Anyone in England who has a pet will have experienced the massive and unwarranted charges when you have to take your pet to the Veterinary Surgery.
There is no real price competition between Vets– they ALL charge sky high prices and get away with it. Vets have created a mammoth ‘unregulated’ market to be exploited ruthlessly. From the moment you walk into the Surgery, you know your wallet is going to be pretty empty when you leave. Just looking at your dog or cat or hamster starts the meter running and it clocks up about fifty quid immediately. If the Vet moves to the drug compartment, beware, you can say goodbye to a hundred nicker in no time.
If your pet is really ill and not just needing the Vet’s standard treatment of an extortionately expensive ‘antibiotic’ injection, and follow up pills – say having had an accident or organ disease, you can expect to rack up thousands of pounds in Vet bills, so make sure you have pet insurance to help you with the cost, or you are likely to say a sad goodbye to your beloved pet! [Pet insurance is anything but cheap, and is a complicated area to ensure you have adequate cover; the very existence of Pet Insurance has though in fact been a driving force behind the high Vet’s fees that we experience in England – the Vets rely on people having insurance, so they can charge what the hell they like (they basically have a licence to print money!). Why don’t the pet Insurance providers rein them in? They can’t be bothered, that’s why – it is easier to put up your premiums year on year, and as a pet lover you are mug enough to pay whatever is demanded!]
Not all Vets can be relied upon to perform the role of animal welfare (despite the Vets all taking an oath to ensure the welfare of their animal patients) – sometimes treatment can be an ‘interesting’ challenge, as well as a big money spinner. Money making can easily become a major goal for a Vet – to the sad detriment of your pet. There is a constant risk of ‘overtreatment’ by vets and consequently animals suffering unnecessarily.
You will find that increasingly Vets set up practice in the most affluent areas, where pets are a valued family member, and monies will be spent on costly veterinary treatment with no questions asked. Additional non-essential drugs, tests, procedures, or treatments will be recommended by the Vet and readily paid for by the loving naive owners. Then there is also the pushing by Vets of their ‘recommended’ food and other accessories, which becomes a nice little money spinner (both expensively priced and attracting rewards from the selected manufacturers for promoting their products!). Sometimes at your Vets profits come before pets.
You will probably find that your long established veterinary practice used to treat farm animals and horses as well – but not any longer (that is too much like hard work), they now just look after household pets – much easier and much more profitable!
Pet owners have a common concern about Vet overcharging; it is strongly felt that there is an element of profiteering in many practices.
The law of the land requires pet owners to get veterinary treatment for sick animals, and not cause unnecessary suffering. So Vets simply rake it in all the time.
So what can be done to alter things? Well not much really, apart from highlighting abuse when you come across it – but don’t bother to complain to your Vet (they will simply cross you and your pet off their list!). Also, you can buy your pet medicines ‘online’ and save many hundreds of percent – but you get caught out if you need a prescription (your Vet will certainly overcharge you for providing that!). Until the veterinary profession is brought under some form of proper regulation, and properly investigated by a ‘competition authority’, pet owners are simply ‘cannon fodder’. Any moves will be strongly resisted by the Vets – so don’t hold your breath!