about Vets


Resident Demon
Resident Demon
Sep 16, 2013
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I would like to hear from all of you and even vets if any feel they want to share.

Don't get me wrong, i appreciate them and know how important they are , in fact if i could go back 20 years, that would be my career choice..

relating to my other post about my albino females history with the vet..

my first herp vet (so they say) was ok i guess.. it just bothered me a little that when i went to see them because i wanted medication for her to treat her RI that she came with.
well ok , they can't just sell antibiotics from the counter.. so they say we need to see the snake first.
yes it's a bummer when i tell them, the snake has an RI and i need 5 injections of baytril of .22cc only to have them repeat what i just said and charge me 150$ after showing them how to handle, let alone the argument about hwere to inject.

so that vet said if symptoms are still visible after treatment, she may need to continue the treatment.. OK

she did and when i went to get more, they wanted to see her AGAIN in order to sell more baytril so another 150$.. at that point i had found a source to get baytril and take care of it myself..

since i don't know if the previous owner went baytril and just decided to dump a sick snake on me .. she could very well be imune to this medication, also baytril is hard on snakes and can cause issues..

back to the vet because i wanted fortaz wich is better, but since they don't carry it, they reffered me to that other vet witch is a real herp vet.

off to the new vet i go, verry impressive and you could tell they have experience with snakes, full check up 450$ later including meds,culture, mouth swab ??? fail to see the use of this when the culture is done??? but whatever !!!talking with this VET about where to inject a snake and how the other argued i was wrong !!! she couldn't believe it and called them up to let them know they are wrong and how to properly inject snakes.

now the fun part is she said that she may need to continue after the first set of injections, and they only sold me the meds without requesting a check up..
great finally an honest VET..

ok regarding cultures, i know many swear by this but i will never pay for this again..
WHY ??? because other than identifying the bacteria, in no way does the vet precribe according to it.. they will still prescribe one of the 3 poppular meds out there and usualy it's between only 2 baytril or fortaz.. and will say to you, if one doesn't work, we will try the other one ??? so NO they do not test to see witch one is better... they try and hope the first one works.. talking with the VET they confirmed this, saying it's good to know because maybe a former patient had the same thing and this medication worked better OK tha's all good except she said not all snakes are the same and what works for one doesn't neccessarly work for the other..

then they wanted to do another culture to see if it's still present .150$ again BUT if it still has symptoms, then chances are she does, if she's cleard up and better then she doesn't !!! so they want us to pay just to see..
YES i can see why you would do it, but at some point it does become redicules, if it were 40-50$ ok but at 150$ a shot !!!!????? so enough about cultures

then came the sent gland prolapse that the vet fixed and they precribed anti-inflametories to help with this and more fortaz to be safe..

this is where i am now with her ..

so now she had a shed and i will try to feed her BUT WAIT
i called the VET to see if they have carnivor mix in stock..
my first vet witch is closer, have one package left for 27$ and said i can come pick it up.. great.
so i call my other vet to see if they have some and the price of it ...
WELL what a P.O !!! they do but they require a check up of the snake before they sell it to me WTF !!!!!! another 150$ so they can tell me, yes the snake looks skinny and seem dehydrated, we reccommend tube feeding so she gets her strenght back ????

sorry for venting about this, i respect the vets and understand how important they are.
but come on !!! if they weren't so expensive, more peolpe would go and animals in general would be better off, many animlas are destroyed because between paying
1000s$ for care for a free or cheap animals to replace, the choice of many is the easy route.. I will still got to the VET when needed, but only when absolutely have too.

they had a special report on TV the other regarding vets and costs, they visited 6 vets in our area with a 100% healthy animal and a hidden camera.. only one vet charged the 65$ basic check up and a clear bill of health.. the other 5 costs ranged between 225$ to 745$ for all kinds of testing, one vet even lifted the poor dogs legs so high it cried.. the vet said oh ho !!!! he may have a hip disorder, x-rays and treatment for no reason at all ...
ohhh and they never mentioned the names of the VETS good or bad ....

anyhow this is what i wanted to share and vent about.. I was P.Off when my good vet wanted to charge me a full visit just to sell food sold off the shelf :-(

please feel free to comment or share experiences.
You're way off base - sure, it would be nice if we could just go wherever, pick up whatever meds we want, and be on our way...but prescription drugs require a prescription for a reason. There is a certain knowledge base involved with deciding which medications are appropriate, and what testing might be needed for a differential diagnosis. Now, you might be quite knowledgeable in this area...but how does the vet know that when you go in asking for meds, if you don't have a pre-existing relationship?
Some clinics are run more stringently than others - some of the ones close to me won't even run a fecal sample without bringing the animal for an appointment. Can you say giant pain in the :bleep:? Prescription meds, however, can only be dispensed by licensed professionals...and, in today's litigious society, those professionals need to cover their asses. Giving somebody meds without seeing/diagnosing the animal could result in a costly lawsuit.
You went in wanting Baytril - you got it, and it didn't do the trick. Then you wanted Fortaz - likely based on somebody's recommendation - however, you seem to have missed the fact that Fortaz is significantly more effective when administered concomitantly with an aminoglycoside. I'm not sure at what point in all of this you had cultures done...but that isn't as simple as many think. Respiratory infections are sometimes secondary - swabbing the mouth/throat, or even doing a tracheal wash will typically show Pseudomonas and/or Proteus sp (yeah - I know they changed the names, but I'm old school & don't remember the new ones). Those are susceptible to Baytril, so that will be the treatment....except, if the RI is a secondary infection, it won't quite do the trick. It might clear it, or mostly clear it; but since the underlying infection is still there, the RI will return. In a case like this, continuing to swab the respiratory tract will continue to show the same thing. The underlying problem could be parasitic, bacterial, or fungal....and you'll never find out without those tests you're griping about.
There is no argument that vets are expensive - look at their overhead - of course, just dispensing meds, while cheaper for the client, doesn't do much to help them cover costs.

As for the examples of bad, or less than honest, vets/clinics overcharging - unfortunately, there are examples of those scenarios in just about every business. Sometimes over-ordering tests, procedures, or meds is simply a sign of somebody trying to be thorough (especially if a vet isn't familiar with a species, or isn't quite sure what's going on). Sometimes it is just trying to get more money.
sorry for venting about this, i respect the vets and understand how important they are.
but come on !!! if they weren't so expensive, more peolpe would go and animals in general would be better off, many animlas are destroyed because between paying
1000s$ for care for a free or cheap animals to replace, the choice of many is the easy route
.. I will still got to the VET when needed, but only when absolutely have too.
Fortunately I have not just one but two decent exotic vets close to me, and neither performs a swab/lung wash/culture when initially presented with a snake with an RI for precisely this reason. Then know if the owner expects a $500+ bill to treat an RI, many will let the animal die and buy another one. They will do it if the RI doesn't respond to the prescribed antibiotics, but both said that's pretty rare - maybe 1-2 cases in 100.

One prescribes Baytril + Fortaz for RI's, the other Baytril + Naxcel as the shelf life of Fortaz is pretty short and they don't see as many snakes as the first, so they found their stocks of Fortaz expired before it got used up. Both said that they don't bother prescribing Baytril alone any more, too many RI strains are resistant to it but the combos are very effective.

Cost for exam + meds (10 shots of each antibiotic administered every 3 days) is in the $150-165 range at each vet, which is reasonable IMO.
Fortaz has a short shelf life once reconstituted...I don't recall the expiration being particularly close prior to that; but, I guess if it is rarely used some may expire. (It is not a reptile specific medication, though, for whatever that may be worth in this regard)
Thanks for the reply Harald,

I must add, maybe it looks as if i'm off base the way i've worded all this and try to keep it short.. i had just got of the phone with the vet i trust and to have them tell me we need to have a check up again, when they told me i might have to go that route because of dehydration caused by the fact they inisted i keep the cage dry while treating !!
I do agree that prescription drugs need to be given out by proffessionals and not just anyone who wants them, this is why i had no problems when this all started out..
i know of some people who can get them, without having to pay for a check up, but that's a different story, i asked them and they said i need to bring her in, witch i did gladly because i want her to get better.
the issue i had afterwards was that on the first visit they told me if symptoms were still availlable, that i would need to continue the treatment with more medications.. so i went back and was told they wanted to see her again..
as for the baytril, I did ask the vet about the fortaz also and talked about side effects regarding both drugs but they only had baytril available, in fact they didn't , i had to drive out the another clinic to get it.
it was all a combination of our discussion and when i explained details, they would go and call other vets and then confirmed that i was right !!!
not saying i know more then they do, but regarding my snakes i clearly do..

i do have lots of knoledge in this area and that's the other part that is a little annoying,a vet can tell if someone knows what they are talking about, especialy when everything they told me was repeated from what i told them... but that's ok , i just feel that the second time i wanted to continue the treatment , they could have just sold me the needed meds, like the other vet did..
I understand that they at least need to see the pet first,to confirm it needs it and not just sell drugs to any wacko... we all know there'e enough of them out there..

but all good, i'm ok with that part.

as for cultures, i did have one done and again as i mentioned , i understand completly the why they would want to keep checking... it's when the vet tells me as long as some symptoms keep showing, they know it's still present just not how much of it is.. if she's getting better, then we're in the right direction, witch we were.. i did not go with other cultures as i felt at the end of the final treatment things were cleared..

well other than the other problems that arrised due to dehydration..

as for the fecal, i had that done as well.. just like you said they wanted to see the snake again.. but in the end agreed that it's the same snake ???
the first vet, i had a fecal done on a new emerald tree boa that i wanted to test. they wanted to see that one too, but managed to convince them it wasn't a good idea.
1- it was winter and did not want to take the snake out at that time
2- she's over 3000g and nasty
3- they are scared and nervous handling a ball python ???
4- nothing is wrong with her, i just want it checked for parasites
they agreed to test without seeing her !!!

as for the combination of meds, i would have to ask my vet.. well in fact i did but they did not want to tell me excatly what it was other than it's a mix that they have, my fortaz came in a frozen capsule made up of what they called their recepe ?? this i can't elaborate on as i don't know. i do know that i only had one injection to do at a time and the shelf life in the freezer is well over 1 year, mine expired in 2016..

thanks Melinda, saw you reply as i was typing this one, yes a igree that 150-165$ is a reasonable cost, hell i'm up to over 750$ in vets with this snake and i'm still not willing to give up on her.

as i said , sorry if i souned off track, could be that the vets we have here don't have the expertice that others have.. I still like that second vet i found, it just seems as if they keep charging everytime they can..
I don't mind paying for what i need, but i don't like to pay just for because they can charge me for something i can do without..
Keeping the cage dry is a common approach to dealing with respiratory symptoms...however, since the antibiotics are nephrotoxic, hydration must be maintained. Sometimes frequent soaks are enough, sometimes tubing water is appropriate...occasionally, "IV" fluids are recommended. (I used quotes because the administration is not always intravenous).

Anyway, going back to your previous thread - the history and the pictures led me to suspect that the snake has a systemic infection. Without knowing the source of that, you're chasing secondary issues while the snake continues to deteriorate. Best of luck with it, it's a frustrating journey.
you are rigth that it's not a reptile specific drug, i also have what is called excenel
witch is a derived version of the fortaz we get, fortaz is a 3rd generation with a wider spread.
excenel is widely used in Europe and mainly used for farm animals, swine,horses.
comes is a powder that is mixed with destilled water..again what i have is in frozen form with an expirery date in 2015..

but i preffered to see the vet and get the newer drugs prescribed by them.
these came from another vet that i didn't know
thanks Harald,

i know, but the good news is she finally had her shed 2 days ago and lots of the redness is gone.
i had a fecal test done to see if she had any internal parasites but the results came in negative. all was fine.. i kinda wish they did find something..

we are soaking her 15 mins every night and then a 2 minute soaking with a little iodine solution betadine i think it is.. their another name on the bottle but i can't think of it right now.

i do wish the vet would have told me to soak her on a regular basis, from my research that is what should have been done, but she insisted about voiding all contact with humidity and water , other then a water bowl that needs to be disinfected daily and fresh water added.

thanks for you time, i hope that in all this, i made sense and didn't forget important information. been 1 year now trying to get her better..
to be honest, i almost feel as she was better off with a slight RI then now after all these injections and meds... surely this has some ill effect over time..

fingers crosse either way..
Fortaz has a short shelf life once reconstituted...I don't recall the expiration being particularly close prior to that; but, I guess if it is rarely used some may expire. (It is not a reptile specific medication, though, for whatever that may be worth in this regard)

Yes I knew about the short shelf life once reconstituted. I asked vet #2 why they preferred Naxcel over Fortaz and was told they ended up not using all their Fortaz. Perhaps because their wholesaler only offers it in bulk amounts?

Anyway I'm glad OP to hear your snake seems to be improving.
i had a fecal test done to see if she had any internal parasites but the results came in negative. all was fine.. i kinda wish they did find something..

I was thinking about this statement, and wanted to comment - if it was in response to my post, in which I mentioned the possibility of a parasitic component, I was not referring to parasites in the GI tract (that would be identified with a fecal exam). Lungworm and some others aren't exactly common; but they're worth considering in cases of intractable or recurrent RI.
Stephane, I hope your snake recovers!

I've had good/bad/neutral experiences with reptile vets and vets in general (going through a huge and expensive mess with one of my cats right now but I digress).

I generally expect that I'm going to be paying $400 anytime I want to take one of my reptiles in. I've had some visits/treatments that came out to only about $250 and others that were over $750. I do understand why they need to see the reptile each time although I do wish they would be willing to *waive* the office visit fee on re-checks but I suppose they do have overhead and staff to pay... sometimes it does seem unnecessary. oh well. Finding a good reptile vet is a wonderful thing as they can sometimes be few and far between.
No, i had it done to clear the possibility of a parasite to illiminate that part of possible problems.
We discussed possible blood tests but the vet said it wasn t necessary just yet.
I am not sure what other tests i could get done.according to the vet, her lungs sound good, heart beat is good, she did mention the bottom part seemed a little swollen but nothing to worry about.. She taught about an x-ray to make sure she wasn t pregnant ? But that is not possible unless the original owner tried to breed a 500g female.....?? Since in my care not only has she never been near another snake, she spent lots of time in my sons room ever since.. Not impossible if she retained sperm !!!! But not likely

All togeter this female got 4 vet visits and full check ups
1 mouth,trachea swab
1 bacterial culture
1 fecal test
Baytril injections in the begining 10 all together of .22 cc
Fortaz injections in two seperate treatments 15 all together of .17 cc
Anti inflamatory injections 5 of them of .02 cc to help with the prolapse

Next step is tube feeding unless she takes food on her own, will try this evening
I have some panacure( not sure on the spelling) but i don t want to give anymore drugs until she eats and gains a little weight and strengh.

Just before the shed, she was in a tub with water and peed, didn t prolapse, in fact the sent gland retracted on its own:)

She still has ways to go and not out of the woods yet, far from it.. But not as depressing as it was when we first saw that redness.. That was just :(

Thanks for the suggestion, i will for sure mention this next visit,
All these latest problems are hard to swallow since her RI seems gone for good, no more traces at all, perfect tougue flicker, clear inside..

Just hope she pulls out of the latest..