I may be old school, but it seems that Vets who are not even available by phone for emergencies after-hours have their own quality of life as a priority over their pet's (patients) well-being. A choice that everyone should have the freedom to make, but not a quality that I am looking for in our dog's Veterinarian.
Do I have unreasonable expectations, or shall I keep searching for a (primary care) Veterinarian that is available for emergencies after hours? (I should add that in ten years with three dogs we've contacted our Vet once for an emergency, but to the credit of our Vets, they are available after business hours for emergencies).
|Well, my Vet, who has also been my friend for over 30 years, does not take after hour calls. If you call the office "after hours" you do get referred to the ER speciality center in our area. Around here, there are NO Vets who take calls after hours, like a human MD...All of them referred you to the ER center.|
|Ditto to what Ashley said, main thing with any vet that there is a recorded message with a referall to something open 24 hours just in case you need to access or go after hours or on public holidays or out of hours on weekends.|
The vet I use if after hours have a recorded message on there phone to direct you to the closest emergency after hours facility.
So not unusual as they need a life too as long as they can re-direct you in case of an emergency and also re-direct you too something close by in your area.
Ask the new vet where is there after hours referral centre and how far away is it.
No good if in an emergeny it is miles and miles away, so if the after hours facility is handy I would have no problems with a vet referring to an emergency centre after hours that is still handy and close by.
|Our vet will initiate calls to us during his off hours if he wants to check in on one of our boys, but he doesn't take after hours calls either. And he's the most respected (and adored) vet in the area. They also have an outgoing message with the emergency vet information.|
I don't know of anyone here (other than the emergency vet) who is available outside of office hours. I think they need their own time, too. But I tend to be pretty sensitive to this because I'm a teacher, and I get several parents each year, who don't think I am entitled to ever be off the clock. Oh the stories I could tell.
I think the important thing is that there's information about the emergency vet on their outgoing message.
|I'd say it depends on the area, and what is available. |
All vets by me take 24 hour call - BUT, there is no 24 hour/emergency vet clinic available.
If there is a perfectly good emergency service in town, I would think it normal for the regular vets to use standard office hours.
|My vet does not take after hour calls either. The voice message just refers you to the Emergency facilities. It is pretty much standard practice here in the area. (Washington DC commuting area).|
|we have a good number of vets, but it turns out the emergency vet center is awesome. so most of them refer by message to them.|
|My vet's practice doesn't take after hour calls either, although my favorite vet there does take calls from me (she gave me her personal cell phone number) and emails! I never abuse the generosity of her willingness to be so available. She even took my sweet JoJo home with her once when I couldn't get to the office to pick her up before they closed! |
That being said, the emergency clinic they do refer patients to is absolutely wonderful and gives incredibly good care. When my JoJo was so sick, my vet even advised me to take her there instead of the vet's office since they are monitored closely 24 hrs while the office has no one there after hours, and it was the best advice I could have gotten, probably saved her life. So I have no problem at all with being referred there after hours and am grateful they are there.
|My vets (husband and wife), who are also our close friends, do not take calls after hours. I have three emergency clinics within a 10 mile radius, which is where I take Oscar when we need after-hour care. I don't know of any vets in our area who are "on-call" after office hours, except in very specific and limited situations at the vet's instigation.|
I am extremely conscious of the line between our personal friendship and our professional lives. Even with all of Oscar's health problems, I have never called them at home or at off hours about Oscar. I guess I might make that call if I felt that we were not getting good care elsewhere, but that has yet to happen.
If you live in an area that has ER clinics, I think it might be difficult to find a vet that will take calls after their normal office hours.
Laurie and Oscar, who hates when his vets come over for dinner
|The only ones in my area that I know offer after hours service are the REALLY big clinics with several vets in the practice. Even then you might get the vet on call that you aren't quite as crazy about or have never met before.|
|We live in a very rural area so the vet I use also takes after hours calls.|
|Our vet doesn't have after hour hours either... though we do have her telephone number in case of an emergency. We don't abuse it and almost always use the on-call vets.|
There is a 24/7 here but they are not part of our vet's circle covering after hours calls... they're with a different vet group and I didn't like a few of the things I'd heard from one of our mail carriers and also my vet. The mailman's Mastiff had swallowed a rock. The on-call vet told him got her in in time to save her but that he wouldn't do emergency surgery because they didn't have a nurse available to assist. He called his vet (who now has the 24/7 practice) and he told the vet to get one of his nurses in to assist but he said no. So the man had to drive 3 hours down to GR only to be told that it was now too late to save her. There was something too about having to amputate toes because they rescheduled an appointment.
I, personally, never want to feel so abandoned again. It the worst experience I've had as a dog owner. I was unable to reach either of my vets at home after Panda's bladder defect surgery. We called the only vet on-call vet (in my vet's circle) who said during one conversation that OESs are known not to tolerate pain very well. She said all she would do is monitor her until the next morning... she would not do surgery until then. I laid on the kitchen floor with Panda all night until we could get a hold of our vet the next morning. We then rushed her in for emergency surgery because her bladder sutures failed.
After hours care is vital in an emergency. Request a list of all veterinarians that will be covering for your vet after hours. I keep mine on the fridge. I would ask these questions of every vet...
If my dog needs emergency surgery, will whomever is covering for you perform it?
If not, what vet in your circle of on-call vets WILL perform emergency surgery and how do I contact them if they are not on-call?
If a vet covering for you after hours will not perform emergency surgery, exactly what am I to do?
We when through the phone book but to no avail...
|Jaci, that is a terrible story. Poor Panda. |
In my area, our vet and the emergency clinic are completely separate businesses, only linked by proximity. The after-hours phone message at my vet's office refers folks to the closest emergency clinic. I happen to live pretty far from my vet, so the one we use is much closer to my house.
And emergency surgery is precisely what they do! What good is a 24/7 emergency operation if you have to wait until the next day to see your vet anyway? Jaci, I hope you went ballistic on those folks.
Thank God both you and Panda survived that ordeal.
Laurie and Oscar
|It was a few years ago... it still bothers me to see pictures of Panda recovering from that surgery. Jim and I were so angry. The vet that did the surgeries acknowledged our feelings but didn't seem to share in our upset about the on-call vet covering for him. Maybe because both had screwed up. He did only charge 1/2 for the emergency surgery to restitch her. Choose a vet carefully.|
And emergency surgery is precisely what they do!
You are very fortunate to have a good emergency center nearby.
|I guess I am lucky. My vet is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. |
If you call afterhours, the vet is paged and they always call you within 5 minutes to see what is going on. There was an instance when I have needed a c-section in the middle of the night and it was nice to have my own vet do it (they also let me in the room to help dry and stimulate the pups) And the bonus is that there is no difference in price for an after hours emergency visit, as I know with most emergency vets it is very expensive just to walk in the door.
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