My Name is Leo

An adored cat deals gracefully with a jaw tumor while his owner quietly falls apart.

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Location: Philadelphia area, Northeast, United States

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Highway Robbery

My little family is vacationing in a beach house later this summer, and we are going to have to bring Leo along with us -- because even if we wanted to pay a cat sitter to come to our house twice a day to give him meds, they probably wouldn't be able to get him to take them -- it's become a difficult process as Leo's tumor has gotten larger.

I had to go to vet office to pick up Leo's prednisone refill, so I called and asked about getting Leo a medication like valium, one that would calm him down in the car ride and in strange surroundings.

The woman I spoke with said valium was way too strong for this purpose...and she would talk to the vet...

I didn't hear back and went to pick up the pred figuring they would either have something for me there or I would bring it up again in person. I asked for Leo's prescription and another pill vial was given to me along with the prednisone. No discussion of contents, just handed to me.

I see the vial is marked "Pet Calm" and I open it (as my bill is being prepared) and noticed the tablets were huge (and vial is marked give 1/2 tablet.) "No way am I going to be able to get this down my cat's throat," I say. The woman at the desk say, "Oh no -- it's a chewable -- and you can crush them up and mix them into food."

I was so preoccupied with the size of the Pet Calm that it wasn't until after I left that I realized that this is not a prescription drug, just an over-the-counter herbal pill.

And that I was charged $7.50 for three tablets.

Went online immediately and found I could get a bottle of Pet Calm at a reputable seller -- $5.59 for 50 TABLETS.

Ingredients: Calcium: 100mg, Vitamin B-6: 20mg, MAGNESIUM: 75mg,
VALERIAN 4X CONCENTRATE: 175mg, PASSION FLOWER: 175mg, Black Cohosh: 150mg, Niacinamide: 100mg, Hops: 50mg

So, I called the vet office...told her that I found it online for far less and I wanted to return the pills to the office.

She seemed surprised that it was so much cheaper online...said I could return them, but I had to do it that afternoon.

So, back to the office. I resisted the urge to complain when there...after all, the women at the desk don't set the price and they already knew I was irked from my phone conversation.

Still, can you imagine charging $7.50 for 3 pills that cost them 75 cents (the highest price I found online for 50 pills was $12) at the most?

That is so very wrong.

Unfortunately, when in the process of purchasing the Pet Calm online, I went and ordered $40 more of various vitamins and suppliments from Vitamin Shoppe! So somehow I managed to spend a lot of money in the process of trying to save a little. Oh well... (I got myself some valerian too, so hopefully both Leo and I will be quite mellow on vacation.)


Blogger Merujo said...

What a flipping rip-off! It's like when they charge you $10 for a Tylenol tablet when you're at the hospital. Grrr.

I hope you guys enjoy the beach house. I'm going out to spend a week in a lakeside cabin with a couple of my sisters soon. I'm ready to go now.

6/09/2006 3:47 PM  

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