One weekend last February, Peggy Caudle noticed that Daisy, her normally bright and peppy Cocker Spaniel, seemed sluggish. She wasn’t acting like herself. Most days, Daisy enjoyed chasing the neighbor’s Pomeranians and running around the yard, but not on this particular day. She also stopped eating, even refusing her favorite treats. At that point Peggy knew something was seriously wrong, so she called her regular veterinarian and described Daisy’s symptoms. He said, “if it’s what I think it is, you need to get her to an emergency vet right away.”
Peggy jumped in her car and drove to the nearest emergency vet clinic. They diagnosed Daisy with a severe case of pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus. It is serious and life-threatening, and must be treated quickly and aggressively.
The estimate for the cost of treatment was $2,500, an amount that Peggy was unable to pay in full at the time. She applied for a loan through a third-party financing company, but wasn’t approved. The emergency vet said that unless Peggy could pay the full $2,500, they wouldn’t be able to help Daisy.
Peggy was heartsick and didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t afford the treatment, but she didn’t want to euthanize Daisy, either. A sympathetic receptionist suggested she take Daisy to nearby Frederick Road Veterinary Hospital. She said she thought they might be willing to work with Peggy on a payment arrangement.
Peggy rushed an ever-worsening Daisy to Frederick Road Vet. Dr. Dan Zakai recommended immediate surgery due to a type of pyometra called “closed pyometra.” Without surgery, the abdomen continues to distend, and bacteria from the infection releases toxins that are absorbed into the bloodstream. Dogs with closed pyometra become severely ill very rapidly, and will die without treatment.
Peggy told the doctor that she was able to make a down payment for about half the cost of the procedure. She was waiting on a check to arrive in the next few weeks, and until then, she didn’t have the funds to cover the entire cost of Daisy’s surgery.
Frederick Road Vet had recently started offering installment payment plans through VetBilling.com, so they set up a 3 month payment plan for Peggy, allowing Dr. Zakai to proceed with Daisy’s surgery. Without the surgery, Dr. Zakai told Peggy, Daisy wouldn’t live through the night.
Happily, Daisy survived the surgery and is now doing very well. She’s back to running around and chasing the neighbor’s Pomeranians, and enjoying her treats. As for Peggy…well, the check she was waiting on finally arrived, and although she had a three month payment plan, she paid off her entire balance about two weeks after Daisy’s surgery.
Peggy says she doesn’t know what she would have done if she didn’t have a payment plan option through Frederick Road Vet and VetBilling.com. “I didn’t want to lose Daisy, because she’s so important to me. She’s only 5 years old. I hate to think what would have happened if Frederick Road Veterinary Hospital had not offered me a payment plan through VetBilling.com, which gave me a little extra time to pay for Daisy’s treatment.”
If you are a veterinary practice and would like to learn more about how a broader array of payment options can benefit both your practice and your clients, contact us by phone at 800-766-1918; by e-mail at email@example.com; or through leaving a comment on this blog post.
If you are a pet owner and are seeking an animal hospital that offers payment plans, please visit our web site page titled “Participating Veterinarians.” Scroll to the bottom of the page for a list of vets. If you don’t see your vet listed there, return to the top of the page and recommend your vet by filling out our form with his/her contact information.
Pet owners may also seek pre-approval for a payment plan by providing us with additional information on the form.