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Why is going to the vet so expensive?

(19 Posts)
Star21 Sun 07-Dec-14 22:01:40

Noticed a flea on my cat indicating that Frontline flea treatment is no longer working for us, phoned vet who said I needed a consultation. Consultation consisted of vet combing her fur, finding a flea and declaring she has fleas (yes I knew that!). Consultation cost £45 for all of 3 minute consultation and further £ 47 for Advocat pipettes. Feel like I have been ripped off, is £92 an average price to get flea treatment? When I questioned the price the receptionist told me to think of it as an early christmas present.

Siarie Sun 07-Dec-14 22:05:22

I think when I go to get 6 months of advocate for two (large) cats it costs £120 for the flea treatment.

You don't really need a consultation, all they needed was the cats weight which should be free or can be done at home. So I think they may have been a bit crap there.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 07-Dec-14 22:13:49

If the vet hasn't seen the cat for 6 months I don't think they can legally prescribe anything.

If you a degree that hard you expect a certain recompense or why bother?.

cozietoesie Sun 07-Dec-14 22:34:23

In an idle moment at the vet some months back, I was actually wondering how they make a living! I may have been lucky in my various vets but when you consider that you're dealing with (usually) a non-charitable, non-subsidised service who have to pay wages (plus all necessary overheads) for a range of staff, rent/mortgage charges, energy, council tax, phone and internet service bills, upfront carried stock costs, insurance, a whole range of consumables and charges for equipment replacement and capital investment etc etc etc etc.

I wouldn't like to be the person who has to manage money at my local practice. I've known plenty of wealthy eg dentists but I've never personally known a wealthy vet.

I do have some issues that I've always wondered about - including whether there is any propensity for some vets to go for more expensive and cutting edge treatment because it's there these days; and whether clients with pet insurance are charged more - but for most of the rest of it I just thank goodness that my lot provide such good treatment at such short notice if necessary. (And I do my homework before I go there. wink)

sashh Mon 08-Dec-14 06:23:40

Phone around, mine does an a checkup for less than £30. Annual vaccinations are about £30 and include a basic health check.

Somanyillustrations Mon 08-Dec-14 06:57:36

I'm with cozie. My ex was a vet. We were not living a life of luxury. Drug as are expensive at cost, they have very narrow profit margins. Frankly, £30K a year for what can be a 60 hour week does not seem adequate after 6 years of training. It's certainly not a career that I would encourage my DC to pursue...

PinkSparklyElephant Mon 08-Dec-14 10:19:14

While I understand that vets have to make a living I'm a bit cross that we're going to have to take George to the vet to get his flea and worm treatment. He was seen by a vet a Battersea at the beginning of November but because he hasn't seen our vet he's got to go for a check up.

We're not rushing as he's not going out at the moment (he doesn't want to so Mum is keeping him in) but I know it's got to be done sooner rather than later.

cozietoesie Mon 08-Dec-14 10:22:58

I take it he's never been to the new vet at all?

PinkSparklyElephant Mon 08-Dec-14 10:26:04

No he hasn't. Apparently he's not keen on the vet and we wanted him to settle in before shoving him in his box and taking him.

december12 Mon 08-Dec-14 10:30:00

Makes you grateful for the NHS, doesn't it?

My issue isn't the cost of individual treatments but when expensive treatments are recommended despite a very poor prognosis.

cozietoesie Mon 08-Dec-14 10:33:47

If it's any consolation, Seniorboy was vet-phobic when he came to me and as a consequence had only been two or three times in his (even then) long life. I just took him to the vet on a normal schedule for his age - and with increasing frequency since he developed arthritis - and refused to take any nonsense. (He has a very capacious carrier though - I'm always surprised at the tiny carriers people at the vets seem to cram their cats into.)

I do, however, give him nice TLC when he gets home so these days it may not be his favourite thing but he comes homes afterwards. He's well behaved.

PinkSparklyElephant Mon 08-Dec-14 10:40:46

Thanks Cozie. I think my biggest fear is catching the little sod - he's fast!

piggychops Mon 08-Dec-14 10:54:25

Much of it is overheads. Cost of building, insurance, equipment.
Take for example just having an X-Ray machine. There's the initial outlay of equipment. The cost of the plates and digital processor. The room it's housed in needs to be housed correctly with lead lining and warning lights. You need to register with the radiation monitoring body, all staff wear badges etc. Health and safety has to be up to scratch too. Now consider all the costs associated with all other equipment and services and it does add up. Also consider an average salary of £35,000 and maybe being on call one night in 4 .The conception of vets raking it in is really misconstrued.
Also vets are bound by a thing called the cascade. This means that if there is a cheap generic drug available at a fraction of the cost, they are not allowed the prescribe it. They have to use the branded medicine which says " for animal treatment only" or they can be disciplined by the RCVS.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 08-Dec-14 10:59:05

Last time I worked in the nhs they charged the pct £65 per patient for podiatry treatment.

I'd assume its the same for physio etc and much more for a gp.

R4roger Mon 08-Dec-14 11:03:20

just spent a fortune at my vets. that is my dog's christmas present. eye drops, 3 consultations £130!
got to do it though.

R4roger Mon 08-Dec-14 11:04:22

oh I lied, includes a prescription for 3 months of Advocate

R4roger Mon 08-Dec-14 11:06:32

you could just buy treatment from Pets at Home, Or Tesco even I guess, for fleas?

BikeRunSki Mon 08-Dec-14 11:21:02

So, over the counter remedies no longer work and you sought specialist advice from a professional who has trained for many years, and paid university and professional towards that. They've charged you for their service and speacilist products. Seems fair enough.

Star21 Mon 08-Dec-14 18:00:51

I wholeheartedly agree that when my cat is ill or injured I need specialist advice and that running a vet surgery is costly and they do a fantastic job, I just didn't feel I needed specialist advice for fleas. She needs safe flea treatment though so got to do it.

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