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vet costs

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I work in an animal hospital, and am frequently confronted by people who are actually surprised that they have to pay to have their animals treated! They bring in a sick cat that needs hospitalization, medical care, medications, testing, etc. and then freak when we explain the costs. Do these people think we get our medicines and equipment for free, and that the doctors and support staff work for free? Sorry to go off on a rant here, it is just very frustrating when your job is to try and make people's pets healthy and happy, and they turn around and treat you like someone who is just in it for the money, rather than someone who truly cares about the welfare of their pet.
post #2 of 21
I agree with what you're saying. I personally know people who want to enjoy owning a pet, but don't want to take responsibility for it's care. The prices at the clinic I use start at $16.00 for an office visit and exam, which is really reasonable, and go up depending on what needs to be done for the animal.
post #3 of 21
There was a Letter to the Editor in our local paper, some guy, who happened to be a pharmiscist, wrote about how Vet's are charging way too much for medications because, he, as a pharmicist, could provide his pet with the same 'type' of medication for cheaper than the vet would charge.

Uh, hello? I don't think I would want a pharmicist taking pot luck with the same 'type' of medication, to save what turned out to be maybe a couple of dollars. I;m happy to pay the not very significant extra amount because I understand that my vet studied for many years to know the right kind of treatment for my pet.

It's like people think, "oh vets really love animals so why would they want to charge me, because I'm giving them the opportunity to help an animal!"

If you want to share your life with a pet, accept that you are responsible for their well being and the costs associated with that.
post #4 of 21
I don't blame you for getting peeved over something like that! People always want something for nothing! My cat is a part of my family and I'll pay whatever it costs to keep him healthy or get him well! (although it seems a lot cheaper in Minnesota! LOL!!) $16?????? An office visit here is $60-$80! Just like a regular doctor. But you know what? Sammy is one of my "babies" so I pay.
post #5 of 21
Its worth the cost to keep our precious furrbabies alive and healthy!
post #6 of 21
I just think that a lot of people who come in saying those things, are probably not very responcible pet owners in the first place. I have personally never heard of someone saying this before, that they didn't know they didn't have to pay for vet care, normally it's more like they didn't know animals NEEDED care.
post #7 of 21
I agree with all of you, people do need to be more responsible and take into consideration the cost it takes to keep a pet healthy, BEFORE they take it home. However, it does seem like some vets out there like to nickel and dime you to death and take advantage of the fact that you're in their mercy when your pet is sick or needs surgery. Plus, something is wrong when one vet charges $16 for a regular office visit and the next one charges $60.

Luckily not all vets are like this, just like not all doctors are like that, so if you shop around you can find a good one. I do feel vets deserve to get paid for the education and service they give our pets, as long as they're not taking advantage of me.
post #8 of 21
I just hate it when some vets do a bunch of stuff to your animal (with out going over it with you) and then charge you.

Mind you I do NOT object to helping my cats. I brought Tage into the usual vet (one which is suppose to be very good). He had a very BAD URI. I was starting to wonder if he would pull out of it, because it had just gotten so bad so quickly.
I had put him on the typical medication a couple times before, but it never really cleared it up. And this kitten was only about 4 months old at the time. Now I was in there, the whole time with him. I signed the papers saying blood work could be done, they gave him a liquid injection, beacuse he was so dehydrated. But I can't understand WHY I left with a bill that was $200.00
I don't believe he got any shots that day, as he was far too ill for them. They did a check up... looked him over, found out he had a heart murmer, gave me more meds (a different type this time.) And TAge STILL stuffers a little from the same URI.
I don't know how over priced medication and services really are... but sometimes I wonder...
post #9 of 21
Hi mellanie,

I had a similar gripe on these forums a couple of weeks ago. It really is very simple, if you can't afford to, or aren't willing to pay for proper veterinary care of your pet, then don't have one. I have seen people whinging time & time again that they can't afford to treat their cat at the vet. Owning a pet is a HUGE responsibility, and often can cost a lot of money, and it is NOT up to the vet to give credit to people. I was whinging about somebody who was very rude about vets recently to a vet friend of mine. Basically, my vet friend said "well, vets have familes to feed too" which is true. Why should they foot the bill? It's not the vet's fault if we don't have the money.

I adopted a Burmese in May last year, in the first 4 months I had her, I ended up shelling out around $1500.00 in vets bills for her. I recently had to take another cat to the vet & that ended up costing me around $800-$1000.00. You have to be prepared for these events. Cat's don't pick the most convenient time to get sick, it just happens, we must always be ready & able to pay.

Angelz00, most vets will always ask permission before doing something that may cost money. Whenever I drop the cats off for something, I leave my mobile number, and if they need to do something they haven't discussed with me, then they can call & ask. I've never had a problem with them doing this.

post #10 of 21
Originally posted by Samatha630
it seems a lot cheaper in Minnesota! LOL!!) $16?????? An office visit here is $60-$80!
I think the big difference in prices is strange too.
I don't know if this makes a difference or not, but I live in a rural area and use a very small general practice clinic. There are 5 or 6 large animal vets and 2 small animal vets. They even give the local wildlife veterinary care at this clinic.

Do you take your cats to a specialized small animal clinic?
post #11 of 21
Lorie D,
Yes, I take my cat to a small clinic. Just one doctor and one exam room and I've had him for 20 years. He is so caring. I had 2 cats before this one - one was 18 years old when I had to have him put down, and the other was 21 years old! I had the same vet since the cats were kittens. But I did have them to some other place when my vet was unavailable and it seemed like an "emergency", and all the places were about the same price.
post #12 of 21
Originally posted by manomi
There was a Letter to the Editor in our local paper, some guy, who happened to be a pharmiscist, wrote about how Vet's are charging way too much for medications because, he, as a pharmicist, could provide his pet with the same 'type' of medication for cheaper than the vet would charge.

Uh, hello? I don't think I would want a pharmicist taking pot luck with the same 'type' of medication, to save what turned out to be maybe a couple of dollars. I;m happy to pay the not very significant extra amount because I understand that my vet studied for many years to know the right kind of treatment for my pet.

I work in a Pharmacy and we have several people that come in there to get med's for their animals. I do have to agree with the Pharmacist who wrote that editoral. It is a lot cheaper for the Pharmacies to sell the drugs than it is for the Vets. For example, last week I got med's for Tiki and they cost $5.62 for Amoxicillin 100mg and $3.32 for Chlorpheniramine Maleate. The Chlorpheniramine is an over the counter medication (also under the name of Tavist) that cost approx. $4.00 for 100 pills. It cost me almost the same amount from the Vet for only 10 pills. As for the Amoxicillin, I could have purchased 100 pills for $12, but I paided over $5 for just 10. To me, the Vets are making quite a bit off of this in the long run. They have to buy their med's in bulk just like the Pharmacies do. I didn't complain about having to pay more in the long run...I'm happy to pay that for excellent health care for my cats. It really only makes a big difference in your wallet when your animals are on med's for the rest of their lives. It easily could add up to a few hundred dollars in one year depending on the medication.
Ok...enough from me...that's just my 2 cents!
post #13 of 21
Hi Shell,

The difference that he stated was not very much at all (especially keeping in mind how pathetic the Australian dollar is! )

What really concerned me was that he seemed to be advocating that people approach their pharmacist for medication for their pets ("self medicating" essentially) - but people need to take their vet's advice before medicating their pets (which I am assuming that the people who come to your pharmacy do) - not just ask a pharmacist what they would recommend for this symptom or that problem.

I understand what you're saying about long term medication, and that totally makes sense - if I was ever in that position, I would definitely talk to my vet about using a regular pharmacy to obtain the medication.

I guess I'm also basing this on my experience, and I have a very reasonable vet, so I know she isn't overcharging me - what little extra I may pay, is probably worth it for me not to have to go to a Chemist and wait for a script to be filled etc.

post #14 of 21
There is an emergency vet hospital down the street from where I live, and they usually write prescriptions and tell the owners to take them to the walgreens down the road. Is that normal? It's kind of the best of both worlds i guess. A prescription from the vet at pharmacy prices!
post #15 of 21
Originally posted by ddestes
Plus, something is wrong when one vet charges $16 for a regular office visit and the next one charges $60.
Not necessarily wrong, just different.

Our old vet charged about $30 a visit but we didn't care for them.

We tried a vet that charged $20. I wished I'd just sent them $100 and not gone, I would have been happier. They were totally out of date, they told me on the phone they could do this or that and then spent 20 minutes arguing with me, it was dirty and uncomfortable. They did not treat my animals the way I would like.

Another vet we tried charged like $40. They were ok. Nice office, good mannerisms with the animal, but nothing special.

Our vet charges $60. And I'd pay him twice that. He will spend as much time as he needs with you. When we went with our pup he spent at least an hour with us talking about all the concerns we had. He is a holistic vet and has spent much more time in schooling and updating his knowledge than some others might. He is a certified clinical nutritionist, he has studied under my favorite vet, he is an acupuncturist, the list could go on and on. The staff is wonderful. He does free phone consults, no charge on vaccination visits, no charge for homeopathic remdies with vaccines. And he is wonderful with animals!

Just because one vet charges less and one vet more doesn't mean one is ripping you off. Look at their qualifications, what they do to keep current, how much time they spend with you etc etc.
post #16 of 21
alicat: Your vet sounds wonderful.

It is important to find the right vet for YOU & YOUR cat. He/she may well not be the cheapest vet, but cheap isn't always good. I'm just happy that I have a vet I can trust.

post #17 of 21

So true! The first vet I mentioned...
We were okay there, but when Poppy got really sick from flea allergies, I realised that I spent a year working on her health and that the vet had never really explained it at all. She basically gave me some Frontline, told me she was flea allergic and that's all. I found tons of info online and through others that was helpful so I started feeling like...well what am I paying for here?

The vet we have (finally!) settled on is wonderful. I feel like I could ask a million questions and he would talk with me until I understood whatever was going on.

That's the most important part to me - that they listen to you, provide you with options and are willing to take the time to help you really understand things. For me it's also very important that they have kept up on new things in the vet world.
post #18 of 21
Misha: I was at the vets the whole time, in the same room as Tage. He never left my site. The vet just kept coming in the room saying things she was going to do, but didn't really explain what it was doing (I had to ask her, why, what's it for..etc etc).

Like one time she came in with this syringe, I didn't know what was in it, she muttered something about "so he wont be dehydrated, and it might look like he has baggy fur for a couple days." and then shoved the needle in his chest and went at it... I didn't even get to say if I wanted it or not, or ask what EXACTLY it was before she stuck him with it.

Granted I probably wouldn't have said no, and it had nothing to do with the money, but it made me upset how she kept leaving and then rushing in and sticking him with things with out giving me a chance to decide if I wanted it done!

I agreed to blood work, and I knew I would be coming home with some type(s) of antibiotics, but they did so many things to him I can't even remember all of them, they said he had a fever, and did a bunch of things, said he was dehydrated etc etc, the whole thing was really a blur to me, and I just sat there thinking... "Is tage really THIS sick?" They also told me at that time he had a heart murmer etc etc etc. I just felt pushed aside really.
post #19 of 21

A lot of the things it sounds like they did for Tage sound like what mine did for my kitty when he had a bad URI. He had the fluids under the skin, was given a shot to bring down his high fever, and also had to take Clavamox for 10 days. I had to bring him in the 2nd day for the fluids under the skin again and the shot for the fever again. After that he started recovering and is doing well now. He was 5 months old at the time.

Anyway, my vet explained everything in great detail before doing anything, which I feel all vets should do. If you don't feel comfortable with your vet you might want to consider shopping around and ask around to get peoples opinions on other vets. It's something I had to do until I finally found a true caring vet that takes her time with my babies. I don't feel bad paying her good money either when she takes such good care of them.

Sometimes it helps to have someone go in with you too, so they can help ask questions, etc. Now that I've found the vet I'm using, I wish I had left my other vet a LONG time ago. He acted similar to what you're describing and I always felt like you did.
post #20 of 21
Well I have moved since then. I haven't picked a new vet yet. There's about 3 of them just in my home town. There's only one that even remotly looks CLEAN enough for me to consider, it's one I tried to get a job at, and I do like their policies. But I don't know how the vets treat/speak with their clients. I guess it would just have to be a learning experience.

I did have someone with me, Tages soon to be adopter. I stuck with that vet for a while when I had my last adopted dog, cause everyone even my fiance just insisted they were sooo good, but it was always rush rush, in out, half the time they wouldn't even let me go in with my dog because they were soo busy (I really hate that.)

I found a vet across the street from me, that a rescue group I worked with had me take their animals there... it was clean, the people were nice. Had I stuck around I probably would have taken MY own animals there instead.
post #21 of 21
As someone who is currently dealing with a cat with a chronic/fatal illness. I can say that the cost of certain things is upsetting only because I hate the idea that after 16 years of loving & caring for my cat I would have to make a decision to put her down based purley on cost. My cat has CRF & I don't even think about how much I've spent on her over the last year between office visits & meds & fluids & food. She get's perscription food, a pill every day, sub Q fluids every other day. The last vet visit I made cost me $130. Now I pay it & I never complain because I know that all the wonderful people that work there have to get paid, but what I'm trying to say is that I can understand how if your cat is chronicly ill it could be frustrating. Hey I complained when a year ago I came out of the Dr.s office owing $300 for a heart work up. It's one of those things you do it because you know it's the right thing to do, but I think sometimes it's human nature to complain. Also, I have to add that anger is one of the aspects of grief. I've been reading a book on the loss of a pet & the Dr. who wrote the book says that often people get mad at the vet because it's a "safe" place to go with their anger. Now on the other hand I've watched shows on Animal planet that make me furious. I've seen young animals put down because they needed a $1500 surgorey that the owner didn't want to pay for. That one made me cry because if someone came to me & said I can make your cat 100% healthy again all she needs is this surgorey I would say let's do it, but nothing will turn back time & make my kitty better.
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