Five Proven Ways to Obtain Discount Veterinary Services

Tired of paying full retail price for your pet’s veterinary care? You don’t have to if your veterinarian gives you a discount on his/her services. And just how do you get that discount? Here are five proven ways to go about it.

1. Shop For It

If you’re looking for discount veterinary services, pick up the phone book or log onto your computer and price shop the various clinics in your area. Inquire about any and all price breaks the practice may offer to select clients. For example, discounts are commonly offered to military personnel (active and retired), police officers, firefighters, multi-pet owners, senior citizens, and students. In addition, many vets will slash fees for rescue organizations, kennels, and people who foster pets.

2. Ask For It

Let’s say your veterinarian doesn’t offer a formal price concession on a particular product or service, yet you really don’t want to leave the practice to search for discount veterinary services elsewhere. What to do? Simple. Ask for a discount. For example, ask for a free heartworm test in exchange for purchasing a year supply of heartworm medication. You’ll be amazed at how many vets will jump at this “deal”.

Here’s an insider tip: Most veterinary practices maintain pet charity funds that the doctors can use to forgive all or part of a client’s bill. Veterinarians are very empathetic individuals. It’s the nature of the profession. Oftentimes, when a client is faced with a life-or-death decision involving a seriously injured or ill (yet curable) pet, finances will weigh heavily on that decision. In these instances, it’s not uncommon for the veterinarian in charge of the case to discount veterinary service fees in order to treat the pet and thereby avoid euthanasia. In the veterinarian’s mind, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.

3. Work For It

For amazing veterinary discounts, consider working part-time or full-time at a veterinary clinic. Most hospitals and clinics offer price breaks to employees who have worked for the practice for a specified period of time. And those savings can be significant. For example, one clinic in Houston, Texas offers a 50% discount on vaccinations and heartworm preventative to employees after three months of work, and after five years of employment, all services are free and all medications are offered at cost. Not bad, huh?

As an added bonus, working for a vet will sharpen your knowledge and skills when it comes to veterinary care. You’ll learn how to assess a pet’s health status and learn techniques such as physical therapy, deep ear cleaning, giving injections, giving parenteral fluids, and other skills that you could conceivably apply to your own pet(s) at home. Not only that, for those with the entrepreneurial spirit, learning these new skills could very well open up a lucrative source of secondary income as a pet sitter or home hospice veterinary nurse.

4. Trade For It

There are two ways to trade for discount veterinary services. The first is through bartering. If you have a particular skill that could prove useful to your veterinarian, talk to him/her and see if you can set up some type of bartering arrangement. For example, do you have sales and marketing expertise? If you can offer your veterinarian practical tips on how to market and promote his/ her practice, a barter arrangement is probably only a handshake away. Are you a landscaper, carpenter, plumbing, or handy with tools? If so, you are a valuable asset to any business, especially a veterinary clinic. The possibilities are endless. Just ask.

A second way to trade for discount veterinary services is by volunteering at a veterinary practice. In other words, trade your sweat equity for a discount. It’s not uncommon for clinics to offer the same discounts to volunteers as they do to employees (the one in Houston does). Volunteer work can involve general practice maintenance, kennel help, technician work, accounting, or front office assistance. It’s a rewarding endeavor and one that can prove to be valuable even if you’re not receiving a paycheck.

5. Plan For It

Plan your pet’s elective health care procedures around discount veterinary initiatives promoted by national, state, and local municipalities and organizations. For instance, February is considered Pet Dental Health Month. Veterinarians usually offer nice price breaks (sometimes as high as 50%) on dental procedures during this month, so it makes sense to have your pet’s annual teeth cleaning done in February. Also, October is National Pet Wellness Month; many practices offer reduced fees on preventive health care during this initiative. And there’s more. March is Pet Nutrition Month, April is Heartworm Awareness Month, World Veterinary Day is usually the last Saturday in April, National Pet Week is in May, World Rabies Day is in the Fall…the list goes on.

In addition to these broad scale promotions, many counties and local municipalities hold periodic rabies drives, low cost spay/neuter clinics, and low-cost pet microchip clinics. The discounts on these veterinary services can be substantial, so contact your county or local health departments to find out when these special events are to be held.

There you have it. Five ways to land discount veterinary services. Applying this knowledge in your own quest for a price break can yield big dividends. By shopping for it, asking for it, working for it, trading for it, and planning for it, you’re sure to obtain a discount that will put a smile on your face!

Tools and Programs Used by Veterinary Assistants

There are many differences between veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants, including the tools and programs used by veterinary assistants. The training, duties and schooling are different for veterinary assistants compared to veterinary technicians, so the tools and programs they use are obviously different as well. If you’re thinking of becoming a veterinary assistant, it would be a good idea to become familiar with the tools and programs you will be using on the job before you begin training or applying.

Veterinary assistants aren’t required to complete a two-year degree, like veterinary technicians are, and although some assistants do get some veterinary training through certificate or diploma programs, you will likely have very little training before you begin this sort of job. While a veterinary technician is more like a nurse, a veterinary assistant is more of a clerical or administrative position, where most of the training is done on the job. You will likely be trained to use some of the most basic veterinary tools in the exam room, although your job there will more than likely be limited to holding the animal still for checkups and prepping the room for exams. You will also probably be responsible for cleaning out the exam rooms and kennels after animals have been in them.

The computer programs used by veterinary assistants are among the more basic and commonly known in the professional world, such as Word, Excel and QuickBooks. If you have never used any of these programs before, it would be a good idea to take a basic computer technology class at a community college or technical school so that you’ll have a general knowledge of the most common programs used in offices today. Your other clerical duties will likely involve answering phones, filing patient records, data entry, greeting patients and their owners, selling products and billing clients for services rendered.

If you want to become a veterinary assistant, you will need a high school diploma or GED, but other than that, most jobs don’t require formal training. Many employers will prefer at least a certificate or the completion of some veterinary classes, while others will be more than happy to train you on the job. More than anything, it’s important to get as much experience as possible working with animals and build an understanding of what types of tools and programs you will need to use while on the job.

Veterinary Flea Products

Fleas are a nuisance to dogs and cats alike. Theses parasitic organisms drain blood from your pet by sticking onto their skin and in the process transmit diseases. Furthermore, in kittens and puppies, adult fleas can easily drain off high amounts of blood leaving them weak and anaemic. Veterinary flea products work by keeping a check on their numbers while killing them.

Veterinary flea products can be cheap or expensive. Some are available over the counter easily while others require prescriptions. You can even find a few flea retardants and topical creams in your local stores. When dealing with these veterinary items, price often dictates their effectiveness. However, this does not mean that cheaper alternatives are not good enough. They are cheap because they have not been put through all the tests necessary to establish their efficiency and safety. In fact, many pet owners argue that these cheaper alternatives are excellent treatments for flea infestations. Regardless, of the debate on such products, do consult a veterinarian before using them and in case the dog or cat shows side effects to the treatment, then immediately stop using it.

Even though, cheaper vet flea products are effective, it would be wise to stick to the tested kind of solutions that are expensive. After all, it is the health of your pet at stake here. Furthermore, expensive types not only deal with flea infestations but also combat ticks and heart worms. Such type of expensive products usually contains more than one kind of chemical that make them effective on a wide variety of parasites.

Some of the veterinarian flea products are compatible with both dogs and cats. However, there are many dog specific treatment products and cat-only products marketed today. The truth is that most of these specific products can be used with either of the species. However, taking a second opinion from a Veterinarian would not be such a bad idea.

Two common types of flea treatments are the topical flea ointments and flea oral pills. Topical treatments work immediately and are quite efficient in treating high levels of infestation. This can be an expedient means of reducing flea infestation fast when it is at an advanced stage. However, because these are tested only on a particular species, it is advisable to use topical creams only on dogs or cats as mentioned on the tube, and not on both. Oral pills work best in combination with other treatments. These vet flea products can take some time to start showing improvements; however, they are usually effective in the long run. These pills are a concoction of chemicals that not only effective with fleas but also work on parasites within the body such as worms.

Flea collars are a traditional form of treating dogs infected with fleas. These collars are sprayed with chemicals that fight off flea and particularly work on the area around the neck, which has the highest density of hair or fur. Most topical treatments cannot penetrate such areas because of which flea collars work best here. A combination of all these three types of veterinary flea products should work best with your pet and cure it of any parasitic infections in no time at all.

Veterinary Products – Keeping Your Pets Tick Free

It’s important to keep your pets tick free for their own safety. But most of us have adventurous little critters that want to run and play in the grass, leaves, and wooded areas where ticks are just waiting to drop off their perch and right onto your pet! Here are a few things you should know about ticks and your pets.

Ticks Are Disease Carriers!

It’s easy to underestimate the dangers of ticks since they are such small insects, but they actually pose a great threat to us and our animals, since ticks often carry diseases. Diseases that ticks can transmit to animals include Lyme Disease, which is transmitted by the deer tick and causes symptoms similar to that of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever which is primarily found in New England and the West is a disease that causes depression, fever, rashes, skin hemorrhages, and joint disease. Dogs who live in wooded and mountainous areas often are at risk for this disease. Other possible diseases include Ehrlichiosis, a bacterial infection, and Babesoisis, a blood disorder.

Safe Tick Removal.

It’s important to check your pets often for ticks, especially during tick season and if they have been outdoors. The most common places ticks like to hide on animals are:

• Head
• Neck
• Ears
• feet

The following are the proper steps to help you safely remove and dispose of a tick you’ve found on your pet.

1. If you find a tick on your pet, remove it immediately! The longer it is attached to your pet, the greater the chance of disease. First to protect yourself, put on a pair of gloves so you do not have to touch the tick.

2. Use a pair of tweezers to carefully grasp the tick near the pet’s skin and gently pull until it lets go.

3. To help prevent inflammation and other infection, you may want to apply an antiseptic to the bitten area on your pet. Especially if it has left an open wound.

4. It’s important to properly dispose of the tick now that you have removed it from the animal. Acceptable methods include wrapping it in tissues and flushing it down the toilet or dropping it into a small container of rubbing alcohol. Don’t use water; ticks do not drown in water! And do not crush or burn them either, this may spread any infectious bacteria the tick may have.

Tick Prevention!

Pet owners should brush their pets often to check for ticks, especially after walks and trips outside in the woods or mountains. If you thoroughly comb and check your pet over within a few hours of being outside, you can greatly help prevent your pet from becoming infected by a disease from a tick. The best thing you can do for your pet is use some kind of tick prevention on them. Frontline is considered the #1 recommended tick and flea preventative by veterinarians. Frontline Plus will kill up to 100% of ticks on your pet within 48 hours and continue to keep them tick free for an entire month! (And the same product also keeps your pets protected from fleas too!) Many people enjoy ordering such products online because it’s so simple and reliable.