Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I try to avoid posting about this sort of thing, but today, I rant

Timeshare Kitty was injured. I discovered her injuries on Sunday. I'm not a vet, but all of her symptoms indicated the most likely problem was a dislocated jaw. (Poor kitty!)

It was obvious she was uncomfortable (not cleaning herself, able to drink, but not really able to eat, her teeth were misaligned and she unable to close her mouth, which led to constant drooling and her tongue sticking out. Not precisely the most intelligent of looks for her ...
But she wasn't miserable with pain, and so we opted to wait to take her to our clinic rather than stress her out at the emergency clinic.
I called our clinic first thing yesterday morning- they couldn't have been open for more than two minutes- and told them about her injury and what I suspected was going on.
Took her in around noon, where they recommended an X-ray, which meant sedation. I get that- need to be sure what's of going on before messing about with things; they were unwilling to rule out a fracture without the x-ray.

I also understood the need for sedation. While she was fine with letting *us* touch her and try and peek in her mouth, she wasn't so keen on the vet's gloved hands doing the same...
They wrote up an estimate of the costs involved (including ‘worst case scenario’), we discussed the likelihood of some of the procedures needing to be done (such as surgery!), and went ahead with the x-ray and sedation.

We waited, since we wanted to know what was going on with her as soon as possible.
After nearly an hour, they finally called us back into the exam room, where they put the films up on the light board and told me they could neither confirm nor deny either a fracture *OR* a dislocation.
They told me they wanted to send me to *another* clinic for dental-quality x-rays. They said if it proved to be just a dislocation, the vets there would set it back into place immediately. I am, as previously stated, not a vet. But I looked at the films, and could see immediately that her jaw was out of place. I pointed out where things lined up on the right side versus the left.
But they still weren’t willing to go ahead and set it- they wanted to send us to the other clinic. Only it’s on the other side of town!

It was at this point that the Vet who’d been working with her admitted that no one at the clinic (that day, at least) had ever re-set a dislocated jaw in a cat before ...

Now, this is the heart of my frustration: I called in, explained the situation, came to my appointment (meaning I am “on the hook” for the exam, of course), agreed to the X-ray and sedation, and it’s NOW that you’re telling me your machine can’t take adequate images for what you need, and that you aren’t really certain about how to help my cat?

Couldn’t you, honestly, have led with that? Honestly, it’s not about the money. Not for me, at least; Himself, however, was quite put out about the extra money). They didn’t charge me for the X-rays, since they felt they weren’t very helpful- and the cat seemed much happier after waking up from the sedation, so perhaps it eased some clenched muscles or some such ... But I paid out $133 to be told I’d have to take her to someone else to pay more money to have similar, if not the same, procedures performed on her there?

Because, you know, I have *so* much spare time kicking around that I can afford to rearrange my schedule to make a second appointment during the height of rush hour at a location that’s 30 minutes away withOUT traffic ...

Don’t get me wrong; we (Himself came with) DID take her to the other clinic.

They examined her and agreed that a fracture was highly unlikely and it really did look like a dislocation. “Since the other clinic sent you here for dental x-rays, we’ll do them.” (Her tone suggested that she didn’t see the necessity, but I guess professional courtesy dictates that they respect the other clinic’s recommendation)

They advised against waiting, asking instead for a phone number we could be reached at. By this time, it was just after 5PM, and they estimated she’d be ready to be picked up by 8PM.

We opted not to go home, given the gas and time involved. We went instead for dinner. By 6PM, they called us to say that yes, her jaw was dislocated. No fractures evident. In fact, they’d already re-set it by the time they’d called. She was doing well, and we could pick her up in 45 minutes.

No surgery, either. They gave her some antibiotics because she had a puncture wound in her mouth which was looking infected, and they gave us some anti-inflammatory meds to help her with any discomfort.

All’s well that ends well, and in the grand scheme of things, that’s what matters most, but I am still frustrated by how our vet’s clinic handled the matter.

Ah well, it’s only money, right? And I must confess, it was rather nice to have an impromptu date with Himself. Plus, we had an extra treat; we got to watch Boo's Karate class :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment