Wednesday 18 November 2015

BRACHY WEEK (extended): "She ran into a door"

Poor Zoe.  Bashing your eye is always an occupational hazard when you're a Pug - even when you haven't been born blind. And, boy, how painful must that have been?

Given that Zoe was born blind (micropthalmia in one eye; not sure about the other) removing both eyes isn't going to effect her quality of life one way or the other.  Micropthalmia is not, as far as I'm aware, a common issue in Pugs (as it is in some other breeds, e.g. Great Danes). Indeed, in Pugs and other brachycephalic breeds, the problem is almost invariably the opposite - eyes that are too big for their sockets.

Actually, they have normal-sized eyes - it's very shallow eye sockets caused by the brachycephaly that is the problem. With no muzzle to protect them, they are very vulnerable to injury and can prolapse easily.

Quite often they have to be removed - called enucleation.

It would not be fair to beat up Banfields for refusing to the op without the money up-front. Vets are not here to subsidise poor breeding. (And that IV line would have been in, I think, to give poor Zoe some pain relief while they were waiting for the family to return.)

As for Town and Country Vets who took on the case on the basis that the family would find the funds eventually... they charged this family $4854 for the removal of two eyes. Yes, it was an emergency, but that's a heck of a lot of money given that eye-removal is usually about £400/$700 per eye. 

None of this, of course, is Zoe's fault.

Zoe's fund-raiser can be found here. 

On the other hand.. meh.. surgery is done. And that bill is extortionate.

Zoe post-surgery


  1. Just as well the nearest Banfield Pet Killers (please link) is exactly eleven thousand two hundred and three miles away from me or they might have woken to a brick through their PetSmart store window this morning.

    This is the side of corporate vet care that absolutely galls me and why I stay away from them as much as possible. Even if these vets reach might appear slightly embryonic compared to some of the bigger vet corporations the principles are the same. The vets working in them have clear protocols to follow and don't have the mandate to make individual decisions based on anything other than money upfront. Death by injection is cheaper folks! We dont have "financing" on the menu, sorry.

    If it wasn't a pug that wouldn't make it alright then!?

    The same applies to Town and Country Vets! I bet both are now regretting they have suddenly gone completely global.

    Completely aside but many "Post a Comment" sections of blogs have an automatic function where posters themselves can link key words from their responses just by typing those words in a small window above the comment box. This makes browsing so much more informative for others.......just a suggestion.

  2. Horrible, absolutely horrible, poor dogs. And these breeders think it is ok, cruel souls.

  3. Removing a dogs eye is not specialist surgery. I had a dogs eye removed over thirty years ago by a GP vet.I had a vet amputate a dog's leg recently in the UK with a bill of just over £600, which is just over 900 dollars. That included out of hours examination, x-ray, overnight stay and two anesthetics. The above is shameful over charging.

  4. Vet bills in the US are really expensive in some areas. I don't know how much it would run in the UK, but removing a bladder stone would cost 2000 dollars. An exam for that, including an xray and urinalysis, runs about 400 bucks.

  5. One of my pet peeves especially in Asian cities where many people don't take their pets to the vet because of the costs. Very simple procedures or treatments that could mean so much to the health and welfare of dogs, even life or death as is the case with vaccinations which they just cannot afford.

    Our SPCA is a travesty and should stop calling itself that, it's no more than an expensive vet franchise that requires membership fees. Least since hand over they've dropped the R.

    Where I live it's doubly galling as we are flooded by foreign vets all trying to make a fortune out of extremely over priced health care for pets. Like flies at a pig trough. I guess its the same as in places like the UAE Dubai etc.

    Makes you wonder why they don't stay in Australia, competition too stiff? Most of our local vets are trained in the UK or Australia anyway and are perfectly good.