Yes, veterinary bills are much like every other medical bill, they can be pricey. This is especially true if a condition that may have been much more treatable/affordable when it first presented rather than a week later when it was allowed to fester and progress to a full blown problem. Here’s a big secret, and something every veterinarian wants everyone to know: They are not in it for your money! There are a lot of occupations out there that people get into strictly for financial gain, but veterinary medicine is not one of them. Vets become doctors because it is a calling, and we have one of the most sensitive, caring, and compassionate groups of professionals you could ever imagine. Most of them would gladly give away their services for free if it meant helping animals, but they need to be able to support their business so they may continue to help other animals too.
I hate to even say it, but some of this kind crowd have no idea how to run a business. Don’t get me wrong, every last one of them are ULTRA-smart. Did you know that there are only 28 accredited vet schools in the U.S.? Not trying to offend any of the lawyers, architects, or human doctors out there but I’d say that’s a teensy bit more competitive than any other licensed professional degree! Give these vets a nose and a tail and they could probably build you a dog, but they frequently miss out on the business classes in school because they are so focused on medicine.
They ultimately do have a business to run, with payroll for their team, VERY expensive medical equipment used to diagnose problems for your pets, school loans that could have bought them a decent house, utility bills that have the power company laughing all the way to the bank, insurance costs that could choke a goat, and more. So yes, every one of them should be compensated for their time, effort, materials, schooling, knowledge, team, payroll, utilities, insurance, and everything else they need to help you provide a long and happy life for your pets.
So the next time anyone wants to balk at the $100 or so that it may cost to check and treat an ear infection for their fur baby, please don’t play the “Well, I could have had my own human doctor check my ears for $25!” Vets LOVE this one… Sure, that’s the copay you may have paid that day, but that’s because you have insurance that covers the rest! Wait a couple of weeks until you get the (intentionally confusing) “THIS IS NOT A BILL” statement that tells you what the REAL charges for the visit were, what was paid by insurance, and what you still owe. If this total is ever less than what you paid the vet’s office, I’ll eat a dog biscuit and post the video!
Here’s the thing though, we all understand that sometimes there are circumstances beyond any of our control. That “Murphy’s Law” guy can really pack a punch. Fortunately, there are financial options out there to help when tragedy strikes and the bills may get out of hand. Check out our previous blog on “Financial Assistance for Pet Emergencies” at the following link: