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Old 08-10-03, 08:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
CraigC's Avatar
Join Date: Jan-2003
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Vet Expenses?

A recent situation where an animal was shipped to a buyer in deplorable condition has me wondering how people feel about the extent they are willing to go in vet expenses. I'm not going to rehash the controversy this particular situation caused, but leave it at the fact the buyer decided to take the animal to his vet for diagnosis/treatment. When all was said and done, the animal had to be put down as it tested positive for paramyxovirus. The animal was in vet care for at least two weeks and a necropsy was done with samples being sent out for testing. As you can imagine the bill is quite substantial.

Maybe I'm venturing into reptile keepers "No Mans/Womens Land" as my gut reaction is "If your not willing to spend what ever it takes, don't keep animals". I realize this is not practical and anyone with interest in these animals should be allowed to keep them.

Just wondering about other folks opinions?
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Old 08-10-03, 08:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I see very valid reasons for getting animals, even ones with no hope to vets/labs for testing, especially in the cases that appear to be hard to dignose or even well known but incurable ailments, IBD, Paramyxovirus, cryto etc.
As far behind as reptile medicine is, maybe the information gathered from these cases can lead to prevention and cures.

I can also understand that if money is tight, sometimes many of the post mortum tests are out of peoples reach.

But, if people keep animals that aquire ailments that are beyond their grasp or ability to treat, then by all means, vet trip.
To do otherwise would be cruelty and neglect.
If keeping animals and not having the money for care and vet treatment of ailments that pop up from time to time, then I encourage them to get the animals to some one or a group that CAN see that what is needed can be done rather than let the animal suffer.
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Old 08-10-03, 09:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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poor college student that I am, I get fecals for all new animals (though treat them myself). I feed prey raised on a strict lab qualty diet for the most part, though some treats or special needs (frogs/lizards/other snakes) may not be. I use ultra-strict quarantine proceedures for 6 months and after this many years I treat small things on my own (drugs/equipment available at feed stores around here). I keep almost all animals seperate(have 2 pairs together year round), maintain good records, and closely observe them for any changes. The only instance of other necessity was my male Bco who was taken in for both gram positive/negative testing(both negative). Good practices, regular fecals(every 2 years for mine with a discount due to quantity lol) keep medical to a minimum. Still, if I take in an animals and the vet says, "Yeah we could probably save it with this $500USD treatment" only 3 out of 29 would get it, if he said $1000 none would. I love my animals and treat them well, but I grew up on a ranch. Nothing lives forever.
Old 08-10-03, 10:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep-2002
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I have a strong bias here, as I worked as a volunteer and then a "voluployee" in veterinary medicine for almost 18 years. I've seen a lot of preventable conditions tear apart a person's entire collection or cause premature deaths in animals that could easily have been saved if things were caught earlier.

When folks are in the habit of bringing all new animals to the vet for a routine physical exam, baseline bloodwork and a fecal examination it's a very costly thing. But many problems are picked up and treated before they become a full-blown crisis and in the long run these cases end up costing far less money than trying to save a seriously sick animal or replacing a good part of your collection because of pathogens introduced to the household.

If you don't have the money to spend on baseline exams, it's my humble opinion that you really don't have the money to buy the animal yet. Save up, get the animal checked out soon after purchase, have good quarantining and hygiene procedures, and then enjoy your pets thriving.
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