Affordable Care

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Senior Pet Care

Lab work for senior pets is used to detect underlying illnesses that may not have outward symptoms.  Normal physical exams are important but may not reveal problems that would be evident with blood work, urinalysis, x-rays and ultrasound. As pets age, they can develop diseases such as diabetes, kidney failure, cancer, liver disease, etc. The sooner a problem is discovered, the more manageable and less expensive overall the treatment becomes. Some findings could lead to lifesaving procedures. Even when results are within normal limits this allows us to know baseline levels and assists our veterinarians with better interpreting issues that arise in the future. Below are examples of blood profiles we offer for significantly less than other veterinary hospitals:

  • Total Health Profile $125 (Elsewhere $200 – $300)

This test includes a Super Chemistry, which is 21 different blood profiles to test for things such as kidney and liver function, as well as the health of other internal organs; A Complete Blood Count, which can help determine if there is an infection or other illness such as Leukemia or Anemia; and finally a thyroid function test.

  • Senior Profile $125 (Elsewhere $250 – $400)

This test includes a Super Chemistry, Complete Blood Count and a Urinalysis.

  • Comprehensive Profile $135 (Elsewhere $250 – $400)

This test includes a Super Chemistry, Complete Blood Count, Thyroid function test and Urinalysis.

  • Complete Body Health Screening $600 (Elsewhere $1000 – $2000)

This includes the Comprehensive Blood Profile, X-Rays which are reviewed by a board certified Veterinary Radiologist and an Ultrasound which is performed and reviewed by a board certified Veterinary Radiologist.


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Rocco

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Rocco the boxer was brought to us after being at another hospital. He had been treated for 2 weeks for loss of appetite and severe weight loss. Rocco had lost 20 lbs in two weeks. The hospital referred his owners to a specialty hospital for additional work up because they couldn’t figure out what was going on. After they heard how high the costs were going to be for the additional work up they came to us instead. Within 6 hours Rocco was in surgery based on our finding in his exam and x-rays. Rocco’s loss of appetite and weight loss had all been caused by a foreign body obstruction. He had eaten what looked to be infant pacifiers. The care he received cost a little over $1000 at Animal Health Care Specialists. Elsewhere the cost would have been $5000 – $10000.

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Twister

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     Twister is a 3 year old, 9 lbs, terrier mix dog who was rushed into our clinic. He had just been hit by a car. The owners had him cradled in a blanket; his left eye was hanging out of its socket. He was badly bruised around the face and he was having difficulty breathing. He was in pain, in shock and dying. He was immediately rushed into the treatment room, where our technicians and doctor went to work treating shock and controlling bleeding. Twister was put on oxygen, pain medication and antibiotics until stable enough to x-ray. The x-rays revealed severe damage to the chest. The lungs were bruised and there was bleeding in the chest cavity as well. Twister was becoming more unstable and we proceeded to put a chest tube in. He actually died during the procedure. We were able to resuscitate him, clear the bloody fluid out of his lungs and chest. After 8 hours on oxygen and intensive 24hr care he was stable. Twister spent a few more days in the hospital then was able to be reunited with his owner. He was readmitted a week later when he was able to undergo general anesthesia to remove his eye. If not for Animal Health Care Specialists’ expertise and affordable prices Twister would have been euthanized.

     The owner tearfully expressed at the onset that she had limited funds and believed she would have to euthanize him because of the extensive damage he appeared to have sustained. The bill was a little over $1000 dollars where other clinics would have charged a minimum of $5000. Needless to say she was extremely grateful and relieved that although the bill was high, it was within her means and much less than her past experiences at other animal hospitals.

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Max

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Max relaxing

Max’s owner brought max in from another hospital. Max was blocked. The other hospital was able to unblock Max, but due to the high cost they wanted to charge for hospitalization, his owner wasn’t going to be able to provide Max with the care he needed and was told to go elsewhere. Animal Health Care Specialists was able to provide care that his owner could afford. The identical intensive care for Max was only $100 a night. Max made a full recovery and was able to go home. If Max had needed life saving surgery. We would have been able to perform it for only $1000 versus $2500-4000 that other hospitals charge.

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Abby Needed a C-Section

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Abby needed a C-Section

Abby, an adorable litte Chihuahua, needed a C-Section.  Her owners had called several veterinary clinics but were unable to find anyone to help them because they didn’t have the $700-$1700 dollars they were quoted to perform the surgery at other clinics.  Finally, they were put in contact with Animal Health Care Specialists because we are known for our affordable prices.  The C-Section, hospitalization, and medications came to  $550 and little Abby was spayed at the same time so she never has to go through that type of ordeal again.  When pets have a C-Section at our clinic it is a requirement that the pet be spayed at the same time as we are painfully aware of how many healthy dogs and cats are euthanized every year simply because there are not enough homes for them.

Abby’s owners were grateful to us for helping them when noone else would.  Please also go to tailsofwoe.org to read about the lives of cats and dogs that have been saved through generous donations to our Tails of Woe fund (which is an IRS 501(c)(3) making your donations tax-deductible).

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Spooky’s Story

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Submitted by Kathryn Montgomery (In gratitude to Animal Health Care Specialists 10-15-2010) (Edited for web format)

Spooky

This is Spooky’s “oh-my-gosh-something-pretty-big-has-to-be-at-work-here” story.  I first saw Spooky huddling against my neighbor’s garage door in a blustery spring storm; odd, I thought, for a cat to be out in such weather.  Later in the spring I saw her again but she didn’t look quite as “fluffy” – maybe she was just in sleek-stealth-mode as she intently watched the bird feeder.  Two months later I found her in a rumpled-looking huddle on my front porch and, reaching out to touch her, discovered she was just a little bag of bones.

We discovered she had been living underneath our neighbor’s big spruce tree – no telling how long.  After six weeks of “getting to know each other on the front porch” she remained so painfully thin that I could circle her abdomen with my fingers!  Her breathing seemed labored even when she was quiet.  As we sat with her on the porch at night my husband noted that only her green eyes were visible and declared she was just plain ‘spooky’ – and so she was.

She’d been staring Burt, our big Labradoodle, into submission through the living room window all summer.  We decided to bring her into our home only after a vet checkup – an event that brought us together with some very special people.  Our vet ordered an x-ray and came back to show me why our little cat was so thin.  All of Spooky’s organs had moved from her abdomen up into her chest cavity thanks to a big hole in her diaphragm.  She may have been born that way, or more likely had suffered some terrible trauma.  In any event, they couldn’t do the surgery (too complicated) and the cost would be “way up there.”

Google provided me with a crash course in feline herniated diaphragm and I was discouraged and horrified as I called around looking for hope or help only to discover surgery could cost from $2000 to $4500.  We are the never-give-up sort of people but those quotes were forcing me to face a fiscal reality:  We would have to put her to sleep.  Before I gave my husband the bad news I decided to call the last number on my referral list – Dr. David Schulman.  I didn’t know quite what to expect when told he wanted to examine Spooky himself, but I felt like my little kitty might be worth something more than a dollar-cost-surgical-procedure to this place and let some hope start to flicker as I drove to his hospital.

I found him to be a candid, gifted, and caring man who demonstrated impeccable integrity as he explained our options.  Yes, he said, it was possible for his specialty surgeon, Dr. David Matthiesen, to attempt the surgery and yes, it was also entirely possile we could spend a lot of money and she might not make it.  He quoted us $1000 and I think we were both surprised when I told him to schedule her surgery!

In every single interchange Dr. Schulman has proven more than worthy of our hope and trust; his hospital and staff have earned not only our eternal gratitude, but also our heartfelt recommendation to every single pet owner we know.  We found Drs. Schulman and Matthiesen in a time of crisis.  Part of this story is that Dr. Schulman made it financially possible for us to finally bring into our home and lives the little grey cat that captured our hearts.  The other part is that we are going to stay with  Dr. Schulman because the love he and his staff have for animals fills every corner of his hospital – you can feel it when you walk in!  So this is what we want you to know:  Even though it was about the money, it turned out to be not about the money at all.  There’s just something about “Dr. David”….

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Joe’s Saga

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The ear tip was full of pus

Joe’s infected ear & growth

Joe had an ear infection.  Instead of bringing Joe to his veterinarian who in the past was extremely expensive, his owners decided to tie up his ear so it could get more air as they thought that would help clear up the infection.  Instead, the tie they used slipped and cut off circulation to the tip of the ear for several hours.  If you look at the photo on the left the tip of the ear is on the left side of the picture.  The hair is matted and the ear tip is hard.  After shaving the ear tip, Dr. Schulman found pus under the matted hair.  The ear tip needed to be amputated.

Please don’t neglect your pet’s health needs due to money.  By doing so, it will most likely make their condition worse and end up costing much more money than if the pet was brought in at the onset of the problem.  Not to mention the suffering your poor pet will endure.  There are many low-cost clinics in the Denver Area to help you and the prices at our clinic are some of the most affordable in the entire Denver area.
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Rusty

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Rusty was attacked by another dog.  His owners spent $500 at two other veterinary clinics just to shave his wounds and give him I.V. fluids.  They were quoted $3500 to repair a diaphragmatic hernia.

Rusty’s owners were able to have Rusty treated, requiring exploratory surgery, at Animal Health Care Specialists for $1,000 and take their sweet dog home within a few days.

P.S. Rusty did NOT have a diaphragmatic hernia! The other hospital misdiagnosed the injuries.

Rusty

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Violet

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Violet

Violet after surgery

Violet’s owners were quoted $1300 to remove a growth by her right eye at another veterinary clinic.  Seeking a second opinion, her owners came to Animal Health Care Specialists.  Dr. Schulman was able to remove the growth below her right eye and clean Violet’s teeth for $250 – a price Violet’s owners could afford!

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Luna

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Luna

Luna is an American Bulldog Puppy who loves to chew, like most puppies.  But, Luna’s chewing got her into big trouble.  She seemed to prefer cloth items – some she regurgitated, some she didn’t.  It was the latter that put her in a life-threatening situation.  Taken to a local veterinary clinic in Denver on Saturday, October 16th, 2010, Luna’s owners were told (after x-rays) that Luna did, indeed, have somthing in her stomach.  But, alas, this clinic could do nothing to help her until Monday.
A foreign body requires surgery ASAP so this clinic gave Luna’s owners a list of phone numbers to call.  Another clinic said they could not see Luna until the following Wednesday, yet another quoted $4,000 for the surgery – a cost the owners could not afford.
At last, one of the receptionists at the first clinic referred Luna’s owners to Animal Health Care Specialists.  Luna had surgery the same day to remove the cloth (foreign body) from her stomach.  She was hospitalized over the weekend and returned home to her family on October 19.  The total bill was $800.  Luna’s life was saved and she was reunited with her very happy family.
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