Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Costs and Veterinary Medicine

I was out and about last week when someone, who knew I was a veterinarian, commented to me about the cost of their dog's vet visit (they are NOT my clients) and the vaccines that the dog needed. 

I explained the cost they were given was absolutely within the standard for the area AND why their vet recommended the vaccines they did. I explained what they vaccines were for and the importance of some versus others based on lifestyle.  

She said someone told her about X vet hospital which may be cheaper. My response to that is, if you feel comfortable, trust, and are happy with your vet, money is NOT a good reason to leave. I've seen countless people make the mistake of going somewhere else because they saved $30 bucks only to be unhappy with the practice, staff or how their pet was treated medically/surgically. THE driving reason you should pick and go to a veterinarian should be based on the relationship and trust you develop. 

Two things that bothered me here though. One, did HER vet or their staff not really explain to her why they recommended those vaccines?  She didn't seem to be aware of what I was telling her. If so, that's a failure on their part.

What most people don't stop and think about is what a veterinary hospital is: A HOSPITAL. Unlike your doctor's office, your pet can get nearly all the diagnostic testing he needs (x-rays, blood work and ultrasonography, to name a few), surgery (the anesthesia, machines, surgical instruments, sterilizing equipment, etc that ALLOW us to do all those procedures) and most of his medications WITHOUT ever having to leave the building. Then there's the staff.  Oh yeah, and the overhead, the insurance costs, etc. 

All of this is very expensive - namely the cost of stocking ALL the medications we have available for you. Think of the immense convenience your veterinarian's office provides for you. You don't have to go to location A for an x-ray and then location B for blood work and then location C for a procedure AND oh by they way, in most cases you get results within minutes to hours (and sometimes at most - days!).


  1. penny wise and pound foolish.right???

  2. Pretty much..can't count the number of times people have been so sorry they left a good vet to save a few bucks..and it often cost them more in time, expense and quality of care.

  3. I agree. If you like the service you get from your vet's facility, there is no reason to change. I think part of the problem is some pet owners look at vets the same way they shop for big ticket items for their house. But their pets are NOT things. They are living beings who need proper care and attention. You don't want to get that on a discount.