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.