Is this normal or is my vet ripping me off?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Scooter, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. Scooter

    Scooter New Member

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    My vet is really nice, but she's pretty young, and I am getting the feeling that I'm being way overcharged.

    On Thanksgiving Zoe cut her leg, so I took her to the 24 hour animal hospital where she got stitches. This Monday I had an appoinement with my vet to get the stitches out, and the bill was $99. I was in her office for literally 8 minutes. She pulled the stitches out with her fingers, rebandaged it, wrote a script for antiobiotics (which were only $22 of the whole bill).

    Ok, that was fine. On Monday she said, come back later this week and we'll check it. So, today I go in and she spent even less time with me. Took the bandage off, said she needed a few more days with the bandage on, rebandaged it, and was gone. Bill was $66. $42 was for the office visit, and $18 to change the bandage. I could have done that! And, now she wants me to come back AGAIN on Monday to have it checked AGAIN. Sheesh am I paying off her college tuition or what? I love my dog, but should I look for a new vet?
     
  2. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    My vet has $45 office visits. I don't know where you are, but that sounds pretty standard to me.

    If you're comfortable changing the bandages yourself, go for it--otherwise, you're paying for her reassurance that the paw is healing.

    Edit: I see you're in SF. That's a pretty expensive city, similar to DC, so it sounds on par to me.
     
  3. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    A hundred bucks to remove stitches? That is nuts. My vet does not charge for follow up visits, period. Although they may charge if a bandage needed to be change, but they would ask me if I wanted to do it, which I would.
    I would ask her to justify the costs item by item and I would also be looking for a more reasonable vet.
     
  4. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    here office visits are only $25
    so, i guess it depends where you live.

    i cannot imagine a $45 office visit, much less the rechecks, etc.
     
  5. Scooter

    Scooter New Member

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    I went on YELP, which if you're not familiar with it is a website where people post personal experiences about local businesses. Her reviews were not that good- most complaining that she spent very little time with you (always the case with me) and over charged. Hmm. I think I need to start researching another vet. I think I'd prefer someone with more experience anyway. I forgot to mention when I went today I also told her I thought Zoe may also have kennel cough. She didn't even seem concerned or run any tests. She just said "Well, we already have her on antibiotics for her foot, so she should be fine in a few days". Um, ok.
     
  6. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    WOW! That's awesome! You're very lucky :)
     
  7. Labyrinth

    Labyrinth New Member

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    My vet charges $45 for an office visit.. but they don't charge for followups, and they certainly don't charge for removing stitches that they put in. Two of my ferrets require monthly shots (well just one now), and I get to see the actual vet (not just a tech) when I bring them in and discuss any other problems they may have been having and I'm only charged the cost of the shot or any other meds they need (no office visit charge).
     
  8. Jules

    Jules Magic, motherf@%$*#!

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    Mine doesn't charge for follow up visits, either. :)

    I don't think I would feel comfortable with a vet who doesn't take the time to get to me and my dog. I understand it's a business, but I need to go to someone I can trust with my dog.
     
  9. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    $35 for an office visit, here. Follow up is like $20 I think, but if there are more follow ups after that no office fee charge.

    And I think that's high for stiches removal. But that's just me :p
     
  10. JennSLK

    JennSLK F150 and a .30-06

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    With our vet they do charge for the fallow up visit if they have to do something. However they remove the stitches for free. Eg when Jazz hurt her neck, we went in a week later and they checked and removed them for free
     
  11. PeggyPup

    PeggyPup Love my BC and Pap!

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    Our local vet charges INSANELY high, and I'm not in a big city. I guess that's Massachusetts for ya? It's about 65 dollars for a standard Office visit, and he DOES charge for rechecks, too. The ONLY reason we stay there is because he hired another vet to work there, and we LOVE her. She's the best vet we've ever had. She understands where we are financially and sometimes ah, helps out with the payment. She does that with a lot of folks, as the location isn't a rich area. His prices make no sense to us. Maybe she's not being totally ethical but there would be an awful lot of dogs around who wouldn't get proper health care if she didn't do it.

    We're still looking around at other places though. Because when we do get full charge, it hurts.
     
  12. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    I pay $38 for an office visit and they do charge for follow ups if we see a vet, but the clinic is totally open to only charging for materials/supplies if a tech is working with the dog alone and they do work with you to shave costs where they can if they see you a lot (I have 4 pets, so we visit almost once a month!!).

    An example: my 3 all needed updated bordetella vaccines for boarding on short notice. I called, they told me when to drop by, a tech administered the vax, and I was only charged for the vaccines themselves (I think about $15 each). Similarly, they charged us an office visit, etc. when Z was injured a few weeks back, but it was free to have her rechecked and the staples removed by the tech, even though a vet did pop their head in to double check something for the tech.

    When our vet is involved, she is wonderful about spending time answering questions in addition to the exam time. I've spent 20-30 minutes with the vet herself on most visits so I certainly feel that I get my money's worth. One appointment (regular exam) she spent about 40 minutes with us!

    An interesting fact: our main vet is a holistic vet and her practice is cheaper than some of the conventional vets here. :D
     
  13. Buddy'sParents

    Buddy'sParents *Finding My Inner Fila*

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    I think something you need to keep in mind, Scooter, is that we live in the Bay Area and it's MUCH pricier for pretty much anything here. Our vet is pretty pricey, so on weekends/holidays we go the emergency vet if needed because they are cheaper!
     
  14. Cheza

    Cheza New Member

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    When Cheza broke her toe (one single flipping toe) the bill from the first visit was 650.. xrays cast antibiotics and bandaging. We had to go back twice a week for nearly 12 weeks to have it re-bandaged at $30 a pop.

    Office visits are $68 in the door. Wellness checkups are $118.

    Granted we didn't price hunt either - we go to the vet that the show "E-Vets" on Animal Planet is filmed at. We knew they were $$$ but we've had nothing but phenomenal care from them so to us it's worth it.
     
  15. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    To me if you go to ER and then to your vet ,a full followup charge should be expected . I've only gone to old Vet hospitals and though their initial costs may a bit more , they don't nickle and dime you .
     
  16. ACooper

    ACooper Moderator

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    Add me to the list.........I never even KNEW vets would charge for a "standard" follow up :eek: By standard I mean they come in, remove stitches or just look to see the "problem" is improving or all better.

    When Orson had his ears done, all follow ups (and there were a few) were included in the original bill. Each visit was printed out for our records with a $0 charge for the day. Phoebe's spay too. And I can't remember if I had a follow up with Orson's neuter or not, LOL

    I'd agree with you...........time to at least search around and find out if there are other options in your area. It's not just the money that's concerning, if you feel your level of care at that vet isn't up to par, (time spent, addressing your concerns, etc) THAT is good enough reason to look around ;)
     
  17. Cheza

    Cheza New Member

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    Follow ups are free for us as well - both Cheza and Lyra had complications post-pexy/spay. Cheza's minor but all followup was free. Lyra had major complications from her pexy to the point she needed surgery again 2 months later. All follow up and even the 2nd surgery was free.

    I asked about being able to change the bandages myself but after watching them do it once I wouldn't have been able to. They were very particular about the positioning and tension so it wouldn't cut off circulation to her toes, since it ran the whole length of her leg.
     
  18. MandyPug

    MandyPug Sport Model Pug

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    Regular office visit is $65-70 here, follow ups are $10 or less depending who you are.

    At the CARE Centre (24hr Emergency and Referral) in Calgary it was something like $100 just to see a vet not even to talk to the ophthalmologist with Izzie's corneal laceration. Then the bills just piled up after that. But follow ups were free and we had to go in every 2 weeks up to a month for 6 months after so thank goodness they were free. The drugs were discounted too which was nice.
     
  19. KageandHorton

    KageandHorton New Member

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    Check out the SPCA in San Francisco or the one in Oakland. My husband and I switched to the vet program in the Oakland SPCA because they are fine with the animals; but a lot cheaper than most vets in the bay area. The SPCA costs about half the price of our old vet for normal appointments. Or you might try VIP it also is pretty cheap.
     
  20. Mjjean

    Mjjean New Member

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    My vet takes the time with me, no rushed visit or even hint she would rather be out and on to the next client. She is young, but very good and very knowledgeable about my breed and nutrition. She also agreed with me when I decided to wait until full maturity for Ike's neuter as he is a large breed and prone to higher chances of thyroid issues and dysplasia if neutered too early. I wasn't expecting that, I was expecting an argument. She also seems to be keeping up on the newest vaccine protocals (sp?) and wanted me to make informed decisions. She even showed me how to give vaccine injections myself if i choose to do so, but I still have to get rabies from her by law here. I love this lady!

    Her office visit fee is $40.00. She does waive the fee if its a routine follow-up and she has lower or on par fees for other services compared to vets inthe area. The only thing she is pricy on is neuter and spay, but thats because they do the laser procedure. I will be taking Ike to a much less expansive vet that I have used before for that. $110 for a large breed vs almost $400.
     

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