I’m looking for some solace after a bout of uncomfortable few weeks with a new vet, and I’m not sure how to proceed. It’s 1 A.M. and I’m just reeling over what to do.
I’m breeding my now retired mare after a recent injury for the first time. With family who are long-time breeders I felt equipped/prepared and aligned myself with our equine clinic. I worked extra hours and saved, still aware it may take my first time mare more than one time, and luck isn’t always on our side. Sowhile a financial endeavor for me assumed the risks involved. However, very early on experienced some bad luck, that now after-the-fact am learning may have been preventable from friends.
Mare is checked & culture taken on Monday several weeks ago. Vet, a different vet than my primary vet but same clinic, says to come back tuesday to be checked again. I do this, and vet requests mare stay at clinic to be continually monitored while we wait for culture results. Thursday results come back that mare has an infection. Vet treats w/ antibiotics but keeps horse over weekend. Checks follicles again on Monday and says we need to tell stallion owner that morning to collect and immediately ship door to door so she can breed Tuesday morning. I have heard shipping horror stories, but assumed door to door was the way this was normally done. Grimmaced, at placing that type of order (inwardly) but was excited and followed directions. This is done. Arrives tuesday morning. Mare is bred. I take her home after 7 days in the clinic, follicle/check every day from Tues-Monday. When I pick mare up I have a $2800 bill and am told I must pay bill before I leave.
Now, I was expecting my bill to be about half of this, and I also saw that while horse was there her injury had been lasered daily. Vet had asked me if I wanted this done, and I said no upon dropping her off the week prior. I put down half, and agree to make the rest in installments. (Clinic is local, and I’m a long-time client though never having used this particular vet)
14 days later I return mare, no pregnancy. Disappointed, not angry at anyone.
Vet says to bring her in the next monday for a culture and recheck. At this point I know that I won’t have an additional $2k in my account the next week for the next series in addition to paying the second half of the bill. I email vet and say, before I bring in look I can pay $900 05/10 and the remaining on 05/20, can I make payments for the next series. I get an ok.
Vet asks if I can bring horse in Monday 11am, I ask if I can drop off earlier, since I go in office, but am told no there is no space for mare. So, I pay a friend to take mare in. Once there, vet takes culture and says she wants to check again Tuesday and to leave the mare a the clinic. I take feed to clinic after I get off work and receive a long text from vet that under no circumstance should I ever drop feed after business hours but she would allow it this once. (I found it a little odd, maybe the tone a little angry given the circumstance, and upon arrival at the clinic at 7 there were other vets and techs that I knew who were happy to show me where to drop off my feed)
Today, Tuesday, vet calls to tell me that I will need to pay my entire balance (at this point $1300) and that which was about to be done an additional estimate of $1500 before I pick my mare up from the clinic she assumes on Friday after breeding. She wants to do a lavage today before the culture results come back , because while she thinks there’s an infection she would be ready to collect and breed if the infection wasnt there.
It’s at this point my family friends are starting to send inputs that under no circumstance should I have bred horse to begin with before a negative culture came back, why is she telling me to do a lavage before a negative culture, why is mare even staying at the clinic since I’m in-town, and why did she request I wait to take the culture this week and not the week prior. And that the $400 I owed for the first set of antibiotics was much more than what their vet is charging. Essentially inferring that I was in the hands of a not-experienced vet.
This afternoon, I did answer and say no do not take the lavage, I didn’t want to do any other services until I had a negative culture. And would be picking her up Wednesday, paying off whatever I owed.
It’s a tough situation, I never want to run a bill that I cannot pay. Have I and others from my barn made prompt payments on our bills for years? Yes. Have I been told by my main vet at this clinic to pick up antibiotics from the drop-box or a horse after hours for years? Yes. I’ve actually only dealt with the main office about a bill, never the vet directly.
I’m so frustrated. Now, that I’m being told the reputation of this vet and the procedures she’s done wouldn’t have aligned with what other vets were doing, in addition to how the billing was arranged, I’m unsure of whether this vet was using a common practice or that my family/friends were right to leave. Particularly, since before I brought her in this time for the second try, had a conversation with the vet. I would have just waited this cycle out, paid my bill. Not started the new series.
*There was also an addition of drugs given to mare every time she was checked which added a large amount to my bill. Initially I wasn’t concerned, I 1000% want the vets safe. But, having been at some of these with my mare who stood well in the shoot, and never seeing this occur with my family’s mares, now am curious if this is normal too. I have several people in my ear saying I’ve been taken advantage of and am trying to differentiate what’s normal and not so normal.