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Old 07-14-2013, 02:41 PM
Location: North Idaho
32,480 posts, read 47,405,393 times
Reputation: 77676


Yikes. I've been on the phone getting quotes for rabies shots for 3 dogs. Rabies shots, only, nothing else.

The vet I have been using wanted $275, and that included a discount for bring in 3 dogs for one office visit.

The next vet wanted $204 for the shots.

I was quoted $475 to do 3 rabies blood titres. I didn't even ask how much for shipping papers. If just shots are over $200, then shipping papers for 3 dogs is probably over $200.

I know that vets have expenses, office, staff, electric bill, insurance, but that is one heck of a mark-up.

I'm suspecting that if absolutely necessary care is going to cost this much that many pet owners are going to be putting off essential care like vaccinations and spay/neuter.
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:50 PM
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,054 posts, read 23,236,101 times
Reputation: 31917
Many humane societies and rescues offer low-cost clinics and our doggie daycare also does vaccinations at a much reduced cost. But you are correct that veterinary care is getting very expensive and I don't know how families can always afford it. Our vet in Philly gave us a discount if we brought all of the pets in at one time. I haven't seen that done in Delaware.
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:42 PM
13,043 posts, read 20,698,725 times
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Is this visit just for routine rabies vaccination (note some vets require an initial health examination for first time patients and that raises the cost) or is it part of a required procedural process (such as entering a rabies free zone)?
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:47 PM
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,912 posts, read 24,530,389 times
Reputation: 5162
I'm only familiar with recent visits with my cat, but I have to think those quotes are including an exam charge, even the $204 one, or else that is as you said some serious markup.

My vet actually had two price levels for exam on the cats (he only saw cats). The regular exam charge was I think $40, and then the slightly more cursory "recheck" was something ridiculously low like $25. He used his own judgment as to what was required when, and a few times I was billed for a recheck, although I never felt like he was less thorough with the exam that I can think of. Heh. A good guy, definitely. One of the techs told me he made them call around and check prices on things and made sure to set his prices low because he wants to make sure people can afford the care for their cats. And apparently he said if anyone ever complained about prices they should tell them to go somewhere else. There was nothing there he was gouging anyone on, and he definitely wasn't getting rich being a vet. I dunno how he does it, graduated from Penn, maybe he somehow didn't have as much debt, who knows, but really ideal for us.

I get the feeling that vets like this are the exception rather than the rule, but they do exist.
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:39 PM
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,602 posts, read 9,012,906 times
Reputation: 8244
My regular vet always asks if I need a check up with the shot. If it's only the shot, it's $25, the check up is an extra $50.
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:46 PM
Location: Kansas
25,561 posts, read 21,747,086 times
Reputation: 26142
OK, I now understand low cost of living better. We just took one of our dogs to a new vet since we relocated. Rabies shot was $11.00. The other dog just went in to have her leg looked at and a urinary tract infection - $97.00 included office call, urinalysis and antibiotic. That is still a lot of money where we live since a decent wage is about $10.00 an hour with many making less. I really feel for the senior citizens when their pets get ill and have decided that I will not get any more pets after these two dogs and the guinea pig go to their just rewards. We are in Central KS, smaller town and this vet office since swamped is probably the lower priced of the 4 in town but we chose because it is only a few blocks away.
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:00 PM
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 18,085,772 times
Reputation: 10354
While back I read that the profit from selling basic meds (flea and HW preventative) was a cornerstone of veterinary profits.
And that now that so many people are saving a buck or two per month, or getting generic Frontline etc online or from pet stores, vets are hurting. All their other costs are rising, but their income from basic routine services are dropping.

My (former, he passed away last year) vet was absolutely anything but well-off. He became a friend as well as my vet. He was not a vet who tried to sell unecessary meds and services by a long shot. I know another vet who works with rescues and low-cost clinics and she is also not hardly living the life of Riley. I know yet another vet who will waive office fees and give breaks to cat rescues, big-time.

I am sure there are vets who are charlatans but honestly good vets are out there and they need to make money in order to keep a clean office with updated equipment, good office and tech staff and insurance.

Yes there are expensive vets out there. However, owning a pet is not a right and veterinarians should be under no pressure at all to provide vet care. Any more than an Audi dealership should be obligated to provide cheap care for an Audi. Bottom line, if you cannot afford prevailing rates for vet care and basic services for your pet let alone emergencies, perhaps that's a sign you really can't afford said pet?
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:59 PM
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,602 posts, read 9,012,906 times
Reputation: 8244
I did have a great vet in Hood River who was very reasonable. I think it was about $35 for a visit and $15 for the shot. I'm happy to give you his name if you want to make a drive and hit the fruit loop.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:33 PM
1,105 posts, read 1,617,877 times
Reputation: 1444
I put down our 12 year old lab a few years ago. She was ill and no hope to ever be a healthy dog again. She lived her life span, but I saw at the end that once a pet develops a serious illness it's beyond what I can afford. I'm caring for my elderly mom with dementia, and she asks every day when will we ever have a dog again. It's breaking my heart, but I'm just too afraid of getting another dog. My family was always lucky with our dogs over the years that they never ran up a lot of vet bills and only became ill towards the end of their life. My neighbors have had just the opposite experience. They've had five dogs in a row all get the worst sickness with brain tumors and various cancers. I could never afford care for something like that. I just don't see a way to have another dog again. It makes me sad though.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:15 PM
21 posts, read 32,948 times
Reputation: 83
I second what SXMgirl said. Local humane societies typically offer low-cost routine care...shots, neuter/spay, and care for minor illnesses.

And if they don't have a clinic, they can almost always recommend a low-cost provider of shots.
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