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Discussion Starter #1
My elderly parents have a 12 yr. old lab. They brought her to the vets for a checkup. She tested positive for Lyme even tho she got the vaccine (that happened to my old dog to). Anyway, she also has a UTI. The vet Rx amoxicillin for 30 days. My mother had waited in the van while my Dad brought Lily in for her appt. As they were driving home my mother was looking over the $245 bill. Anyway they charged $85 for amoxillin - my mother looked at the bottle and started counting in head and realized they had only given them enough pills for 2 weeks. She made my Dad turn around and she went inside and asked to speak to the vet. After arguing with him about the cost she handed him the bottle of pills and told him to figure out how they were supposed to get 30days worth out of 2 weeks worth of pills. She said she could see him trying to figure it out. Then she told him she wanted the $85 back and would take a paper script Rx to the pharmacy which he said she could. They went to Sam's club today and got the Rx filled for 120 pills (4x day) enough for 30 days. The cost was $13.00!!! They also got some glucosamine from the vet, but now I'm wondering if the dog could just take regular glucosamine like people take. I know you have to be careful with this stuff so I think I'll call them and ask. If I can save them any money I'll try.
 

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Vets are a business and have to cover overhead. 245 for a vet visit with diagnostics isn't that unreasonable for around here. 85 for amoxi is a bit expensive. However, unlike a pharmacy, they can't stock mass quantities, so they end up paying a huge overage. That's great that they were willing to write a script. some vets will charge a script fee when writing scripts to outside pharmacies.
The lyme vaccine does not cover all strains of lyme, so it is very possible that she got another strain. Also, did they booster the vax after they got it? Did they need or get heartworm preventative? I see that you are in NH, heartworm is going further north now with the climate change.
Human glucosamine/chondroitin is fine, however, I would make sure whichever brand you get is a reputable brand. The nutraceuticals market is not regulated and therefore some nutraceuticals aren;t worth the cost of the bottle that they are put in.
 

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We are farther north and colder than New Hampshire and we've given our dogs heartworm prevention for many years now. Very important.

I didn't think that bill sounded unreasonable either. If their vets are like ours, they attended many years of college to get their degrees and continue their training as new treatments and techniques come along. Besides the usual overhead, all that costs money. We do our best to support our vets because without our vet clinic, we would be driving fifty miles one way for vet care, which in reality would mean we could not have our beloved pets.
 

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I don't think that vet bill is unreasonable at all. To diagnose both those things they probably ran blood and urine. I would have been happy with that price here!
 

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The cost of the vet is fine. If you are talking about the cost of the medication, WalMart is able to offer scripts at a discount because they are so massive.

I hope you aren't one that complains about WalMarts pushing out mom and pop stores, because what you did is exactly what causes those mom and pops to disappear.
 

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For some things, vet prices are reasonable. For others, they are not. Case in point, our dog has been diagnosed with cushing's disease. Our vet was telling us the meds needed would cost us $105.00 per month through them, these are lifelong maintenance drugs. In today's economy, not everyone can afford those kinds of prices. My husband and I did our own research and found the same meds online for $35.00 per month. We like our vet and we do support them and follow what they tell us concerning our dog, but the prices that they were quoting us for those meds although maybe in line with other vets was something we could not afford the cost of. I can understand what everyone is saying in their posts about the costs being reasonable and supporting your vet, but I can also see where judembc is coming from. For those who are on fixed incomes, it is very difficult to absorb those costs.
 

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For those who are on fixed incomes, it is very difficult to absorb those costs.
Pets are optional. If a person is unable to afford appropriate care, maybe they should reconsider some of their choices.

This type of question irks me. Highly trained professionals who provided specialized services have large amounts of time, education and other expenses poured into their practices. Their cost of doing of business is high, and *gasp* they actually want to earn a decent living.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry, I still feel the mark up on the meds is ridiculous. Didn't realize people would turn it into a pets are optional thing. I wasn't saying we won't go to the vets, I wasn't saying our pets don't get the best of care I was saying it's ridiculous that it would cost $170 vs $13 for 120 pills. That's all and for your info I shop at Walmart all the time and have never complained about them.

And yes, I realize pets are optional but what do elderly people do when they've had their dog for 12 yrs. and now are no longer working.

Forget I ever posted I won't post again.
 

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Again, that is the price you will pay for medication at most places if there isn't an entire other part of the business subsidizing the cost. WalMart is massive, is able to get better deals on things due to volume, your local vet is not able to do so themselves. The same applies to your local pharmacy compared to WalMart's prescription service. Again with clothes, movies, food, pretty much everything. The high costs with medication aren't due to the cost of manufacturing those medications, it's due to all of the creation/studies/research/testing/approvals/etc. The local vet has to keep up with their certifications, DEA licenses, and I don't know how many other regulations.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No Lynne I wasn't leaving bcuz I didn't get the answer I wanted I was leaving bcuz it started an argument. I asked a question and got answers. The remark pets are optional was uncalled for. Elderly people shouldn't have to give up their pets bcuz their budgets have changed. There should be an alternative for them. There's many people who get their pet meds from other sources. I understand the vets mark up, but I think this is a very large mark up. I've called around this area and other vets don't charge that much for the same meds.

People that just pop into threads to start arguments have nothing better to do. I've seen your comments to other people here and it's sad.
 

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People that just pop into threads to start arguments have nothing better to do. I've seen your comments to other people here and it's sad.
You know what's sad/Nothing better to do?---posting that you are leaving yet come back to insult me. That's fine, you have that right. I give my opinion just like everyone else, JUDE. I don't intend to start an argument, I post what I think is an additional opinion to ponder...no "Hugs & prayers" BS from me.
 

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I have been following this thread with interest and while I wasn't going to add anymore I can't quit thinking about it until I say what is on my mind.

First, I realize senior citizens have a hard time on fixed incomes. I give senior haircut/perm discount prices for customers I have had for years. They can't get anywhere near what I give them anywhere else around here. Most are very thankful. I haven't raised it in many years and do not plan to.

The pets are optional statement did not offend me at all. I didn't take it as people who can't afford them should get rid of them. While I do not know how the authors intended it I took it as this...... you can chose to get a pet or not, if you decide to you need to be prepared to care for them for 15+ years. Knowing this you can buy pet insurance ( I would never do this ) or you can put aside a small amount of money each pay day for when emergencies arise because at some point they will and you have to expect it and be prepared. For others like myself you just pay it as it comes along, possibly skipping other things for awhile to cover it or taking money out of the emergency fund. ( we have a larger emergency fund because of our pets for peace of mind ) If I needed to I would not hesitate to slash things as needed like eating out, expensive foods, satellite tv if I needed to pay a large vet bill.

My grama is 91 and has a cat and a very fixed income. For her birthday I give her a card with a coupon I make saying I will get flea/tick topical med and dewormer as needed for her cat through the year. For christmas I give her several buckets of cat litter. I do this every year and she loves it. We try to get some other family members to give similar, useful gifts instead of another bird house or knick knack she doesn't need or want.

I still do not think the amox price was terrribly high. That is amox for a large dog, 4x a day for 30 days for 85 dollars. They were very lucky to get it for 13. I know at least one of the vets around here charges for writing the prescription and makes you come in more often for exams if you get your meds elsewhere. I personally don't go there but have friends who do. I looked online at the pet rx places when I had a lab on arthritus meds but the price difference was a few dollars a month and not worth the trouble for me.

If they are in a big city there may be a humane society that helps seniors with pet medical costs. Still we are talking a 245 vet bill that included 85 worth of meds which were returned and meds bought for 13. So now we are talking under 200 dollars for exam, labs and meds. I just don't see it as expensive.
 

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It's okay to shop around for the meds. The issue seems resolved since you got a killer deal on the meds. I order my dog's heartworm and flea stuff online. The medicine is $145 at my vets and I found it for $70 online. I would just suggest to keep shopping around. All people, regardless of age, should make sure that they can afford their pets before they get them. Pets are not cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It was $170 for 30 days. The vet supposedly gave them 30 days worth for $85 but when they counted the pills there was only 15 days worth. They went back and asked the vet why there was only 15 days worth in the bottle. They were supposedly getting 120 pills and there was only 60 in the bottle.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
They paid for the exam, vaccines, etc. It was the fact that they supposedly paid $85 for 120 pills when in reality it was $85 for 60 in the bottle that upset them. I go to the same vets, but see a diff doc. She always gives me a script for the meds and I get them elsewhere. They will now see the doc I see. When I go with mine I do intend on bringing it up.
 

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could have possibly been an honest mistake on the part of whoever filled the prescription. Why I say that is because usually amox is given 2 x a day not 4x a day. I have never had experience with lyme which must take more dosage per day to treat. Not that it would make it ok....just that my first thought was it could have been a counting error figuring 30 days @ 2x a day.

I do agree they should give you a written prescription to fill wherever you want. I am not sure why that isn't standard practice. When I had 2 big dogs my vets were great about telling me what over the counter meds I could use for them.....and there were 4 I can think of off the top of my head. Great vets are few and far between around here.
 

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Thank you TamiDN. Your last line you posted is all that I was trying to say earlier in the thread. It would be nice if the vets could give you a written prescription to shop around. My dog is 16 yrs. old. We have faithfully taken him to the vet. We like our vet and we do support them by getting our meds there the majority of the time. However, with his recent diagnosis of cushing's disease, the medicine is very high, even in our veterinarian's opinion. She was very nice and worked with our online supplier, which wasn't Walmart, to get the meds we need at significant savings. I don't think that anyone who posted was implying that the vets shouldn't receive proper payment for their services or minimizing the fact that they go through a lot to become vets and make a decent living. I know several vets and they do work very hard to earn a decent living just like the rest of us. This is the first and only time that we have shopped online for our dog's meds. I don't think it is wrong to do so in certain cases. I don't see that as taking money away from our vet and she didn't either.
 

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just like at the people doc's, when you get a scrip, you should ask, "How much is this going to cost?" At the vet's you should also ask, "Can I get this elsewhere?"

I think a good vet would volunteer that info if they know the owners are elderly and on a fixed income.
 

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Well it cost me 4000.00 this year for acl surgery on my bernise mt dog expensive ? I am sure some people would say yes but to me this dog is priceless . A vet is a Dr Drs are expensive meds are expensive its all in the way you view it. If you cannot to properly take care of an animal you should not have them My dogs meds are more than mine are but then mine get partially covered by insurance If they got the wrong amount of pills that is one thing but 85.00 for those pills is not out of line. Your post was titled why are vets so expensive? this is a business not a charity and that is the answer He had to go medical school just like a doctor
 
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