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Vets costs - blimey

(11 Posts)
talia66 Tue 26-Feb-19 14:46:09

My 11 year old bichon had a blood test at the vets (for something minor) that has started a chain of event that have turned my life a bit upside down. They found elevated liver levels and all of a sudden they are scanning the gallbladder that might have a lump - ruling out multiple diseases, now it could be something to do with a lump on some gland. I am so bemused by it all I couldn't even tell you to be honest what is wrong.
I have to add that my dog in himself is actually fine!

What is bemusing me about it all is the utter complacency over cost. They just assume that as a pet owner you must have unlimited financial resources (I wish) just this first round of tests and medication have so far cost me in the region of £1300. I do have insurance - but after excesses, 20% premium because my dog is older and the fact that it is multiple claims apparently - I am not getting much back.

Now they are casually mentioning worse case senerio gallbladder removal - at a cost of £3000 - £4000. I love my dog so much and this whole thing has been upsetting but it made me think. Surely everybody in this economy can't have pots of money to do this at a drop of a hat?!

To be honest I know I might be being mean - I love my dog - I suppose it is just the casual attitude to money. The vets have a good reputation and i know they are just wanting to help. I think maybe I am taking out how upset I am about my dog potentially being ill on them.

It makes you realise how vital the NHS is for humans - because if we didn't have it this is the sort of upset and worry about medical costs we would have all the time. just hope my insurance do indeed cough up some money!

thanks for listening

OP’s posts: |
steppemum Tue 26-Feb-19 14:54:48

your vet shoudl be able to put most of these on one bill, as one set of investigations for one resenting problem.
You need to talk ot them about that, they are not helping you (just to compare, mine has just offered to put all the times we have been in for my dogs ears in the last year through as one claim, to try and get something back.)

I agree about the costs, and the NHS. We used to live somewhere where many, many women had goiters. It cost $300 to operate, but none of them could afford it sad

My dd had 13 general anaesthetics between 18 months and two and half (in UK). I sometimes used to think about what would have happened to her and us if we had lived somewhere else sad

BiteyShark Tue 26-Feb-19 14:55:27

I am coming close to having claimed £5000 since getting my puppy and he isn't yet 2.5 years old.

The thing with vet costs is that it's private medicine and as I have private health cover for myself I have seen the costs for us and actually think vet care is relatively cheaper and more efficient. If you have only ever had NHS treatment the true cost can seem horrendous because as you have said it's hidden from most people. We now expect the same level of care, investigations and treatment for our pets as we do ourselves and that means the cost is much higher.

I think a lot of the time people simply don't take their pets to the vets or go for the cheap option if they don't have insurance or the funds. I know someone who has paid out over £10,000 for one condition whereas I think if you didn't have insurance a lot of people would have taken the PTS option even though it was a relatively young dog.

We have just avoided the possibility of surgery for a slipped disc on my dog but if it had been required that would have been over £5000 at a specialist vet surgery but would have included an MRI. For me to have the same surgery it would have been much more money grin

My own vets used to let me know how much things were going to cost upfront when we first had illnesses and accidents with our dog so they have always been mindful of the cost for people. However, they don't bother now because they know I don't care and just want what they clinically advise.

BiteyShark Tue 26-Feb-19 14:58:46

However, they don't bother now because they know I don't care and just want what they clinically advise.

I realised how flippant that sounded but what I meant is that they sometimes give me cheaper options but given that I have insurance I want the 'best' option clinically rather than the cheapest. If you don't have a good pot of savings or insurance then cost can often be a major factor.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 26-Feb-19 16:10:57

As part of the RCVS code of conduct we are required to provide itemised bills, detailed estimates and keep clients appraised of costs. Even those clients who are insured should have costs discussed with them through out treatment.
Gall bladder removal is specialist surgery and not something that every practice will do hence the high cost of that. It actually is very uncommon so make sure you understand the rational for it.

BiteyShark Tue 26-Feb-19 16:20:06

As part of the RCVS code of conduct we are required to provide itemised bills

I remember getting my invoice after a three week illness where he was admitted over several days with lots of investigations and treatments. All 3 double sided pages of it grin

Parly Sat 02-Mar-19 21:22:12

Vet costs are always expensive right across the board which is why insurance is an absolute must for everyone. I don't know how anyone could realistically afford to manage paying for vet fees otherwise.

Just be aware that some places are known to be particularly naughty in running up fees and the worst offender by far tends to be Vets4Pets.

Not all of course – there are the good practices with exceptional staff and services and it being perhaps the biggest franchise means it generates more reviews than most but some of the general working practice leads much to be desired.

A high number of complaints are with regard to extortionate fees and providing all sorts of treatment without obtaining consent beforehand.

As with all good vets they should and will treat and ensure the essential treatment is given but should then contact owners, discuss options and obtain consent to carry out anything further.

Last practice we used were great in helping me with a dog that was taken ill very suddenly but took it upon themselves to test for everything, run scans and x-rays and do all sorts before casually and quite cheerily telling us the bill was just shy of £400.

We were fortunate in being able to settle the bill but I asked for a breakdown of costs which was akin to pulling teeth before they gave me. Sure enough the cost included treatment and non-essential tests that they should have asked for consent beforehand the total costs for essential urgent / emergency care being just £150.

The last and final issue we had was after having a dog castrated. Again the fees are never cheap nor do we scrimp or complain but their fees for castration were higher than most and we paid upfront in cash just over £300 all in.

The week after we went for the post-op check up just to make sure the stitches were OK and the wound healing which took literally less than one minute and on the way out, they called us back to say we hadn't paid for the consult fee of £40 hmm

Again I don't ever begrudge the cost of vet fees nor am I having a pop either but having already paid a lump sum up front in cash for an all in operation, I was not being charged another £40 for someone to literally lean over, look at what was left of my dog's bollocks and go “Yeah fine” They had back and forth with the owner who agreed to “let it go this time” and with that, I changed practices.

Really hacked me off that she dared to imply we were trying to swing and not pay up never mind charge extra.

All vet fees are expensive and nobody can really gripe about paying for what is our responsibility as dog owners. I just don't like being flat out shafted and swindled and will pay over and above the going rate so long as it's clear and transparent from the outset.

The health plans they offer cost more per month for one dog than I pay for two horses.

Insurance wise, PDSA offer great insurance with full cover and very reasonable rates for older dogs and dogs from rescue with little or no background and medical history. Not only that your premiums help to run the surgeries for people that do need help with their vet costs smile

FriendOrFaux Sat 02-Mar-19 21:31:50

Our pooch is insured with Bought by Many, it has zero excess with £7k cover per year.

A few weeks ago, Ddog started vomiting so we took him to the vets. Ddog is always chewing / eating non edible things so the vet wanted to rule out a blockage, plus he was starting to show signs of dehydration.

He got put on a drip and needed overnight care. Xray the following day, plus blood tests, and he stayed on the drip.

Final diagnosis was gastritis. He was on meds for a week and made a full recovery.

Cost just shy of £1400.

Thankfully insurance reimbursed me in full.

Insurance is essential with a dog/cat!!

Parly Tue 05-Mar-19 01:01:17

uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.vets4pets.com

MattMagnolia Tue 05-Mar-19 20:41:05

For all out of hours care we have to go to referral practice in the town 22 miles away. They have wonderful facilities and everything costs about double what our own vets charge.
When our dog was there, very ill in the middle of the night, the vet asked how much our insurance would pay and I told her I could not pay the likely fees on top of that. She went ahead with operating because I could not say no.
Our little dog died and the bill was just under what the insurance would pay, fixed at that by a compassionate young vet.

smackbangwhollop Sun 10-Mar-19 21:42:32

Sorry but I would get a second opinion without telling the new vet what your current vet diagnosed.

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