CF vet???(245 Posts)
NC for this because it's very outing and I'd rather it didn't follow me around. For ease I'll refer to my friend as VF.
This is a bit awkward. One of my very, very good friends is a vet, she owns and runs two practices and has an impressive amount of qualifications; far more than your average vet. I'm not sure what they are, specialisms in some things.
I decided to move my pets to her practice because of the friendship, her expertise and I wasn't entirely happy with the old vet. She very kindly allowed my dd (12) to go and do a few hours of work experience, my animals have been well looked after whenever I've taken them. My kitten was neutered, vaccinated and chipped there, and they spotted and dealt with a potential abscess on his tail. All great.
I have an old lady cat, she's 14, still sprightly but had got very, very thin, was messing around the house and had moments of confusion. VF had been to my house a few times, cuddled the cat and I'd asked about what could be wrong with her. VF could feel a couple of thyroid lumps and suggested that she have an op to remove the thyroid gland. I booked her in and delivered her to the surgery. I didn't hear anything for a week or so, but didn't mind, I assumed VF was doing what needed to be done. I bumped into her in the pub a couple of days after that, and she tells me that the thyroid tests have come back as normal. She now suspects that it's lymphoma. She says the cat is too poorly to come home yet, she will discharge her soon.
Again, we hear nothing for a week or so. I ring the practice to ask about what's going on and I'm told "Oh, I'm not sure, it's VF dealing with this. Can I ask her to give you a ring?" No problem. However, no phone call either. Again, I bump into VF socially (lots of the same friends) and enquire about my cat. She doesn't have lymphoma now and is ready to come home. VF says something vague about the cat having a liver infection. Along the way I've asked her to keep an eye on the bill and tell me when it's gone over a certain amount (£600 quoted for thyroid op). If I ask her directly, she says "It's still in 3 figures."
Anyway (sorry, this is really long! Didn't want to dripfeed), I arranged to collect my cat yesterday and I am greeted with a bill of £1,250. I was absolutely gobsmacked. She's billed me for that huge amount, despite:
Cat didn;t have or need a thyroid op.
Cat didn't have lymphoma.
Cat has had no surgical procedures at all.
Cat has had a few blood tests and basically been left sitting there for three weeks, whilst I was under the impression that she was being treated for cancer!
I asked for a breakdown of the bill and was told they didn't have it ready but that they can post it to me.
Awkwardly, it was my friend doing the discharge and I didn't want to challenge her at the time, because I wasn't sure if the fee was a fair one, and I didn;t want to accuse her of something she hadn't done, so I paid the bill and left.
I came home to my partner (who is a GP) and he says that we've been taken for a ride by VF and he's furious about the bill. Now that I've had time to process it, I'm furious too.
But what should I do?? If I go back and complain it will make things very awkward between VF and I and I do genuinely like her. Or shall I just chalk it up to experience and move my pets elsewhere? I feel like I can't say nothing, but I also don;t want to overreact. Or have I done something wrong along the way which has allowed her to bill this much??
This all seems a bit unusual. Would you not have been on the phone daily to see how the cat was? Not hearing anything for a week? My cat was at the vets all day for XRays and it was £650, so £1250 for three weeks isn't expensive.
Mmh vets bills can be expensive but on the basis your cat has just had tests (no surgery or even medication) this seems eye wateringly high.
My cat is 4 weeks into treatment (2 weeks medication at home - x3 types of medicine, 1 surgery, and 1-week stay at the vets) and this has come to around £400.
I would absolutely ask for a breakdown of the bill and challenge if appropriate.
Vets are bloody expensive! Especially if your pet in staying - I would expect a huge fee for a 3 week stay.
I think yanbu to be annoyed given that you asked her to warn you when it was reaching a certain amount and she didn’t.
However, yabu for not clarifying exact costs along the way as they add up quickly. At each stage I’d be asking for details of exactly why each thing is needed, likelihood of outcome and costs. It sounds from your op as if you’ve been very laid back in letting her do whatever she suggested.
YABU why did you just leave the cat and only ask about it when you bumped into her socially I’d have been ringing daily if it was one of my cats
Also mine are insured to cover vets bills
You left your cat with her and didn’t make enquiries for a for a week?
You then got told your cat wasn’t ready to go come home and then you didn’t make contact for another week?
That’s quite a hefty bill but I’m generally surprised at the disinterest you showed?! I would have been ringing the vets every day just to ask how my cat was and I would have been asking to visit to.
I agree, VF has been vague but it doesn’t seem like you made much of an effort to ask after your cat either. I feel a bit sorry for your cat actually, being dumped there for a few weeks without you even being concerned enough to phone and ask how she was.
Vet bills can be crazy however your Vet should be informing you of the cost of any procedure before they go ahead with them. My Vet who isn't my friend does this so I'd absolutely expect it from a Vet who was a friend of mine.
I'm afraid your timeline is confusing me too, OP. There are two "week or so"s where you didn't try and make contact about your cat. I don't get it?! If your cat was at the vets for that amount of time, even if they hadn't had that much treatment done, I'd expect a hefty bill! Is the bill itemised? It should be, then you can see why it's ended up costing over £1000.
I also feel sorry for your old cat 🙁
Out of interest, do you mention that your husband is a GP to try and add weight to your argument? It would be a tad embarrassing if she has given you a discounted rate
I would wait for the itemised bill, then pay.
Totally agree with Ghosty. You basically boarded your cat for almost a month.
Why would you leave your cat there and not check to see how the poor this is/was?
My cat is 4 weeks into treatment (2 weeks medication at home - x3 types of medicine, 1 surgery, and 1-week stay at the vets) and this has come to around £400
@InOtterNews I need to know where your vet is because this is incredibly cheap for all that!!
That aside, I can't get past the fact your cat was at the vet for a week and you weren't calling regularly for updates. A week at a time?
Eh? You just left the cat at the vets for weeks? I’m mystified by your casual attitude. Why were you not keeping on at them? Even if she’d had these procedures there’s no need to be kept in.
You sound pretty careless and naive, the bill is for boarding a cat for a dozy owner who never bothered to collect her 🙄
Also, agree with others with OPs disinterest in the cat. One of us visited our cat daily for cuddles and reassurance
Why was the cat in for that long, if they didn't find anything wrong? And why weren't you phoning for updates every day? There seems to have been odd behaviour on both sides, to be honest.
I think both parties have been a bit lackadaisical in this matter but, if the breakdown doesn’t look kosher, I do think it’s worth querying this bill.
This whole post is very strange!! Why would you leave your cat at the vet and not make daily enquiries!? The bill seems very reasonable to me if they had your cat for over two weeks and did all the investigations as well !
I think that bill is pretty reasonable for a 3 week inpatient stay , irrespective of what they’ve done . I find this whole situation very odd because any time any of my animals have been ‘in hospital’ , I’ve phoned for updates a couple of times a day and generally visited every day as well if they’ve been well enough to be seen .
Who leaves their old cat at the vet for weeks at a time?
Did it not occur to you the cat was racking up bills while staying there?
Were you just relieved to have got rid of it or something?
When our cats are at the vet we visit every day sometimes twice a day.*
* Possibly overkill but we bloody love them.
1250 for a 3 week stay plus procedures and tests. It sounds fair. Certain test on my DDog last week cost me 290 plus consultation fee. I am not sure what the usual charges are with your VF. I'd chalk this down to a learning experience and walk away.
Your cat was staying at the vets practice for 3 weeks? You didn't call them daily for updates on what was going on?
That is seriously odd.
Sorry but I'm another piling on in you, saying the same thing. Why were you not making daily phone calls to check on her progress? I would think that the tests are the smallest part of the bill and the real cost is the boarding costs for almost a month. Get you itemised bill and challenge it if you think it's unfair. I wouldn't have paid until I got an itemised bill anyway because that is a shit tonne of money to find out there's nothing actually wrong and probably never was.
why did you just leave the cat and only ask about it when you bumped into her socially I’d have been ringing daily if it was one of my cats
I have to agree with this.
But if the cat didn't have any procedures or anything then it does seem expensive. Wait for the bill breakdown (but don't wait too long before you chase –I've a sneaking feeling that they might not be too prompt getting it to you) and then see how the land lies.
One of my dogs had a very invasive cancer op for tumour removal and was home that night, surgical drains etc, back every 2nd day for checks. I cannot understand why you left her there 🙄😡
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