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Vet prices in perspective

Posted by LizRVT (My Page) on
Tue, May 14, 13 at 1:41

So many people whine and complain about the cost of veterinary medicine. So, I thought I'd let you know a few things. My totally normal labor and delivery cost $30,000!!!!!!!!! My daughter's one-year check up with vaccines and quick blood iron level cost $720!!!!!
The average vet just out of school makes about $35,000-$40,000 in California. The average Registered Veterinary Technician in California makes $13-$18/hour. These techs administer and monitor anesthesia, suture, clean teeth, extract teeth, administer vaccines, perform CPR, place IVs, draw blood, etc. RVTs have to have an AA degree and take a state board exam.
So, next time someone feels the need to yell at the techs and receptionists about costs, please think twice. You're yelling at someone who, more than likely, makes less than you do. They don't make the prices, they can't change the prices. I'm sure they would all love to be able to make all medical decisions without thinking about money, but that is not the reality we live in. If all pets had insurance, more could be done, but that's not possible today.
If my dog were to get a general exam and vaccines, it would cost me about $100...not nearly the $720 as in human medicine.
So, all I'm trying to say is MOST vets are not "in it for the money" like I hear so many people say. Are there bad vets, of course. Same as any line of work, humans are not always honest.
I'd say 90% of people in vet med are renting their homes because they can't afford to own, are living with roommates or have a spouse that supports them.
It's always your choice what you do with your pets, don't get mad at the staff because you were offered "Plan A". That's the best medicine, if you can't afford it, there's usually a plan B, C and sometimes D. Veterinary personnel are here for you and your pet, please treat them with respect.
Thank you


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Vet prices in perspective

California is not the entire US.

The vets around here make quite good money. I have no idea what staff makes, but there is not a high turnover.

How do I know? Because I know several vets. For over 20 years, we had dogs(2) cats(2) and horses(6). I had accounts at 5 different vets---because when a horse gets sick/hurt enough for a vet, you best get a vet quickly.

All of the vets I used were also happy to teach clients how to save money by doing many of the daily treatments themselves.

I also worked for a vet who had a small office. He lived in a quite expensive part of town. He had a full time housekeeper. He also deserved every dime he earned because he was honest and compassionate.

The vet folks here in Kansas City are doing quite well financially. Most of them deserve their success, but they have to earn the respect and money.


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RE: Vet prices in perspective

My DD is a vet. When someone complains about the price of a visit to the vet's office, all they are considering is the time they spend with the vet. I suggest that everyone looks around the vet office and realize that there overhead and employees that must be paid through the fees the vet charges. A vet office has employees other than the vet and vet tech. There may be an office manager, receptionist, etc. that must be paid. The exam rooms have to be cleaned between patients. The office must be kept clean. There is rent, insurance, maintenance and utilities that must be paid. Office supplies, computers, software etc are more expenses. Labs (physical space and supplies) must be paid for. Xray machines are expensive and take up space. A vet's office has more or less the same expenses as a doctor's office.

There is far more to running a vet's office than just what the vet gets paid.


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RE: Vet prices in perspective

I certainly understand all of the points made above. And when my pets need medical care, I don't hesitate to take them to the appropriate professional for appropriate care. I know that there is no substitute for the correct professional, in any situation.

What really sticks in my craw is internet pet forums, where owners come to describe a series of symptoms their pet is experiencing, and expecting the other readers/participants to diagnose the trouble and tell them a cheap cheap cheap way to make the troubles go away, thereby saving these posters the time and $$ required to take their beloved pet to a veterinarian for REAL care.


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RE: Vet prices in perspective

I have owned animals most of my life. My animals get 'real' care. And seldom need to be treated by a vet.

I did a fair amount of treatments for our horses---to include injections of medicine, giving oral medications, treating various cuts/bruises/sores/etc. with out needing a vets advice.

I learned many of the procedures and knowledge necessary for doing the aforementioned treatments by asking and talking(pre Internet) to other people.

That is not all bad.


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RE: Vet prices in perspective

I was thinking more like the thread falling down on this forum entitled: "Sick baby boer goats"

I see way to many of those one the internet.


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RE: Vet prices in perspective

It's hard to take care of your pets today. When they are ill, you know it will be $300-$500 to go to the vet because of the diagnostics. That can be just the beginning, as they often do not show anything or know what's wrong.

No matter how you slice it, it is very difficult to care for our pets these days. Do the costs really need to be that high, at the expense of the animals (a lot of people simply can not afford it)? I don't know. But those who do the charging certainly seem to be living quite well around here. Even decades ago, before all the high tech advances of today, our vet was doing extremely well. Not that they shouldn't make a good living but, as with people medicine, it's not realistic. People can't afford it. Medical care shouldn't be just for the rich kids.


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