When your pet needs treatment or surgery, it can get expensive fast. But there are other options your vet may not be talking to you about.
Rehabilitation therapy for dogs is one of the options.
“Anytime you do a surgery that’s going to be really expensive,” said Shepherd Cronemeyer, who has been best friends with Wilkes since he was a puppy.
Now, she wants to make his golden years better. At 14-years-old, he’s showing signs of things like arthritis, and after one surgery already, he couldn’t go through it again.
Wilkes comes twice a month to the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine for exercise, like walking underwater with Flori Bliss.
“It’s an amazing experience most of the time, I mean, even with my patients that we’re not necessarily returning them to full function, their quality of life is way better,” said Bliss, a licensed veterinary technician and certified canine rehab practitioner.
“Flori has been very open and honest with me about, you know, what our options are, and what we could try she’s always willing to suggest something else,” Cronemeyer said.
That’s the goal of the spectrum of care. The college stresses the method, teaching future veterinarians to talk about all the options -- not just the best one.
“People hear terms like surgery or MRI, and that the first thing that goes off in their head is just the dollar signs,” said Ali Getz, who is graduating from the college this year. “It’s tricky at times, because we go into this field because we want the very best for our patients, but of course, finances, location -- those are all really important considerations. I think as long as we’re giving people all the options and coming up with a plan B, C, D, as far as you need to go in order to provide the best care that they’re able to offer to their pet. We’d like to be able to do absolutely everything in the world for our pets, but that’s not everybody’s reality. It certainly isn’t mine.”
You can always ask your vet, “Are there any other options, and how would that change the outcome with my pet?” They can look at surgery, medicine or rehab as part of the treatment options.
“I do have patients that come to me after an expensive surgery, so post operative, but a lot of times clients can’t afford that. So it’s just nice to be able to offer another solution to that,” Bliss said.
There are some limitations to this. Obviously, you have to be near a place that offers the other options and the alternatives might not work as well.
For information on seeing a doctor or other services at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, click here.
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