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Old 01-27-2010, 06:06 PM   #1
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Default Need some advice re:keep dog in hospital or bring home?

My yorkie mix became sick yesterday with bloody diarrhea and vomiting. I took her to my vet which is also an emergency vet and they said they thought it was hemorraghic gastroenteritis. They dont know the cause but it can be very serious. I knew they would probably do an xray, give her fluids and meds to take home. I was prepared for a couple of hundred dollars.

Unfortunately they wanted her to spend the night, do expensive bloodwork, and several Iv meds...total cost $575. Go ahead and think Im a deadbeat or a terrible dog mom...but I dont have that much money. My husband is out of work and has been for over a year. I work full time but barely make it from paycheck to paycheck. I had my 3 dogs before all of this happened and never had trouble taking care of them before but now I have to count every penny and there are not many of them. I also cannot get credit because of this situation.

Its not that I dont trust this vet but I sure dont feel much warmth from them. I switched to them because they are 5 minutes away and have a 24 hr emergency room.
Anyway when I said that i couldnt pay the original amount and asked if i could pay half or make some other arrangements...they said the full amount was required. Then they came back with two other estimates, one for $433 one for $300. They said I could choose but they recommended at least the $433 which included having her spend the night. The cheaper amount would be if I took her home and took care of her myself. I find that whole thing somewhat confusing....what does she really need?

I love her with all my heart and want whats best so I agreed to keep her there over night, even though it will wipe me out till next week which is my next payday. I may be eating beans till then but it will be okay if she is better. I went with the middle price which was a big enough stretch for me.
So I call last night and twice today. They say she has had no more vomiting or diarrhea (that means she has had none since before I brought her there last evening). She has been on an iv all day with antibiotics. When I called to find out when they would let her go they said they wanted to keep her overnight again to see if she would start eating. They said they put water out but that she hadnt drank it yet.

I asked if that would be any extra because originally I think they only charged me for one night. He said yes, it would be $50 extra, plus $25 extra for an extra charge today (he didnt say what that was for...i have already paid the $433.'

They would be keeping her stictly to see if she will begin eating. I am worried that she wont eat there anyways because I home cook for her and shes not going to eat some random wet food they give her. I want to do whats best...I am not someone that goes against medical advice (Im a nurse)usually, but I really cant afford to pay anymore at this point especially since they are just keeping her in a cage and watching to see if she eats. I could do that at home and think she would be more likely to eat here anyways.
I probably could borrow the extra for another night if I had to from a friend though I hate to do it but Im not sure its necessary. I live 5 minutes away and if she doesnt get better I could take her back tomorrow...it wouldnt cost me anymore.
So help me figure this out. i am not asking for help to figure out the financial situation, just whether I am being rash to want to bring her home.
Thanks for the replies...sorry for the long post.
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:09 PM   #2
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before i read this whole thing the first line is KEEP YOUR YORKIE ON FLUIDS IF HGE - was red blood cell count high? This is not anything you want to mess with if HGE your dog could die - what happens is red blood cells multiply rapidly then shut down all the organs so do not mess with this but the diagnosis is by red blood cells over 55
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:11 PM   #3
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do they take CareCredit Healthcare Finance - Payment Plans and Financing for Cosmetic Surgery, Dental, Vision, Hearing, Veterinary & Other Medical Procedures ? if so it is pretty easy to get and it extends out the cost for 9-18 mos - worth trying to get as it is pretty fast
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:14 PM   #4
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my friends dog gets hge and this is what she does with her vet

this condition requires immediate treatment of fluids, no solid foods, and a course of anti diarrhea/antibiotic medication...mine are always put on Amphorol and respond very quickly.
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:18 PM   #5
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i would borrow the money and give it another night and take some food that you cook down to her and see if she eats

do you feed raw? hge can be from raw feeding as it is tied to salmonella and ecoli in some instances so just curious. i am not against raw but it could be the meat that triggered it

did you look at blood work - if so was pvc over 55
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:27 PM   #6
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Did they rule out HGE since they are trying to get her to eat? What have they done to rule it out? If they know for sure its not HGE, you are comfortable taking care of her since you are a nurse, and they give you specific instructions to follow, why not take her home? Like you said, she probably wouldn't eat for them anyway. You could possibly bring her home and take her back in the am. That may avoid the bulk of the cost. Is she on IVs for IV abx or for hydration, or both? Will they send her home with that?
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice. The thing is she is not on fluids anymore and if she had to be put back on them...if could be done just as easily tomorrow if God forbid I had to bring her back in. I will ask them about the blood test...I know they did some bloodwork.
I dont feed raw by the way. I feed a mixture of chicken or turkey, rice, vegies with a vitamin supplement. I do this because of severe allergies. I dont think its the food as i have two other dogs who did not get sick. Just to be certain though I threw this batch of food out .
I could probably find a way to find the money for another night. My fear though is that it will end up costing more than what they quoted.. As I said even though i already paid them so much, they have already incurred more charges without my consent. I doubt i could qualify for the credit...I have bad credit or otherwise I would have the option to use a credit card. Normally I keep a small amount in savings for this type of thing but Xmas wiped me out. I figured I had some time to build it back up. I am so torn. I cant stand the thought of her being there and am afraid she will never eat or drink in this type of setting.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:03 PM   #8
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My Cali had HGE last year. The first night I took her to the ER vet and they gave her some fluids, but didn't test her for HGE as she has had a lot of other tummy problems. They said I could keep her there overnight, but I opted to take her home on the medicine and watch her. I live 7 minutes from the ER vet so I usually opt to watch her myself unless she is needing immediate care. Cali got worse 2 days later so I took her to my vet who tested her for HGE. I left her at my vets on IV fluids and meds for the day and took her home that night with her IV cath still in and took her back for the next 2 days for more IV therapy. By the 3rd day she was much better. My vet knows I will stay up all night and can get her to the er asap if needed so she feels that she does better at home if possible. I have insurance on all 3 of mine so the cost wasn't the reason I kept her with me at night, I just knew she would do better at home. This is just my experience with HGE and I would never advise going against a vets recommendations. So I don't think you are being rash just a concerned mommy. Please keep us posted and I will keep her in my prayers.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:40 PM   #9
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Since she is not on IV fluids and you live 5 minutes from the vet and if her vital signs are fine and all they are doing is watching her..........I would take her home.........if you are going to be home with her to watch her.........then like you say you can take her back if you run into problems. Then you can see if she will eat for you. My opinion. I understand what you are saying about difficult times, people are having it harder these days and that doesn't mean people don't care.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:49 PM   #10
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i would try and get a diagnosis from them; that way you can determine if you can bring her home. my dog had few similar incidences; and she was at the ER 3 times within the 2 years and she was there few nights each time; first they said HGE, then pancreatitis, then last time IBD; i took her off her chicken food and i am feeding her lamb and rice now (dog food); and so far so good; some dogs get IBD from poultry, potatoes and other inflamatory food.
i think if she's off the IV then you can take her home and take care of her; but i am surprised why wouldn't they keep her on IV all day today too; since she's there anyway.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:04 PM   #11
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Pee-Nut had HGE and was injected with the fluids and stayed at the vet for a few hours but the vet knows how attached he is to me and felt that the stress of keeping him overnight was worse for him and let me take him home. Since you live only 5 minutes away I would say bring him home, he might do better with you :O))
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:44 PM   #12
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thanks for all the replies. Just a quick update. I did what the vet suggested as a compromise and waited to call till 11 pm. He said if I picked her up before 12midnight they wouldnt charge for another day though they would still recommend her staying. She was not on an iv anymore but he said she hadnt even touched her water. I know her and she was probably traumatized from being away from us as well as being sick. So when we called he said we could come get her. She was so happy to be home. She immediately drank some water and ate a few small bites of boiled chicken. She wanted more but the vet said to go slow. Today she seems back to herself....still eating small amounts of boiled chicken and rice as they suggested. Her PCV was 59...he said it was elevated but it could be the dehydration so wasnt certain it was HG.
All i care about is that she is better but I do feel taken advantage of. I think i could have taken her home the first night and watched her and saved alot of money. I also am glad I declined alot of the other fancy tests the wanted to do initially...almost $600. I am starting to not trust this vet clinic. They do give good care but it seems they are always trying to pad the bill. Who knows...thanks again for the advice.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:46 PM   #13
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so happy that is great news. Yeah i know that feeling i spent 10k over the course of a year for my dog with pancreatitis issues and ibd it racks up fast and why i started educating myself more to figure this all out or i would be BROKE
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinnamonmon View Post
thanks for all the replies. Just a quick update. I did what the vet suggested as a compromise and waited to call till 11 pm. He said if I picked her up before 12midnight they wouldnt charge for another day though they would still recommend her staying. She was not on an iv anymore but he said she hadnt even touched her water. I know her and she was probably traumatized from being away from us as well as being sick. So when we called he said we could come get her. She was so happy to be home. She immediately drank some water and ate a few small bites of boiled chicken. She wanted more but the vet said to go slow. Today she seems back to herself....still eating small amounts of boiled chicken and rice as they suggested. Her PCV was 59...he said it was elevated but it could be the dehydration so wasnt certain it was HG.
All i care about is that she is better but I do feel taken advantage of. I think i could have taken her home the first night and watched her and saved alot of money. I also am glad I declined alot of the other fancy tests the wanted to do initially...almost $600. I am starting to not trust this vet clinic. They do give good care but it seems they are always trying to pad the bill. Who knows...thanks again for the advice.
I am happy that your lil one is doing good and back home. I know what you mean about vets taking advantage of us. I am lucky that I have a wonderful and affordable vet. I have gone into other vets just for a checkup and by the time we left it was over 400.00 of nothing but tests, I took in for basic check up and shots. I did a lot of searching for a good vet that is not always trying to "up sell" everything. I don't mind paying for what is needed but I have been learning a lot
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I am happy that your lil one is doing good and back home. I know what you mean about vets taking advantage of us. I am lucky that I have a wonderful and affordable vet. I have gone into other vets just for a checkup and by the time we left it was over 400.00 of nothing but tests, I took in for basic check up and shots. I did a lot of searching for a good vet that is not always trying to "up sell" everything. I don't mind paying for what is needed but I have been learning a lot
yep I agree it is a PROFIT deal for some sadly not always what is most necessary and why i try to keep educating myself so I do what i feel is necessary for mine
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