Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Misto Loses Two Balls and I Hold on to My Wallet

The hard cone.
With two pups in the house, one male and one female, and no breeding plan on the horizon, something had to go, and in the end it was Misto's balls.

Right now, it's the morning after, and I assure you he does not miss them at all.

I traded in the hard cone they gave us at the Washington Humane Society for a soft cone that does the job equally well. A massive amount of food was wolfed down this morning, and though Misto does not look like he needs a Tramadol, I gave him one of those too, just to be sure.

As always, I called around to price vet services, starting with Cherrydale Veterinary Clinic. This is their email:

We would have to have an initial exam before we would proceed with the surgery. Our exam fee is $89.00. The microchip is $101.00 and a neuter typically runs in the range of $900.00 to $1100.00, but the doctor would write you a detailed estimate that is particular to your pet after the exam. If you would like to schedule an appointment for the initial visit, or if you have any further questions, please give us a call at 703-528-9001. We have availability as early as tomorrow afternoon.

Right. Why not just round it up to an even $10,000 and be done with it? That "initial exam" is not needed, not asked for, and is simply a way for the vet to upcode for lyme testing, heartworm testing, a heartworm pill regime, fecal tesing, and vaccines not asked for or needed.

Most folks going in for an $89 exam fee (they are going in to pay the fee not to get an exam) are going to leave after paying a $300 bill made up of entirely manufactured concerns.

The "target bill" they were trying to work up to at the Cherrydale Veterinary Clinic was clearly going to be around $1,500.

Forget that!

I got Misto and Moxie chipped at the Petco van for $15 each as compared to the $101 Cherrydale wanted to charge.

I got Misto neutered for $130, complete with Tramadol and cone, at the Washington Humane Society, as compare to the $1,100 they wanted to charge at Cherrydale.

The folks at the Washington Humane Society were wonderfully professional, no-hassle, and the work is about as neat a bit of sewing as I have seen. No reason to come back -- the stitches dissolve. No pre-operation checkup or full-court press to upcode or upsell. In short, the Washington Humane Society is everything a good veterinary service should be, and almost never is.

Is a spay or neuter done by the Washington Humane Society going to be better than the one done by your average vet? Count on it. These folks do over a hundred spays and neuters a week, which means they have serious Kung Fu in this arena.

For those who wonder how going to the veterinarian became an exercise in avoiding having your pocket picked, read this older post entitled "Veterinary Trades Say It's Time to Rip-off the Rubes".


Rick said...

10 of my 11 dogs have been spayed or neutered at an average of $150 each, at a vet clinic, and the 11th will go in once she gets out of her first heat. Our animal control facility does it for $65, and there are charity services here in San Antonio for as low as $20 for a small dog.

christine said...

At a "picture with Santa" event at a local vet clinic, we had to wait with Santa in a back office. On the wall was a poster encouraging vets and technicians to "Push Dental Exams" with a list of reasons below. The first reason? "Increase Revenue."

PBurns said...

Yep! See this post from 2009, "Pearly White Profits From Teeth Cleaning" >>

John said...

Our rescue uses a mobile spay/neuter clinic that charges $75 for neutering a 40-70 lb dog and $90 for spaying. Under 40lb, the prices are $60 and $65, respectively. I have great respect for their competence and they're really nice folks who care for their patients. I'd trust them any time over a vet clinic who is planning to charge you $1000 or more.

Peter Apps said...

I had my 29 kg local mixed breed snipped by the local vet for 600 Botswana Pula - US$170 - , antibiotic cover and pain pills included. Maybe dog neutering is the new standard Big Mac to compare prices between different economies.

Mary Pang said...

Aw, Misto doesn't look as perky as usual there but glad to hear he's over it.
My female rabbit cost less than £100 to neuter. A dog should not cost more than that. She lived on her own but was going bonkers every few weeks and fell in love with my slippers.

seeker said...

I'm in San Antonio also and use the Animal Defense League. Lots of experience there and the price is right at $65 for neutering and $15. for microchip. No folderol there. I wish they did dental cause my vet is going to get at least $200. for my old guy. He's 14 and does need it and has to be anestatized because he has a history of ripping vet techs hands off. He will also get a nail triming and heart worm test. I believe they'll need a dart gun to get him to the table. Yeah, I can trim his nails but it does result in bandaids. So while he's out they can do it. He's a rescue and who knows what was done or not done to him. Note to self, go get calming pills several days before appt. Of course, I don't want him to hurt the nice people at the ADL.
Debi and the Jack/Rat Pack