My Jack Russell terrier Dottie has one abnormally growing toenail. I think this nail was injured many years ago, but I don’t remember how or even if this nail was the one that was injured. Anyway, the nail grows very long and crooked. I have tried to cut it back but I am afraid to cut it too close because I don’t want to cut any bleeding.
Last week I decided it was time to cut this nail, which had grown to probably one-half to three-quarters of an inch long. Dottie always gives me a hard time when I clip her nails, but this time was especially bad. She screamed bloody murder, squirmed out of my grip and generally would not let me clip this long nail. I decided to let it be for awhile and try again later.
In the meantime, I started noticing Dottie licking this nail practically non-stop. It began to look red and inflamed. I decided I’d better not cut it but rather have it looked at by my vet. This morning I called my vet but the doctor was in surgery all morning and out in the afternoon. I didn’t want to go another day with Dottie being bothered by her foot so I called another place I had gone to on occasion with the dogs — Nebraska Animal Medical Center. I was able to get an appointment this morning.
When I took Dottie there the vet tech told me they would give Dottie a physical examination. I didn’t think that was necessary but said, well OK. The vet tech weighed Dottie at about 18 pounds. The vet came in and looked at Dottie’s nail. She discovered the nail had been fractured at the base and was just kind of hanging there. She thought it best to cut it off there and bandage her foot for 24 hours. She gave her some anti-inflamatory medication. Then the vet left and told the tech to work up the bill. I thought to myself, “I guess they aren’t going to do the physical exam.”
The bill came to $78, which I thought seemed high. When I got to the car I looked at the bill. I was charged $20 for the medication, $11.65 for the bandage and $45 for a “complete physical exam.” I thought, Dottie didn’t have a “complete physical exam.” The vet looked at her foot and didn’t touch her anywhere else.
I went back into the vet’s office and asked the receptionist what a complete physical exam consists of. She listed off a couple things that are checked and I said that didn’t happen. She told me to wait and she went back and talked to someone. I probably waited about 10 minutes before someone came out and asked me to go into a little room to talk. I explained that the only thing that was done was the vet looked at Dottie’s foot and shot a quick glance at Dottie’s teeth through her muzzle since I had mentioned she had a couple broken teeth. I said there was no checking of her ears, no listening to her heart, nothing of what my own vet does during a physical exam. This woman said she had spoken with the vet and insisted that a complete physical exam had taken place. She would not listen to any of my arguments. I walked out, saying that I disagreed and would never go back there.
I wouldn’t have been as unhappy with this situation had they told me that the $45 charge was what it cost to look at her foot and clip her nail. Yes, that would be one expensive nail trim, but this was a slightly more serious situation. But when they claimed that she had a complete physical exam when she clearly did not and charged me $45 for something that didn’t happen, I thought that was very bad business practices.
Even this 24-hour bandage was not worth $11. It came off after an hour after normal walking.
The good news is that Dottie seems to no longer be in pain, but even so, I would not recommend Nebraska Animal Medical Clinic.