Cheapo-Vet vs Regular Full Service Veterinary
Discount providers are not telling the whole story by
any means, they are "spinning" tales and manipulating numbers to make
it appear that they are on equal ground with other full service pet care
facilities, but less expensive. Some are implying or outright asserting, that
most veterinary facilities over charge for their services and that the
"Discount" provider can do the same work for less money. They are making it look like quality facilities are ripping people off. Here's what
they're not telling you, discount providers list prices on what they call
"shoppable" items. These are items that are the most common for
people to call around and get general pricing on. Things like spays, neuters,
declawing, dental cleaning, vaccinations etc. What they don't tell you is that
their prices for other services (if they even offer other services) are
typically quite a bit higher than the average full service veterinary facility.
Further, the quality of care in these discount places pales in comparison.
High quality veterinary facilities have a professional
staff, some of which need to licensed by the state, like RVT's (the veterinary
equivalent of a registered nurse) High quality facilities also have rigorous
training programs for all other staff persons from the reception staff to the
RVT assistants. The discount providers typically don't have anywhere near the
same level of trained staff and they usually run very short handed increasing
wait times for clients and adding medical risk to patents from improper or
incompetent supervision. Sometimes these discount providers have staff persons
that are absolutely unqualified to dispense medications, assist in surgery and
monitor anesthesia, that's assuming they monitor at all. The reason that these
discount providers can supposedly offer lower pricing on a few
"shoppable" items is because they charge more elsewhere and they cut
corners with staffing and medicine, sometimes leading to pets getting inferior
care, this can be potentially life threatening to the pet. As a consumer, if
you are considering a discount or provider you should look below and ask the
discount guy if they do all of these things, (then make him/her prove it) like
pain management after the surgery. In the case of a spay, this is a MAJOR
abdominal surgery and if the proper care and pain control are not used your pet
will be in a great deal of malaise and discomfort for days.
At most full service veterinary facilities they pride
themselves on quality and safety at a reasonable price. Low end prices are
typically indicative of cutting corners particularly in areas that the average
pet owner would really never be the wiser. Scary!
Here is a sample list of items that a high quality pet care facility,
routinely does during any anesthetic procedure. The discount providers don't
even come close to this level of necessary care and safety:
Cost of anesthetic procedure (Spay, Neuter, Abscess Trmt
Pre-anesthetic exam; to ensure that your pet is
health enough to be sedated.
Blood work to evaluate internal organ function
and anesthetic risk.
Gas inhalant anesthesia (isoflorane- used in
IV catheter and IV fluids
Postoperative pain management
All hospitalization (overnight)
Constant electronic monitoring of heart rate and
ECG monitor during surgery
Anesthetic Tech present during throughout
Technician monitored recovery period
(12-day post-op surgery recheck and suture
If you believe that your pet has been injured or improperly cared for by a discount provider, we encourage you to contact any or all of the following authorities: Local Department of Health, Veterinary Board of Governors, Attorney Generals office, Better Business Bureau and let them know the circumstances surrounding your pets care. You can also post Internet reviews detailing the events so that other consumers can be made aware of the dangers at that facility. You may also want to contact your local news media and see if they are interested in running your story or doing an "investigation" into the discount providers medical practices.
Staff- If you currently work for or have worked for a discount veterinary provider we welcome your stories. Please use the contact us page to submit abuse, death, mistreatment or just crappy service stories. We encourage all staff that work for the discount guy, to take pics & video of improper care, abuse, death, etc & report it to any or all of the above authorities. Most of the time you can report abuse anonymously to avoid being targeted by your employer.