Would you query this vet fee?

Amye

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Hello everyone,

At the moment my horse is being investigated into lameness. The vet came out last week to see him and do his vaccinations. I've received the invoice for the visit and in the breakdown is: 'Lameness consultation: £56.00'.

I know vets don't come cheap! However, the vet literally spent 5 minutes with my horse. She watched him trot up and then prescribed bute and rest for a week and to see how he is after a week. It took as long as it took for her to do his vaccination (which came to £40).

I'm thinking of querying this with the vets. I don't want to cause a fuss but it does seem a lot for the time she spent with him, the vet is new to the practice so I was wondering if she had put she'd investigated a lameness and this is just a generic price? If he had been lunged or flexion tests or something had been done and a bit more time spent with him, I'd think fair enough. But £56 for literally watching a horse trot up and down seems a lot?

A couple of people have told me to query it (one of which was there when the vet was with us so knows what went on).


I know in the grand scheme of things it's not a huge deal, I don't really know what I'm doing as I'm going to have to claim for the scan of his leg and I assume this would come under it too? Which makes it seem a bit trivial but I'm assuming I'm going to have to pay it for now before the insurance decide to pay out or not?
 

madamebonnie

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When was he scanned? On the same day as the initial assessment?

The price is right for a lameness assessment: which is essentially to say yes or no to lameness, sometimes it is quicker to spot than others.

Who are you insured with? Some practises are happy to claim directly from some insurers-my vets are happy to go directly to Petplan as long as I pay the excess upfront (£145) which in both my cases I knew the claim would exceed this. Your vets receptionist will be best placed to answer this query so give them a quick call to ask.

There is no harm in asking your vets for a clear estimate or price guide before you call them out.
 

be positive

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That is probably a standard charge for an "examination" like you I would find it a bit steep but another time they may spend a bit longer and still charge the same fee, if it becomes part of an insurance claim it will probably be a drop in the ocean once they really get into diagnostics.
 

SpringArising

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No I wouldn't, that price is about right. Did it include the call out as well?

TBH, that's exactly why I don't bother getting anyone out for lameness until I want X-rays and nerve blocks done. I'm not going to pay $$ to have someone tell me what I can see for myself.
 

Amye

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When was he scanned? On the same day as the initial assessment?

The price is right for a lameness assessment: which is essentially to say yes or no to lameness, sometimes it is quicker to spot than others.

Who are you insured with? Some practises are happy to claim directly from some insurers-my vets are happy to go directly to Petplan as long as I pay the excess upfront (£145) which in both my cases I knew the claim would exceed this. Your vets receptionist will be best placed to answer this query so give them a quick call to ask.

There is no harm in asking your vets for a clear estimate or price guide before you call them out.
Thanks for your reply. I guess it would be right price for a proper examination, I just thought that as they only watched him trot maybe I wouldn't be charged full whack.

He hasn't been scanned yet - but it's booked in as the bute and rest doesn't seem to have done anything. I've never claimed for anything before so not quite sure how it all works. I assumed this consultation and the scan would all add up to the same condition so insurance would (hopefully) pay for it all, but I'm not quite sure how it works when things are done a week or so apart.
 

Amye

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That is probably a standard charge for an "examination" like you I would find it a bit steep but another time they may spend a bit longer and still charge the same fee, if it becomes part of an insurance claim it will probably be a drop in the ocean once they really get into diagnostics.
Thanks. Yeah I know it probably won't seem like a big deal once we get into the other things. Just seemed liked a lot of money for 5 minutes with the horse.
 

Amye

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No I wouldn't, that price is about right. Did it include the call out as well?

TBH, that's exactly why I don't bother getting anyone out for lameness until I want X-rays and nerve blocks done. I'm not going to pay $$ to have someone tell me what I can see for myself.
Thanks for the reply. No, that doesn't include call out, just the consultation which just included trotting him up.

Yeah, TBH I wish I had just insisted on the a scan sooner or something as I do feel it was a waste of money as I already knew he was lame... I've never dealt with long-term lameness (it's always just come right after a bit of rest) so feel a bit out of my depth with how to do things, what to ask the vets, how to claim on insurance etc.
 

JillA

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You don't need to cause a fuss - just ask for itemisation of the bill in question. Yes, they will guess you aren't happy but in the first instance just treat it as a genuine question, it's possible they included something they shouldn't have. I actually think vets should itemise anyway, so we all know what we are getting for our money - mine does.
 

WandaMare

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I will go against the grain here and say you would be right to question it. £56 is quite a lot just to watch the horse trot up. My vet would charge £35-£40 for this. Also whether you will be claiming on the insurance or not shouldn't really be relevant here, I don't see why the insurers should have to pay more anyway.

I wouldn't push it at all with the vets, but I would call them and just ask whether the charge is correct. They do get things wrong from time to time so don't be embarrassed to ask the question. I recently queried an item of medication which I thought seemed a bit steep, it was the first time I used it and it turned out they had charged me for 3 boxes instead of one. I was glad I asked!
 

criso

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It is quite high but most vets will have a standard charge for an examination whether it is quick or takes a while. It might take a while if nothing obvious but if there was clear swelling or injury then the actual diagnosis might be very quick and then move onto treatment or ultrasound/xray which will be a separate charge.

Mine have 3 levels of examination First examination (that's for anything not just lameness); Reexam when they come back out to check how something is progressing and Brief exam which my vet might use for trot up if he was already there for something else e.g. jabs. I find the senior vet more likely to use his discretion and say brief exam.

Prices vary from about £40 to £10
 

SEL

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I've been caught out by this before too - about £50 for viewing a trot up and confirming she was still lame. That went on the insurance claim so I wasn't so bothered.

The £30 for glancing at a horse's eye and confirming it was conjunctivitis rather irritated me tho - esp as they were out for £200 of work on my other horse at the time!
 

Red-1

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To me that seems about right, it is not about the few minutes it took to see the trot up, it is the training, car, the fact that once they give an opinion you can take them to court of it later proves the messed up.
 

Amye

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Thanks all for the replies - sorry don't have time to reply individually!

It seems it might be a standard cost for what everyone has said. But I might just gently query it. I'm waiting on a call back from them as I have run out of the bute as the vet gave me a weeks worth and said to see how he goes and then if no better book a scan, so when I rang today I asked if he was to be kept on the bute until the scan and the receptionist said she'd check and call back. So perhaps then I'll just ask if it's the correct price for a trot up. I'll obviously accept it if they say it is!

I just thought it seemed pricey when I thought his jabs were £40 and included the vets time and obviously the meds. Which was around the same amount of time she spent for the trot up and no meds included in that price (and call out fee was separate too).

Thanks everyone :)
 

Auslander

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To me that seems about right, it is not about the few minutes it took to see the trot up, it is the training, car, the fact that once they give an opinion you can take them to court of it later proves the messed up.
That's what I was about to say!
 

ycbm

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A man couldn't start his car so he called a mechanic. The mechanic opened the bonnet, got a hammer, hit something with a resounding whack, told the guy to turn the ignition, and the car started.

'That'll be fifty quid' said the mechanic.

'Fifty quid to hit something with a hammer!' exclaimed the man.

'No mate, that was free. It was fifty quid to know what to hit and how hard'.
 

SpringArising

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A man couldn't start his car so he called a mechanic. The mechanic opened the bonnet, got a hammer, hit something with a resounding whack, told the guy to turn the ignition, and the car started.

'That'll be fifty quid' said the mechanic.

'Fifty quid to hit something with a hammer!' exclaimed the man.

'No mate, that was free. It was fifty quid to know what to hit and how hard'.
Except the horse isn't sound again. But that story did make me laugh!
 

Amye

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A man couldn't start his car so he called a mechanic. The mechanic opened the bonnet, got a hammer, hit something with a resounding whack, told the guy to turn the ignition, and the car started.

'That'll be fifty quid' said the mechanic.

'Fifty quid to hit something with a hammer!' exclaimed the man.

'No mate, that was free. It was fifty quid to know what to hit and how hard'.
Haha, yes I get that :)

I've not had anything like this done before. So from an outsider perspective, when the vet spent as much time with the horse as she did doing his jabs, it seemed a bit expensive (to me) that the trot up was £16 more than the jabs. A vet giving jabs still needs the training and the car etc. I thought that maybe there would be one cost for a trot up (as it doesn't take long) and perhaps a 'lameness consultation' would include a trot up and a bit more, like seeing the horse on the lunge. It seems like there's just a generic cost for 'lameness' so thanks all.
 

ycbm

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Haha, yes I get that :)

I've not had anything like this done before. So from an outsider perspective, when the vet spent as much time with the horse as she did doing his jabs, it seemed a bit expensive (to me) that the trot up was £16 more than the jabs. A vet giving jabs still needs the training and the car etc. I thought that maybe there would be one cost for a trot up (as it doesn't take long) and perhaps a 'lameness consultation' would include a trot up and a bit more, like seeing the horse on the lunge. It seems like there's just a generic cost for 'lameness' so thanks all.
You paid the vet for their knowledge of whether the horse needed immediate immobilisation, x rays, ultrasound, turn out rest, a bit of bute or a hole dug in its foot. Not for their time.

But if the leg was not examined by the vet at all, just the trot up, then I'd change my vet.
 

Allykat

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I paid £50 to have my horse trotted up. I also paid £50 Just before Christmas for a vet to look at him for 2 minutes to inform me he probably had a virus. That's my vets standard consultation fee.

He then went to the vets for scans and xrays and part o that bill is £130 lameness consult. As far as I'm aware he was only trotted up. He was obviously lame so no further viewing required. It's part and parcel of what it is. It's the vets knowledge to view and interpret what they see.
 

irishdraft

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I have just paid that for an initial consultation re a respiratory problem then took horse back for a subsequent check to be told they don't know what's wrong with him without scoping and then got charged again .
 

JDH01

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As an uninsured owner this would have cost me £45 call out plus charge for treatment and drugs so seems very reasonable to me.
 

Amye

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Thanks all - seems like it is a normal charge then. I've never had to do it before so it did seem a bit much for a trot up but fair enough! Just wanted to check if it was normal or if people would expect a consultation to take a bit longer/a bit more done :)

As an uninsured owner this would have cost me £45 call out plus charge for treatment and drugs so seems very reasonable to me.
The £56 didn't include call out or anything, that's just for the consultation which was trotting him up. I still had to pay for drugs and call out on top of that, which is why I thought I'd ask if it was a normal price. He hasn't had any treatment yet.
 
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