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The cost of veterinary care explained

The cost of veterinary care explained

There is no NHS for animals

The question of veterinary fees can be a concern for many pet owners and unfortunately there is no National Health Service (NHS) for pets. A veterinary practice is therefore obliged to run like a business. Staff salaries, the cost of equipment, medicines and the overheads of running the premises and vehicles make up the bulk of the fee you pay. Veterinary practices also have to add VAT on the charges.

A good Practice will make considerable ongoing investment in their staff education, training, publications and new technology - sometimes in the form of costly equipment. Veterinary medicine advances in the same way as human medicine. The range of techniques and treatments now available can save and restore to health animals that not long ago could only have been put to sleep. However this type of treatment can be expensive.

Your Vet should give you an estimate of costs before they begin treatment, and veterinary surgeons should discuss different treatment options before starting expensive procedures. Ask for an estimate beforehand and also about the cost of alternatives but remember that in some cases it may be difficult for your veterinary surgeon to predict the full nature and extent of the treatment before they have carried out the first tests.

Similarly, unexpected complications can arise because every animal is unique and can sometimes react differently to procedures and treatment.

We are partners in the care of your pets and will take your preferences and concerns about costs into account before suggesting any type of treatment plan. Frank discussions are welcomed at each stage and as pet owners ourselves, we realize there are very few cases where the costs DON'T have to be taken into account.

Veterinary fees

Many people ask why there are no standard fees within the veterinary profession. As every Practice is different, none of them will have the same overheads for all the reasons given above. The area of the country you live in will also have an effect. You can compare prices among Practices and you are free to choose the Practice where the fees suit your budget and the range of services suit your needs.

Building up a relationship with a Practice helps to make sure that your pet is cared for by a team who is fully aware of your pet's medical history.

If there is a problem

If you are unhappy with the way either you or your pet has been treated, your first step should always be to discuss your concerns honestly with your vet.

Write to or phone or email your vet as soon as you can. Many problems arise because of misunderstanding or lack of communication, and can often be easily dealt with at this first point of contact. If you are still unhappy ask to speak to the senior partner.