Vets Bill Article Comments

These are some comments from on our recent article on Vets Bills.

READ THE ARTICLE, THEN READ THE COMMENTS
Lisa Christensen
Well said I whole heartedly agree!
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · about an hour ago

Liz Bix
100% as a long qualified VN it’s time someone put the record straight.
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 6 hours ago

David Mawson
If you can’t afford the Vet you can’t afford the pet!
Reply · Unlike · 1 · 5 hours ago

Marys Go Round · Thomas Stone Waldorf Md
Wow that was well written and quite an eye opener from the vets point of view . I love and value my vet as well as my animals and I try daily to do right by my animals , I do realize they are a lifetime commitment and I appreciate every effort my vet makes with the dare if my animals . This vet sounds like an amazing person and vet and I hope he gets the appreciation he deserves , he is not God nor a miricle worker and he is right that people get puppies and other animals just because they want one or they are so cute when little but they do grow up , may not stay cute will chew things you may be mad about , pee on your floors and much more but don’t get them if not prepared to raise them , care for them , love them until death do you part . I really gate all the Amish breeding and selling all sorts of mixed and supposed pure bred puppies without being regulated in anyway just bc they are Amish . I see hundreds of these puppies at local farmers markets
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 8 hours ago

Vera Bowes · Drumreilly, Leitrim, Ireland
Excellent time for someone to write about this.
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 9 hours ago

Riana du Plessis · Works at Duross Wolfhounds
Bravo Dr Knipe. I can’t agree more. My vet is a trusted friend of me and my pets and one who had always put my pets’ well being before her own. She had never hesitated to give so much more of her time and energy than any amount of money or bill could ever cover. For the past 35 years as a pet owner I had only run across vets whom I absolutely admire as professionals. They have all shown so much compassion for their patients (and for my heartache and worries) that I always left their practises with a sense of huge gratitude and a feeling that the bill didn’t cover half of what they did for us. I salute the profession.
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 9 hours ago

Melissa Ann House
Absolutely well written! I’m so grateful to have vets that care and have worked extra hard in school to do all areas of care on my fur babies! Pets r our family…except better I. Most cases… Treat them like they r worth more than a damn vet bill!!!!
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 10 hours ago

Angela Hodgins · London, Ontario
Amen!
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 12 hours ago

Lisa Ferraioli · Vet Nurse at Clyde vet group
Well done for this truly accurate insight into veterinary medicine! I only hope people take the time to read this!
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 12 hours ago

Christine Gillham · Follow · Garratt Green School
Fantastic letter. One which should be given to EVERY potential pet owner before taking on a pet however big or small from a mouse to a horse and more.
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 14 hours ago

Julie-Ann Menna Williams · Top commenter · Canterbury Christ Church University
Rubbish .. any caring pet owner does this ,, Vets or to be more precise the vet practise managers charge ridiculous amounts in the UK . I have horses and believe me just to get a vet to call out can cost as much as a car service , then the cost for them to look at the animal , you get charged per centimetre of dressing and bandage, each syringe and needle are costed to you, the swab and clipping of the injection site , drug per ml and then a charge to administer said injection .. Ridiculous . Vets need to display their charges openly so people know what to expect . Not have to wait for the thud of a very extortionate bill on the door mat !
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 15 hours ago

Michele Rozeen · Follow
Incredible letter, very well written, and I agree with everything Dr.Knipe has expressed.
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 16 hours ago

Per Bye · Top commenter · Szent istvan veterinary university of Budapest,Hungary
Greetings from norwegian vet. Very nice letters, touching much of the same issues we face. The aspects about castration was interesting, as it is forbidden in Norway.
We do have plenty of people, well off too, that do not understand that animals are not an inert object, but require frequent evaluation and maintainance in order to thrive.
Luckily, we have strickt regulations in who can penetrate the skin with needles, and thereby give medications and vaccinations. Maybe that is something you should try to get implemented in SA? Only veterinarians are allowed to penetrate the skin of animals.
Do not accept the guilt from the owners, but place it straight where it belongs. If the mother says that you will put the animal down, then simply reply because you are not willing to use the appropriate funds for the animals.
Focus on the good customers, and ignore those that quarrel; you can never, ever satisfy them!
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 16 hours ago

Adam Polosetski
Im also a vet and agree with every word. Once an owner told me that he care more about his son shoes then about the dog and that he wont spend money on treating him.
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 18 hours ago

Danielle Dale · Bishop Alemany High School
Wonderful letter well said!
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 20 hours ago

Crystal Garner · Owner at Garner Veterinary Services
I too have only been a vet for 5 years and am also paid a salary. Trust me, this letter hits the nail on the head.
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 21 hours ago

Lee Capone · Works at Lakeshore Veterinary Hospital & Pet Lodge A.P.V.M.C.
I’ve been practicing veterinary medicine 30 years longer than Dr Knipe & I’M SORRY TO SAY that she speaks the absolute honest truth….Many of my colleagues have ceased practicing veterinary medicine for the reasons Dr. Knipe mentioned..It’s an excellent, truthful representation of most veterinarian’s lives….I soo wish it weren’t true….
Lee Capone DVM
Reply · Unlike · 3 · Follow Post · Yesterday at 04:50

Tammi Holmes · Ashford University
Well stated. I am a receptionist in a veterinary hospital. Wish we could have some of our clients ready this! Every hospital should have a copy hanging in the lobby.
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · Yesterday at 01:23

Alice Gilligan · Pima Community College
Yes!! I agree very well written. I love my vet! And all pets should be treated as family members. Have taken my pets to Buena pet clinic for over 10 years. They are the best!!
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · Yesterday at 00:14

Marko Van Der Colff
Well said. Soldier on Dr. Knipe.
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · Yesterday at 00:07

Beverly Santos · Visalia, California
I was a Vet tech for 30 years andI understand how a Vet office works. I can see a trend in Veterinary medicine to make it more like human medicine. I know that costs keep rising but for some people I think that giving them choices of what they can afford to do vs what is the very best they can do and let them make that choice. I know that having a pet is a luxury but to charge 1200.00 for a dental on a 7m old puppy is exorbitant to me. There were no choices given except this is the way we do it! I don’t like that style of medicine. If someone wants to sign a waiver NOT to do bloodwork/IV’s etc that should be done. I have done many a dental on a dog without all the things this particular Dr wanted to do and they came through just fine but the owners new what could possibly happen without all the acoutrements.
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 26 July at 23:27

Dorraine Smith · Hartnell College
Been an RVT for 30 years…voiced my sentiments exactly!
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 26 July at 22:50

Valerie Duponsel · Wits
Very well written
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 26 July at 21:46

Sandra Bragg · Calcutta, Ohio
Very well written and so very true!
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 26 July at 21:45

Nigel Mc Evilly · Pioneer logistics at Platorand Verspreiders
FANTASTIC! My daughter is a Vet and I have watched her grow in a practice nearby! She give 110% to her patients and clients, her clients are informed of all the steps to be followed. I have witnessed her tearful eyes each time she has to put an animal down, or when a client couldn’t care a damn about her patient! I even watched in awe and pride when she put her own 13 year old cat down, washed her face and help a client with the next patient, followed by the tears agin after the patient and happy client left! They deserve double what they get!! Yes you do get unscrupulous vets, but but you get the same with GP’s and many other so called professionals and tradesmen! Go to one that is not so bad!
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 26 July at 18:16

Carmen Lo
Well said!
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 26 July at 17:32

Debbie Moss
Brilliant letter. Always willing to pay my vet, they are fantastic and I have used the same one for mor than 20 years
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 26 July at 15:49

Beth Cogan · Durham College
this was a really good read, i work in the field and its not all peaches and cream
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 26 July at 15:15
nicicool_spada (signed in using yahoo)
I agree with many of her points, however, as some others have said she does assume that all veterinarians practice equally. I have, unfortunately, had several bad experiences with vets who seemed to have little interest in the actual health of people’s pets. They were far more interested in their money. One of these vets has thankfully now lost his license, but the others are still practicing as far as I know. I know a veterinarian who is no longer practicing because she was becoming so fed up with her colleagues. She loves veterinary medicine but she does not like the industry.

I am also curious, what is it about small animal medicine that makes it twice or three times as expensive as large animal medicine? We have had several illnesses and a couple of large freak accidents in our barn. We have a horse who after injuring himse… See More
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 26 July at 09:47

Nont Karnnaissance · Vet at ?????????????? ??????
Great letter !
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 26 July at 05:35

Nancy B Webb · Flint Central High School
I used to work for a Vet! I was called the “Groomer” but I sure as heck did a LOT MORE then just grooming!! I helped in Surgery, cleaned kennels, exercised all kinds of animals, provided support to pets and families alike, and often commiserated with the Vets when things didn’t go just right!!! I saw animals that were hit by cars, trucks, motorcycles and farm equipment, and even shot! I saw animals that had been poisoned, abandoned, and some animals whose owners decided to do their own surgery!!! I lasted a little over two years before I could not handle the abuse I saw anymore and found another job! NOW, I have a cat, a horse and a dog of my own (have had many more pets too). I LOVE THEM ALL!!! But most importantly I do my best to provide them with all the supervision, preventive medicine, attention, care and training in addit… See More
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 26 July at 01:43

Holli Coats Stone · SUNY Oswego
I think overall this is a great informative article. The only drawback is that the author makes a large assumption that all veterinarians practice veterinary medicine as she does. I struggle with generalized statements in articles such as this as not all vets are the same any more than all pet owners are the same. There are good and bad and those in-between that exist in both communities. What happens when you have an owner who trusts a vet who doesn’t live up the the same standard Dr. Knipe does? Does that owner deserve to be cited as unfit because the very person who is educated and licensed has failed to live up to certain standards? I am that pet owner. I had a vet who never discussed training, diet, weight or anything else. He never recommended or ran diagnostic testing. I was naive and trusting and didn’t know an… See More
Reply · Unlike · 5 · Follow Post · 25 July at 21:14

Jayde Murphy · Music Teacher at Self-Employed
“I had a vet who never discussed training, diet, weight or anything else. He never recommended or ran diagnostic testing. I was naive and trusting and didn’t know any better at the time. I was forced to learn when my dog got sick.” So you bought/adopted a dog and didn’t think that you’d need to teach it how to behave, put it on a healthy diet, or give it adequate exercise to maintain a healthy weight, and you put the entirety of the blame on the vet when your dog got sick? Because these things are not covered by common sense or common knowledge, and definitely aren’t the sort of thing that any responsible pet owner would ask questions about or read up on… You wouldn’t feed a child excessive amounts of unhealthy food or refrain from teaching them how to behave appropriately – it’s no different with a pet.

“An illness that l… See More
Reply · Unlike · 2 · 14 hours ago

Holli Coats Stone · SUNY Oswego
Jayde Murphy This was actually my second dog. My first dog saw the same original vet. Yes, my sick dog ate Beneful healthy weight dog food. No, I didn’t know there were good and bad dog foods. I do now. And when my sick dog’s diabetes was diagnosed I had to ask his vet if we should switch food. I was told by his original vet NO. And when we switched vets and he struggled to regulate – I asked again about food. I was told by several vets in the new practice that a change was not necessary. My senior dog still eats beneful. He is 13.5 years old and short of some arthritis he has no medical problems. I have asked several vets in his current practice if he should be switched – for two reasons – quality and the fact that he is a senior. I have been told no by each and every vet I have asked. With the reasoning that… See More
Reply · Unlike · 1 · 13 hours ago

Holli Coats Stone · SUNY Oswego
Jayde Murphy –
Here are my sick dog’s records from his orignal vet:
https://inmemoryofdecker.shutterfly.com/25

And here are my senior dog’s records:
https://inmemoryofdecker.shutterfly.com/42

Please know I’m not bashing vets. But as someone who blindly trusted a vet and got burned – I have learned that education is key.

I did file a complaint with our state board for the bad care my sick dog got. Here is the dismissal letter I got:
https://inmemoryofdecker.shutterfly.com/43

This vet was not even cited for record keeping. It drives me crazy to know he can continue to practice and put other pets at risk. And if those owners are naive and trusting as I was – they will have no idea. I learned from my mistakes. He didn’t have to and can continue to practice poor care.

I support much of what this original article says. My only concern is the portrayal that all vets practice at the high quality standard the author does. For those that are naive and trusting it can send a very mixed message. Trust your vet – they will guide you. And the good ones will. Unfortunately, not all are good though. And disaster can strike when a pet owner trusts one that doesn’t practice a high standard of care. They are likely few and far in-between but it only takes one to cause disaster.

I hope you are able to understand.
Reply · Unlike · 1 · 13 hours ago

Rupali Patkar · Veterinarian at Pluto pet Clinic
So true… totally agree with u …
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 25 July at 20:25

Linda Vallar
Maybe you should come to the US we appreciate our vets here and everyone I know as pet owners strive for a healthy pet with good vet care where the vet gets to know the pet as well if not better than we do and that’s the ticket getting to know the pets at the same time the owners do 🙂
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 25 July at 19:44

Cecile Schlesinger · Benoni High School
Excellent article! As a Vet in private practice for over 40 years, I totally concur with everything said. Still a struggling Vet but love my work !
Ian Schlesinger
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 25 July at 13:42

Bea Masschelein · Queensland
terrific article!
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 25 July at 13:11

Beth Dewsbery
well said!
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 25 July at 11:14

Alwine Pretorius
I agree. This is an excellent letter. Well done, Dr Knipe!
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 25 July at 08:06

Bill Vandenberg · Works at Retired
Excellent letter, I don’t think most pet owners realize the complexity and costs that Vets incure to be able to treat their beloved pet ! God bless them!
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 25 July at 06:58

Laura Johannessen · Owner/Veterinarian at Westside Animal Hospital
Very well documented, from one vet to another. I felt like I was reading my own thoughts. At least we get to try to do what we love. However frustrating and heart breaking it can get sometimes.
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 25 July at 03:14

Randi Gold · Bryan, Texas
Fantastic article! Thank you for sharing!!
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 24 July at 23:58

Wildforlife Rustenburg · Rustenburg
We are, unfortunately preaching to the converted. There are and always will be people who do not want to hear and will look for some one to blame because it will never be their fault or responsibility. They are the people that rescue 12 cats and blame the vet for the cost of sterilisations. They are the people that go to the pharmacy and get drugs that they know nothing about to treat a disease which the animal most likely doesn’t have because the vet, who they have never seen is so expensive. May vets keep up the good work despite this.
Reply · Unlike · 4 · Follow Post · 24 July at 22:35

Carmen Booyse · Works at Loskop Animalclinic, Groblersdal
An absolute BRILLIANT letter!!!!!!! So so true… Thank you!!!!
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 24 July at 22:17

Lyndall DN · Follow · Owner/CEO at Skull Star Customs · 168 followers
I couldnt agree more. So thankful that someone stepped up and spoke about the other side of the picture. Please share this with everyone, definately made me think twice about my pets care, which i think i am doing fairly well with, but it definately highlighted things i could do better.
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 24 July at 18:27

Celeste Holland Niday · Works at Niday, Inc.
This was hard to read as a result of recently euthanizing a beloved cat after an sudden illness struck him. I understand that there is a growing consensus that veterinarians, in the business of preserving and saving lives, are just gouging pet owners pockets with expensive care. The unspoken assumption is, because it is not a human life, that treating a life less than human should equal inexpensive treatment.

You are righ, being a pet owner is a privilege, not a right. To own an animal is to commit to being the master of their fate, how they live, their happiness, their well being and sometimes how they die. It is making the promise of, “I will take care of you. When you get sick, I will try to get you better. When you are no longer young and cute, or a facebook sensation, I will look after you. When you are no longer convenie… See More
Reply · Unlike · 16 · Follow Post · 24 July at 18:26

Wayne Doney · Practice Manager at The Margaret River Vet Hospital
Great article, but I can tell you, your boss isn’t lining his or her pockets either! The costs of running a Vet Hospital are massive. The problems with our industry are worldwide. (Hello from Australia!)
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 24 July at 15:11

Nicolene Leidig · Works at Leidig Attorneys
Can’t somebody organise a follow-up on Carte Blanche? I get very cross when people want to own animals, but are not prepared to pay for vets. If you cannot afford the vet, don’t own the animal, because then you don’t deserve it. I have many vet friends, and know many good vets. None of them are rich, and they always try to be as reasonable as possible.
Reply · Unlike · 3 · Follow Post · 24 July at 12:06

Robert Turner · Veterinarian at Vets4Pets
Great article!
Reply · Unlike · Follow Post · 24 July at 10:47

Rozelle Taljaard · Retief High School
Give this girl a Bells!!!! well said!!!
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 24 July at 10:00

Phillipa Mitchell · Works at Magic Cat Kittyware
Thanks for sharing this! I have also shared it on my blog at www.magiccatkittyware.co.za
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 24 July at 09:48

Susan Haworth
All my animals are ex shelter animals and they often come with their own behavioural or health challenges. You need to be aware of the possible issue before you adopt or take on a rescue.
I have no problem paying my vets bills, I do have a problem paying the rates at SOME clinics who charge WAY more than other service providers.
For the most part I only pay for my annual innoculations and if there is anything over and above that I have no problem with that, because my dogs are well cared for, well fed, and well exercised. With the exception of accidents my vets bills (for my pets) are minimal. Compulsory Pet medical aid would mean that I am subsidising people who do not care for their pets properly (bad feed, grooming and exercise) and therefore have many visits to the vet. And should Pet Medical Aid become compulsory I can see the cost skyrocketing and limits being set which means that pet owners will still have high out of pocket expenses.
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 24 July at 09:35

Robyn Eshelby · Follow
Susan Haworth you make a good point. I am very thankful for my vet because I feel that my animals receive top notch care from empathetic and kind people, at a fair rate (personally I’m not sure how they do it) and have done so for me for over a decade. My vet is a small, large and wild animal practice – everything from hamsters to horses to elephants (true story) 🙂 One of my boarding dogs cut her leg the other day and needed stitches. I ran her to the closest vet. 15 minutes later she was ready to go home, and I paid the R2900 bill. They treated her kindly and with respect and the experience was pleasant. BUT. Pego’s leg amputation at my own vet was R5700.00. For 2.5 hours of surgery with two vets performing it, xrays, medication, kenneling. I can’t quite see how the disparity is worked out. Don’t get me wrong – if one of my animals needed immediate veterinary care for something potentially life-threatening, they would go to the closest vet without a second thought. But I just don’t understand the anomalies in billing, from consult fees through to all the rest. As an aside, when my old girl Tia needed an MRI a few years ago, the cost (at another – emergency – vet) was R8500.00 for one night’s stay, the MRI and some antibiotics. What normal person can afford that?
Reply · Unlike · 3 · 24 July at 10:35

Susan Haworth
Robyn Eshelby When Mutt had to have his femur head removal our costs for the Xrays, and the proceedure were less than the bill from an emergany clinic for the treatment of a bite wound and one overnight stay. It was expenseive (the femure head removal), but then it is a long and difficult proceedure with multiple visits, and I had no problem paying it, but I do have a problem when the vet at the emercancy place will not even look at your dog until you have paid a R2 000 deposit and that is basically the fee for just looking at the dog, not even for any treatment.

And I am the same as you, if my vet is not avaiable I will pay whatever I must for my furkids to get the medical attention they need, but I really do balk at the fees that some practices charge, it is far beyond the reach of many people, and often people actually HAVE to wait, with a suffering pet, until their vet becomes available because they actually just cannot afford it.

So, if we all HAD to have medical aid for pets, would it cover the cost at those super expenseive clinics? And if it did, what would the cost have to be monthly to cover those fees, remembering of course that there are many dogs who have many visits to the vets due to a lack of correct care at home.
Reply · Unlike · 3 · 24 July at 10:47

Thea Kinghorn · Helpmekaar
About time that vet treatment and commitment gets explained in detail. Well done,
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 24 July at 09:14

Hugo Human · University of Pretoria
My first and biggest mistake was NOT getting a medical aid of some sort for my pet, as now I am suffering the consequences. About 2 years ago, the shit hit the proverbial fan.

I have a dachshund, who started having back problems at a very young age of 1.5 years old. Through careful nurturing and some swimming lessons her back became stronger and she recovered fully, only to contract meningitis together with acute arthritis. I mean, how unlucky are we?

This, off course, made EVERY medical aid run for the hills, as they do not want to cover a dog that has so many problem.

I have spent over R20 000 in the past 2 years, to get my dog “up and running”…
The worst part of it all was the vet costs. I would walk into the hospital and would have to put down a R1000 – R1500 deposit, prior to a vet even having a look at my little girl. Afterwards, I would have to pay the outstanding amount, which would vary between an additional R1000 to R4000, depending on the tests they had to do.

But even worse than all this was the fact that the vets seemed so incompetent. No one knew what was wrong with my poor little girl and as she was a dachshund, they immediately assumed that she had back problems and treated her as such, missing the fact that she had meningitis and arthritis problems. It took them nearly a month to figure out (or at least, me telling them) that it was not a back problem, but something else. I literally had to force them to do some blood work and additional tests (as I did some research on the internet regarding the symptoms) to try to figure out what was wrong with my little girl. And I know that doing your own research is not the best way and I don’t have a degree of 7 or so odd years, but I am glad I did this, as my little girl would be dead otherwise.

So, to sum up, the first R10 000 or so odd rands, were spent for no apparent reason because 3 vets refused to believe that anything other than a dachshund’s back could cause a dog to be crippled to 2 inches of her life. I went through some depression, as I would put my dog down on my bed in the morning, go to work and come back at 5, finding her in the exact same spot I left her, dirty as she would have soiled herself as she was not able to move.

2 years later and she is on meds for arthritis, she had meds for meningitis, a &%($ load of cortisone and somehow i kept her weight down. She’s alive and happy, but now I fear going back to a vet, as I know how narrow minded they may be sometimes.

A little advice, find yourself a good vet, who doesn’t mind listening to you and trying alternatives and who doesn’t mind being challenged. I challenged my vet and told her, if she was wrong, she will pay the bill. And she did ^_^ When she was right, I happily payed the bill.

If you want to see a picture of my lovely little girl, you can see a photo of her here:
130nk3r5 dot tumblr dot com

Have a lovely day!
Reply · Like · Follow Post · 24 July at 09:10

Hugo Human · University of Pretoria
http://130nk3r5.tumblr.com/image/89142475588
Reply · Unlike · 2 · 24 July at 09:13

Hugo Human
Posting as Hibiscus Coast Seconds Crew (Change)
Mac Parkin
I totally agree 100% with Dr Knipe’s letter.
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 24 July at 08:23

Judite Strydom · Yzerfontein, Western Cape, South Africa
Excellent. Thank you for being so brave.
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 24 July at 06:26

Owen Webber · Merensky High School
Great to here local was used 🙂
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 23 July at 23:08

Owen Webber · Merensky High School
The statement Dental procedures and wound stitch-ups are often far more expensive than people expect for one simple reason, the patients require an anesthetic. If any pet owner is able to restrain their pet calmly for me to place sutures without the need for general anesthetic, I do it with a smile on my face and give them a much smaller bill. However, I have only ever met one individual that has been able to restrain her dog in the required manner (a 50kg great dane no less). Wonder how that one individual would feel if the procedure was the other way round. Performed on the individual while being restrained only to save a few buks.
Reply · Unlike · 3 · Follow Post · 23 July at 22:08

Nicky Evans · Works at Self-Employed
Owen, I am sure that local anaesthesia was used during the suturing of the above patient. And it can be done with small wounds provided the patient can be adequately restrained (extremely rare!). Unfortunately, it is not possible to explain to a pet that the local is going to sting like hell and to please keep still. Our patients are basically like human toddlers under the age of eighteen months. Anaesthesia or heavy sedation is required for sutures (full GA often safer than extremely heavy sedation in these cases) in order to adequately immobilise them and prevent injury to themselves and the veterinary staff attending to them. Dentals are a no brainer. No dog/cat is going to “open wide and say aaaah”.
Reply · Unlike · 4 · 23 July at 22:36

Aimée Brynn Hendriksz · Follow · IT Intellect
I totally agree with Dr Knipe! I work part time for a vet hospital and most of the people who complain about fees are the people whose pets have been sick for several days and are now at deaths door and they want treatment after hours or on public holidays/ Sundays when there is a surcharge. If they had brought their pets in when they were first sick during normal ‘business’ hours their vet bill wouldn’t be so bad.
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 23 July at 19:30

Renee Donald · Works at Self-Employed
Thank you for your honesty. As always Carte Blanche seems to like to push the more crowd pleasing side of a story.
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 23 July at 19:26

Merle Lynne Ludwig · Largo, Florida
Thank you for this!!!!! I have worked as a vet receptionist in the United States for 12 years and we hear it all the time!! Everybody that owns an animal needs to read this…..
Reply · Unlike · 2 · Follow Post · 23 July at 19:25

Jana Ehlers · Veterinarian at White River Animal Hospital
Absolutely wonderful letter! Truer words have not been spoken. Thank you!
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 23 July at 19:06

Jason Borea · Johannesburg, Gauteng
Great response and well written, I’m married to a vet that feels exactly the same way.
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 23 July at 17:56

Ming Allen Dugmore · Managing Director and Senior Country Counsel at About J.P. Morgan
It upsets me terribly when people complain about vet bills. Veterinary studies are long and complex and it is extremely demanding and difficult to qualify and practice as a vet. The vet that we use in Sandton is kind, generous and caring and we would never dream of complaining about his charges, his services are worth every penny
Reply · Unlike · 7 · Follow Post · 23 July at 17:48

Michelle Holton · Johannesburg, Gauteng
An excellent response!!! Thanks for standing up for us.
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 23 July at 17:43

Grayford Holton · Follow · Owner at Choosy Travellers
Its well written and almost self explanatory. Pity TV did not read it 1st
Reply · Unlike · 1 · 23 July at 18:21

Ian Forbes · Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Well said young Lady.
Reply · Unlike · 3 · Follow Post · 23 July at 16:14

Angie Franke · Top commenter · University of Port Elizabeth
excellent – well written – I salute you and all others of your profession. Folks out there LISTEN TO YOUR VET ESPECIALLY WITH REGARD TO PROPER FOOD FOR YOUR PET!!
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 23 July at 15:06

Ruan Smith · Cape Town, Western Cape
I am not a vet, but I work at a practice and I refuse to take my own pets there. I agree mostly with the letter, but have to point out a few things.

I understand that vets study harder and longer than GP’s and get paid a lot less for offering a much more complex and complete service. A consult at a vet costs me under R300 generally whilst I paid R460 a week ago to see a GP. Neither I or my pets have medical insurance.

Also, it was ruled last year that the SAVC can no longer prescribe to vets what they should or should not charge. Vet’s are now able to charge whatever they want. The SACV can also not tell vets where they can or can’t open a practice. Previously all vets in the area had to agree to a new vet opening up before the SAVC would allow it.

Furthermore I do find it ridiculous that the vet where I work charge R500 to microchip a pet when the cost price from the supplier is just over R100. What warrants this shocking markup? If I was a vet I would microchip pets for near cost to make sure they all have microchips. Vaccines cost around R60 from suppliers and our practice charges R460. Why the shocking markup?
Reply · Unlike · 9 · Follow Post · 23 July at 14:55

Nicky Evans · Works at Self-Employed
Ruan, I cannot comment on the specific mark-up percentages as those do vary between practices but items such as microchips are marked up to include the professional time and competence of the vet inserting them (some horrific cases of lay people incorrectly inserting them), the administration and paperwork, the ordering and stocking of the microchips (paid for by the practice to sit on the shelf until the box is finished and applies to all items purchased wholesale to be available at the client’s convenience, dispensary items included). All vaccinations include a full consultation with the vet (advice regarding food, parasite control etc) and a thorough physical examination of the pet prior to vaccination to pick up any underlying or concurrent disease. I cannot tell you how many times illnesses, arthritis and particularly severe dental disease are picked up at routine vaccinations. For many pets, this is the only time they get a comprehensive check-up and early intervention can not only save lives but also prevent that pet from suffering continuous discomfort from a problem that is not apparent to the untrained eye. Any monkey can give an injection – you are paying for your pet’s health to evaluated and for the subsequent advice and care that can be provided as a result.
Reply · Unlike · 32 · 23 July at 15:24

Stephen Fowler · Owner at OTR Designs
Let me see if I can work this one out, if we take the cost of a single vaccine to be R60.00 ex VAT, that is R68.40 inclusive, a general mark-up on product (not sure on the medical industry) usually averages at 60%, making it R109.44 for the vaccine. So basically you are saying they are only charging R350.56 for their expertise and time to first make sure your animal is in good health then administering the vaccine, writing a small report on the animal for future reference should they need it…….
I would call that a bargain, I am a graphic designer, studied for 3 years (less than half of a Vet), I charge that for my ‘professional’ time as a designer per hour, regardless if I spend 30 minutes or the full hour.
Reply · Unlike · 16 · 24 July at 15:57

Lyndall DN · Follow · Owner/CEO at Skull Star Customs · 168 followers
I think that is very reasonable price considering you are paying a service not only the product. You pay to have the procedure conducted in a sterile environment, by a professional. Would you get your buddy to pull your tooth out in your kitchen cos its cheaper and he has a set of pliers. If you would, then you you take the risk of infection, the prodedure may go wrong from using wrong tools, and you may have to pay more later because you didnt get it done professionally. my point is. You pay that amount to recieve a professional service. Most companies have to have insurance, so if lets say your micro chip was faulty or put in the wrong way, if you use a professional you more likely to not hae issues, and they have insurance to cover any damage or loss, or as you read some suppliers are liable to cover costs if faulty or damaged.
Reply · Unlike · 4 · 24 July at 18:44
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Caitlin Sterley · University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort
As a vet student I really appreciate you standing up for our profession that we love so much and in such a fair well written manner. Thank you!
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 23 July at 12:31

Hayley Houareau · Cape Town, Western Cape
Brilliant letter,spoken on behalf of not only all vets but a few responsible pet owners too. Well done.
Reply · Unlike · 13 · Follow Post · 23 July at 07:34

Shirley Behenna · Follow · Top commenter · Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa
Perhaps it should become the industry norm that the cost of the first year’s vaccinations and sterilisation be incorporated into the purchase price of a pet.
Reply · Unlike · 1 · Follow Post · 23 July at 07:01

Lauren Michelle Beckley · Follow · Works at Midrand Veterinary Hospital
And how would that be regulated when (a) vets aren’t the ones selling animals, and (b) most of the people who are breeding and selling animals aren’t doing it for the love of animals, but rather for the love of money! Once you’ve handed your money over for a pet, it’s your responsibility and the majority of “breeders” couldn’t care if the animal dies or not. Of course there are some awesome breeders out there who are doing things the right way and for the right reasons, but they are few and far between.
Reply · Unlike · 3 · 23 July at 11:53

Bianca Bradfield · Top commenter
It is if you adopt
Reply · Unlike · 7 · 23 July at 17:01

Danielle Lara Ribbink · WINDSOR HOUSE ACADEMY – KEMPTON PARK
This is why the sale of Pets in petshops need to be stopped, your pet adopted with sterilized, microchip, vacs and dewormed … none of this covered by petshops
Reply · Unlike · 4 · 24 July at 08:56

Jenny de Meynier · Evelyn High School Bulawayo
I agree 99% with the Vet – she makes a lot of sense. However, what has not been addressed, and which is a desperate issue, is the one of sterilization. The cost of sterilizing your pet is exorbitant and the majority of people simply cannot afford it. Yes, of course they should have thought about that before owning the pet, but really, let us be realistic! The number of unwanted animals is staggering and could be avoided. The SPCA and other animal welfare organisations do their best to stem the tide but even they cannot afford to do it for nothing. I am appreciative of the costs involved but surely in this day and age we can come up with alternatives. The Veterinarians, Veterinary Associations, such as SAVA, should stand together and, for example, appeal to the government for funding. Or the drug companies could offer massive discounts on the drugs needed. Or we could actually use funds from the LOTTO! Whatever – let us get thinking and make the lot of our pets who give SO much to us, a more thoughtful and responsible one!
Reply · Unlike · 5 · Follow Post · 22 July at 14:59

Nicky Evans · Works at Self-Employed
Jenny, thank you for your support however the following must be said. Spays and neuters at private vets are already heavily subsidised (by the private vet clinics) and cost at least half of what they should cost. These surgeries are not simple procedures, despite the fact that they are routinely performed. Animals adopted from the SPCA are sterilised, vaccinated and microchipped for an extremely reasonable fee that is less than the average private sterilisation fee. I battle to sympathise with people who ignore adoption and purchase puppies and kittens from breeders for more than my monthly bond repayment and then complain that they cannot afford to sterilise them. The other massive problem is the pet owner who wants to “have one litter for fun” or so that “the kids can experience the miracle of birth” or because “Frodo/Fluffy/S… See More
Reply · Unlike · 67 · Edited · 23 July at 01:12

Denver Mudie · Follow · Onderstepoort
Nicky Evans Well said!
Reply · Unlike · 3 · 23 July at 10:29

Andrew Molyneaux · General Manager at Tshukudu Game Lodge
Jenny – when one considers the purchase of anything that requires a level of care and maintenance it is common sense that one should evaluate the ongoing cost – take a motor vehicle for example. When purchased (and most of us have one) it is common knowledge that said vehicle will require ongoing costs over and above the purchase price – maint licence insurance etc – Why should it be different with a pet? Just my thoughts.
Reply · Unlike · 4 · 23 July at 15:42
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Ray Still · University College of Rhodesia
Excellent letter
vets bill article · 22 July at 00:16

Barbara Richards
Well done excellent letter. Totally willing to pay equal as I would for one of my children.
Reply · Like · 27 · Follow Post · 21 July at 22:11

Linda Dunn Livesey
Maybe people should cost out what each pet is going to cost them per year… decent food, annual vaccinations, dewormer, shampoo etc.. before u even have a vet bill for illness or accident! CAN U ACTUALLY AFFORD A PET?
Reply · Like · 22 · Follow Post · 21 July at 18:40

Rachel Worgan · University of Ottawa
Linda, the Humane Society where I live asks people how much they think it will cost annually to feed, care for as well as provide toys/grooming supplies for each year. I think more places should do this and maybe just maybe people will think twice before adopting an animal when they can’t afford it
Reply · Like · 3 hours ago

Nicky Roe Weitendorf · Student Veterinary Nurse at Connaught House Veterinary Group
Dr Knipe. Excellent letter about our veterinary profession. I do hope this letter travelsnso people can see what dedicated veterinary staff deal with daily. Such true words written by yourself. Thank you
vets bill article · 21 July at 18:37

Katie Womersley Erasmus · Brighton Technical College
Very true…should make us think before we go and buy a pet!
vets bill article · 21 July at 16:12

Bill Derman · Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal
It is my opinion that all pets should get proper professional care. I agree 100% with Dr Knipe
Reply · Like · 15 · Follow Post · 21 July at 15:57

Patricia Pybus · Umtentweni, KwaZulu-Natal
And there are already local outlets supplying high quality pet food – support local!!
vets bill article · 21 July at 12:47

Patricia Pybus · Umtentweni, KwaZulu-Natal
A very well constructed response, I have to say I agree with what Dr Knipe has said.
Reply · Like · 7 · Follow Post · 21 July at 12:45

Carrie Jepson
This letter is not in response to a program already aired – it’s in response to a request for people to submit their experiences with “exorbitant” vet bills for a program still to be aired by Carte Blanche, who will now be interviewing this vet to get the other side of the story.