Monthly Archives: December 2013

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The Illusion of Lower Costs

Dr. Doris Calloway of Craig Road Animal Hospital in North West Las Vegas compares the cost of a procedure that she underwent and what she would have charged for the same procedure at Craig Road Animal Hospital. 

Dr. Calloway

By Doris Calloway, DVM

I recently had the bad luck of waking up with horrible back pain and a fever.  Knowing that something was very wrong and I needed to be seen immediately (despite it being a Saturday morning), I was forced to go to the Emergency Room.

I was diagnosed and treated for Pyelonephritis; an infection in the kidney.  Aside from a 3 hour wait time to be seen, my experience was fairly good…. Until I got the bill.  I also have the bad luck of having a very high deductible on my health insurance, which means I get all of my bills!

As a vet, I frequently have to work within a tight budget to treat a patient.  The cost of veterinary care for a beloved animal can be significant.  I also hear the occasional comment that treating a pet costs more than the client’s own health care.   Unfortunately,  human healthcare costing less is just an illusion – all healthcare is expensive.  Interestingly, when you take insurance out of the picture for both humans and animals, Veterinarians actually provide excellent care at a much lower cost that their human counterparts.

I’ve decided to show a price by price comparison of what my Pyelonephritis treatment costs and what it costs here, in Las Vegas, at Craig Road Animal Hospital. For the purposes of the comparison, I imagined a large dog who we will call “Fido” who is approximately the same weight as I am in an effort to compare apples to apples.  I was only hospitalized for about 8 hours, so I’ve compared the cost of 12 hours of hospitalization here at our hospital.

Dr. Calloway’s Cost Fido’s Cost
Exam Fee

$300.00

$42.00

Bloodwork (CBC, Chemistry, Electrolytes)

$935.00

$154.00

Blood Draw Fee

$36.00

$0.00

Urine Testing and Culture

$182.00

$141.00

X-Rays

Not performed

$176.00

Hospitalization/Hospital Admission

$1,771.00

$28.00

IV Catheter

Was placed by a nursing student- so I wasn’t charged

$37.00

Fluid Therapy

$20.00

$56.00

Antibiotic Injection (1 dose of equivalent drugs)

$659.00

$32.00

Pain Medication

Not given

$54.00

Oral Antibiotics

$101.96

$25.94

Recheck Fee

$101.00

$28.00

Total

$4,105.96

$773.94

There are few differences that I felt were important to include in the comparison.  The first one is x-rays.  I’m not really sure how my doctor determined I had an infection in my kidneys and not a kidney stone (or both), but the only way I know for sure is to perform some sort of imaging. An important thing to note is that in dogs urinary stones and infection tend to go hand in hand, so to not perform x-rays on Fido would actually be bad medicine.

The next big difference is pain medication.  I was in some of the most extreme pain I’ve ever been in, and I’ve given birth! Human physicians are very hesitant to give pain medications for some reason I can’t figure out. People and animals that are in extreme pain can have delayed healing, and therefore don’t do as well as patients whose pain is properly managed.  I feel that pain relief is an important part of the overall care of a patient – it’s just the right thing to do.

Human healthcare seems to cost less than veterinary healthcare because health insurance covers so much of the cost.  If Fido’s owner had a veterinary health insurance plan, especially one of the newer generation plans, such as those offered by Trupanion, Fido’s owner’s cost would have been even lower.   I encourage all of my clients to invest in health insurance for their pets.

As you can see from above, the cost that I, or one of my colleagues here at Craig Road Animal Hospital, would charge for equivalent treatment is significantly cheaper than the cost at the hospital that treated me. And Fido got more for his money than I did.

It seems Fido got a smokin’ deal!

Dec 17, 2013 0 5168 Views

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Renovations at Craig Road – Boarding, grooming, and more.

Craig Road Animal Hospital in North West Las Vegas, recently completed a number of renovations to improve services and patient care – particularly in the areas of boarding and grooming. Hospital Administrator Mike Falconer goes over these and what they mean for Craig Road Animal Hospital.

Mike Falconer, Hospital Administrator

By Mike Falconer

We are all very proud of what we do, and how we do it, here at Craig Road Animal Hospital. There are times, however, when we realize that there are things we could be doing better. Ultimately, that is what leads to new services and building projects like the one we have recently completed.

Ever since I started at Craig Road Animal Hospital we have brain storming about what we could use the large open area that was the hospital’s lobby before our expansion in 2008, an area we generically call the Sun Room.  We have kept a small amount of boarding pets in there but in general it has been used as a multipurpose space. We have used it for unpacking large shipments of supplies, our annual Santa photographs, receiving tours, staff education – you name it. However, we have always felt that we could do more with the space.

Grooming

Becky has been grooming at Craig Road Animal Hospital since it opened and the space that she works in has not really changed in all that time. We need to improve her area and with the addition of Lynee as a groomer who also works with large dogs it became even more obvious that we needed to upgrade our grooming facilities.

We have cordoned off a space in the Sun Room specifically for grooming, complete with two new tubs, one of small dogs, and another for the very largest dogs.

Our two new grooming tubs in our new grooming area.

The space also has a lot more natural light, better drying facilities, and a larger work area. It is also enclosed with glass and waterproof cladding stopping the spread of pet hair to the rest of the hospital.

Our new grooming area.

Cat Suites

By moving our grooming area into the sun room we were able to free up an entire room where grooming used to be. We have dedicated this new room in improving the quality of our cat boarding by adding 12 cat suites.

Our new Cat Suites can be linked together to provide a large controlled area for cats to explore but still keep them safe.

Each suite, or condo, feature two smaller rooms suitable for sleeping, or just hiding out, and a larger main room with a perch. Each suite can be connected to up to three others allowing owners of multiple cats (or owners who just want a lot of space for their cat) to book a large, enclosed environment that they can explore while still being safe and contained.

A single cat condo consisted of two small rooms and a larger room with a perch.

The cat suite room is a cat only space, and is very quiet to make things as comfortable as possible for our feline friends.

Dog Suites

Craig Road Animal Hospital has had large 6’ x 7’ dog suites for many years. We have now tiled each suite to make a warmer and more pet friendly space for the large dog, or multi-dog, households that make use of the suites.  Not only does this look a lot nicer of an environment for our bigger boarders – it makes it easier for our kennel staff to keep clean.

One of our Dog Suites, for large dogs, or for multi-dog house holds.

Sound Proofing

Our exam rooms are directly next to the Sun Room and this has meant that the occasional noise from this boarding area can be overheard and often at the most inconvenient times.

The wall between “the sun room” and our exam rooms ready for our new sound proofing to be installed. Note the additional double door frame.

We have added a significant amount of additional sound proofing between the sun room and exam rooms to combat this problem and I am pleased to report that it has been a great success. This is particularly great news as it allows us to look at adding some additional boarding into the sun room in the New Year.

All of these renovations, rather than adding new services, are about improving the environment and the quality of what we already do. As always, you are welcome to have a tour of our entire facility (or just see our recent renovations), please just ask any member of staff and they will arrange it for you and we also welcome tours by groups. Please feel free contact me directly to schedule a group tour.

Dec 4, 2013 0 6373 Views

phone: 702.645.0331 | fax: 702.645.5009 |
5051 W. Craig Road Las Vegas, NV 89130
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