Making the rounds in veterinary circles

Two patients limp into two different American medical clinics with the same complaint. Both have trouble walking and appear to require a hip replacement.

The first patient is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day, has a time booked for surgery the next day and within two days, is home recuperating.

The second sees the family doctor after waiting a week for an appointment, then waits eighteen weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn’t reviewed for another month and finally has his surgery scheduled for 6 months from then. Why the different treatment for the two patients?

The first is a Golden Retriever

The second is a Senior Citizen

Every time my wife gets a physical, she fumes about how superficial it is compared to the ones she gives to cows.

One Response to “Making the rounds in veterinary circles”

  1. Marta Says:

    As a dog owner, I have fumed about this one myself when I compare the care my dogs are given and how long and how hard it is for me to get even the simplest GP appointment. Our local vet is open until 7:30pm on weekdays, and until 4:30 pm on saturdays and sundays, with open surgery (no appointment needed) for a few hours every day. To suggest this at the local GP clinic would be laughable at the very least. I wonder:

    - Is there any statistics or data about the ratio patients/doctor for animals and humans? Is the difference significant?

    - Is it easier to deal with the patient and give the right treatment from the start? Does it result in better care? (after all, dogs can’t come to the clinic with a half-baked diagnosis from some site on the internet, and I find owners are a bit more responsible when it comes to medicating their dogs than when it comes to self-medicating).

    - What’s the difference in cost for the average lifetime health care of, say, a dog, versus a person? What’s the difference in how that cost is handled? (i.e. is most of the pet care paid from the owner’s own pocket and private insurance, versus public health care like in most European countries) People live, after all, much longer, and putting them down if you can’t afford the surgery is obviously not an option, so the cost increases for serious illnesses.

    - Are the working conditions of a vet comparable to the working conditions of a doctor? What kind of vet, and what kind of doctor?

    Plenty more questions raise when i think seriously about this. But as much as I dislike the current health care system in the UK, i’m not sure it’s fair for me to compare it with the care my dogs get at the local vet until I know more about both contexts. That won’t stop me from fuming when it takes 3 months to start treatment for a simple wart…

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