I just opened up my North Forty News and came across a “letter to the editor” entitled “personal attacks unfounded”, only to find that it was written on behalf of our vet Dr. Chad Zadina. Just wanted to say that it is too bad that there doesn’t seem to be enough room in the world for everyone.
I was sorry to hear that Dr. Zadina had been the recipient of bad publicity and defamatory rumors. I suspect that it is because of his high standards and fair costs. You see most folks can’t afford the large clinics anymore. Veterinary clinics have priced their services right out from under the common folks. We are looking for prices that are fair, and a vet that understands, while we love our pets, we still have families to feed, and that brings me to the reason I am writing you.
We live in a very remote area of Northern Colorado where there aren’t many vets in the area. Those who are here have limited practices, most unable to do large limb surgery because they lack a facility to do the surgery in, or the equipment to do it with. Most have opted to provide basic and emergency services to the remote areas which means usually driving to a clients home to provide the service on pets and livestock, therefore giving up the clinic and equipment in order to be mobile. That is life here.
We moved from another state and into the mountains of Colorado a little over a year ago. With us came 4 cats, and 3 large dogs. This past December we noticed that one of our dogs looked like she had an injured front leg. We contacted two vets in the area and it was decided that she had bone cancer. We were then sent to several of the large clinics in Fort Collins. We met with each veterinarian, going over the X-rays, and each clinic gave us the same prognosis. We could have her euthanized, or have her leg amputated, or have her leg amputated and chemotherapy performed, with costs running from $3,500 all the way up to $12,000. My husband and I were stressed and worried for our dog. If we waited too long to make a decision her leg would fracture, spreading cancer everywhere. If we euthanized her, her pack would not know what to do, nor would we, and if we spent the money required, we would have to offer our first born to pay the cost and not eat for a millennium. There was no good decision.
Not knowing what to do I contacted our vets and asked them for their advice. What would they do in the situation? By that time we had so many vets from so many clinics all over Northern Colorado. Once I asked for advice the strangest thing happened. Not one, but many of the vets told me to contact Dr. Zadina. They said he did wonderful work, well actually their wording was “beautiful work”, and that he had a wonderful demeanor with animals and with their owners. All of the vets told me his costs were reasonable.
Within a few days we made the appointment with Dr. Zadina and Tabby Road. He saw our dog, ran blood tests so we didn’t do unnecessary surgery if the cancer had spread to the lungs, kidneys, or liver, and he also did an X-ray. We talked about prognosis and of course the elephant in the room…the cost. We were stunned to find Dr. Zadina would perform the amputation for a fraction of what the large clinics would do. He understood our wishes to prolong our pet’s life for as long as we could. He helped us formulate a plan for her care after her surgery, and for her care in the future.
Dr. Zadina performed the surgery in December. Our dog came home the next morning. Dr. Zadina called our home every day for almost two weeks to make sure she was doing well, and there were no problems. When was the last time you had a vet care enough to do that?! She went back to Tabby Road three weeks after the surgery to have stitches removed.
I’m here to tell you that Dr. Zadina really does beautiful work. This process for us has been hard. Our pet is a treasure in our family and having the leg amputated was an agonizing decision. Dr. Zadina didn’t know us, but spent a lot of time giving us the information we needed to make a sound decision. Where the other clinics wanted to charge us thousands of dollars, he did a beautiful job on our dog for about $1,000. There were no complications, no infection, and her incision healed beautifully. I’m not sure that I will ever understand how an animal can go from four legs to three, and make it seem so natural. When we go into Tabby Road to see Dr. Zadina, our dog has nothing but good howls for him. You would think she would be afraid after all the vet visits, but she seems to adore seeing him and his staff.
In ending, I am thankful that we were sent to Dr. Zadina. I think had we not ended up in his office our dog would not be here today. Dr. Zadina was everything we were told he would be. He is the reason we still have time with our pet. In a heartbeat I would recommend him to anyone, obviously if I’m willing to spend an hour writing a letter to the editor! I think the large clinics are afraid of losing business because people can’t afford them anymore, at least not in this economy. I think a vet that is fairly priced and that does good work is a rarity in the market today. I’m sure that must threaten some. We found Dr. Zadina to be fairly priced, conscientious, concerned, and with a follow through that is refreshing to see. Most notable is his integrity, and the high degree to which he performs his work. I find it inspiring that the image of the country vet of days gone by, is still alive and well in Wellington.
Donna and Jack Hill