Vets charges

twiggy2

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It can be eye watering.

My dog had to go to a specialist for an MRI. It was over £2000.

Paying for a private MRI for a person is about a quarter of the price!
The thibg I how many people have an mri in a year, how many of those need sedation, how many of those need different items to make the scanner a good fit and to position them how the scanner needs them to be, how many need to be observed by a medically trained professional whilst they recover from any sedation?
Human medicine is subsidised heavily animal medicine is not ad rightly so having animals is a choice and the bills come with it.
 

Jenko109

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I doubt very much these 5 stitches were put in without the aid of some sort of sedation or even a general anesthetic. The wound having been assessed and thoroughly cleaned first, there would then be the need for pain relief and a course of antibiotics. The vet would have had the assistance of a nurse. It all sounds very simple to put in 5 stitches but there's a lot more to it than that.
I paid about £110 for stitches last year.
 

Arzada

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The welfare is an owner problem not a vet problem though, if they can't/don't want to pay the prices they should sign the animal over or PTS.
I've been very fortunate with my animals who haven't cost me much at all in vet fees. But I think that when they go I won't have any more because I simply don't have the income now. I will be very sad and it will be very hard.
 

Mrs Jingle

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I doubt very much these 5 stitches were put in without the aid of some sort of sedation or even a general anesthetic. The wound having been assessed and thoroughly cleaned first, there would then be the need for pain relief and a course of antibiotics. The vet would have had the assistance of a nurse. It all sounds very simple to put in 5 stitches but there's a lot more to it than that.
Even allowing for all that - it is still totally over the top. I would be finding a new vet very quickly.
 

Amymay

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I doubt very much these 5 stitches were put in without the aid of some sort of sedation or even a general anesthetic. The wound having been assessed and thoroughly cleaned first, there would then be the need for pain relief and a course of antibiotics. The vet would have had the assistance of a nurse. It all sounds very simple to put in 5 stitches but there's a lot more to it than that.
Yet my dog’s spay (including hydration drip at my request) was less than £200.

We all recognise that this is private medical treatment, and we all recognise that running any sort of business like this costs a lot of money. But the mark up in some areas is shocking.

An MRI for my dog potentially costing £1500-2000 is within the ball park I’d expect to pay. £1000 for five stitches is absolutely taking the proverbial.
 
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I am lucky and still have an independent mixed practice that I can use and their prices are very good. They handle their own ooh but are very much without bells and whistles-my pets are insured but I am pragmatic, if the prognosis isn’t good and the cost too high then I have enough knowledge to be comfortable in calling it a day.
Having friends as vets, and many having locumed in very small practices over the years-most are pleased that there is now more uniform treatment protocols etc and it seems to me that this is a good thing for animal welfare but there’s no denying that prices have escalated sharply with the advent of corporations taking over.
 
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pistolpete

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Why would I pay £15 for vet wrap from the vet, when I can buy it for £2.50 at the farmers shop?

I too do not begrudge a penny of any reasonable veterinary charge my dogs may incur. My vets are a small independent mixed practice and their prices are absolutely reasonable (to the extent that I actually think they may be a little too inexpensive).

The only other local practice (again mixed) was taken over 18 months ago by a large chain. They’re prices have more than doubled and they’ve suffered as a result. The farming community in particular have transferred elsewhere in their droves.
Or £1.50 at home bargains!
 

pistolpete

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I worked for a vets for 27 years we were taken over in that time by CVS. o hated the corporate ways so retired early. Such a shame. I have an independent vet I travel to to take the dog. They’re not cheap but they are human. Luckily my horse vet is also independent. Hopefully for the foreseeable. Sad times.
 

Cinnamontoast

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It can be eye watering.

My dog had to go to a specialist for an MRI. It was over £2000.

Paying for a private MRI for a person is about a quarter of the price!
We paid the same over 11 years ago for one of our dogs.

I get that vets have trained and done further qualifications-their choice. I don’t think I should be paid more because I did 5 years at Uni-again-my choice.

Sometimes, the prices are outrageous eg £30 more per box of Danilon because they ordered and stored it? Over £200 to put my horse down by sedating then injecting him? I was really surprised at that amount. Seriously, how much does the stuff cost? Id always get a prescription for long term meds. It saves hundreds.

Quite honestly, I don’t actually begrudge paying the vet, because I can afford it and my money goes on my pets, but when they give a snap diagnosis, incorrectly telling me Bear had an aggressive tumour and he was going to die, a couple of months after Zak died, then I really bloody object. Turns out it was a swollen salivary gland. I think they often need better people skills. Our complaint response said the vet will receive training on how she gives diagnoses, but I’m not hopeful. Both practises are independent.

I’d hope not to have to use the big 24hr chain that claimed Bear was ’big for a cocker’ (that’s cos he’s a springer) and charged over £500 for 3 stitches and an out of hours consultation despite that being their main url!

We’ve registered the babies at a practise we used to use because I’m hoping we won’t be treated like that again. It’s a much smaller practise, so not as convenient re appointments, but worth it, having had 2 terrible experiences with Zak and Bear.
 

cbmcts

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I understand that vets ate highly qualified, that their overheads are high and do agree that they are entitled to charge to reflect that investment in themselves and their business. I do think that they are doing themselves a disservice by keeping prices artificially low for 'one off' services that get animals registered like vaccs and neutering but make up their loss on meds, diagnostics and so on. I also wonder how much is the insurance effect as insurance doesn't cover routine costs but will pay out for MRIs, xrays and blood tests. It does feel unfair that customers with an animal with chronic conditions is subsidising healthy animals routine running costs. It also means that savvy owners will pick and mix the services they buy from a vets so the practice doesn't actually recover the losses by selling more meds at a higher price for example.

I like my vets who are a franchise of a large chain but if the practice ownership was to change I'd probably move on and only return to them for vaccs as I bought their lifetime vaccination offer at £99. When the first course of vaccs is £72, that was a no brainer for me but once mine have had their first booster, the practice are making a loss for the rest of the animals lifespan. If there is anything out of the ordinary wrong with mine, I ask for immediate referral to a specialist vets now as I've had to pay too many times for all the tests that my local vets have done to be repeated at the specialists again - that can be easily in excess of £1k wasted. Mine are insured but it's very easy to burn through to the policy limit with duplicate tests for instance...

OOH I expect to pay anything between £150 - £200 just to walk in the door to reflect the cost of running the facility. I don't appreciate paying anything up to double the standard daytime cost for any meds or treatment when I have already paid a large premium on the consultation fee. I had a cat who was rushed to a vets at 10pm with a virus as it turned out but was also on hyperthyroid meds. The same vets charged 60p per tablet as standard, I bought them online for 12p each and because it was OOH they charged £4 per tablet plus an administration fee of a couple of quid... They also charged £50 per vet check which they said happened every 30 minutes but I'd sat in reception for 3 hours waiting for a blood test result (Treatment/PTS was dependent on the blood test so as I waited as I was told the results would be back in an hour) and saw how busy the single vet and vet nurse/receptionist were with a constant stream of emergencies - there was no way they had done 11 vet checks in the time the cat was there. That's just padding the bill and feels like they are taking advantage of scared and worried customers. By comparison, an emergency middle of the night admission to RCVH with a much larger dog, with more blood tests, GA, scans and meds a few years later cost under £1k. The bill did rise over the following days with CT scans and a MRI but that's fair enough.
 

Clodagh

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Pen nearly degloved her leg a few weeks ago, on a rusty sheet of metal. It was £410 for a dozen stitches. That included a GA and enormous amounts of flushing and fancy ABs. It has healed beautifully, from being able to see a couple of inches of bone. It think that is absolutely fair. I love Pen anyway, she was working for me and the vet instantly stopped whatever else she was doing to fix her.
I wouldn’t stick with a vet I can’t trust, and I can’t understand people that do.
 

SusieT

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Frankly not much interested in plumbers. This was a friend's dog. It cut itself. It does not cost £1000 to put in 5 stitches, whatever time of day or night. I get there are overheads but come along, this amount is taking the mick. In my opinion.
Could you provide the service for £900? or £800? No? Then you have to pay the going rate or shop around which may mean a delay in care.
 

Sandstone1

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Exactly. so you needed emergent care right then. It led to the staff staying late. Why would you not expect to pay an out of hours call for treatment at short notice late in the evening?
I didnt say I didnt expect to pay out of hours. However £190 to be seen at 7pm to be given a few piriton and paracetamol and be charged over £300 in total is a rip off. Also my practice is staffed 24hrs so they didnt stay simply for me.
 

meleeka

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How have I only just realised that my dogs medication I can get online for half the price?! For some reason I hadn't clocked that I could do this although I know about it for bute etc. Face palm moment. Thank you Meleeka!
Do ask if they price match first. You’ll also need to pay a prescription charge.
 

SusieT

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I didnt say I didnt expect to pay out of hours. However £190 to be seen at 7pm to be given a few piriton and paracetamol and be charged over £300 in total is a rip off. Also my practice is staffed 24hrs so they didnt stay simply for me.
But you needed them to assess your pet, reassure you, prescribe the paracetamol/piriton and you would also expect them to have oxygen on standby, a vet there etc ? What price would have been fair? Taking into account everything including the cost of running a building 24/7?
 

Sandstone1

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But you needed them to assess your pet, reassure you, prescribe the paracetamol/piriton and you would also expect them to have oxygen on standby, a vet there etc ? What price would have been fair? Taking into account everything including the cost of running a building 24/7?
I would say a normal consult fee of around £60 plus may be £20 for out of hours. piriton and paracetamol are both very cheap. So a fee of around £150 in total but I paid double that. I get they have overheads but I dont think I should have to pay there mortgage for them.
 

ester

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I would say a normal consult fee of around £60 plus may be £20 for out of hours. piriton and paracetamol are both very cheap. So a fee of around £150 in total but I paid double that. I get they have overheads but I dont think I should have to pay there mortgage for them.
An extra £20 wouldn't pay the salary of an OOH vet though. There's a reason it's not cheaper elsewhere because it's not feasible. An OOH service isn't going to be flat out all night every night so what does come in has to make it viable, otherwise you end up with no OOH (or having to travel some distance to an OOH only service).

Given the issues in other countries where emergency vets can be hours away and animals absolutely do suffer as a result I'd rather pay a premium to be able to access one if I need it.
 

rara007

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To be fair, who else is going to pay the mortgage…? We rent the building our practice is in, who in turn rent it from the original owners. We only do out of hours. I’m a generous person but I can’t pay the rent (around the same as a large family home) plus my own living costs! Obviously our only income is from clients.
Ps. So far the only thing I’ve seen on shift today was a stray cat to put to sleep, free of charge. Last night by this time we’d admitted 4 patients and euthanised another.
 

Sandstone1

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Ok, so £20 - 20% of that is VAT, so that makes it £15 for say 30min of out of hours time? What would you normally expect to be paid for doing out of hours in your job?
I dont get paid extra for out of hours. Its just part of our job. You can question me all you like. Its my opinion that since most small independant vets have been bought out by large companies the prices have gone up massively and the care has gone down. Lots of young inexperienced locums and very few older experienced vets as a lot have retired early as they dont like the way things are going. You may not agree but it is my experience. I am guessing you work in a vets? I do not know if your practice has been bought out or not but I certainly see a change and not for the better.
 

SusieT

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I dont get paid extra for out of hours. Its just part of our job. You can question me all you like. Its my opinion that since most small independant vets have been bought out by large companies the prices have gone up massively and the care has gone down. Lots of young inexperienced locums and very few older experienced vets as a lot have retired early as they dont like the way things are going. You may not agree but it is my experience. I am guessing you work in a vets? I do not know if your practice has been bought out or not but I certainly see a change and not for the better.
Any chance the older ones have retired as they don't fancy being up all hours of day and night for people who think that time is worth £15?
 

pistolpete

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Meg got hit by a car. Multiple cuts and injuries to one leg. Two thousand pounds for one operation which needed to be redone twice by a better vet for half the price! So difficult.
 

meleeka

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but care will really suffer if it's no longer financially viable profitable and they all stop OOH?
Thats already happening here. My vets are 24 hours but all the other vets locally use one company which is a fair trek in a car away. That’s what keeps me at my current vets,( although since being taken over by CVS prices have risen and quality dropped). I wouldn’t want to have to travel that to an unfamiliar practice in an emergency.
 
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