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December 2017 newsletter

After Hours Emergencies

Village Veterinary Clinic is NOT attended 24 hours a day. If you have an after-hours emergency you have two choices of emergency clinics:
Hillcrest Veterinary Emergency Centre
Cube House, 32 Old Main Road Hillcrest
Cell: 084 520 1417
Sherwood after Hours Veterinary Clinic
Corner Locksley & 36 Jersey Road, Sherwood
Phone 031 207 1300

Village Veterinary Clinic is NOT attended 24 hours a day. If you have an after-hours emergency you have two choices of emergency clinics:

Hillcrest Veterinary Emergency Centre
Cube House, 32 Old Main Road Hillcrest Cell: 084 520 1417

Sherwood after Hours Veterinary Clinic
Corner Locksley & 36 Jersey Road, Sherwood
Phone 031 207 1300

ePetstoreVillage Veterinary Clinic is NOT attended 24 hours a day. If you have an after-hours emergency you have two choices of emergency clinics:
 
Hillcrest Veterinary Emergency Centre
Cube House, 32 Old Main Road Hillcrest
Cell: 084 520 1417
 
Sherwood after Hours Veterinary Clinic
Corner Locksley & 36 Jersey Road, Sherwood
Phone 031 207 1300

Village Vet Shop

shop4

Shop Open Times:
Monday - Friday:
7:45 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday:
8:30 am - 12 pm
 
Veterinary Consult Times:
Monday - Friday:
Mornings: 8:30 am - 12 pm
Afternoons: 3 pm - 5:30 pm
Saturday:
8:30 am to 11 am
 
 
 

Ceaser's Pet Parlour

ceasers_pet_parlour

Planning for the medical care for your pet.

Why plan for the medical care of my pet?

Things have changed in all medical fields, animal and human alike. Things that we used to be helpless in the face of, we can now do something about. We have equipment that helps us to diagnose and treat conditions that a few years ago little was known about.

Our knowledge base is growing exponentially, our equipment, in practices like ours, that invest in it, is getting better and better, we can save lives that not long ago we would have lost as we stood by helplessly looking on. As with humans though, you cannot just begin treating a patient, you have to first uncover the cause of the illness.

For example a dog comes in really sick; it isn’t well, it isn’t eating. The owner is worried, can’t think of any reason why this has happened. It is a fairly young dog and up until the day before was the picture of health. The children are devastated. So it could be an illness, it could have swallowed something like a bouncy ball, it could be a tumour, it could be liver, it could be intestinal the list goes on….So before we can begin treatment we need to run tests to make sure we begin treatment correctly, as rapidly as possible. Sometimes the first and most basic test reveals the culprit, sometimes not.

So….we start at the most likely possibility and take it from there. These tests incur a cost, but they save time and lives and are worth it. In this case it might be Biliary so we would do a blood smear, to check. If it was negative for Biliary we would need to take X-rays and Ultrasound to look for a foreign object. If that turned up nothing we might have to run blood and urine tests to look for infection or any obvious abnormalities. If, after all that, we have no clear reason for his condition, we may have to have exploratory surgery to see what may be causing all this. The sooner the better, the longer you leave things, the poorer the prognosis.

So you see, here is a typical case of a dog that was well two days before, and now for reasons unknown is seriously ill. We will probably be able to save him, the owner brought him in as soon as she realised he was sick, he is young and in good shape. When he goes home he will get good care, and he will make a full recovery. However this is a family with young children, they are working on a tight budget, and they hadn’t planned on this.

Medical Aid for Pets in South Africa

The Situation: Whilst Medical Aid for pets is common place overseas, especially in the U.K, In South Africa not many people are aware of it, or if they are, they aren’t sure how good it is. The cost of medical care for both animals and humans is spiralling upwards. Many pet owners have medical aid for themselves for this reason, or at least a hospital plan, but no cover for their pets.

The Result: If an animal is hit by car, poisoned, swallows something dangerous, becomes seriously ill, or any other medical emergency, it may place financial strain on the owners to treat the problem properly. In fact, sometimes financial constraints lead to the emergency in the first place.

Owners sometimes wait too long before seeking treatment “hoping it will get better on its own” .By the time they bring the animal in, the situation is dire and drastic action is needed. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we fail, simply because a condition was left untreated for too long.

Solution: Medical Aid

Did you know you are more likely to claim on your pet insurance than your household insurance? Do you only have one of them, or both?

When most people think of Medical Aid they think of it in terms of Emergency Treatment. Things like: broken bones from being hit by a car, or wounds from being attacked by another dog. For this reason, many people turn it down, thinking their gardens are fenced, their dogs don’t fight, what are the chances?

Chances are good. Fact is, one third of pets will experience a Medical Condition that will require treatment. Think skin disease, ear problems, heart disease, arthritis, swallowing a bone or a ball, the list goes on. Medical aid covers a host of things that many people either don’t realise are covered or don’t think that their pet will get.

We have many instances where people were able to get treatment for their animals that they would else not have been able to afford. There are two medical aids to consider, they are both good, they work very differently to each other though, so read up on them and ask us for advice if you are not sure.

  • The first, MediPet (www.medipetsa.co.za) gives you up to R25 000 cover per annum.
  • The second is Petsure (www.petsure.co.za) which has various options to choose from.

How do they help you?

  • You can budget for medical cover
  • Emergencies are covered
  • Peace of mind your pet can be cared for
  • You won’t have to euthanase an animal for financial reasons alone.

How do they help us?

We can do our best to save their lives, without cutting corners for financial reasons. People who have medical cover visit us more often, allowing us to diagnose and treat conditions earlier, which is more cost effective for the clients, and generally the prognosis for the pet, is better. 

Other options:

1. Save up for “just in case”. The thing is, with this plan, is however well intentioned it is, it just never seems to happen.

2. Take your chances. The school of hard knocks has taught hundreds, if not thousands of our clients that chances are; that lump we find, that car that was going a bit too fast, the pet your children love most, is the one that falls ill. Disaster will strike that pet at the time you can least afford it.

So please, consider medical aid for your pet .You never know when something could go wrong, and the security of having medical aid would give you peace of mind. Unless you have a very healthy positive bank balance, you really need to plan for the care of your pets. It is only fair to them, and to your family.

 

Below are a few “Questions and Answers” that you may have, but may not necessarily want to voice. We hope they give you a little perspective. Sometimes a little understanding goes a long way.
Question: Veterinary care seems so expensive these days, why is this?
Answer: Compared to human medicine, veterinary care is a bargain.  If you have spent a day or two in hospital, having some part of you studied, removed or fixed or pinned, if you had some anaesthetic, some stitches, some painkillers, and a nurse to check on you every now and then, how much was the bill? You’ve either been through it yourself or are related to someone who has. So you will know it probably came to anywhere between R20 000 to R60 000 depending on what was done. Maybe you had to pay for all of it yourself, or only some of it, maybe you had medical aid, and they paid all of it for you. One thing is certain; no one has surgery in a hospital and walks out with a bill for less than a thousand rand.
The cost of veterinary care has actually risen very little during the last 20 to 30 years. Bear in mind that your veterinarian is not only the veterinary equivalent of a GP. He is also a specialist in the sense that he is also your animals’ paediatrician, surgeon, radiologist, dentist, dermatologist, neurologist, ophthalmologist, psychiatrist, ENT and pharmacist, and has to provide all his own equipment in each of these fields, in order to practice good medicine. It is not supplied by hospitals, as is the case with humans.
The skill level required and the cost of equipment is no different between human and animal medical practitioners, but the gap between fees is huge.
Your veterinary bill is a reflection of the costs of purchasing and maintaining suitable facilities, equipment, and support personnel to provide the level of care that you expect in animal medicine today.
Although it may feel as if you are paying a lot for your pet's health, chances are that you probably have adequate medical aid for your own needs. Consequently, you may never see the total bottom-line figure for your own doctor and hospital bills. When human health care costs are added up, including medical aid, and pharmaceutical costs, there is no comparison to the much lower veterinary care costs.
Question: Isn't my vet supposed to care? Why can’t he work for free?
Answer: You would never expect your doctor, paediatrician or surgeon to provide a diagnosis, care, hospitalisation and medication free of charge. You cannot ask your veterinarian to do this for your pet. A veterinary practice is a small business that, like any other, needs to maintain its cash flow to ensure its survival.
Your Veterinary Surgeon is not an animal welfare officer. He is a highly trained medical practitioner, that in most cases, has to purchase equipment that in a human hospital would be provided, and wait years to recoup on that investment. He also employs a team of people to assist in providing care for your pet. These staff rely on their income, as do you, and by not managing the practice cash flows properly, their livelihoods are at stake.
The extent of care given to any animal is ultimately determined by its owner. Every pet owner has different ideas about what is acceptable pet care. Veterinarians can only make their clients aware of the services and products that are available. If you have concerns about fees, speak to the veterinarian before treatment to discuss them. It's important to understand that most veterinarians can and will go the extra mile for their clients, but they simply cannot jeopardize the quality of their business by waiving fees.
Veterinarians must cover their employees' salaries, costly equipment, the expense of years of professional training, and the expense of continuing education for staying up-to-date on the latest research. When veterinarians subsidize clients' bills, they are endangering their practices
Question: My pet needs medical attention, but I can’t afford it. What should I do?
Veterinary hospitals are small businesses. They carry a high stock load of food, medicines and surgical consumables. Salaries and expenses must be paid on time. Your payment towards the care of your pet is part of the cycle of running the practice.
Suggestion: Always be up-front with your veterinarian regarding your financial situation. It is best to approach the veterinarian or practice manager to discuss the situation before having services done that you cannot pay for. They will do their best to try and work out a treatment and payment plan that you can manage. Bear in mind though, that if they are upholding their side of the plan, so must you.
Question: If my pet dies, why do I still have to pay?
Animal medicine works the same as human medicine. Time and medication is billed along the way. Just as terminally ill patients may never leave hospital, you are still charged for the care and medication they received whilst they were there. Fees are charged for procedures that have already been provided to your pet. Expenses related to your pet's care, such as time and medications, are billed regardless of the outcome. As in human medicine there is no guarantee that the treatment will resolve any and all problems. Unfortunately, despite valiant efforts, a cure is not always possible.
Suggestion: Consider all the time and honest effort your veterinarian nurses and other staff spent toward trying to resolve your pet's problems. If you still feel that you have valid questions about the fees you were charged, discuss them with your veterinarian or the practice manager. If you cannot afford the bill, work out a payment plan that is fair, and stick to your end of the bargain.
Conclusion
We hope this answered some of the often unvoiced thoughts that you may have and hope it gives you a little perspective. We know this is a touchy subject, and best dealt with when emotions are not running high. Some people are cash flush and some people are on a really tight budget. Some have a very good idea of what medical things cost, and some have none.
If you do have financial concerns and your pet is unwell please be reassured that we will keep all discussions with you confidential. So, if you are battling to make payments please come in to discuss a solution with our practice manager.

Below are a few “Questions and Answers” that you may have, but may not necessarily want to voice. We hope they give you a little perspective. Sometimes a little understanding goes a long way.

Question: Veterinary care seems so expensive these days, why is this?

Answer: Compared to human medicine, veterinary care is a bargain.  If you have spent a day or two in hospital, having some part of you studied, removed or fixed or pinned, if you had some anaesthetic, some stitches, some painkillers, and a nurse to check on you every now and then, how much was the bill? You’ve either been through it yourself or are related to someone who has. So you will know it probably came to anywhere between R20 000 to R60 000 depending on what was done. Maybe you had to pay for all of it yourself, or only some of it, maybe you had medical aid, and they paid all of it for you. One thing is certain; no one has surgery in a hospital and walks out with a bill for less than a thousand rand.

The cost of veterinary care has actually risen very little during the last 20 to 30 years. Bear in mind that your veterinarian is not only the veterinary equivalent of a GP. He is also a specialist in the sense that he is also your animals’ paediatrician, surgeon, radiologist, dentist, dermatologist, neurologist, ophthalmologist, psychiatrist, ENT and pharmacist, and has to provide all his own equipment in each of these fields, in order to practice good medicine. It is not supplied by hospitals, as is the case with humans.

The skill level required and the cost of equipment is no different between human and animal medical practitioners, but the gap between fees is huge.

Your veterinary bill is a reflection of the costs of purchasing and maintaining suitable facilities, equipment, and support personnel to provide the level of care that you expect in animal medicine today.

Although it may feel as if you are paying a lot for your pet's health, chances are that you probably have adequate medical aid for your own needs. Consequently, you may never see the total bottom-line figure for your own doctor and hospital bills. When human health care costs are added up, including medical aid, and pharmaceutical costs, there is no comparison to the much lower veterinary care costs.

Question: Isn't my vet supposed to care? Why can’t he work for free? 

Answer: You would never expect your doctor, paediatrician or surgeon to provide a diagnosis, care, hospitalisation and medication free of charge. You cannot ask your veterinarian to do this for your pet. A veterinary practice is a small business that, like any other, needs to maintain its cash flow to ensure its survival.

Your Veterinary Surgeon is not an animal welfare officer. He is a highly trained medical practitioner, that in most cases, has to purchase equipment that in a human hospital would be provided, and wait years to recoup on that investment. He also employs a team of people to assist in providing care for your pet. These staff rely on their income, as do you, and by not managing the practice cash flows properly, their livelihoods are at stake.

The extent of care given to any animal is ultimately determined by its owner. Every pet owner has different ideas about what is acceptable pet care. Veterinarians can only make their clients aware of the services and products that are available. If you have concerns about fees, speak to the veterinarian before treatment to discuss them. It's important to understand that most veterinarians can and will go the extra mile for their clients, but they simply cannot jeopardize the quality of their business by waiving fees.

Veterinarians must cover their employees' salaries, costly equipment, the expense of years of professional training, and the expense of continuing education for staying up-to-date on the latest research. When veterinarians subsidize clients' bills, they are endangering their practices.

Question: My pet needs medical attention, but I can’t afford it. What should I do?

Veterinary hospitals are small businesses. They carry a high stock load of food, medicines and surgical consumables. Salaries and expenses must be paid on time. Your payment towards the care of your pet is part of the cycle of running the practice.

Suggestion: Always be up-front with your veterinarian regarding your financial situation. It is best to approach the veterinarian or practice manager to discuss the situation before having services done that you cannot pay for. They will do their best to try and work out a treatment and payment plan that you can manage. Bear in mind though, that if they are upholding their side of the plan, so must you.

Question: If my pet dies, why do I still have to pay?

Animal medicine works the same as human medicine. Time and medication is billed along the way. Just as terminally ill patients may never leave hospital, you are still charged for the care and medication they received whilst they were there. Fees are charged for procedures that have already been provided to your pet. Expenses related to your pet's care, such as time and medications, are billed regardless of the outcome. As in human medicine there is no guarantee that the treatment will resolve any and all problems. Unfortunately, despite valiant efforts, a cure is not always possible.

Suggestion: Consider all the time and honest effort your veterinarian nurses and other staff spent toward trying to resolve your pet's problems. If you still feel that you have valid questions about the fees you were charged, discuss them with your veterinarian or the practice manager. If you cannot afford the bill, work out a payment plan that is fair, and stick to your end of the bargain.

Conclusion

We hope this answered some of the often unvoiced thoughts that you may have and hope it gives you a little perspective. We know this is a touchy subject, and best dealt with when emotions are not running high. Some people are cash flush and some people are on a really tight budget. Some have a very good idea of what medical things cost, and some have none. If you do have financial concerns and your pet is unwell please be reassured that we will keep all discussions with you confidential. So, if you are battling to make payments please come in to discuss a solution with our practice manager.