacteria is one of the causes for the 99,000 annual human deaths a year, according to NIH. It can hide in drain pipes and air ducts and is enormously difficult to treat. I researched several drugs, handing the doctor a list which included the enormously expensive Tygacil. Q said she ordered it but never utilized it. I suppose she opted against my dog’s life in favor of returning the unused drug for credit.
The only deep cleaning of the premises arrived months later. It was in preparation for a site visit for certification. The proper procedure, according to the NIH, is to isolate the patient diagnosed with the superbug and constantly clean like hell. While I assisted the hospital proper testing procedures were never enforced neither for incoming or current patients. A study revealed that Kelbsiella can be carried by staff, residing in the mouth, throat, and intestine.
Any incoming and current patient has a right to demand sterilization of a room and inquire about habitual cleaning. Simple bleaching will not kill superbugs, as evidenced by the outbreak at the NIH hospital where 18 patients were infected.
Hospitals are where one goes to get better. They shouldn’t be the source of your illness. Not out of neglect. Not out of malice. Not out of not knowing.
*As a person who supplied the vet with medical supplies, this is from personal knowledge
**This is a billing practice witnessed first-hand
***This is medical fact as described by the manufacturers of the drugs themselves.