Vet Fees make the News again

First of all, we couldn’t agree more to shopping around for value. But that’s the point – value – not price!

It seems that when it comes to some of the routine procedures such as desexing you do need to be aware of what you’re getting for your money. Quite frankly even we were suprised by the variation in desexing fees.

What on earth is going on there?

But most disturbing is the fact that many of the lower end desexing fees offered pain relief as an “optional extra”!

That’s just unbelievable. Fancy asking anybody “Would you like pain relief with this surgery?” If so, it’ll cost you extra.

Don’t be lured in by cheap fees only to discover later that some really important things which should be included in the first place are an added extra – just to get the sale.

As for saying that fees vary because there’s no competition – that’s not right either. We have a high concentration of clinics especially in our major cities so you do have lots of choices.

Now, looking at the surgical procedures highlighted in the story. Procedures like these often require a Specialist’s hand or in the very least a skilled general practitioner so naturally they’re expensive.

But we agree that there are often different approaches to the same problem so again – shop around for alternatives.

At the same time consider what AVA president Mark Lawrie had to say – “you need to compare appples with apples” and find out what’s involved in the procedure. Method 1 using state of the art technology and advanced surgical techniques can’t be compared to Method 2 which uses a different technique, no technology and requires less skills.

Then there’s outcomes. Which method will produce the best outcome – long term benefits – for your pet and your hip pocket?

You need to ask questions and weigh up all the pro’s and cons. Don’t take just one person’s word for it.

Given all this complexity, it’s probably very wise to consider what the owner of the Silky Terrier had to say. “You know that pets will cost money in vet fees and to mitigate the situation…….. consider taking out Pet Insurance.”

Costly Emergency Pet Care makes the News

Having to pay extra for services at night or on weekends will always cost more than it would during normal working hours.

Now whether you need a Plumber, an Electrician or anyone for that matter – penalty rates apply and there’s no getting round that. It’s the Law!

So paying higher hourly rates to have your animal examined and treated afer hours isn’t out of the ordinary at all.

But – what you pay depends on what needs to be done during those “non routine” hours.

And it’s your job to find out!

For starters – having provided a 24 hour service for over 20 years, we know that not every case presented to us after hours has needed immediate costly treatment. Sometimes some First Aid, combined with effective pain relief is all that was needed see a pet safely through the night.

Further investigation and diagnostics would then continue in the morning when the rates were cheaper.

Why perform an Ultrasound at midnight when it is deemed adequately safe to do it in the morning at half the price!

The same applies to blood tests, X-Rays and even surgery. Depending on the presenting problem, sometimes some things can safely wait until the next day.

Of course you don’t always have this option. Some cases are true emergencies and do need immediate surgery or expensive medical treatment. In this case you’re right, you don’t have a choice.

So what it boils down to is asking questions. Lots of them! Find out what’s necessary between now and the next day and what can possibly wait. Just because the staff are there and able to do it, doesn’t mean you need to actively engage them to do so.

Ask the vet to explain all benefits and disadvantages between doing something now or later so you can make an informed decision. Be warned though – if you’ve declined a specific treatment that the vet believes is necessary then you also need to take on the risks that go with this making this decision.