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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I am posting this out of exasperation. I have had good luck in the past on internet forums, so here goes….thank you in advance.

We own two Min Pins, both rescue dogs, and FANTASTIC pets. The male appears to be pure-breed and the female is a mix. The female (Zoey) has had health problems for about the last two and half years. I have only taken her to one veterinarian and I am beginning to question both his diagnostic skills and seemingly exorbitant fees. I don’t have any other vet experiences to drawn from, so I am turning to the internet to hear what you have to say….

I want to be clear I don’t mind spending the money (already did it once) IF the situation calls for it and the fees are in line with other vets. Zoey is like a member of the family and I know you all can relate.

There is a significant history of infections with Zoey, this episode being the 4th or 5th in the last 2.5 years. For the sake of clarity I will focus on this specific episode.

Zoey had a high fever and very swollen lymph nodes, indicating an infection. The vet’s estimate for symptom treatment/diagnosis was $1200 to $1500--identical similar to what we paid the first time about 2.5 years ago. We live in Central California.

What I know he is doing:
2 nights hospitalization
Complete blood test
Urinalysis
Steroid Injection(s)
Antibiotic Injection(s)
Sedation/Pain Injections(s)
X-rays

Questions:
Is this a fair price or at least in the ballpark? This vet brought Zoey back from an extreme infection two years ago, so I have been willing to pay his fees—but it’s getting to the point where I feel I need an answer (and proper treatment) as to why our dog is so prone to these infections.

Are Vets required to send medical history to other vets upon request? Should I decide to take Zoey to another vet after this episode for a second opinion; will the new vet be able to get the test results? Obviously, it will save us from having to pay for these tests again….

Is it too much to expect a vet to try to connect the dots from prior visits, as opposed to running these tests at the drop of a hat? Her last blood test was over 2 years ago, so it seems reasonable to do one now in light of the possiblity of cancer, etc.

If you have made it this far, THANK YOU. Any input is appreciated.
 

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For all that, I think that's reasonable. I'm in Arlington, VA, though, and it's pretty expensive overall here. Some of our Midwestern members might find that outrageous.

I think you need a second opinion, even if your vet is fantastic. Sometimes it takes a new set of eyes to see what's really going on. Your current vet should not be offended if you ask to have records sent over for a second opinion. (There may be a fee for this, usually cost of copying and mailing.) I wouldn't be confrontational about it, just say that you'd like a fresh perspective so you're getting a second opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input. I was going to pull Zoey out this morning before he ran the blood tests but after a long conversation with the Doctor, I decided to let him complete his testing. Besides, most of the expense has already been incurred and hopefully the bloodwork is tranferrable to the new vet. Again I want to reiterate, I have no experience outside of this vet, so he could be doing everything right. I just have no way of knowing.

I will be definitely looking at another opinion. I caught the Dr in a lie. His office told me the blood tests don't go out until 5pm each evening, which means he would have the results tomorrow morning (took her in about 7pm last night.) During our conversation this morning, he said he already had the blood results--I assume to keep me from cancelling the bloodwork. When I told him his office stated something different, he changed his tune. Makes you wonder....
 

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I also think you need a second opinion. There must be a reason your girl continues to get infections that require such extensive diagnostics and treatment.
 

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She's adorable!

I'd be getting a second opinion and am glad that it's your plan.

As has been said he should be trying to figure out what is causing the recurring infections.

One question though, what are you feeding her? It's a shot in the dark but sometimes food allergies can set dogs up for chronic infections, it could be ear infections, UTI, skin infections from chronic scratching, anal gland troubles, etc. If all other medical causes are ruled out you may want to try changing her food, but I would not change the food until everything else is ruled out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
She is on Hill'd Prescription diet C/D for the Urinary tract. The was the solution after her second visit to the Vet when she had a massive UTI. She has been wonderful for almost two years on this food, and honestly I thought we were done with her health problems--then this latest episode with her lymph nodes and 104 degree fever.

As far as i know, there is no UTI this time around, so the Hills apparently has done its job....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
so the latest.....

Spoke to the Doctor after he reviewed the blood tests. The good news--no signs of cancerous cells. I guess this rule out cancer entirely, but it is not in the blood. The Vet cannot put a finger on the exact cause of the infection...again. White blood cell count in high due to the infection, which is to be expected. This is just like the first time....he treats the symptoms and no real answer as to the cause...all for a small fortune. I am frustrated, but at the same time thrilled my girl is coming home tonight....healthy for at least the time being.

His next option is a biopsy of the lymph node (if the swelling returns)....and if that is inconclusive, a CT scan.

Definitely time for a second opinion....
 
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