Vet Costs, Why do Vets Charge so Much

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Ruth B
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Vet Costs, Why do Vets Charge so Much

Post by Ruth B » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:49 pm

This article came up on my Facebook feed, posted by my vets, and having read it through I agree with what is said and thought I would share it here for others to have a look at.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/pets/news-f ... 3L1035h3TQ

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Re: Vet Costs, Why do Vets Charge so Much

Post by booktigger » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:58 pm

Thanks - that is interesting. My vets are one of a few in the area who do their own out of hours, and this year decided to scrap the out of hours fee, to stop clients feeling they had to wait and ending up with an even poorlier pet, it has actually benefited them (even with needing more staff to man it) as they have gained clients. They also do a lot of pro bono work, more than I've seen any vet do, and do a really good job of homing.

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Re: Vet Costs, Why do Vets Charge so Much

Post by Lilith » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:44 pm

A well-balanced article, some good points made, though I'd rather save my own money than pay for insurance. People who complain automatically about vets' fees don't stop to realise that a vet has to undergo years of expensive and specialised training; at the end of it s/he has to become GP, pharmacist, surgeon ... and the patients can't say precisely where it hurts or how they're feeling - the vet has to detect all that. Furthermore s/he needs people skills to communicate with the owners, some of whom expect a bedside manner for themselves ... I once knew a very silly woman who refused to make an appointment with a certain vet because he didn't smile enough, wasn't cheerful enough. He was just a quiet guy who concentrated on the patient and not on chatting up the owner; he was one of the best vets I've ever known and I trusted and liked him 100%.

And on top of this some people expect a vet's job to be vocational and voluntary and the vet's duty to keep costs (to the customer) down (although in my experience many vets will consider the owner's pocket when discussing treatment and costs. A vet has also to to run a viable business, keep up standards of equipment and cleanliness, pay reliable and competent staff ... but the whingers think s/he should take vows of poverty because s/he 'loves animals' and 'loves the work' ... :evil: I've seen and heard them in the surgery: 'I am Simeon Scrooge, Lady Dorabella's owner and I have come to question your last charges' ... drone drone drone, while the poor receptionist looks as if she wishes the floor would swallow her.

I've met some poor vets and (very occasionally) rude ones and rude staff, but as I say, very occasionally. The odd charge that seemed unfair, the pushy vet (usually young and male and over-zealous) who lectured me about a medication I was undecided about, but that's been over a lifetime; every vet you meet can't be perfect.

I won't go on. I know I'm preaching to the converted here lol.

I'll finish by mentioning my last encounter with a vet. It was when I asked for a home visit because I knew that Emily would have to be pts. The vet and the nurse were marvellous; shortly after they left I got a phone call from the surgery and was told that since I lived so close, they were waiving the call-out fee. I was overwhelmed. I'd been perfectly prepared to pay it, and they had a business to run.

What can you say?

That's marvellous, Booktigger, about your vet's policy - I bet their practice goes from strength to strength! :D

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Re: Vet Costs, Why do Vets Charge so Much

Post by Ruth B » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:32 pm

I liked the article, I thought it was fair and that is why i was happy to post it here.

Like you say, Lilith, a vet is GP, Pharmacist and Surgeon, they are also those not to one animal as a doctor is, but to many different species, some may specialise, but many will treat all types of small pets, from birds, to cats and dogs, to snakes, even to fish occasionally.

As far as insurance goes I tend to save up in case anything happens rather than paying for insurance, but it does take a certain dedication to keep putting that money away rather than spending it, so i can see insurance is the best option for some people. it also means that any work needed is covered, from what my vet said when Tiggy had to have her dental, that wouldn't have been covered as it is considered cosmetic. If you have ever suffered from tooth ache, you'll know just how cosmetic getting a bad tooth extracted is.

Talking of teeth, I've mentioned before that my Dad was a dentist, we lived in a house that had two rooms dedicated to the surgery, so he was always on call as everyone knew there was a good chance that he would answer the door if they rang the bell. There was one person who could call at anytime and get treated, our vet. I remember one time when he had an appointment in the middle of a Friday afternoon and didn't show up, no phone call, just a no show. Then at about quarter to ten that evening he phoned, he was very sorry but he had gone out to a calving about lunch time and spent all afternoon and evening trying to save cow and calf (I can't remember if he was successful, but I think he might have been), but his tooth was agony and was there any chance of being seen before Monday. My Mum was used to standing in as dental nurse (she was trained staff nurse so there was some cross over skills) so at 10.00 on a Friday night the surgery was open and the dentist drill was going. The only thing that would have meant my Dad said no to him would be if he had had anything to drink that evening, in which case he would have been told to ring when he could on the Saturday and he would have opened up then.

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Re: Vet Costs, Why do Vets Charge so Much

Post by alanc » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:38 pm

Can't say I have ever felt my vets charges are excessive, for all that I have sometimes thought that the new vet hospital they opened about 4 years ago was built on the fees they got from treating Badger and Tilly! This is probably due to being a partner in my own business and knowing how much they cost to run. I can never understand why anyone would be abusive to a vet -they are the most important people around.

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Re: Vet Costs, Why do Vets Charge so Much

Post by Sniper1 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:21 pm

Its the amount they charge compared to the price of a lot of the drugs they use I know first hand how cheap some of the drugs are so when you go in and receive an injection that actually costs just over a pound and 14 tablets at 4p each but the bill for the visit is 50+ pound its a little steep to say the least we all need to make a living and they have a lot of expenses to cover but I have to put in at least an eight hour shift to pay that bill and they have waiting rooms full of people many paying a lot more especially via insurance so its a very comfortable income from where I stand and my 30+ years in rescue has not changed that opinion

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Re: Vet Costs, Why do Vets Charge so Much

Post by booktigger » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:31 pm

Just read about a Leeds based R & D Company who are aiming to further the growth and development of new technologies, including solutions that support vets and give pet owners easier access to more affordable animal healthcare. Fingers crossed it works. I was talking to my vet on Tue night actually, since they changed to 24/7, the most popular appointment times are 9-10pm! They also run normal appointments 9-5 Sat and Sun at the main branch.

Don't forget Ruth, they also have to be dentists too! I'm lucky that mine do their own acupuncture, which is obviously a complimentary medicine, as it costs less than the place she went as a one off as my vet was injured, but when Lucy started hers, the vet was actually training, they even had to learn on horses! She left shortly after finishing the course, when I asked if they would be training another in replacement I was told no, as that course cost £4k! And unlike human acupuncture, it can only be done by a vet, anyone can train to do it on humans. I am glad of insurance for Lucy's acupuncture, as it would cost me over double her insurance premiums!

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Re: Vet Costs, Why do Vets Charge so Much

Post by Ruth B » Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:32 pm

Stroppy was another that had acupuncture. She had arthritis in one of her fore legs and refused to eat the food laced with Metacam, so rather than have to syringe it into her, my parents vets suggested trying acupuncture and it work well for several years. I've always been open minded about alternative treatments and that was the thing that convinced me there is something in it, there is no way i can think of that a cat could benefit just from a placebo effect.

As far as vet dentistry goes, my Dad actually got called in when a dog needed an impression taking. Rather than sedating it they ended up mixing the impression material and putting it on something the dog could just bite onto and getting the imprint that way. it wasn't something the vets normally had to do, so ours decided to ask his dentist for help and ideas rather than sending the dog off to an expensive animal hospital just for an impression to be taken. i can't remember quite what was wrong but I think there was a problem with the way the teeth met and the vet couldn't really see what was happening from the outside of the mouth, hence wanting a model made.

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Re: Vet Costs, Why do Vets Charge so Much

Post by booktigger » Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:38 pm

Yes, I certainly can’t see a cat benefitting from a placebo affect, especially a cat like Lucy who dislikes going to the vet and growls while it’s being done. I can tell when she needs it by the way she walks. That’s a very impressive tale! Most vets would have just sedated and done it that way.

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Re: Vet Costs, Why do Vets Charge so Much

Post by Mayday21 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:51 pm

Hi Ruth although published in the UK I’ve posted to my FB as I think it was an interesting article & as I volunteer for a vet agree with the analysis. Thanks for sharing. Vivian

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Re: Vet Costs, Why do Vets Charge so Much

Post by Ruth B » Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:17 pm

I'm glad people are finding it interesting and thanks for sharing further.

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