So you’ve taken Fluffy to the vet to get a check up, a vaccine boost or maybe for some medication. One look at your bill leaves you gasping for air. What in the world could have cost so much? Take a deep breath, and read on for some important information that might make you think differently about how “expensive” the vet really is.
A vet is a highly trained professional:
Anytime you’re seeking the help from a professional, and especially one with a degree or years of schooling, you should expect that those services come with a price tag. Most veterinarians have gone to school for about 7 years studying and training for this career. Those years of schooling add up, and most carry some amount of student debt. Generally they don’t work alone; their highly skilled assistants generally spend 3 years training for their jobs, and they aren’t working for free. A veterinarian and their staff are actually paid comparatively low to other professionals with the same amount of schooling.
The office bills
Your vet has a lot of bills to pay. Besides lights, heat and office space (which entails either a mortgage or monthly rent) they have very specialized equipment that can run them tens of thousands of dollars. An x-ray machine or an ultrasound machine, for example, can cost anywhere between $30,000 to $90,000!! Most vets have loans to pay off this equipment and it takes years of monthly payments before they own it free and clear.
Medications and tests
Part of your vet bill most likely includes the medications you’ve taken home and the tests that the vet performed to determine which type of meds are best suited in the first place. Sometimes the tests can be performed and read right in the office but other times they’ll need to be sent away for a more specialized look.
The job carries its own set of hazards
When was the last time you were scratched or bitten by an angry client? At least when you’re dealing with people, you can generally explain a situation and calm them down. Since we don’t speak an animal’s language, it can be pretty hard to calm Fluffy when he’s excited or scared of an exam or procedure. Sometimes this can lead to a vet or tech being wounded despite taking every precaution possible.
We’re on call 24/7
Sure, the veterinary office states specific hours and you likely won’t find anyone around after they’ve closed. But patients must be checked throughout the evening, and emergencies don’t always happen during office hours. (In fact, Murphy’s Law says that they’ll generally happen when it’s most inconvenient). A vet often takes shifts of evening, weekend or holiday hours so that they don’t miss anyone who needs help.
You may still not like the bill you get handed at the end of your visit, but keep in mind that you’re paying for quality medical care for a very important member of your family. If you are in Mississauga, visit Dr. Alaa Aziz at Aquitaine Animal Hospital, the best Mississauga Vet.
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