Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

Do you feel like your vet has ever charged you for unnecessary treatment?


  • Total voters
    40
1 - 20 of 81 Posts
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Why the hell do vets exploit pet owners?

I’m sick to death of vets charging me an arm and leg for treatment I could probably do myself. It really does my box in.

My experience of vets is that all they are bothered about is making a profit.

My dog had a problem recently and they wanted $2000 to put things right, I said no way and guess what my dog is now fine!

Grrrr to all money grabbing vets
 
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
So you like paying for treatment that isn't needed do you? Yeh some vets are great, however my expereince is they use the fact us as pet owners don't know stuff and charge us an arm and a leg. There are loads of threads out there with annoyed pet owners who feel like there vet is more bothered about making money and I feel exactly the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
I have never paid for treatment that isn't needed.
My vet is very honest with me and the one time i had to speak to the owner of the clinic, it was in regards to a treatment the vet and I had a difference of opinion on.
I wouldn't take my animals to a vet I couldn't trust 100%
I met everyone that worked at the clinic and spoke to other customers before I even moved to this area, to make sure my animals would get the best care possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,722 Posts
I don't feel like we've been charged for something that wasn't needed. There was one vet we used to go to who we thought charged a bit too much, for it was always for stuff that was needed. Or at least it seemed like it was needed at the time. There have been times where in hindsight we realised we should have just given it a few days and it would have fixed itself without any treatment, but there was no way to know that, and I don't think the vet would have known either.

Our current vet is really good, she knows us and often only charges for the price of medication, not the consult. She's also more experienced than the younger vets at the vet hospital. For instance, when Pixie had ear infections, at the vet hospital they would always swab it and look at it under the microscope for every single follow-up, to see if it had cleared up. At our current vet, she swabs it and then just sniffs it and then diagnosed what type of infection it was (and we knew she was right because Pixie had already been diagnosed at the vet hospital), so that saved us some money. And for follow-ups, our current vet doesn't charge us anything if it's just a quick look, or only for medication. At the vet hospital, they always charge half of a normal consultation for follow-ups, even if it's just a quick look.

So depends on the vet, and obviously vets are trying to make money. I have no doubt that 99% of them care a lot about animals, but they're running a business, not a charity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
Vets go to college, open a building, staff their practice, buy equiptment, and keep all sorts of meds and supplies on hand. This costs a lot of money.

They also work long hours and need to support their families.

Their clientelle can not tell them what hurts or what happened and diagnostics are expensive and often out of reach for many people. Therefore, veterinarians must make the best decisions possible with limited information.

I appreciate my vet and I respect all of the long hours and hard work that has gone into preparing him/her to help my pet.

Unfortunately, vet care is expensive. There's really no way around that. Human medicine is much more expensive. Overall, I am deeply impressed by the respect and compassion that my veterinarians have shown towards both me and my animals and I am grateful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,054 Posts
As someone who is pursuing an education with the goal of being accepted into Vet School, and a dog owner myself who has paid vet bills - the response is simple. If you don't want to pay for the costs of owning a dog, or pet in general - don't get one. Dogs cost money, and there is no way of knowing if something is going to happen unexpectedly. When you adopt, or purchase an animal, you take on the responsibility of accepting any costs that may come up. And yes, sometimes it's hard for some people. There are programs like Care Credit that offer low monthly payments, and many animal clinics offer that, or some other type of payment plan or financial assistance.

As trainingjunkie said, they work long hours, some times they are not even paid for what they do. Most are very respectful, compassionate professionals who became Veterinarians because of their love for animals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,000 Posts
I agreed with everyone else. I work for a vet. He just purchased a new blood machine which cost him $35,000. A new surgery table can cost $100,000. Let alone an x-ray machine. He is the only vet in his practice so he is responsible for anything in hospital which makes his job 24/7. He has had emergencies knock on his door at home at 3:00am. It is not an easy job and we all would be lost without them. Vet Hippocratic Oath - First Do No Harm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,258 Posts
My vet always discusses treatment options with me first, and it's my choice on which one (if any) to follow. I'm told up front how much it will cost (dentals even come with a written estimate, with everything itemized, down to the supplies used). Dog ownership isn't cheap, that's for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
I think it depends on where you live. I don't think we've ever paid "too much" for any of our veterinary needs...but then again there were a lot of things we were able to take care of ourselves. I grew up out in the country and a lot of farmers did their own immunizations so that was on thing we were able to do, and certain other things (mainly for the horses and cows) that we never really had to call a vet for. The only time we almost really got ripped off was when we had a barn cat with a broken leg..after X rays we were told that the leg would need to be surgically reset which would cost about $2000. We were told that without this he would never have normal use of the leg so the alternative was euthanasia. We took the cat home, threw him on an enclosed porch for a couple of months and he never so much as limped after he healed...didn't slow down his hunting either, he was our best "mouser" well into his teens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,511 Posts
I'm in a high cost of living area and vet care simply isn't cheap here. That said I don't feel my vets office takes advantage of people. When I went to the dog park pretty much every day my dog seemed to end up with eye infections every 6-9 weeks. After the third visit for the same type of infection they said I could just call in for the meds and avoid paying for the office visit. I was just at the vets last week and Jubel was also due for some shots, I declined getting the shots while he's sick so the vet said to call him when Jubel is feeling better so I don't have to pay for another office visit.

I even got a free x-ray, which probably ended up saving Jubel's life, when he had his bloat scare. The vets had taken an x-ray the day before when I took Jubel in for repeated vomiting, treated him and sent us home. After a 24 hour fast Jubel started spitting up again after I fed him and back to the vets we went. The vet didn't know what was wrong as Jubel felt fine on physical examination and said he was going to do another x-ray for his own peace of mind at no charge. Well that x-ray showed Jubel's stomach bloated about 4 times the size as the previous days x-ray, if he'd have sent us home without taking the x-ray Jubel could have died that night. So yeah... I like my vets office and don't feel taken advantage of their. Not cheap but they aren't out to swindle me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
609 Posts
I have had experience with a vet who I felt charged me unfairly when I was keeping rats (90 dollars just to be seen. And we live in a rural college town. I think the least amount I've ever spent was 135 for just an examination. No medication.) However, he was the only vet with in an hour and a half drive, so I had no choice. Don't even get me started on the 200 surgery that ended up being 600 and I was not called when he opened her and circumstances changed.

But, now all of my rats have passed on, and I'm no longer forced into going to that vet. I used to work at a vet's office that was fair (for the affluent area. It would be in the higher end price range where I currently live), and I have experience with 2 other vets in the area who are very reasonable.

Just like with human medical care, vet care is expensive. There are many options for pet insurance if paying a large surprise bill would be something that would break the bank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,262 Posts
My vet has talked me out of expensive procedures when she thought they were unnecessary. I wanted xrays when Katie was limping; vet suggested a week of rest and NSAIDs instead. Another time, I wanted xrays when Katie was having GI issues for no apparent reason; vet suggested fasting progressing to bland diet and watching closely for signs of distress instead. Both times the vet was right - the problems resolved within a day. Additionally, we've gotten advice by phone or email and no charge follow up visits.

Considering everything mentioned above, especially the comments by lil_fuzzy, Syd, and TrainingJunkie, no, I don't think vets exploit people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,674 Posts
I've had trouble finding a vet that I like and can trust where I live. I worked for two different vets offices before I moved upstate, and liked vets there, which made it even harder to find one I liked/trusted upstate. The last vet we went to, which we were going to when I adopted my puppy, told me he was so small he could only get one vaccine at a time, which was fine. Then they charged me an office visit every time we went in for a shot, even though the vet said the techs would do them so we'd only have to pay for the vaccines. Then at the last DHPP, I was only charged for the shot and I thought "Finally!" -- until I get a call at home an hour later from the receptionist stating he "forgot" to charge me for the exam so I'd have to pay it next time I went in. Then I got a bill in the mail with finance charges a few weeks later for not paying the office call, at which point I was seriously, seriously pissed off and sent them a check for the original amount with a letter stating I was not paying finance charges for their mistake. I never went back. I had other issues with that vet - like how the same 3 day hospitalization for a urinary obstruction for one of my cats cost MORE than the same hospitalization at the eVet over the weekend cost for my other cat. (Yea, I have two FUS cats. Lucky, right? :p) And once I had a few weeks where I was going back and forth between them and the eVet because my cat kept getting obstipated and the meds they were giving just weren't working - and I called them after work one day because the cat was sick, again, same thing and they said they closed in 45 min but they'd see him if I could come right over, and I said sure, I lived 5 minutes away. Got charged for an emergency call (wasn't warned of this when I called), not a recheck after the multiple visits with them and the eVet, an emergency after hours call which was, again, more expensive than if I had just taken him to the eVet.

The vet I go to now is the one my friend uses - they're open long hours and on Sundays and seem to charge fair prices. I expect veterinary care to be expensive because human medicine is expensive and it isn't THAT different in terms of medications and equipment, but I think it's extreme when you're charging office calls for a tech to give a vaccine, and you charge more than the eVet. Fortunately we have pet insurance on all our pets, which helps offset the costs, and I ask questions, ask for estimates for "big" things, and decline treatments and tests I feel are unnecessary. If I'm really unhappy with a vet, I change vets. I'm not sure what I'm going to do now that we're at this other vet since the last one I went to was the only one in the area I found that gives Purevax for the cats. :| (the reason we were going there in the first place)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,194 Posts
I have always found my vets to be fair. My dog vet does a combination of holistic and traditional medicine (depending on client request), so even if you stay traditional he is on the side of the least amount of medical intervention (less vaccines, less invasive procedures, etc). He doesn't recommend excessive treatments and I like that about him, though he will always do what he feels is necessary.

My rabbit vets are extremely expensive (good exotic vets always seem to be expensive), though I've never felt that they wanted to do more procedures than necessary. Their prices are high, but I understand that's what these things cost and I've never felt they were just trying to get my money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
It absolutely depends on your vet.

With an old dog, I went to a vet in another area that tried to charge me for every dang thing and test and check and told me to give the dog acid reducer pills because she was vomiting every night. I kept going back in because it wasn't helping.

Finally, I took her to a different vet, and the vet did (another) simple stool sample check and found the parasite giardia. The first vet had done two stool sample checks and missed it altogether. But I had spent hundreds of dollars trying to solve the vomiting issue to no avail. The second vet prescribed the proper meds, and she was fine almost instantly.

So I completely believe it's up to the vet. I've found that smaller vets offices are less likely to try to push services/tests that are unnecessary (in my own experience. This could be just a coincidence, or the fact that they have less overhead type costs to make up for). The vet where Alannah goes has never tried to recommend anything unnecessary, and we live in a high cost of living area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,936 Posts
absolutely depends on the vet. the local 24 hour clinic here is horrid for taking advantage. I know people who have worked at that clinic and all of them said the prices were dependent on how much the vet liked the client! I had to see their exotic vet when my rabbits regular vet was out oftown, she has chronic pasturellosis which requires a min of 30 days of meds, this vet confirmed it was pasturellosis then refused to give me more then 1 week of meds at a time requiring I bring her back weekly at $100 a visit! as soon as my reg vet got back I transferred treatment to her, I brought in my rabbit she did an exam and gave me 30 days of meds...total cost? $20.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
"Unnecessay" is an impossible word to define. Each individual has to weigh thier interests and come up with a compromise between good care and money management. It's very difficult.

For instance: I had an old dog who got weird and started eating inedible things. I took her in because she swallowed a glove. This was the third such event in about a month. The glove was not passing and she was in mild distress. My vet said, "Surgery." I said, "No Way. So my vet said, "High Doses of Feline Hairball Remover." I said, "Sure."

The glove passed! And my dog never ate anything weird again despite living a few more years with a lot of freedom. Was my vet wrong to say Sugery? No way! It was the safest way to make sure that she did the least amount of damage to her intestines. We had no way of knowing how much damage was already done. My vet was 100% correct if the only factor was the best interests of the dog. However, was I wrong to say no? I had an old dog who was turning weird and acting totally unlike herself. I had already gone to extremes to care for her in a recent episode and I thought that I just couldn't do it again for a variety of reasons.

We balanced out our positions and it worked out. I got lucky. She could have died as a direct result of me screwing around with other methods. And that would have been on me. A good vet gives you the options.

If you are working with a vet you don't trust, find another vet. And remember, the fact that you don't like/trust them doesn't mean that they aren't great vets. You just have a different tolerance for risk or want a different price catagory. There are vets that my friends adore that I think are too expensive for me. They want to drink fancy coffee in a waiting room with a fireplace. I'm cool sitting on a bench with the scent of cow manure in the air if it means that I save a coupe hundred bucks. We're all different. So are vets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,140 Posts
If that's the case don't take your dog in for simple things you can do yourself. Easy solution. That's what I do.

Frankly some vets don't seem to care that much about animals. Others are over charging badly imo. Then some are more expensive then another because of higher overhead.
 
1 - 20 of 81 Posts
Top