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Thread: Rediculars prices

  1. #1

    Rediculars prices

    Does anyone know if there is a complaints procedure for being over charged by a vet. Having spoke to someone last week who's dog has had exactly the same op as my dog, I got well and truly ripped off.

    Cheers. Matt.

  2. #2
    you could probably get in touch with the vetinary society (I think) and ask for a guideline figure, however it will be easy for the vet in question to say there were complications, it took longer etc. I ALWAYS ask for a quote. I make it quite clear that is what I will pay. If it takes longer, uses more drugs whatever well tough. As a professional they should be able to give quotes based on experience the same as I have to in my job. If I get it wrong then that's down to me. I would expect a vet to do the same.

  3. #3
    Different vets different charging structures and overheads so effectively no there isn't anyone really. You can try the practice manager / owner but that is about it, all you can do is go elsewhere next time if you are unhappy. Quotes are all well and good but they are dealing with a living creature and there can be complications depending on the procedure.

  4. #4
    AL I accept that there may be complications. There are in any form of work. This is why I ask for a quote. If the vet builds in a contingency for complications then so be it. All I want is a cost the same as I give for my work. I have done this with a couple of vets. One did try go back on this although I had made it abundantly clear I would only go ahead with the op if the fee was as agreed. This resulted in a pi**ed off vet as he expected to up his price. Which I refused to pay. He refused to give the dog back but after me leaving it there for a night he backed down. I see no reason why a professional can not give a cost pretty well on the mark. I do it every day.

  5. #5
    I'll be brave and wade in.

    No two vet practices are ever directly comparable. I know for absolute fact that two different practices can have completely different running costs and therefore different fee levels. A single handed set up where the instruments are boiled in a pan on a hob and has no trained nursing staff can charge a lot less than a nicely equipped practice with properly sterilised instruments, trained nurses etc. I know where I would chose to have my pet receive surgery.

    The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons are the people you can complain to. They really are not interested in fees unless they are grossly unreasonable. They are more down to issues of competence and professional standards.

    Give us some more information. How is your dog? How was the service? Is the dog better? All far more important than the fee.

    Vague aside - animals are complex living organisms. No two operations ever go the same. I charge in 1 of 2 ways, by time taken or a range of fees. If someone wants an estimate I will generally guess the time and give a range +50% to allow for worst case scenario. If you insisted on an absolute fixed amount then I'd again estimate high (I will never quote). It is on our consent forms that unexpected complications can increase the bill. If you don't like it find another vet. A 'simple' lump removal can take 10 minutes or 40 minutes and have blood up the walls and sweat on my brow.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  6. #6
    The op was for a gastric torsion (if that's right).
    I also need to add that it was out of hours and not my usual vet. Now I expect to pay extra for the out of hours service but my bill was 2500 more than the chap I spoke too last week.
    The dog is fine now by the way.

    Cheers. Matt.
    Last edited by 6.5/284matt; 13-05-2013 at 22:33.

  7. #7
    2500 more.

    IMHO you need to trust your vet.
    I do trust mine implicitly but I would be having a word and a look at a very detailed bill.
    My vet also understands it is not a bottomless pit with my dogs.

    Did they give you any idea of cost before treatment ? If not I think they should have called you to discuss options.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by 6.5/284matt View Post
    The op was for a gastric torsion (if that's right).
    I also need to add that it was out of hours and not my usual vet. Now I expect to pay extra for the out of hours service but my bill was 2500 more than the chap I spoke too last week.
    The is fine now by the way.

    Cheers. Matt.
    GDVs - (gastric dillation/volvulus, or 'bloat') is a very serious condition and some dogs can take a lot of nursing to even save their life. I have seen mortality rates in some studies approach 50%.

    If it was a dedicated out of hour provider things are much more expensive. They do not have the throughput of daytime vaccinations, routine neutering etc that subsidise the out of hours service. The advantage is dedicated vets and nurses available all night. That has to be paid for. It is arguably better for the dog having someone 'fresh' to operate than a vet who has already done 18 hours of work.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by 6.5/284matt View Post
    my bill was 2500 more than the chap I spoke too last week.

  10. #10
    I will second Apaches comments, it is not always possible to give a quote where animals are concerned, they are not a car or washing machine where parts can simply be replaced. Were the likely costs discussed with you before the treatment was carried out and was the estimate of costs initially provided for the same condition with the same level of care being provided? I can only speak for how I work, but I always obtain writted acceptance for the estimated costs before the work is done and then try to stick within the estimate where possible.

    Unfortunately treating dogs with a GDV can vary from being quite straightforward where the twisted stomach resolves following stomach tubing, to massively complex and very time consuming where the dog has to be aggressively stabilised before surgery to untwist the stomach, suture it in place (gastropexy) so the torsion does not recur, resect any necrotic stomach wall +/- the spleen, deal with the consequences of a devascularised stomach wall ie septic shock and peritonitis and begin the long process of rehabilitation. Would you have been happier if the dog had died but you ended up with a lesser bill, because it is entirely possible that without the care that this could have been the outcome?

    Having managed more than a few GDV cases, maintaining a good success rate comes from paying strict attention to detail. It sounds like you have recieved treatment from a vet who has given you their best attention and care, and this has allowed them to give you back a dog that almost certainly would have died without their efforts, I would suggest that you take a step back and consider what is more important, money or your dog.

    Sometimes in this world you do get what you pay for! If you still feel aggreived I would suggest that you discuss the bill with the practice who looked after your dog. One other matter to consider is whether the initial quote was realistic or a guess of the top of his head? The RCVS is the regulatory body for vets in the UK but they try not to get involved with fee disputes unless the fees have been charged fraudulently.

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