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I feel that I was taken advantage of by my vet

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I feel that I was taken advantage of by my vet

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riceliamriceliam Forumite
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Hi all. 
sunday evening 9.30 my dog was hit by a car. Obviously I was very upset and just new I had to get her to a vet as soon and as quickly as possible..

we got her to the vet and stayed until she was sedated. 

i don't have pet insurance as Iv always been in the mind set of I would put a dog down if it needs big vet care as I don't believe big operations is fair to put them through.

so we got her on the table and when we left her my understanding was we would hopefully be able to collect her in a couple of hours. And I was looking at £1000/£1500 bill.  

5hours later I got a call saying it was a lot more work than originally thought and the rest of the work would be carried out 1st thing in the morning.

we received another call in the morning to say that we could collect whinny at 11.30am and they needed payments before dog was taken away from the vets. £3900!!

we walked in and all I could hear was our dog screaming.
i was tired/stressed and didn't want the argument. So I paid it.

should I have paid this??? Can I argue this case???

the dog is going to need ongoing vet visits what I don't think is kind to her at all and really think it should have been discussed with me that there would be ongoing visits or even the option of putting whinny down.

I also have taken her back to day as a lot of her stitches came undone and the sling for her leg had come loose. 

As we we went to leave I was given another bill for the work today for £500. i have said that I'm not paying at this moment in time until I have spoken to the manager.

thanks  for reading and look forward to hear your comments. 

Liam
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Replies

  • tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
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    I think you do have a valid complaint as there is a big difference between £1000-£1500 and £3900. I think the vet should have been more aware of the potential for the cost to be c£4000 and for there to also be significant further costs that were  probably going to create financial hardship for you.

    I would stick out for an overall discount/refund of c£1500, i.e. no £500 bill for subsequent work (that should not have needed doing), and £1000 off the original bill. I think anything else penalises that vets too harshly; they worked for five hours to try to save your dog's life after all and you don't really want them worrying about whether they are going to lose money when they should worrying about doing the best thing for your pet. (Non-emergency vets charge around £200/hr, emergency vets might well charge double this and also have the cost of the nurses time, equipment and supplies to pay for, but even so £3900 is £780/hr!)    

    If they are your regular vets rather than an emergency vet, you might push for a bit more off the original bill as you will be spending more with them in future and I would remind them of this. 
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • riceliamriceliam Forumite
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    Iv looked over the bill and the majority of the money is sedative/extray rarther than labour. The discussion of it taking 2hours and being £1000-£1500 was verbal and not in writing.   
    But I feel once she was on the table and the vet could properly asses the situation, I should have had a update on the cost/damage to the dog. 


    They was a emergency vet and never used them before.
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    Did you tell the vet you wanted consulted if the cost was going to be more than the original estimate- as that is what it was, an estimate. Most pet owners want the best treatment for their animal
    Emergency vets do not come cheap. They are available all night whether anybody calls on their services or not. 
    They have to pay for the use of the premises whether they have any fee paying clients or not.The premiss are usually rented from another practice.
    They have to pay the staff for antisocial hours so , like other workers who work night shift,  they pay them more than the usual vets
    They have to buy their own supplies.
    One set  up ,at least ,demand a minimum amount of hundreds of  pounds up front before they will open the door.
    They are a private company who set their  own charges.

    the work your vet did  the next day is due to be paid to him. He gets no money from the emergency vets. You could ask the emergency vets to cover the cost if it was due to their work not being to a  satisfactory standard- assuming your dog didn't interfere with the stitches or the  sling and you followed any aftercare instructions.

    Her 'screaming' could be due to the effects of the aneasthetic which can  affect them the same as an adult feels after an aneasthetic. My own dogs whined or howled for hours after   coming home and one was so bad she needed sedated the next day.
  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
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    riceliam said:
    Iv looked over the bill and the majority of the money is sedative/extray rarther than labour.
    They was a emergency vet and never used them before.
    It seems unsurprising they would need the Xray - so that should have been in the estimate and definitely some sedative (though it seems they needed to sedate the next morning too so there was definitely more than expected there). So from that point of view it would seem worth asking how they arrived at such a different verbal estimate.
    But I also wonder how many pet owners would call a halt to such treatment part way through, which will have affected whether the vet thought it worth interrupting the treatment to consult with you.

    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    riceliam said:
    Iv looked over the bill and the majority of the money is sedative/extray rarther than labour.
    They was a emergency vet and never used them before.
    It seems unsurprising they would need the Xray - so that should have been in the estimate and definitely some sedative (though it seems they needed to sedate the next morning too so there was definitely more than expected there). So from that point of view it would seem worth asking how they arrived at such a different verbal estimate.
    But I also wonder how many pet owners would call a halt to such treatment part way through, which will have affected whether the vet thought it worth interrupting the treatment to consult with you.

    Maybe not many but there will be some who will take that view, as is their legal right. So it is not for the vet to assume and present the owner with a fait accompli. 

    Presumably the OP signed some sort of agreement before the vet started work? What does that say?
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  • ArtytartyArtytarty Forumite
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    Thats a big bill! I hope you can reach an agreement and a payment plan so your vet gets what he is owed for saving your dogs life.
    Im not getting any sense of relief or gratitude here.
    There will be good clinical reasons why the bill jumped up so much , your vet did not just decide to stick the arm in financially speaking! Honestly, people have no idea of the hard work, sweat and stress vets put into complicated surgery. 
    it matters to them that its a success because  they care about your animal.

    Hows the dog doing by the way?

    Norn Iron Club member 473
  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    Artytarty said:
    Thats a big bill! I hope you can reach an agreement and a payment plan so your vet gets what he is owed for saving your dogs life.
    Im not getting any sense of relief or gratitude here.
    There will be good clinical reasons why the bill jumped up so much , your vet did not just decide to stick the arm in financially speaking! Honestly, people have no idea of the hard work, sweat and stress vets put into complicated surgery. 
    it matters to them that its a success because  they care about your animal.

    Hows the dog doing by the way?

    Be that as it may the OP was still entitled to be consulted before incurring a bill significantly exceeding the original estimate! 

    As I said it does depend to some extent on what the OP agreed to in any contract. From what we are told the OP was charged around three times the amount they were told to expect. Financially the OP appears to have been in a position to pay it but that is not the point. Not everybody would be, many may have struggled with even the estimated figure.

    Equally it was their absolute right to have chosen a different humane path and they should have been given that option.
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    What exactly were her injuries?
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