I recently had a rather unfortunate experience and decided that I should share it with everyone in hopes that I could prevent the same thing from happening to you!
Last week I had a friend coming into town whose plans changed and needed to bring her dogs with her. Since unfortunately Tag has proven herself to not do well with other dogs in the house, I decided it was best to board her and Buddy (because I knew she would be devastated if she were boarded alone) and keep Maggie at home to have a fun-filled weekend with doggie friends. Upon calling to schedule them at Pet Paradise (whom we usually use for boarding and LOVE) I learned that Tag was due for a vaccine. I decided to keep things simple and just board them at the vet, that way she could get her vaccine while there. As I was dropping them off, the girl at the front desk asked me if I wanted a variety of different things done and I responded with, “Just do whatever they aren’t current on” thinking that should just be the one vaccine Tag needed and nothing else.
I go to pick them up on Sunday, and expecting a bill of around maybe $100-$150, am absolutely appalled when the girl tells me it is over $600! I ask her to please print out a detailed receipt because I wanted to go home and look over everything and compare it with the records I had at home. I pay, get the dogs, and go home. When we get in the door I glance at the bill and see that one of the first charges is for rabies. “No way” I think to myself and look at Tag’s collar. Sure enough, she isn’t due until 2015! I immediately call the vet’s office back and ask to speak with someone. I pass along a message that I am not pleased with things and ask that a veterinarian or someone in charge call me back. At this point I am going through my records and seeing that my dogs are in fact current on everything just like I thought. Obviously these vets were not looking at the records and just doing all of the vaccines! I was seriously upset.
Today one of the veterinarians called me back and we started discussing everything. Before we moved to Jacksonville I asked my (then current, now former) veterinarian’s office to copy the dogs’ records so that I could take everything over to my new vet’s office. It turns out, my previous vet did not copy everything. I neglected to look through the records they copied for me and compare them with the records I kept myself (because I assumed they would be complete) before giving them to the new vet. If I had, I would have noticed how seriously lacking they were! So, my current vet did everything they felt was necessary to get my dogs current, based on the records they had. I can honestly say that I understand why they did everything they did. I really wish that they had called me (according to the records Tag hadn’t been vaccinated since 2010!) because I would have been able to quickly get things corrected, but they failed to do that. That said, I will take the brunt of the blame for this unfortunate experience, because ultimately they are my dogs and I am the one responsible for making sure they are taken care of – which includes their vet records. If I had been as diligent as I like to think that I am, my bank account would be much happier and my dogs would not have been unnecessarily vaccinated and tested. At the end of the day though, I am happy knowing my current vet is thorough in their exams and vaccinations and this will never happen again.
The moral of this story? Keep ALL of your vet records yourself! That way, if/when you ever find yourself needing to see a new veterinarian, you can confidently prove the status of your dogs’ vaccinations. It was not fun thinking I had chosen a veterinarian that I couldn’t trust; nor was realizing that I could have prevented this mess by just taking the time to review the records. Save yourself (and your bank account!) and create a filing system for all of your pets’ records.