What You Need to Know About Veterinary Pet Insurance »
When getting a new pet, you may be concerned about whether pet insurance is right for you. Find out if you should work pet insuran…
When getting a new pet, you may be concerned about whether pet insurance is right for you. Find out if you should work pet insuran…
Paying for your vet's veterinary costs can get tricky. Learn how to make the most of your vet visits and pay for your furry friend…
Emergencies regarding your beloved pet are never fun. In the unfortunate case of one, be sure you know what to expect when you bri…
The Fox Valley Animal Referral Center is an amazing place! We always hope as pet owners that we will never need emergency care for our beloved animals. However, if that emergency arises, there is no better place to take your pet than FVARC! From the moment you walk through t...morehe door until the time you leave, this critical care facility is &quot;state-of'-the-art.&quot; Your pet is evaluated immediately to determine if he is in a life-threatening situation. As should be the case, those patients in critical situations are taken first. As you and your pet move through the evaluation and treatment phases, every single step of the process is explained in detail and associated treatment options with costs are discussed. Your pet is treated by a team of doctors and technicians that are extremely knowledgeable and very compassionate!! I would like to share the story of Hugo, my 7 year old Miniature Pinscher. Hugo has dealt with a multitude of health issues from bladder stones to pancreatitis. In November of 2008, he was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia. One day he was acting perfectly normal and the next day he was collapsing. I took him to FVARC and he was diagnosed with IMHA. At the time, I had never heard of the disease. I asked a lot of questions and found out that Hugo's red blood cells were basically destroying themselves faster than he could make them. Hugo had to be admitted to the hospital. While he was there, I received constant updates from the doctors by phone or in person when I went to visit him. The benefit of a 24 hour facility brings with it the comfort that someone is always watching and monitoring your pet's condition. Tests that typically have to be sent out to a 3rd party from a regular vet can be conducted on-site to provide immediate information and test results to the doctors and staff to monitor progress. Everyday that Hugo was in the hospital, I knew that he was receiving the care he needed from people who cared about him. Sadly, Hugo passed away 4 1/2 days after he was diagnosed with IMHA. However, the dignity with which this whole situation was handled was exemplary. The doctors constantly kept me updated and made sure I was there with him as he neared the end of his life. The doctors and technicians were the most caring, compassionate people I have ever dealth with. The morning of Hugo's passing, the doctors and staff were crying with me - a true sign of the care and compassion they feel for every animal that comes to their facility. I lost my soul mate that day, and the doctors and staff and FVARC understood that. We, as pet owners, only experience the passing of a pet once and it is a moment we never forget. I will never forget that day and how Hugo's passing was handled with dignity and compassion. I will never forget seeing the faces of the doctors and staff after Hugo passed looking as if they had lost one of their own. Their hearts are huge and their compassion for animals unprecedented! I have nothing but respect for the doctors and staff at the FVARC who deal with emergency situations on a regular basis. Many of them have dedicated their lives to the care and concern of not only pets, but their owners. To those of you who feel that FVARC is expensive, what price can you put on saving the life of your soul mate or treating your pet with as much dignity in death as they do in life? For me, you cannot put a price on what FVARC does for our pets in emergency situations and beyond. I highly recommend this facility to any pet owner!! The people and the facility are awesome!!! view less
I would highly recommend their services. I was really surprised to hear such negative comments about FVAFC. Last week we came home to find out 8.5 year old dog unable to walk with his back legs and signs that appeared to be significant neurological issues. This was a very...more quick onset of issues that night and when the local vet who was still open didn't feel they could provide the appropriate services, we brought him to the local Vet Emergency center. We paid for our visit there; our dog was given an injection for pain, and due to the severity was referred immediately to FVAFC. The communication between the facilities was excellent and every staff member we interacted with was caring and considerate. We were informed of the cost being $3500-$5000 and explained what procedures would take place to reach that cost including possible surgery which we expected. Our dog stayed the night, and we got a phone call at 6:30am the next morning with a status report from the vet and were informed throughout the day of the time the scan would take place. We visited our dog prior to the scan that next day, could see that his pain was being properly managed and the staff was very understanding and accommodating. The surgeon thoroughly explained the large mass on his spinal cord and showed us the images. We were not comfortable making a permanent decision without knowing what the mass was so a 2nd opinion to a radiologist was sent out and a Spinal tap was recommended and performed. We received a call later in the evening confirming the large mass was cancer. It was a very poor prognosis because of size and location of the mass. This is a referral center with specialists. Specialists are expensive but because they’re specialists is why we are taking our pets there. I would take any measures I could to help diagnosis or determine a treatment plan for myself or my family, and this is the same for us for our dog. At no time did I feel pressured to proceed with more expensive or unnecessary treatment options or tests, and I entirely believe the appropriate tests were done and we were referred to the right specialists at the right time. The euthanasia process was the most calming and relaxing it could have been; the nurse and vet were very empathetic to our situation and we held our dog before, during, and after the injection. The process was painless and lasted a quick 30 seconds, but we were blessed to be with our dog throughout the entire process surrounded by supporting staff. I could not have asked for anything more for a situation that brought us so much heartache. Of course, I wish my dog never needed to be brought in for any of the services, but because he was, I was very grateful for the staff and experience we had here. The services cost us considerably less than the low end of the expected quote and we paid before we left that evening. All arrangements were made and explained to us regarding the cremation process. view less
They have a state of the art facility and don't have to send in tests all over to get the results. It's a difficult place to have to go - an ER. And it's expensive. They tell you that up front. But their surgeons are incredible and compassionate, their techs are wonderful, a...morend my cat was comfy there. He had a bad reaction to anesthetic during a scope of his sinuses (my vet wasn't equipped to do the procedure). Unfortunately he was allergic to a very commonly used anesthetic - believe me, I researched this. He nearly died. They had him in a baby incubator with lots of tubes in the IV of his little arm. I could call any time, day or night, and they would tell me his condition honestly, even though I know I made a pest of myself. They also never pushed me out when I visited him for hours on end - just occasionally suggested that I go home to get some sleep. Way more expensive than anticipated, but Dr Cole did tell me she cut costs all she could considering Buddy's need for needing a dedicated tech to monitor him for a while. Less than a year later, my little man got sick again. To make a long story short, he had a sarcoma in his throat that was blocking his breathing and his swallowing. My regular vets did all they could do to determine what was going on, but we ended up back at the Referral Center, with the same doctor, who remembered us. Though we were hoping for a &quot;better&quot; kind of cancer, it turned out to be the worst. Dr Cole presented the options, and though I was prepared to go deep into debt for my little guy, The odds just weren't in his favor. On his last visit she thought of one more thing that would have given him about 6 more good months depending on the placement of the tumor. I jumped at the chance, which was explained to me at about 50/50. It felt like a &quot;people hospital&quot; sending him off on that gurney. Sadly, she came back into the room, eyes welled up, and told me the cancer had spread. Not wanting to put him through chemo in Madison, I decided to not wake him up from his anesthesia. The doctor and the tech were both with us as we said goodbye, and they made it as comforting as possible :( Then the tech sat with us for well over an hour talking with us, looking at pictures, and hearing stories while I held his little body. Then I exited through the dreaded side door. It wasn't cheap, but I do not feel I got screwed. Just avoid going there unless it is an emergency - and transfer back to your regular vet if you're only there because of the time of day that you need to take your pet in. I hope this helps. view less
Choosing the right vet for your pet can be tough. After all, your furry friend can't tell you how he or she feels about the doctor. Even though you're not the one treated by the vet, whoever your animal sees is obviously your decision. Since many veterinary diseases and injuries can turn into emergencies very quickly, it's important to have a go-to vet. This way, you can ensure you'll know whom to see when your animal needs care.
Speak to your friends and family about vets who've treated their pets. You can even talk to your groomer or an animal shelter worker for referrals. When you visit the clinics you've been referred to, check that the facility is clean, animals are separated and the staff is calm and courteous. Not all clinics are American Animal Hospital Association accredited. This accreditation isn't a legal necessity, though a clinic that's AAHA-accredited is guaranteed to offer high-quality medical care. To receive accreditation, the clinic has to meet the AAHA's standards in the areas of facility, equipment and quality care.
If you're looking for a specialist, you want to make sure he or she is board-certified to practice in that specific area of animal medicine. You'll want to make sure your vet is also convenient to visit, so there are factors to take into account.
The type of animal you own should play a part in which vet you choose as well. While your options are vast if you have a dog or cat, you may have to visit an avian clinic for your bird or an exotics clinic for your snake.
Just as there are many types of doctors, there are many types of vets. Some focus on livestock or house pets, while others may specialize in dentistry or surgery. They may work in a veterinary clinic or zoo, working specifically with the animals housed there, or travel to farms to work with livestock. Since horse racing and other equestrian activities are so popular, some vets are trained to work just with horses.
Diseases, like malaria and yellow fever are also transmitted through animals. Some vets have insight to diseases that affect both humans and animals. Vets have contributed to the treatment and cure of many diseases that plagued both humans and their furry friends.
Government agencies employ veterinarians as well. When an animal comes from a foreign land, these vets quarantine them and check for any diseases that may be present in an effort to control new diseases that can be brought into the country. Other Specific types of vets include:
A vet assistant works alongside the veterinarian and helps out around the clinic. In some cases, they may assist vets in surgery or restrain struggling animals during tests or lab work. The everyday duties of a veterinary assistant include; monitoring and caring for animals after surgery, keeping medical records, cleaning animals' teeth, feeding and bathing them, cleaning cages, sterilizing surgical equipment, giving animals medication, collecting samples for testing and performing laboratory tests, and offering grief counseling to pet owners.
It's a good idea to bring your pet to the vet regularly. This way, he or she becomes familiar and comfortable with the care providers, and you can stay on top of your pet's preventative care. If the animal is small enough, bring it to the office in a carrier. Just as you visit the doctor for a yearly check up, you should bring in your pet for regular check ups as well. During a routine veterinary visit, the vet will probably begin by asking you if there have been any changes in your pet's behavior or habits.
The vet will then take your pet's vitals, like weight, temperature, pulse and respiration rate, and perform a physical examination of the pet. During a physical exam, the vet checks the abdomen for swollen organs, and the legs, feet and joints for any potential problems. Depending on the age, breed or condition of your pet, your veterinarian may also check the eyes, ears and mouth.
When your vet conducts a full body examination, he or she will check out your pet's coat and skin, noting any hair loss, itchy spots or lumps. Keep note of your animal's shedding habits so you can let the vet know if anything seems abnormal. The vet will check for parasites, fleas, ticks, mites and heartworms as well.
Vaccinations are also important to your pet, especially if you have a cat or a dog, and your vet will suggest that you make sure they're current. Keeping up to date with vaccinations can prevent your furry friend from getting distemper, rabies, hepatitis and lyme disease. Some vaccinations last longer than others, so speak to your doctor about staying caught up with your animal's shots.
Just like your own health insurance, you want to make sure your animal is covered before he or she needs veterinary services. Some common animal surgeries can cost thousands of dollars, and you don't want to end up having to foot a surprise bill that costs more than your paycheck.
There's no set price for pet health insurance. Costs can depend on factors such as where you live, the age and breed of your pet, and how much coverage you want. Before you take out a pet insurance policy, you'll want to meet with your vet to go over what he or she thinks your animal should be covered for. Many vets believe that you should make sure cancer, chronic disease, hereditary and congenital disease, and common breed-related medical conditions are all addressed in your policy.
Some pet owners can't afford insurance for their pet, so there are other options to make paying for surprise pet visits as easy as possible. Some pet stores have wellness plans - which tend to be much cheaper than an insurance policy - that offer shots, check ups, screenings and discounts on various procedures your pet may need. A lot of veterinary offices offer payment plans for pricey procedures as well, as long as you have decent credit history. For a last-ditch option, there are even privately funded organizations that offer pet owners financial aid for their pet's treatments.