Showing posts with label vet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vet. Show all posts

How To Spend Less At Your Pet's Vet

My dog's allergy medication was running low so I had to schedule a visit to the veterinarian so they could poke and pinch her a little before they would renew her prescription. I personally hate having to visit the doctor when I'm healthy and well, and I don't like doing it for my pet either. They insisted she needed a visit which would cost about $56 just for the exam, plus more.

Well, I loaded up all her meds we would want a prescription for - her allergy pills, flea and heartguard stuff, and some ointment for occasional ear infections. When we got there, the vet of course wanted to give us an estimate for an oral tooth cleaning, some unneeded shots, a fecal parasite test, a heartworm test and a senior dog blood profile to check her organs. We declined the tooth cleaning and blood profile right off since those would cost hundreds each alone. They came back in the room with a printed estimate of $440 for the visit for a perfectly healthy dog. It really pissed me off. When I asked if any of them were required for her health and well being, or for her prescriptions the answer was no. How about that, they wanted to have us pay hundreds of dollars for tests that would not lead to any diagnosis or health improvement.

They also put the three medications we wanted on the "estimate" and they charged double the price of my online vet pharmacy I use ( I was going to concede and get the ear ointment at the vet since it was only $47, but when I quickly looked it up using my smartphone I discovered it was only $25 at the online pharmacy. The vet also wanted $113 for some pills that I can get online for $56. I told them I wanted paper prescriptions and to please fax them to my online vet pharmacy, since I had the order on hold pending their Rx.

We ended up paying $93 for the visit, which is a far cry from over $400. Here are my tips to save money at the vet:
  1. Just because a vet offers or recommends a service does not mean your dog needs it. You can brush your dogs teeth at home with a soft moistened cloth with baking soda. Ask the doctor if the recommended service is required. If it's not, don't do it.
  2. If you never board your dog, you don't need a lot of those shots. We decline all shots except Rabies.
  3. You don't need to get heartworm or fecal parasite tests. Give your dog Revolution which has heartworm and flea protectants together in one application. You can tell if your dog gets worms by looking at its poo when you clean it up outside. There are over the counter meds to control it if it is a problem.
  4. The older your dog is, the more dangerous it is to do surgery or sedate them for procedures. Consider the risk and reward of the process. Our dog is 13 years old and has fatty deposits under her skin that are more noticeable. They are harmless and certainly not worth sedation and surgery to do a biopsy to find out they are benign.
  5. Get all prescriptions written out and fax them to an outside online vet pharmacy to save money. Your vet will charge double the price of an online pharmacy. Sometimes, your vet will prescribe a simple antiobiotic ointment or pill that you can even get for free from Publix.
  6. Make sure your pet is clean and brushed, with trimmed nails and clean ears and eyes when you bring it to the vet. It will demonstrate that you care properly for your pet and you won't have them offering to bath, trim or clean your dog at their high prices. 
  7. Do not buy any products from your vet, they are all double the price of an online pharmacy. You can get the same products online.
  8. Keep your pet healthy and well, feeding it good food, and doing mini checkups at home (check paws, trim nails or hair, clean ears, eyes, mouth, teeth, brush hair, check for lumps) regularly so you can monitor if an issue is getting better or worse. Get treatment before it becomes an emergency which are very expensive visits.
A healthly pet is a happy pet, and will greet you warmly every time you walk in the house.