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Old 03-17-2013, 05:47 PM
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 20,464,647 times
Reputation: 5088


Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
I simply do't get the prices some of you are quoting. Its ALWAYS at least $200-$400+ for any type of visit, including basic lab panels, etc. Are perhaps some of you living in the past and quoting charges from a bygone era? Used to be I could rent a decent apt for $450/month, too!

One can easily exceed $360 in vet care at ONE visit, and that's just for basic stuff. No, I'm not ready to run off to Banfield, just looking for some place I can have half a chance of affording, especially for 3 cats!
Well, the bygone era is about 7 months ago. I'm about to go again; perhaps he has raised his rates. But this guy sees cats only, has a very small one-vet office, and one assistant as far as I know. I really don't know how he does it. Maybe something else on the side. Maybe an inheritance and he does it because he loves it. I really don't know but presumably he makes it work somehow. He doesn't drive a fancy car that's for sure. His office is in a middle to upper middle class suburb of Pittsburgh. I didn't look it up but I'm almost positive my last amount was $130 which is the office consult and the lab for thyroid recheck (which he sends out). It was definitely not in the neighborhood of or above $200. Amber has never had a visit that expensive.

I don't know what part of the country you're in, but I suspect that is a big factor. Also, shop around if you want. Some places can cost significantly less than others even in the same area.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:25 PM
9,657 posts, read 15,784,643 times
Reputation: 15967
Thanks for all the comments, etc.

What is VCA?

I did take a cat to a Banfields' once, and was pleased enough for what they did. However, that was years ago and in a different location. That was Marshmallow, our kitty who passed away last week. He was a rescue cat, and we didn't know his true age. We took him to Banfield's immediately upon adoption, they did a well check for $35. I didn't want to bring in diseases, etc, to my other pets. However, he was much older than we realized. He passed away last week from diabetes and related complications. he appeared perfectly healthy until a few days before he died.

I do have 3 other cats, all older, 5, 7 & 8 years. Knowing they are at the point to develop age-related problems, I would like to get some sort of wellness care set up. Banfield sounds good from a monetary point of view, but I wonder if that's really the best for my kitties. Our local vet charges $69/visit, then, of course, everything else is additional. The advantage, he's close, but I should check around. We can barely afford our own health care, and we have insurance But our fur babies are part of the family
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:04 PM
Location: Northern California
970 posts, read 1,821,839 times
Reputation: 1390
Banfield vets are required to try and sell you stuff you don't need. No thanks. I'll stick to the cheaper private vets around here.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:25 PM
2,873 posts, read 4,740,596 times
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Banfield is run like a sales office. Behind closed doors, all of the focus will be on numbers...upsells, x-sells, packages, etc. I can guarantee you staff are rated and rewarded (or punished) by their numbers.

I worked in sales and in that kind of environment, there's no difference between the latest vacuum cleaner and vaccines. That doesn't mean good people who care about pet can't work at Banfield. I'm sure most of their staff love animals and want to do right by then. But they are trained that 'doing right' means pushing product.

Also keep in mind that if you sign onto a wellness plan with them and your pet dies, you don't get a refund on the 'unused' proportion of the plan (or at least this is the way it was a year back).

When sales become the focus, the solution to every problem becomes to sell. A smaller practice may look at each patient and decide which vaccination plan is right for them, as an example. At Banfields, the individual patient is secondary to the sales push, which means all pets are recommended to get the same vaccinations even when they don't need it. It's great for sales but bad for medicine.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:59 AM
Location: Talmadge, San Diego, CA
13,290 posts, read 25,167,309 times
Reputation: 8071
Originally Posted by passwithoutatrace View Post
Banfield vets are required to try and sell you stuff you don't need. No thanks. I'll stick to the cheaper private vets around here.
I said the exact thing.
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