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Many vets have gone the way of human healthcare & become conglomerates. My Vet was a wonderful guy & only when he died suddenly in 2011, did we find out that he sold out to one of those big companies from California. He had control while he was alive, but it changed the moment he died. I couldn't believe he did such a thing. I hate how it is run now, always getting mailers & emails for things I don't want or need etc. The prices have gone up big time also. Really it's the simple fact the industry now knows how much people will spend on their pets, just like human healthcare.
 

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While I have complained about individual vets, I've never complained about the profession as a group nor about the cost.

I've had experience with all kinds of vets.
Incompetent, I took my dog in to have his teeth cleaned and got him back with his teeth looking the same as when I took him in, the vet retired. New vet said my dog needed his teeth cleaned, it had only been a year since the last one, got him back from the teeth cleaning and his teeth were sparkling white.
Horrid Bedside Manor. The vet had the bedside manor of Dr. Gregory House. I wish I was just being picky but I've heard more then one person say they had the same experience as me.
Does Not Listen. The vet did not even want to consider what I was saying, didn't want to investigate that it could be something else. My poor dog had a completely unnecessary anal gland flush done due to this vet.

Great Vet. My latest vet I adore, he listens to what I'm telling him, he'll fully examine the dog and actually try to get to the bottom of what could be going on. He asks questions related to the problem. He explains why he came to a diagnosis and is willing to answer questions. He also does not do unnecessary procedures or test.

My latest vet is the most expensive, but I do not care. I'd rather pay more and have my vet be able to update his clinic, pay his awesome staff a decent wage, and give my dog excellent care.
 

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Oh, I want to add... lol...

I took HaHa to the vet on Saturday, had to wait a bit because the vet had been called out to a horse with colic.

She finally got there came through the door, glanced at me and looked down and says "HI HaHa!"

At least she knows who her patients are....lol.
She went into the back and then came out again, and then greeted me.

I've noticed it's not just my dogs she's done this with, too.
I know some might be offended that she greeted their pet first, but I think it kind of shows her priorities and that it's not just another dog or cat to her...she remembers most of the names of the pets she's working with...

Stormy
 

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Because my girl had an awful accident when she was young, I have met many many vets, surgeons, orthopedics, physical therapists, and ten times as many receptionists, vet techs, and so many others I can even think to name. I spent three years going from specialist to specialist. Even went to vets who believe in natural medicine. I have to say they all worked together, no one bad mouthed anyone. I don't think I had any that I would say anything bad about. There were a few that I didn't like their methods or their course of therapy, but that was a personal choice nothing against them themselves. Thank goodness I had medical insurance, because over the years I spent approximately $10,000. With the medical insurance that cut my cost down to about $4,000. Not positive about the figures it was 14 years ago, but it should be a close guess.
What I am trying to say is I have found vets to be awesome and caring toward me and my animal. whether second third or fourth opinion they do not judge me. Sometimes it is how you treat the vet that makes the visit unpleasant. They are human and not perfect. Truthfully, if I was ill I would rather have a vet take care of me than a human doctor.
If you do not like your vet you should definitely find another. Right now my vet and my girls surgeon work closely together even though they have separate clinics. I like that I can speak to both of them about the other and know there is no hard feelings. As a matter of fact when I told my regular vet I wanted to use a different surgeon she actually researched him and told me he was very highly qualified. I say thank God for these caring people who devote their lives to animals.
 

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Its interesting to read all these perspectives from the US. Where I live nobody has pet insurance because pet healthcare is cheap. I think my last check up was $35 dollars for 2 dogs which included a rabies vaccine (with corresponding documentation). Antibiotic cream for an ear infection was another $10. It was $70 to neuter Simba.

I doubt that vets in the US are price gouging, I believe the OP about his costs so this is just for a fun comparison, not a critique.

1. Education: Veterinarians (and human doctors) don't pay for their education since it's state funded.

2. Vet Pay: Like in the US, being a vet here is a labor of love. They all do it because they love the animals. Most could make far more as doctors but we're still talking about at least 50% less than the 87000 figure

3. Vet care. This is where the biggest difference is.

My vet's clinic, 500 sq ft. No extra mortgage and his rent is probably less than $600/month His receptionist? His wife. His vet tech? His wife, and occasionally students from the vet tech class he teaches on weekends. As for equipment, he has basic surgical tools (for biopsies, neuters, etc) and an ultrasound machine. A small autoclave, a couple under counter fridges and freezers and a scale and a sink. No xray or advanced imaging of any kind. (although I gather those aren't that expensive here) For that he gives you a prescription and you go to the vet hospital (there's one around the block) which is also where you'd go for complex surgery.

His clinic is smaller than most vets around here who operate on a similar model because he doesn't sell dog food or even most veterinary medicine. Since he's not doing complicated surgery he dosen't need some expensive positive pressure ventilation system, rather he has 1 split A/C which cools the entire space easily.

It's some times amazing to read what vet care costs in the US.
 

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I've been reading DogForum for a long time, even though I'm new to posting. By and large, this is a great community of intelligent, compassionate contributors.

That said, I've found a troubling number of posts demonizing veterinarians as "greedy" or "corrupt." As someone married to a veterinarian, I'd like to take a minute to address a few things about the field:


I edited down your post so I could reply without taking up too much room. We have a fantastic vet that will spend as much time in the office during appointments as we need him to spend and actually calls us himself if he has any questions or needs to pass along information.

I mainly wanted to say that I think its really fantastic that you're posting such fabulous things about your wife and how much she enjoys her job. The world needs good husbands like you!!
:thumbsup:
 

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@StormyPeak We have the same thing going on where I live, but it's not a small town issue lol. There is a huge divide between the pricing of things on the beach and further in town. there are a huge amount of vets on the beach, but basically none in town until a few years ago. A lot of the beach vets were getting really upset at the vet in town because they had way cheaper prices, so they started posting fake negative reviews online saying all sorts of ridiculous things to try and stop locals from switching. Luckily things are starting to settle down now, because the more expensive vets didn't lose all the business that they thought they would, because none of the snow birds or wealthy condo-dwellers on the beach want to go over the bridge for vet care, and the more cost friendly vet has lowered the rates of feral cats (people will bring in the neighborhood cats they catch for a 20$ spay or neuter that they can write off as a donation for tax purposes) as well as significantly lowered the amount of dogs put on the streets by locals that can't afford vet care.

I personally only go to that clinic because its the only vet I've found in the area that believes in "live and let live" about Bandit's raw food diet. He doesn't necessarily agree with it, but he said all of Bandit's results look amazing every time we go and he doesn't want me changing anything as long as its working.
 

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I don't see the issue with many prices for cats/dogs for regular stuff like shots and such. There are tons and tons of cheap alternatives. Even living in itty bitty towns they have rabies fairs going on where it is free/very cheap or other low cost things. Even low cost spay/neuter.

But when there is an issue it can get pricey. But yeah pets are pricey. I think people should plan ahead for those cases. Usually there are multiple vets around and you can price shop (though still look for quality as well). I expect small vets to be usually cheaper and then larger more high tech places to be more expensive.

Some things annoy me though price wise... tell me the prices up front and be honest. I don't want to be quoted $50 and then have a ton of tiny fees added on that they obviously knew they were going to do ahead of time. I want to also know what I am paying for. If you are going to charge me for 50 different things tell me what they all are and why. And seriously for the love of god don't do things without asking me first and expect me to pay for them.

And I hate how vets are with small animals. Way back when I first got rats one of them was dying. It was very obvious. I called around to vets to see if they would put her down. The ones that would told me she had to have an exam first and it was going to be $80 just for the exam. That blew my mind.


I have moved ALOT in my life. My husband's job took us all over before. I have had amazing vets that I truly loved. But they do seem few and far between sadly. By far most vets were meh, not great but not truly bad either. Most of the time they make no real personal connection and its hard because while I get they are busy usually when you are at the vet you are worried and its nice when they try. They often don't listen, don't seem to care what you have to say. OMG stop trying to make me switch to your crappy pet food!!! And stop trying to upsell me everything. Sometimes I feel like I am in some crappy car sales lot or something and it just is annoying.

But I have also had extremely bad vets. I had one that was insanely rough and hurt my cat and seemed like he should have retired 10 years ago and his techs were the one running things really and it was scary. They "forgot" that they gave my two cats rabies shots.... it was a nightmare.

In the end I think most pet owners know that some vets are good and some are bad. But honestly most of these stories come up because 1. people don't often share good stuff so we usually on hear one side of things. and 2. alot of vets are not great...not so much bad but not great either.
 

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I love my Vet he is a kind caring man that checked up on my family after we had to put our cat down. I don't think the problem is that all Vets are corrupt some are most aren't. My previous vet was always trying to sneak things into the final bill without asking us like probiotics or vitamins which can be useful don't get me wrong but to charge me an extra charge without asking me for a perfectly healthy animal seems a bit wrong.
 

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I had to take HaHa back to the vets yesterday...in spite of being on meds, his neck glands swelled up again. My vet took a look and then did some adjustments on the dosage of meds he's getting.

While there, I asked her if I could take a syringe and give my dog Jaya a steroid shot, instead of bringing her into the clinic. Jaya is still pretty much feral and she get soo stressed when being handled, and then there is always the slight risk that if she got away from me I might not ever catch her again.

My vet is very aware of Jaya's seasonal allergy problem...and she asked if I thought Jaya had gained or lost any weight and I said no, since I measure out the dog food for their feedings in a measure cup. She looked up the last shot given, and gave me the syringe and told me it had to go into a muscle.

She didn't charge me for seeing HaHa...that could have been a $30.00 exam visit.
And she didn't insist I bring Jaya in...which could have got her another $30.00 plus whatever the shot cost.

So, she charged me only for the shot. I was able to go home and as my sister was with me, I caught Jaya and let my sister hold on to her while I gave Jaya the injection into the shoulder muscle. Jaya acted like she didn't even feel it. (thankfully). I've given both under the skin and in the muscle injections...but don't like doing it. But if I can save some money and more importantly, save my dog a lot of stress I'll do it.

Jaya goes in about once a year to the vet and I try to get as much done for her as I can while she's in there...but if it's something I can do, I'm glad my vet trusts me enough to let me do things like that for my pets.

Stormy
 

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I love my Vet he is a kind caring man that checked up on my family after we had to put our cat down. I don't think the problem is that all Vets are corrupt some are most aren't. My previous vet was always trying to sneak things into the final bill without asking us like probiotics or vitamins which can be useful don't get me wrong but to charge me an extra charge without asking me for a perfectly healthy animal seems a bit wrong.
I agree with you. But sometimes, the 'front office' can get fast and loose with charges and add-ons. I understand that a vet is responsible for his staff, but I would always ask the vet himself/herself about a 'sneaky' charge, there is the possibility he/she knows nothing about it.
 

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I do not understand why the vet offices here push the dietary garbage they keep in the front shelves. People have always said it is because they get money to sell that stuff. I have had vets tell me that feeding raw is bad and our dog should be on hills because of her breed trait sensitivities. pfft..next.

Most vets are fantastic but like any other profession, there will be some that set a bad example. People are also entitled to their own opinion regardless of others experiences
 

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To the OP. Your posts have been filled with factual and compassionate discussion points. It is nice to see a civil open conversation from both perspectives.

I am a veterinary assistant in a middle of the road clinic. Prices are neither high nor low. We run lean on staff when surgeries are not scheduled, and on weekends. Our owner/vet is the only doctor, and is one of the best I have met.

I have found the higher the cost the more depth of services are provided, although this is typically behind the scenes. More staff, more equipment, more frills, the absolute highest standards in care according to National Associations.

Where the bargain vets tend to offer very minimal standards of care. Not poor care necessarily, just a minimalist approach to support staff, equipment, client care.

My clinic is right in the middle. I love my job, clients, patients, and lord to I bust my a$$. However I have never, nor have I ever known an assistant or receptionist, pad the bill of offer and information or advice that we didn't believe was safe and factual.
 

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my vet is wonderful. he's our neighbor down the street and he once came over to our house when we called him up at 8pm on a Sunday to remove a fishhook my parents' dog had gotten lodged through her tongue (she is such an idiot -- tried to eat the hook simply because many hours earlier in the day it had a piece of hotdog on it as bait and I guess she could still smell it. this dog will eat ANYTHING), sedated her and everything and was very happy to help. and he never even charged us or anything. though my mom did send him a nice card w/ gift card to some restaurant as a "thank you" the following week.

to be honest, IME $180k over 4 years is not all that much as far as higher education in America goes. my sister's tuition for a BA at NYU's TISCH school of theatre ended up being roundabouts ~$300k+ after all was said & done, even despite her having completely free dormitory housing as an RA for the majority of her time there. my brother's tuition (as an out of state student) at MMA runs almost $30k per year. which is totally crazy, because in state students pay well under $10k/year. but what can ya do?
I agree w/ those who have mentioned the fact that this post putting so much emphasis on the costs involved does not come across as making the point of your wife being a "good vet," who does justice to the profession. I am by no means saying she isn't, but your OP (note: I have not read through the whole thread yet) doesn't make that point very well. I'd rather hear about how fulfilling a vet finds their job, how much they care about their patients & clients, and how much effort they put into providing the utmost level of care w/o incurring any unnecessary charges as justification for for a vet being "good." your OP just seems to be saying, "WELL, all those charges ARE kind of necessary if you really THINK about it! she put money into it and she wants to make that money back!"
 

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I've never had an issue with vets. I think it's up to the consumer to know what is being done and the costs before they do it, so there are no surprises when the bill comes.

I do avoid vets (and human dentists) who have big shiny new offices. I have found that they are most prone to running unnecessary tests and procedures.
 

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With my first dog sara growing up at home, the vets were absolutely fantastic, i couldnt fault them for a single thing.
With my second current dog jesse it is a very different story with vets. Completely different location and vets.
I got jesse at nine weeks and i noticed soon after something wasnt right with his gait. I mentioned it to "no 1" vet at vaccination and they fobbed me off. I mentioned it again at following vaccination and again was fobbed off. My dogs back feet would hit each when walking and his right leg was on angle. Over that following yr i went to this vet over and over again. They treated me like a hypochondriac and kept saying theres nothing wrong. Someone i started to talk to told me to go to there vet "no 2" so i did and that vet said its just a mild sprain. A month later i went back "no 2" and demanded xrays. It came back he was born with mild hip dysplasia.
He said jesse dosnt need surgery. He gave zydax injection and i went back to "no 1" vet for follow up injections because they were in walking distance and i dont drive. 2 vets there looked at xrays and accosted me for not having surgery done around 6months old when it would have been a relativley procedure. Then accosted me for choosing not to do hip surgery and that i was choosing to give him a life of pain. And i should be seeing a specialist. Completely confused because "no 2" said he dosnt need surgery, i contacted specialist who said they will get
"no 2" vet to email xrays and get
"no 2" vet to call me with there outcome of whether i need to come to see them. "No 2" vet callled me furious i went behind his back and telling me i wasted the specialists time because both he and specialist said jesse dosnt need anything done. Stupidly i still believed "no 2" vet. I had some tests done for other issues at a later date by that vet and paid upfront as i always have never recieved resuts. A few yrs later i started to wonder if "no 2" vet lied about the specialists recommendation. So i called specialist to ask if they still had my records and they did and they did want to see me for surgery recommendation. "NO 2" VET LIED!
Due to bad hips my dog has ruptured both knee ligaments and has athritis. Ive seen a hell of alot of other vets for other issues and the vets have all contradicted each other. Who on earth am i meant to believe. When it comes to pain meds ive had several recommend ibruprofen others recommend only the vet prescribed one and one vet recommend i buy panadol and codeine. Currently i using rimadyl but after that im going to use ibruprofen. A vet i saw at the current clinic i go to didnt write down my notes and the next time i went back they werent there and i saw another vet and the didnt believe i had seen that other vet because there was no record of it. I was told if there extra busy they do not have time to write down everyones visits. How is that not criminal? The amouny of money i have paid to these people and they have all treated jesse and myself like ####.
 

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With my first dog sara growing up at home, the vets were absolutely fantastic, i couldnt fault them for a single thing.
With my second current dog jesse it is a very different story with vets. Completely different location and vets.
I got jesse at nine weeks and i noticed soon after something wasnt right with his gait. I mentioned it to "no 1" vet at vaccination and they fobbed me off. I mentioned it again at following vaccination and again was fobbed off. My dogs back feet would hit each when walking and his right leg was on angle. Over that following yr i went to this vet over and over again. They treated me like a hypochondriac and kept saying theres nothing wrong. Someone i started to talk to told me to go to there vet "no 2" so i did and that vet said its just a mild sprain. A month later i went back "no 2" and demanded xrays. It came back he was born with mild hip dysplasia.
He said jesse dosnt need surgery. He gave zydax injection and i went back to "no 1" vet for follow up injections because they were in walking distance and i dont drive. 2 vets there looked at xrays and accosted me for not having surgery done around 6months old when it would have been a relativley procedure. Then accosted me for choosing not to do hip surgery and that i was choosing to give him a life of pain. And i should be seeing a specialist. Completely confused because "no 2" said he dosnt need surgery, i contacted specialist who said they will get
"no 2" vet to email xrays and get
"no 2" vet to call me with there outcome of whether i need to come to see them. "No 2" vet callled me furious i went behind his back and telling me i wasted the specialists time because both he and specialist said jesse dosnt need anything done. Stupidly i still believed "no 2" vet. I had some tests done for other issues at a later date by that vet and paid upfront as i always have never recieved resuts. A few yrs later i started to wonder if "no 2" vet lied about the specialists recommendation. So i called specialist to ask if they still had my records and they did and they did want to see me for surgery recommendation. "NO 2" VET LIED!
Due to bad hips my dog has ruptured both knee ligaments and has athritis. Ive seen a hell of alot of other vets for other issues and the vets have all contradicted each other. Who on earth am i meant to believe. When it comes to pain meds ive had several recommend ibruprofen others recommend only the vet prescribed one and one vet recommend i buy panadol and codeine. Currently i using rimadyl but after that im going to use ibruprofen. A vet i saw at the current clinic i go to didnt write down my notes and the next time i went back they werent there and i saw another vet and the didnt believe i had seen that other vet because there was no record of it. I was told if there extra busy they do not have time to write down everyones visits. How is that not criminal? The amouny of money i have paid to these people and they have all treated jesse and myself like ####.
Just refreshing the post
 

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This is a pretty old thread, but I'll chime in, with, I can't say enough about the Vets that have taken care of Samantha. She has an auto-immune disorder, managed by a Neurologist, Pancreatitis, managed by our local Vet, and diet. They, the Vets, are in touch with each other whenever one sees her, and they send test results back and forth, so they both are current. I don't think, had it not been for the great care she has and is receiving, she would be alive today.
 

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If vets were free, life would be all butterflies and lollipops. And Annie would have more dogs. But alas, vets cost money. It's the way of it. I understand.
 
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