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A Pox on Banfield Pet Hospital


Okay, so this is my second PSA involving animals. It doesn’t pertain to grizzlies, mountain goats or lambs, as I never owned any of them nor do I intend to.

It pertains to a visit I made as a fortunate, thankful, hallelujah, praise be the Lord pet insured person, for to have any animal, even a gerbil without pet insurance could be credit rating hari kari, in my humble opinion anyway. Somewhere in the middle of a blessed trip to the holy land of Chicago with my two canine companions, Bitsy Boo and Mookie Moo, I got a premonition the way some people have dreams. Some people have premonitions about finding money or world events, well, I had a premonition that Bitsy Boo was going to get sick once we were out-of-town and my regular vet wasn’t around. I don’t know if she has any deep-seated resentment against me, but I just knew it and right as rain, I was right. So I did what any hysterical pet owner would do. I began hunting and pecking for a veterinarian on the Internet.

The first one wanted an office fee of ninety dollars. “Fie on that one,” I thought after quickly adding any x-ray fees and any other charges they’d tack on in my head.

The second one wanted an entrance fee of thirty-five dollars, which was better, so off we went, one (fairly) healthy and tall owner, one healthy and shorter dog and one with a history of urinary tract infections, so based on the symptoms, I bet dime over dollar that it was the same thing.

I told the vet at Banfield Pet Hospital in Skokie, Illinois my diagnosis, but she said it could be other things, too that translated into about $700.00 worth of tests. Once my eyes stopped dilating I read everything more carefully and decided on only a few tests.

My regular vet’s office even faxed over Bitsy Boo’s chart with a diagnosis for the same thing, but that vet wouldn’t budge. Four hundred and seventy-five dollars later, what was the diagnosis? What I said it was. Thank you pet insurance, is all I can say. I’d also like to thank the Academy, my parents and my Girl Scout Troop leader or Troop 475 in Wilmette for teaching me to be prepared for any emergency that I might encounter.

Back on well tred turf, I called my regular vet who also thought the bill was on par for a lobster and Steak dinner for six at Arnie’s North in Chicago and said that he would have prescribed something for me over the phone. He also explained that an IUD is caused by a cyst in the intestinal or stomach wall, which then causes the bleeding associated with a UTI, and he prescribed a change in diet.  Bless that man.

Next, I rang up the vet at Banfield, Dr. Ann Montague, and asked her why she didn’t at least do the same.

“I mean, for at least five-hundred dollars you could have suggested something preventative.  My regular vet faxed in her notes, and I told you that this was the second time she had this infection in the last two years.”

“I don’t remember the notes, and you have no proof it’s caused by diet.”

I suppose that that’s why the good Lord invented hypotheses, though who am I to say?  All I know is that they lost three clients that day, a woman with current pet insurance and her two canines.

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