Hoboken vets & rat poison

11/13/2007:

Pet owners: has your dog ever come close to getting fatally poisoned??

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The situation

This past Friday, as I was getting out of the shower to get ready for a lunch meeting, I noticed my dog was eating something strange. It was one of the rat poison sticks that the exterminator had left when I was having my mouse problem tended to. He ate one whole stick.

hoboken-rat-poison-bait-station.jpgMind you, the exterminator knew I had a dog, and just told me to keep him away from the bug spray for an hour until it dried. He was just tossing these sticks in places to combat my mice problem (such as behind the stove, in corners, by radiators).

He obviously didn’t have good aim, and Oscar was able to eat one (I was pissed after I just provided him with a fresh bowl of gourmet dog food). Knowing I had a pet, these poison sticks should have been placed in pet-friendly containers, but I’ll bring that up with the exterminating company.

Anyway, time was certainly of the essence, and I was recommended Hoboken Animal Infirmary on 6th & Adams (over the animal hospital on Washington St. – “less expensive”)

Treatment and costs

I drive Oscar there, and upon arrival I immediately felt I was in slow motion. An hour and a half to “treat” him (with no other animals there). I brought an example of which stick he ate, but they didn’t know what it was. I had to call the exterminator and they faxed the spec sheet (“Final” Blox brand rat poison).

Here’s what they did. They “examined him”, then weighed him. They tried inducing vomiting through special eye drops ($128 emesis induction). That didn’t work. Then they gave him a Vitamin K1 injection ($48). He then puked up the poison stick.

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He looked fine to me. The treatment recommended was a dose of activated charcoal powder (which they were supposed to do there, but made me do it – causing a great mess here in the process – but hey, the gave it to me for “free” wow), and two vitamin K1 pills daily ($108). Total tab was almost $400! They also wanted me to come back for bloodwork ($100 or more, depending). Does this seem like a racket to you? The vet said that herself and TWO techs were required to treat my kind and gentle dog. Is it normal to charge a $100 “emergency” fee during business hours? It wasn’t after-hours, it was the middle of the day!

I wish I would have gone to Edgewater General Animal Hospital, which I have heard nothing but good things about, and I’d probably have $200 more in my pocket.

Am I just unaware that these costs are “standard” in Hoboken? Is this how much all vets cost? Please tell me I’m not wrong for feeling a bit ripped off. If that’s the way it is when you own a pet, then perhaps I should have done a little research ahead of time, my bad!

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64 Comments on "Hoboken vets & rat poison"


mooshu
Member
mooshu
6 years 7 months ago

Um, an emergency fee for a middle of the day visit? I’m stuck on this one because this place doesn’t have a make-an-appointment policy. They take walk-ins all the time. I should know– I bring Hoboken pets there.

Son-of-a-bitch. What shocks me more is that apparently “hi, my dog ate rat poison” isn’t enough to make someone tend to you. Even if there are no animals in the waiting area, someone should have spoken with you. I know this place as a courteous establishment that treats pets well, so am kinda in shock. This doesn’t make any sense.

Ugh, so disappointing, Animal Infirmary. So very disappointing…

Wasn’t Oscar’s week, was it? Poor guy. Hope he’s feeling better.

animal_lover
Member
animal_lover
8 years 1 month ago

A vet has a professional obligation to describes options available to you and the cost of each option. Most importantly the vet must follow a prescribed medical duty of care.
My pet was on a widely prescribed NSAID with side effects well documented by the pharmaceutical company. The vet failed to do a fecal sample which was indicated given the pets sysmptoms. The vet led me to believe my pet had no hope and relying on her professional opinion, I agreed to put down the pet.

But not for the fact that this vet failed to perform this indicated and simple test, my pet would likely be alive today. Had I been informed that simply stopping the medication was an option and that most NSAID ulcers heal easily if the NSAIDs are stopped I never would have made the choice to put him down- and am I certain if the vet knew proper clinical protocol neither would have she.

Yes this was a Hoboken vet.

sdurbin
Member
sdurbin
6 years 7 months ago
This might help you be less angry at the Vet. It looks to me that they did what was best for your dog. Here is why. The rat poisons work as an anticoagulant (anti-blood clotting). It does this by depleting the animal’s body of Vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting. Standard procedure for poisoning is to always induce vomiting, which isn’t always the easiest thing to do. This is to make sure that the animal ingests as little poison as possible. The vet used a less invasive method of inducing vomit probably because it is less traumatic to the dog, and because it will also cost you much less than a stomach pumping. By the time your dog got to the vet, it had already ingested the rat poison. They had to take the time to weigh your dog because they needed to know how much medication to inject and prescribe. This is very important information. As for the emergency cost, it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, an emergency in an emergency. Almost all professional clinics operate on an appointment schedule, so your 1.5 hour emergency would have, on a normal day, interrupted the schedule quite significantly. I worked in my father’s dental clinic quite often. An emergency would sometimes make it so that the regularly scheduled patients would have to reschedule and come back later. The emergency fee barely did anything to make up for what he lost by the scheduled patient having… Read more »
mooshu
Member
mooshu
6 years 7 months ago
Stef, have you been here, before? This establishment doesn’t operate on an appointment schedule. Also, it doesn’t take over an hour to take a pet’s weight. I’ve watched them do it– takes five minutes or less. In response to sdurbin who said: This might help you be less angry at the Vet. It looks to me that they did what was best for your dog. Here is why. The rat poisons work as an anticoagulant (anti-blood clotting). It does this by depleting the animal’s body of Vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting. Standard procedure for poisoning is to always induce vomiting, which isn’t always the easiest thing to do. This is to make sure that the animal ingests as little poison as possible. The vet used a less invasive method of inducing vomit probably because it is less traumatic to the dog, and because it will also cost you much less than a stomach pumping. By the time your dog got to the vet, it had already ingested the rat poison. They had to take the time to weigh your dog because they needed to know how much medication to inject and prescribe. This is very important information. As for the emergency cost, it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, an emergency in an emergency. Almost all professional clinics operate on an appointment schedule, so your 1.5 hour emergency would have, on a normal day, interrupted the schedule quite significantly. I worked in my father’s… Read more »
murphymc
Member
murphymc
8 years 8 months ago

I have a labrador that can’t stop eating things. He eats things he’s not supposed to quite regularly, so taking him to the vet everytime was becoming an expensive option. If ever your dog eats something he shouldn’t. Take a tablespoon of salt, and literally put it down his throat. He’ll vomit whatever he ate right away. It’s actually quite awful to watch, but effective. Someone at one of the dog parks had told me that trick. He read it in a first aid for dogs book. I didn’t believe it would work, but it does…

Of course, regardless if you get him to puke rat poison up or not, you should take your dog to the vet to be checked out…

twocat
Member
twocat
8 years 10 months ago

devilgirl: just clearing up that the visit -took- an hour and a half. The dog was seen immediately and made to vomit right away. And a cautionary tip about making pets vomit…vomiting is not recommended for the ingestion of all toxins (as they can do damage coming back up; gasoline, some household cleaners are a few examples…). Best thing to do before you try to make your dog vomit is to give a call to your vet and they will let you know if vomiting is safe or not.

🙂

bri777
Member
bri777
8 years 10 months ago

Vets are very expensive. People need to know that before they get a pet. Little $400 shocks like this happen every couple of years. Tack on all the regular visits for shots etc and you are talking about $500-700 bucks in a typical year. Just something people should realize if they are considering getting a dog.

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