Thursday, April 02, 2009

Royal Animal Hospital Review

I made an appointment about a week ago for Desert Dawg. She is getting up there in age and her hair has been thinning. I hate to see it happening, but it is. She still runs around like a puppy, but there are aging signs. I wanted to see if I should be doing anything differently - general advice.

The RAH is located at the animal section of the Friday Market next to (wall-to-wall) Al-Dohama'a Veterinary Hospital. RAH has a lovely reception area and lobby; everything is blue and white and very clean.

The ambiance is broken the minute the receptionist opens her mouth to speak. OMG - what an irritating voice! It pierced the wrong decibel - whatever it was. So, I sat down to wait my turn with several other animal owners; all of us with our eyes rolling back in our heads. While we waited, the receptionist and a compatriot (Philippines) shouted and giggled back and forth across the room in Tagalog. Me, American (inside my head): 'Shut tha fu*% uuuuuuuuuuuuuuup!'

A guy with a Doberman-Rottweiler mix puppy came in. The dog had sad eyes and just lay where they had placed him the entire time. He turned once - to position himself facing a corner (have you ever seen a dog do that? I haven't - ever. What does it mean?). It really needed help. When my turn came up, I told the doctor to take the puppy first and I waited.

And waited. And waited. And waited. The guy finished and was to leave the puppy there. I still waited. For over an HOUR.

I asked Ms. Perky Philippines how much longer. “As soon as the doctor is finished.” Gee. Thaaaaaaaaaanks. No duuuh. She went back to her caterwalling in Tagalog. I wanted to throw something at her, but I was afraid of the sound she might make if she screamed.

Doberrott dude went to his car and then came back in. I asked what was wrong with his puppy and he said that the doctor didn’t know – and wanted (get this shit) 240 KD to run tests.

WHAT TESTS???? For 240 KD in Kuwait, you can deliver a baby.

I don’t know what happened because I was out of there so fast that people’s heads were spinning around. It was kindof like Wyle E. Coyote, but without the Road Runner. I made a beeline to Al-Dohama'a and got in to see Dr. Juanita in 10 minutes. She gave me vitamins and shampoo for sensitive skin and charged me a whopping 7 KD. BADA BING

When Desert Dawg ate something nasty and was puking blood, IVH ran a full series of tests and gave her 2 x-rays for something around 70 KD.

RAH is going to have real business troubles if they are charging that much money. First, their offices aren’t located in Salhiya; they are in the FRIDAY MARKET – and right next door to 2 existing animal hospitals. There isn't a Starbucks in their lobby. They don't have valet. Kuwaitis aren’t going to pay extremely high prices for animal care; and ok I care a lot about my dog, but if someone hit me with a bill like that, I wouldn’t pay it either. I would get 2nd and 3rd opinions at least and by then, it probably would have resolved itself or other tests would have been able to determine what was causing the sickness.

I have heard from a friend that the RAH, however, is the only animal hospital in Kuwait that does on-site blood work and interpretation; IVH does it, but it has to be sent out. So, does that mean that RAH should charge exorbitant prices?

I’ve also heard that RAH is the only place to take your baboon to be castrated. Don’t ask – I didn’t want to know, so I didn’t ask either! If anybody is worried about monkey balls - they're the place to go.

Personally, I hope that the RAH doctor realized the severity of the puppy’s illness and took pity on the guy. He said he wouldn’t be able to pay 240kd.
I will probably give RAH another chance - in 6 to 12 months. Maybe it is just growing pains. I dunno.


nyx said...

Hahahah! Baboon Castrated?? Hahhahahhha!

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!! strange story though very funny!!! 240 kd it's insane!!!
I had to check in my beautiful yellow Labrador "Leo" at IVH for 5 days cause I had to travel, and believe me it was excellent service and care. He was extremely happy and I ended up paying 35KD only, with 100KD as refundable deposit while checking out.
I can say it was a pleasant experience.
by the way I liked your blog, keep it up

Anonymous said...

hi... i work for royal animal hospital... hus d lady ur talkin about.. n yes we charge too much high.. but still wer trying to adjust to the pricing Kuwait standard dear,, i apologize for anything rude or unethical behavior you may had experience with us... will try our best to do better or best. chao...

Anonymous said...

Couldn't resist adding my bit.
I have been cleaned out by RAH this month..don't even want to calculate all bills but lets be conservative and say we are looking at around 600 KD.
Part of this bill was for tests that ware sent to UK for blood, (so don't know about testing on the premises). By the way one month later I still do not have the results. I recently have switched back to IVH..I just need to see the same vet who starts the treatment when I return for follow up 2 days later. In the beginning I too waited for hours in the waiting its empty ! However the receptionist was very nice to me, I'm not faulting the staff but the charges are just ridiculous. One charge alone was 225KD. I wonder who in Kuwait will or can pay this much when other vets are available ?

Anonymous said...

So funny and so very true, y pay ridiculous prices when there is a perfectly good vet next door ! ok not the best looking place in kuwait and if u dont mind sharing a waiting room with sheep,huge birds of some discription and maybe the odd camel (this is Kuwait and nothing surprises me!!!)then this is the place to go. Or to the IVH where they are fabulously clean as we went there to see about my dog going in when i was on vacation (holiday to us brits)and they showed me around straight away !! (nothing to hide!!!)

pop said...

Oh dear, I thought it's only me who think too much about this place. I went to RAH by mistake, make appointment at 6PM but finally I need to wait more than half an hour, dont really know why I need to make appointment if I need to wait. I went that to have vaccination for my dog. Finally I paid almost 25 KD for vaccine. I thought it's normal price. But just realize that it's expensive when the next vaccine I try with the vet next door, they took me only 3.5 KD. I dont really know what's different. And at the time I went to RAH, the doctor was trying to sell dog food to me. He said it's very good and different with dog's food in the market. I said I've just bought it, so i will wait to finish it first. Then she said my dog has very dry skin, ask me if i wanna make a test. Fortunately, I said no. I dont know how much I need to pay if I say yes. :(

Abi said...

I took my cat to Al Dohoma last year after he became sick, yes they saw me very quickly, but they took 1 look, said it was worms, gave him a tablet, some vitamins & sent him on his way. A few days later he was getting worse, we saw Dr Joseph, he said keep giving him water, gave him yet more vitamins & an injection & that was it. A few days later he was still sick & so I went to RAH, Dr Gill saw the cat & couldnt believe how ill he was, she began tests & treatments & advised he might not make it. He was admitted to the hospital, he had many tests & a lot of treatment. Yes they were expensive, but I think it was around 250kd for the whole bill, including all treatment & around 3 weeks in the hospital. It may have been more than 200kd more than the vet next door, but just giving vitamins & a random injection clearly didnt work!! I will ONLY ever use RAH now. I have never had to wait more than 5 mins to see a vet, mornings are especially quiet & it is only 6kd to see the vet so I would highly recommend it to anyone who cares for their pet.

As for the receptionists, I have always found them to be VERY helpful & very friendly.

Anonymous said...

I had both great and very bad experiences at the RAH. My first kitten was treated by Dr. Jill, who was fantastic in every way. However, a tiny 6 week kitten was treated by a French Dr. She said she had ONE ring worm and I shouldn't introduce her to my other pet just yet, but humans she can be around and walk around freely. That night I realized a strong itch, checked her out and found scabs all over. Called the hospital first thing in the morning and the same Dr. mentioned that it is probably an allergy as she only found one and it couldn't have spread that quickly. I mentioned kids playing with her and her being on furniture, again she reiterated not to worry. In the evening new ones emerged, took her to Al Dohamma and as soon as the Vet saw her she said she is extremely infected with ring worms all over her body, they are very contagious and I need to isolate her for one month and disinfect the house and the kids need to be checked immediately.

So do please check which Vet you are meeting with, because they are not all as capable as they portray.

I just had to warn everyone, because getting rid of those things and making sure everyone around is safe, especially children and other pets is just a complete pain.

Chicken Soup said...

i know i'm late reading this post but i had to share my $0.02.

my lady pug was fooling around with another pug and we wanted to see if she was pregnant or not. i took her to RAH and the australian vet took my pug in for an ultrasound. she told me that yes, my pug was pregnant and that she could see 5 fetal sacs (which she carefully pointed out). i was so thrilled that i payed the KD 45 (for a freakin ultrasound! i get mine done for KD 10!!) without complaints. she also told me to come back in three weeks to check on the pregnancy.

three weeks later, my sister took lady pug to RAH for her check-up, and after waiting for an hour, they go in, get an ultrasound, and australian vet looks at my sister incredulously and says "who said your dog was pregnant? she isn't!" UHHH YOU DID! and when my sister told her that i had come in 3 weeks ago, she said "i never told your sister that your dog was pregnant." really? REALLY? screw you.

so on top of getting our hopes up, wasting our time, making us wait, and lying to us, she charged us another KD 45 for the ultrasound. needless to say, i never went back to RAH AGAIN.

my pug and frenchie go to al-dohama'a - clean, cheap, efficient, fast, and HONEST. i would stick with them if i were you!

Desert Girl said...

Hi Chicken Soup. Never too late. :) I had 2 experiences at RAH and neither were good; although my friends at K'sPATH rave about them. I have a hard time justifying the price vs the treatment.

Al-dohama'a has wonderful vets who have been in Kuwait for forever, although I don't think they have surgical facilities. I take my dog to Al-dohama'a for vaccinations - and even skin irritations (when others have mis-diagnosed her). It is inexpensive and quality.

Anything serious - or when my baby needs to spend the night - I go to IVH. Italian vets, clean boarding facilities, just good care.

Anonymous said...

I had a bad experience with RAH too. The very first time I went there was this male Dr who was great! He was very friendly and knew what he was doing.
However on my next I asked to see this vet but was told he left to work in Dubai. They said there's this new woman, so I'm like ok I'll see her.

I waited and waited for like 1 hour!!! I said to the receptionist how Much longer do I have to wait??
Then I noticed there was a guy who came after me and they called him in before me!!! I was so pissed off and about to complain but before I did the guy said that this person has been waiting before me.

Anyways the new Dr was a total bitch with an attitude. I forgot her name but she has wild grey hair like a witch.
She also recommended I did blood tests for my dog and that they would have to be sent to a lab In the UK. I payed over 200kd and when I got the results back she's like didn't find anything I suggest u try again next month.

Total waste of money. I'd been ripped off! I found out later that te vet next door did the same test for 25kd!!!

Farah said...

For everyone in Kuwait looking for the best veterinary hospital in Kuwait the best place is International Veterinary Hospital (IVH for short)They are very organized, clean, and especially HONEST!! They don't work only for profits, your pet is their top priority. Yes their prices are a bit expensive but their service is the best. Yes their location is a bit far, but Every time I go there i don't have to wait one second!! They let me in with no hesitation. I have experience with them with dogs and cats and they are said to be the best veterinary hospital in the whole middle east with training, general medical, surgery, pet store, pet photo booth, boarding, importing and exporting. They are for what you can say an all-in-one veterinary hospital. If I were you I wouldn't even bother going to any other veterinary hospital other than IVH.

Anonymous said...

recently my dog became very sick and i was so upset.i was worried about him and of course the cost of the vet bills. i got in touch with all of the hospitals to find out the cheapest and royal was most expensive by far. when i called them i was passed to a nurse who explained everything to me and what the problem might be. after this i decided that i should get an appointment there just to find out. the nurse took me as an emergency and she was so kind and lovely to Pete. after 2 weeks in the hospital he came home happy healthy. the bill was high but hes my baby and i chose to get him and if it wasnt for royal and the nurse who was amazing with me and my pete he might not be here

Chelkey said...

I have used the services of several veternarians through out the area by tge Friday market. Found all to be competent and caring. But, I must add, if you have a more complicated case, Royal Aninal Hispital is the place to go. Their diagnostic resources are far more advanced than all other veternarian hospitals in the area.
Dr. Jill, on staff, was a wealth of knowledge giving us her complete focus and all the attention we required to understand and be reassured. On a follow up visit, my dog refused to get in the car and she ran to hide. I kept the apointment, showing up without my dog just to get further guidence as to the continued plan of treatment. Dr. Jill gave me the full apointment time without charge! She also addresses questions abd concerns via e-mail at no charge. In my dogs case, there were MANY additional tests that could have been done as a "money maker" but, Dr. JILL advised against it citing the risk out weighed the possible benefits.
Honesty, putting my animal's welfare first, a successful outcome, ongoing support and a reasonable bill ( nothing near what was quoted in the above artical ) - that's what is important.

Anonymous said...

I used to go to RAH because my cat was diabetic and I didn't know where else to go. I accepted All the ordeals of waiting, of paying huge bills, of being hardly welcomed, of having to put up with staff too busy and too stressed, all of this I accepted, but one day I asked to buy the regular doses of insulin for the daily injections, and the receptionist just said: "sorry maaaam, we don't have". I was shocked. What do you mean you don't have? How can a respectable hospital run out of insulin when they are supposed to be responsible for their pets??? It's as simple as that? you just didn't care enough to order the insulin at the right moment? Don't you make stocks? how can I trust you and rely on your services?
I started running everywhere to buy the insulin, but you only get it in veterinary hospitals.
So now I took my cat to The International Veterinary Hospital. Even if it is a little bit far, but I am sure they are not so reckless, and stressed, and rude. And they seem more responsible to me....

Raju Singh said...

My experience:
Just another fancy schmancy privately owned facility with Rediculously priced services
Problem with People here is that they think the foreign speaking staff makes it a super good place, where actually the only thing this facility is good at is going after ur YOUR money. They will try whatever they can to get extra expenses out from pet owners (over ur already fat bill).

Sadly I got suckered into it.

Agnieszka Bartkiewicz said...

I use Dohamaa , very happy with the care of my dog.
They're competent and have good attitude for animals .
Went to Royal once and got pissed off ROYALLY at the staff and the doctor , needless to say never went back .

Diana Diamond said...

these guys are a rip off...i had to pay 90 kd for tests on my kitten only to find out that theres NOTHING wrong with her! they like to exaggerate the diagnosis and toy with our feelings because they know howm uch we love our animals! I hate RAH.

Ahmad Almuhammad said...

I went to every veterinary hospital or clinic in Kuwait in one day, my dog has a serious parvovirus infection, i went to aldohmaa they said they have no i.v fuilds to give , then i went to royal had to pay 23 kd for check up only even more expensive than human checkup , the receptionist was rude and impolite. The vet advised me to admit my dog to hospital for 300 kd for 3 nights in hospital, he told 50 percent chance my pet survives, i refused and i went to dr.obeid clinic in Iranian souk close to Friday market they instantly resuscitate my dog with i.vfluids , antibiotics , but they do not have inpatient service, and advised me to bring my dog twice a day , it didn't convince me since my dog case was so serious and severely dehydrated, after that i went to IVH , FOR FOR 10 KD I SEE THE VET AND MY DOG ADMITTED THERE FOR 5 DAYS FOR 230 KD, EXPENSIVE YES BUT LESS THAN ROYAL AMD THE VETS MORE EXPERIENCED AND MORE PROFFESSIONAL IN MY OPINION IVH IS THE ONLY VET HOSPITAL IN KUWAIT .

Ahmad Almuhammad said...