Is vet just "fishing" for for $$ ?

catsandcorals

New member
Joined
Jul 30, 2017
Hi all.

I believe the new vet is just trying to get money. Based on reviews of vets in my area, it's a very common practice. I'd like to know what other people think. The vet wants to do expensive tests for cancer, when the exam showed no evidence of it.

My cat is 7.5 years old. She saw the new vet a few days ago. She was fine last March 2020, at which time she had her rabies vaccination. A month later, the pandemic forced food changes, and there was probably some emotional upset due to moving to a new.apartment.

Based on results from her visit this week, her bloodwork, thyroid test, and and exam were normal, except two loose teeth and a bad tooth that need to be pulled. She eats more than enough, poops normal, pees normal, behaves normal except wanting food constantly (hence the thyroid test). The vet wants to do expensive tests for cancer, because the pandemic-related food shortages last spring precipitated food adjustment issues (also a stressful move to a new apartment), which resulted in throwing up and the predictable subsequent weight loss from that throwing up. Those symptoms have stopped, since I finally found a food several weeks ago that agrees with her tummy. She is eating 3 x 5.5 oz cans a day of Blue Buffalo Tastefuls canned food.

If this was a human being, no insurance company would pay for cancer tests based on the exam, the fact that there was a logical non-cancer explanation for the symptoms, and the fact that addressing the non-cancer problem has led to a relief of the symptoms.

What do you think is this doctor's motivation for claiming the cancer testing needs to be done?

.
 

linda2147

Active member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
New Hampshire
I think they are just looking for more money. In my experience cancer is a battle you can't win so even if she does have cancer there isn't much you can do about it. I'm not a fan of putting animals for no reason because cancer is a killer and no matter how much money you throw at the problem its still a battle you can't win. Enjoy her while you have her and if she gets sick and inpain then make the hard decision to let her go otherwise just enjoy her and whatever will be will be.
 

catsandcorals

New member
Joined
Jul 30, 2017
Original Poster
I just made a long post and it vanished. How frustrating.

I talked finally to the vet who left the message this morning. She was going by what the other vet told her, and had not the two-page written history I had given (since they don't let people in the office now, to talk during exam). The second vet went back over the history with me, then said she agrees with me about the cause of the symptoms. Since the current food has led to improvement, she said keep feeding the way I have been, then bring the cat back in a month to weigh her and re-evaluate.

When I go back, I'm going to request the second vet.
 

catsandcorals

New member
Joined
Jul 30, 2017
Original Poster
I think they are just looking for more money. In my experience cancer is a battle you can't win so even if she does have cancer there isn't much you can do about it. I'm not a fan of putting animals for no reason because cancer is a killer and no matter how much money you throw at the problem its still a battle you can't win. Enjoy her while you have her and if she gets sick and inpain then make the hard decision to let her go otherwise just enjoy her and whatever will be will be.
I've had two cats die from cancer (they were euthanized), two different types of it, just a year apart. I was living for several years in an apartment that was overgrown with black mold. I think they got it on them and ingested it repeatedly while grooming. Supposedly black mold wouldn't cause cancer, but I don't believe that, because of the cats. One was elderly, the other was only 3 yo.
 

linda2147

Active member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
New Hampshire
I question everything, don't always just take what the vets say as gospel. I have bengal cats, the breeder I got my snow has a vet that specializes in bengals, he said NO shots other than distemper as the lukemia shot can actually cause the cat to have lukemia, I gave her the letter I had from the specialist and she still insisted the shot was ok, but I finally told her he is not having any shots and if you keep asking and tryhing to convince me I will be finding another vet. he went just last week for his yearly checkup, he weighs 19.4 pounds and is perfectly healthy and other than the distemper shot he's had no vaccines.
 

catsandcorals

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Joined
Jul 30, 2017
Original Poster
I love bengals. There's a shop owner who has two that live in the shop. She got them about a year and a half ago. I'd love to see how they've grown, but you know, pandemic and all.

The vet is having me hold off vaccination until this problem is figured out. I only get rabies vaccinations. The cats are strictly indoor cats, and I don't play with stranger animals unless I'm able to wash afterwards (I am always worried about germs, so I'm not going to risk carrying cat germs to my kitties).
 

linda2147

Active member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
New Hampshire
I have no choice in giving the rabies shot, its law here and they do it regardless of the cats are indoor or not. My male is a brown spotted, my female is a snow. My rescue siamese is a lilac point, she is not a purebred but doesn't matter, they don't know or care what they are and they all need a home.
 

catsandcorals

New member
Joined
Jul 30, 2017
Original Poster
I have no choice in giving the rabies shot, its law here and they do it regardless of the cats are indoor or not. My male is a brown spotted, my female is a snow. My rescue siamese is a lilac point, she is not a purebred but doesn't matter, they don't know or care what they are and they all need a home.
The rabies shots are a law thing, but not the others. But if the vet says to wait on getting it, I don't see how the pet parent can be cited for not getting it done. The bigger problem is that if my cat was to bite me bad enough for me to go to a doctor, it would have to be reported by the doctor to the county, and the county will kill the animal if there isn't proof of rabies vaccination.
 

TTouch

New member
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
This answer may get me splinters in the backside if it is deemed I am sitting on the fence:D I'm not I just can see both sides

But hey ho, here goes!

Vets training is long and very expensive, many struggle to find a job for their final years experience to qualify, those that do get low pay /short hours often working for one of the many pet related charities which offer free/cheap medical treatments or as a temp vet covering holidays for various practices, which is why if they manage to get an offer to buy into a partnership with a vet or they set up their own business and all the expensive associated costs involved, it is a long run to even break even financially let alone pay back debt.

Vets are seen by many pet owners and also told the Vet is the 'be all and end all' of everything pet/animal related, from nutrition, to behaviour, training and who they would 'recommend' from boarding, to pet sitting, dog walking and all animal related industry.... and they are not qualified in all those, they are medical practitoners ( unless they have taken additional training/qualifications. )
What I do know is vets recommend who they know and those in the animal related world who are also their clients.

As time is money for a Vet and appointments generally booked are in 15 min slots , it is difficult for any pet owner to build up any sort of relationship with the Vet, unless they have a pet who is always ill and they are always in the Vets so clients tend to think of Vets as some sort of 'God' not to be questioned and some Vets act like Gods using medical terminology they know most client have no knowledge of the meaning of, which (Vets know) stops many asking/questioning further ...Clients not wanting to feel like total uninformed idiots and the Vet buying time or just avoiding answering

Pet insurance is big business and many Vets just assume ( they certainly ask and also which company as payments can be different) as they know they will get paid for all ongoing work so they do push more treatment, more meds etc that they would not push to those not insured. Insurance pay out invoices are negotiated between the Vets and insurance company if it is a direct payment (not if the client is insured, pay and then claims)

Life has changed ... dogs for example live as part of the family in centrally heated homes, not chained up outside/in a kennel.... meaning a push for parasite treatments is normal now, as they live in the home they do develop different behaviours, some of them unwanted as people see them close up daily and so pick up on lots of issues that would not be noticed on the dog living outside 24/7.
Vaccinations are thought of now and pushed as an annual requirement ( and yes some countries also have legal requirements) but you can over vaccinate, each new vaccination knocks out any previous immunity, so why not do titer test to see what their immunty is like and if they need one or not.... but that is not what Vets promote to clients... why? Loss of income /lastest fashion/thinking

Like us humans, pets are living longer so like us they get old age diseases previously not seen in pets or previously not treated if seen, accepted as end of life but now treatments are available so we humans use and pay for them. Pets are in the main stream are fed on highly promoted kibble which is processed food and so processed food aliments/illnesses happen.

People want quick fixes for their pets, so a pill, an injection and 'magically' fixed but nothing is fixed long term if it is not a medical issue that can be 'fixed' , but for example a nutritional or behaviour issue, that requires research, work and time.

My vet is also a personal friend who I have known/meet socially with for over ten years I know what he promotes for clients is not what he does for his own pets. I KNOW he uses 'products' I have recommended and use ( as I see his pets at least 3-4 times a week ), he uses a non medical pain/inflammation product for his older dog as he is concerned the pain/inflammation medication wrecks the liver, he uses non medical parasite treatment ...neither of which he promotes in surgery as he is a medical trained/quaified Vet and they cost far less than 'normal' products and/or are not repeat costs... he uses them because they work, but without negative side effects
My previous Vet is also a long term friend she sold her practice because of the work stress she was suffering because ( she says) the push to over medicate to survive financially and she wanted to concentrate on her dog rescue charity, she now uses lots of non medical products and has done further training in 'alternatives'

So I would tell people to question their Vets they are human beings the same as you or I not Gods, ask them not to use medical terms but clear simple language, ask about studies done on x medication, what side effect there are and what alternative treatments, they may not be very clear the first time, but they will remember you and know that client wants to know what, why, where, when and they will be ready for the next time.... they are YOUR pets, it is YOUR money
 

catsandcorals

New member
Joined
Jul 30, 2017
Original Poster
I have to make the appointment to take her back to the vet so they can check her again and discuss the dental work that is needed. She has not vomited even one single time and has clearly gained weight. She eats almost twice the suggested amount on the labels. That first vet was going to have me spend thousands of dollars to try to make a cancer diagnosis because she couldn't find anything else wrong. If I had gone to the vet before I found food that doesn't make the cat puke, the cat would have died because the doctor focused on the most complicated and expensive possible diagnosis she could think of, instead of suggesting specific dietary changes, or maybe testing for food allergies or anything related to food and digestive system. I won't deal with that vet again, so that place will have to make sure the new appointment is with the other one.
 

TTouch

New member
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
I have to make the appointment to take her back to the vet so they can check her again and discuss the dental work that is needed. She has not vomited even one single time and has clearly gained weight. She eats almost twice the suggested amount on the labels. That first vet was going to have me spend thousands of dollars to try to make a cancer diagnosis because she couldn't find anything else wrong. If I had gone to the vet before I found food that doesn't make the cat puke, the cat would have died because the doctor focused on the most complicated and expensive possible diagnosis she could think of, instead of suggesting specific dietary changes, or maybe testing for food allergies or anything related to food and digestive system. I won't deal with that vet again, so that place will have to make sure the new appointment is with the other one.
I completely agree with you, you pay for their services same as you would a plumber, or car mechanic and if you don't get the service you deserve, you get bad service, you are paying for their lack of knowledge/experience , they are failing to get another professional opinion before making further and extensive 'suggestions' or you think that someone is adding unnecessarily to your bill any sane person would not use them again, add to the fact that you have a living animal who could potentially be harmed by inappropiate/unnecessary treatment.
If you are using the same Vet practice, ( personally I wouldn't) make sure you make it clear to the Vet you do see what was 'suggested' "a cancer diagnosis because she couldn't find anything else wrong." as all that information should already be in your pets clinical notes, including all the basics and there is nothing more basic than the diet especially as the symptoms started after a change in food.
 


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