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Pet Owners Claim Vet Bills are too Expensive


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The problem is owners dont want to shop around or drive further than 10 mins.
As a Boarding kennel owner i see bill of $200 plus for a vaccination & i just think OMFG why would you pay that crazy price .
We have some with vacc,yearly heartworn injection nearly $500 .
People can make smart choices or pay what they want 

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NSW Parliament has a current inquiry happening into the vet industry workforce shortage - and it raised many issues, including costs of treatment and why those costs are what they are.

 

If you are interested to see the challenges facing the vet industry, have a read of the submissions here... https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/committees/inquiries/Pages/inquiry-details.aspx?pk=2964#tab-submissions

 

Trigger warning: some of the submissions talk about suicide and reasons for it in the industry. Number 106 is particularly heartbreaking to read.

 

Transcripts of the 2 hearings held can be found here... https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/committees/inquiries/Pages/inquiry-details.aspx?pk=2964#tab-hearingsandtranscripts

 

Video of both hearings can be found here...

 

Day 1, 29 August -

 

 

Day 2, 30 August -

 

It is all well and good to bemoan the cost of certain services, but when one can understand WHY those costs are what they are, then maybe a little less vitriole might be forthcoming.

 

Of course, there will be some in any industry that might be taking advantage of the situation, but generally vet clinics are simply trying to survive just like every other business in these economic times. If overheads are not met, then those businesses will close, which only further compounds the problem, yes?

 

Another thing to think about is a simple comparison to a human medical procedure... such as spaying/hysterectomy. Compare the cost charged for a 65-70kg female Great Dane spay to a hysterectomy for a human woman. Under the human medicare and health insurance scheme, out of pocket expenses will still be higher than what a vet charges in total for a dog spay for a similarly sized dog breed (Great Dane) - AFTER medicare and health insurance contributions have been applied - so vets really aren't price gouging in that regard, are they? Pet dentistry costs are also significantly cheaper than human dentistry costs. It's all relative.

 

Just some food for thought here... feel free to read and be fully aware of all the contributing factors before passing final judgement on the vet industry.

 

T.

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6 hours ago, tdierikx said:

NSW Parliament has a current inquiry happening into the vet industry workforce shortage - and it raised many issues, including costs of treatment and why those costs are what they are.

 

If you are interested to see the challenges facing the vet industry, have a read of the submissions here... https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/committees/inquiries/Pages/inquiry-details.aspx?pk=2964#tab-submissions

 

Trigger warning: some of the submissions talk about suicide and reasons for it in the industry. Number 106 is particularly heartbreaking to read.

 

Transcripts of the 2 hearings held can be found here... https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/committees/inquiries/Pages/inquiry-details.aspx?pk=2964#tab-hearingsandtranscripts

 

Video of both hearings can be found here...

 

Day 1, 29 August -

 

 

Day 2, 30 August -

 

It is all well and good to bemoan the cost of certain services, but when one can understand WHY those costs are what they are, then maybe a little less vitriole might be forthcoming.

 

Of course, there will be some in any industry that might be taking advantage of the situation, but generally vet clinics are simply trying to survive just like every other business in these economic times. If overheads are not met, then those businesses will close, which only further compounds the problem, yes?

 

Another thing to think about is a simple comparison to a human medical procedure... such as spaying/hysterectomy. Compare the cost charged for a 65-70kg female Great Dane spay to a hysterectomy for a human woman. Under the human medicare and health insurance scheme, out of pocket expenses will still be higher than what a vet charges in total for a dog spay for a similarly sized dog breed (Great Dane) - AFTER medicare and health insurance contributions have been applied - so vets really aren't price gouging in that regard, are they? Pet dentistry costs are also significantly cheaper than human dentistry costs. It's all relative.

 

Just some food for thought here... feel free to read and be fully aware of all the contributing factors before passing final judgement on the vet industry.

 

T.

 

 

No 106 goes straight to the heart of it. Bravo.

 

Richard would be backing that vet 100 percent

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16 hours ago, Dogsfevr said:

The problem is owners dont want to shop around or drive further than 10 mins.
As a Boarding kennel owner i see bill of $200 plus for a vaccination & i just think OMFG why would you pay that crazy price .
We have some with vacc,yearly heartworn injection nearly $500 .
People can make smart choices or pay what they want 

It’s not as simple as that.
 

I live equidistant from four towns, all at least 40 minutes drive away. After several bad experiences with vets, I now prioritise my confidence in the vets and whether they offer emergency care, both during office hours and after hours. Cost of vaccination is low down on my list of priorities.

 

The shortage of vets means that even those who do provide emergency care will often refuse to see a new patient in an emergency. It’s a false economy to choose a vet for the cheapest vaccinations if they do not provide the best emergency care or if they refer all emergency cases to very expensive specialist centres.

 

Last year, I bought a puppy… the runt from a litter with a. Dry good pedigree. She was a fussy eater but stopped eating entirely on a Thursday, a month after I brought her home. She was obviously unwell on the Friday morning so I took her to a highly recommended local vet who diagnosed congenital kidney disease and referred me on to a specialist centre a couple of hours away. The (non-specialist) Vet at the specialist centre told me that she wouldn’t be seen by a specialist until Monday at the earliest and quoted me a minimum of $6000 for in-hospital care over the weekend and another $6000 for diagnostic tests before any treatment commenced. The prognosis wasn’t good so I opted for euthanasia; I think she was close to death by the time they euthanised her. The two vet consults and euthanasia cost over $1200. If her condition had been treatable, who knows how much her care and treatment would have cost?
 

I know that the costs of running a practice have skyrocketed, so a matching rise in vet fees is only to be expected. However, the choice of not treating a potentially treatable illness or of spending more than they can afford is an impossible quandary for many families. I’m sure it’s difficult for vets too, particularly in corporatised clinics where their own choices are limited.

 

 

Edited by DogsAndTheMob
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I haven't and won't read those links @tdierikx, simply because the news is so awful these days and every day.  My first vet was my brother, but he has been retired for nearly 20 years, so I have seen many vets and many specialists over the time, but I was able to see the enormous stresses that vets and their staff experience, not just occasionally, but day after day after day.  The horrors they see, the vitriol spat at them, the lies they are told about how long the pet has been ill, or whether it has access tdo poisons, etc etc.  And then of course there are the physical threats.  OMG, I used to be afraid for my brother from time to time and I do recall one occasion where he went down to the clinic late at night to meet an enraged pet owner and his wife called the police she was so worried for his safety.  

 

It seems to me that people feel so entitled today.  Something goes wrong in their lives then someone else should pay for it, usually the government, and that means the public.  People seem to expect to be paid for just being alive.  

 

I was listening to a story on TV news today about a woman who gave birth to a premature baby and used up all her paid maternity leave while the baby was in hospital.  She now believes that parents of premature babies should have their paid leave extended so they can have time at home when their babies come out of hospital.  Now I cannot imagine the fear those parents would have gone through everyday before the baby was well enough to go home and was on track to be a healthy baby.  But that is life, things happen all the time which throw our lives into chaos and confusion.   Where do all these people clamouring that the government should do something think the money comes from?

 

And so it seems with pet ownership.  People seem to think it is going to be all fun and games and cuddling on the couch.  Nope, pets get sick and because of the huge strides made in veterinary medicine, they tend to think everything can be cured and when their pet isn't, they look to blame someone.  

 

 

 

 

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I agree with you LMO .  People today have such a elevated sense of entitlement.  

 

As well I saw that article today regarding the premature baby and her request for extended paid maternity leave.

 

Back when we were all paying 19% interest on our mortgages nobody thought of going to the newspapers or complaining to ACA or our local member etc.

We all just got on with it.

 

I didn't get maternity leave or any of the other perks some people today get from the government.  It's all about them and what they want.

Imagine how they would have coped with 19% interest rates.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Loving my Oldies said:

Where do all these people clamouring that the government should do something think the money comes from?

 

This should also go for small single interest party members of parliament's bills... if not effectively costed showing where funds for that legislative change will come from, then the bills should be summarily rejected until those costings have been thoroughly worked out. I recently read and contributed to consultation on Regulations for the WA Stop Puppy Farming legislation - just about every section of the proposal listed "low economic impact", but was going to require many more human hours of data input and maintenance, the building from scratch a database for said information (and maintenance of same to ensure fit for purpose), and quite a bit of upskilling training for the staff tasked to do all the work... but as most of that work was going to be foisted upon local government agencies, obviously State funds were not going to be forthcoming. Do they not realise that at some point, there is going to be significant "economic impact" for those tasked with doing the work the Regs will require? Where do they think funds for all the extra staff, etc, is going to come from?

 

Legislation is all well and good for politicians to feel like they are doing something to resolve a perceived issue, but when long term consequences and costing is not even a part of the equation, we have a significant problem, wouldn't you say?

 

Of note, the WA regulations draft has been compiled by the current WA State government, not a small single interest party, so they should be fully cognizant of available funds - but simply abrogating the cost of enforcing State legislation to local government with no support from State government is NOT actually "low economic impact", is it? Somewhere along the line, someone is going to have to pay for it... most likely ratepayers in this case.

 

This is your elected officials at work... *sigh*

 

T.

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Literally everything is more expensive. :shrug: Do I call 9 news about my grocery bill? Or how much it costs to buy a tank of petrol? 

Not sure how others feel, but people grizzling about vet bills to the media is getting pretty old.
Vets work hard and deserve to be paid without the extra pressure to have to justify their fees.  

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The media is a huge problem today, more than ever.  They all want to be stars and papers want graphic horror headlines and coverage.    I never listen to commercial radio, or commercial TV news coverage.  I can’t bear the stupidity, shouting, rubbish that comes out of those people’s mouths.  And they become stars!!  Talk about seeking the bottom rung on the ladder.  
 

Vets come in all shapes and sizes.  I am sure there are as many overcharging or not particularly good at their job as there are in any other line of business.  There would be countless more just wanting to do their best by their clients and their pets.  
 

 

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On 16/11/2023 at 10:11 AM, persephone said:

Where I live, folks often drive to towns sometimes a 6 hr round trip for less expensive prices...there is a mobile vet , but obviously she cannot do surgeries etc , but she is in high demand for ordinary things.

Mobile vets are wonderful.   The one we had in WA did minor surgery (castration on the kitchen table), and was so much better than going to the hospital for puppy vaccinations, AI, euthanasia, prog testing, minor wounds, etc.  I don't mind paying the vet, it's the practice manager in franchise vet practices that I have qualms about.

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13 hours ago, sandgrubber said:

it's the practice manager in franchise vet practices that I have qualms about

 

That was actually brought up at the NSW vet inquiry - and how it affects smaller non-franchied vets.

 

Vet science students are increasingly being taught to rely on "gold standard" diagnostic measures, such as blood testing, high-end imaging technology (CT, MRI), and are generally only prepared to work in suburban settings where access to refer clients to specialist services is high. Suburban clinics are also increasingly restricting their range of services to only traditional pet species (dogs and cats), and the basics for their medical upkeep (desexing, dentals, etc) - everything else gets referred to specialists. Unfortunately, most regional, rural, and remote vets do not have this facility available to them, so their range of skills need to be much broader. They may be needed to perform an emergency caesarian on a livestock animal one day, a working dog leg amputation the next, and any number of other issues that city animals will get sent to a specialist for. Do not underestimate the workload or amazing wealth of knowledge and skillset that a country vet needs to have just to stay in business.

 

Back to "gold standard" diagnostics. The increasing reliance on technology to assist with diagnoses means that clinics have to have at least a blood testing machine, and x-ray machine, and if they have the money/space, even more expensive equipment that all needs to be initially bought, then constantly maintained. This all costs the clinic a lot of money, and those costs need to be covered as well as just the man hours devoted to diagnosing and treating animals.

 

Another major issue vets are facing is their legal requirement to treat strays and wildlife regardless if an owner is identified. They must either afford pain relief and stabilise an injured animal for transfer to the authorities in charge of strays/wildlife, or euthanaise it on compassionate grounds. These services are rarely ever paid for by anyone, and cause a significant financial burden to the clinic. Those costs unfortunately need to be recouped somehow, so must be factored into costing structures for fee-paying clients. Increasingly, local government rangers will refuse to pick up an injured stray animal, instead instructing members of the public to take them to a vet themselves - which basically means that councils are then not liable for any treatment costs for those stray animals. I won't go into the latest strategies employed by WIRES regarding injured wildlife found by the public, but let's say that it is designed to make vets bear the initial costs for treating injured wildlife rather than WIRES (who have around $90 million still in the bank left over from the bushfire donations it got).

 

I seriously urge those upset about rising vet costs to watch the videos or read the transcripts and submissions from the NSW Vet Inquiry... and urge you to pass the links on to everyone else you know. The more people who understand the issues faced, and get actively involved in addressing those issues, the better it will eventually be for everyone.

 

T.

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