Veterinary ethics. - Reptile Forums

Go Back   Reptile Forums > General > General Herp Chat


  #1 (permalink)  
Old 13-05-2020, 09:36 AM
Regular
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 141
Default Veterinary ethics.

Have been doing this hobby for quite a few years. So had my own animal health experiences and also been asked for advice from others. Longer I have been in the hobby and the more I have heard of health issues in reptiles which usually end up at vets. Almost all of which don't seem to end on a happy note. Have got into another conversation with somebody this week about a poorly Bosc with RI that the owner is spending hundreds on at vets with nil improvement. Got to say this and other stories I have heard about where others have spent hundreds, thousands on vet bills makes me question the ethics of the vet profession. Just seems that virtually all vets don't have a clue about reptiles and are not competent to charge fees for them dabbling and experimenting in the treatment of reptiles. Seems to be a case of reptile owners being cash cows for some vets.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 13-05-2020, 11:51 AM
Premier Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Stevenage, UK
Posts: 7,200
Default

Personally I think most vets, regardless of the animal rip people off. The vets where our German Shepard is registered always state the consultation fees and then the medication, so whilst sitting in the waiting room you get to hear what others are being charged. I calculated that on that occasion the consultation fees came out at around £300 / hour, and there were three vets on rota.

But it's also the medication that is overly inflated. A few years back we were charged £35 for a weeks worth of tablets for our dog. I googled the product and found several on-line companies that supply the same drug having received the script direct from the vets, at a fraction, ie under £10, of the cost. I challenged the vet, and after a heated discussion put me on a scheme they run where you are charged the cost from their supplier so they don't make any profit on the drugs. It was still more than the online company, but only by a couple of quid. The markup the vets place on the drugs was horrendous, and I've seen an increasing rise in the threshold insurance companies expect you to pay before any claim is considered. Direct line's threshold is £195, but with any one off treatment / consultation averaging £100 you can't recover any of that cost.

In 33 years of keeping snakes I've only ever required the assistance from a vet three times. The first was with a garter snake that had thiamine poisoning through my inexperience as I was following the advice from the pet shop back in 1986. Multiple injections later and the snake just died. The vet was fair, often just charging for the shots and no consultation fees other than the first. The second time was with my old male cornsnake which has an eye infection. Again, one consultation fee, the others were free, plus the cost of a tube of ointment. The snake made a full recovery over three month period. Lastly, different vet, and my 21 year old royal. It had developed an abscess in its throat, possibly after taking a rat down in the wrong direction. Vet charged for every consultation visit, and for the shots. Sadly it didn't work and the snake died. I was advised afterwards by a well known herpetologiest that the snake had been given a broad based antibiotic where it should have been given one more suited for the infection (he did mention the product but I've slept since then !), and he felt there would have been a good chance the snake would have lived.

Personally I feel that it's our duty as keepers to try and control things ourselves so that vets are a last resort. Often things like RI's are down to poor husbandry rather than some random occurrence. With better understanding of the reptiles needs, regular cleaning and precautions when handling (it does annoy me when you see so many videos on Youtube where people show one snake to the camera and then another without washing their hands in between.)
__________________
Regards

Malc



Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 13-05-2020, 04:40 PM
Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 15,866
Default

The cost involved in training to become a vet is eye watering. Not only do you have the usual living/tuition costs involved as a student, but every holiday is spent on work placements and/or rotations as you reach the final year. None of these are paid -eg some farmers, might give free b&b and meals, but certainly not all. Even large well visited animals centres only offer a subsidised meal when there.

The running costs of a vet practice are high. The cost of specialist machinery etc. Yes, drugs are dear especially given that for humans it is under £10 per item (in very much larger quantities) and it is surprising how many people don't actually pay for prescriptions.

The sheer dedication of those working in the veterinary profession is underestimated. A reptile keeper can find practices where there is a vet with additional qualifications for reptiles.
colinm, **louise** and GT2540 like this.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 13-05-2020, 08:18 PM
Premier Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Stevenage, UK
Posts: 7,200
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellsfeathers&fur View Post
The cost involved in training to become a vet is eye watering. Not only do you have the usual living/tuition costs involved as a student, but every holiday is spent on work placements and/or rotations as you reach the final year. None of these are paid -eg some farmers, might give free b&b and meals, but certainly not all. Even large well visited animals centres only offer a subsidised meal when there.

The running costs of a vet practice are high. The cost of specialist machinery etc. Yes, drugs are dear especially given that for humans it is under £10 per item (in very much larger quantities) and it is surprising how many people don't actually pay for prescriptions.

The sheer dedication of those working in the veterinary profession is underestimated. A reptile keeper can find practices where there is a vet with additional qualifications for reptiles.
I don't doubt the points you mention... But IMO the only justification for marking up a product almost 300% is just greed.... In the point I raised, if the online company can supply the same drug from the same manufacture for £7 and still make a profit, then I'm sure the vets could reduce their prices. If they are being charged more then the service that provides vets with the medication are ripping vets off and vets should go direct. I also believe that most vets incomes form from commercial (equestrian and farm livestock) rather than domestic, so I'm sure they soon recoup the cost of the training...

I agree that its often hard to find a vet who has specialised in reptiles, and in some cases the fact it is an exotic means that they see an opportunity to charge more. In two out of my three instances, the first vet who did have some reptile training said that the main reason he didn't keep charging for repeat consultations or examinations was because it was a welcome change from cats, dogs and small mammals.
__________________
Regards

Malc



Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 13-05-2020, 08:39 PM
Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 15,866
Default

A practice based in a built up area or inner city area is not going to have equine or farm clients. Not sure why you think they are going to get more money from them as they would always be 'home visits'.

An employed vet will be paying off their student loan/debts out of their salary for many years. Yes they start on a relatively high salary compared to other graduates (obviously excluding banking/finance) but they have been at university for five or six years.

As for the drugs we can only speculate.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 14-05-2020, 11:05 AM
GT2540's Avatar
Super Citizen
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: essex
Posts: 831
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malc View Post
I don't doubt the points you mention... But IMO the only justification for marking up a product almost 300% is just greed.... No, you're paying for convenance, you expect to be able to get what your animal needs when you need it. There is a cost to this. All drugs are perishable and vets stock for all eventualities. On line suppliers don't. In the point I raised, if the online company can supply the same drug from the same manufacture for £7 and still make a profit, then I'm sure the vets could reduce their prices. I'm sure you pay more for a packet of paracetamol in a garage than you would in superdrug, but convenance costs. If they are being charged more then the service that provides vets with the medication are ripping vets off and vets should go direct. If it bothers you that much get the prescription and then order the drugs on line, be prepared to wait for them I also believe that most vets incomes form from commercial (equestrian and farm livestock) rather than domestic, so I'm sure they soon recoup the cost of the training... You have no knowledge of the profession and nothing to base this on?



I agree that its often hard to find a vet who has specialised in reptiles No it's not, but the bill will be high. As you're paying for experience that has been gained whilst doing many low paid positions. The charge for a corn snake would be the same as if it was any zoo animal. Would you be happy to pay a consultation of £500, I doubt it. So you get what you pay for., and in some cases the fact it is an exotic means that they see an opportunity to charge more. Yep, completely agree with this. In two out of my three instances, the first vet who did have some reptile training said that the main reason he didn't keep charging for repeat consultations or examinations was because it was a welcome change from cats, dogs and small mammals.
I have to say moaning about something that you have little to no knowledge about is far from constructive
colinm and Shellsfeathers&fur like this.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 14-05-2020, 11:42 AM
colinm's Avatar
Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 6,973
Default

I have always found that treatment for my reptiles was far cheaper than my dog. Whether they have worked is a moot point but that`s probably because the reptiles were more poorly than they showed at the time.

My dog is on daily medication for life. The vet writes me a prescription for a small price and sends it to the online suppplier`s. I buy it at a fraction of the price. The vet actually suggested this.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 14-05-2020, 01:40 PM
**louise**'s Avatar
Posting Deity
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Croydon, Surrey
Posts: 22,034
Default

My local vet is brilliant. Haven't had to take any reptiles to the vet yet but they've been really good with all my other animals. I've never found them to be greedy or got the impression they're trying to get as much money out of me as possible, in fact the complete opposite.

An example, when my pup Dexter was 6 months old he one day started scratching his ear and shaking his head. I assumed an ear infection so made an appointment for that day and took him along. This was a Sunday and they are open 2 hours for emergencies only
The locum vet looked in his ear and saw nothing obvious so advised me to keep and eye on it and come back if no improvement. He didn't charge me a penny.

Next day Dexter was still the same so I took him back. My normal vet had a look and spotted a tiny hair right inside his ear canal. With the help of me and the nurse we held Dexter still and she managed to get the hair out with a pair of long tongs. Again, they did not charge me a penny.

Dexter was fine after that!
colinm and Shellsfeathers&fur like this.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 14-05-2020, 01:57 PM
colinm's Avatar
Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 6,973
Default

Probably not on subject but I liked my old vet. He reminded me of James Herriot. He never used to put gloves on to clean my dogs anal glands.

Lovely vet but I never shook his hands !
**louise** likes this.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 14-05-2020, 04:57 PM
Regular
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 141
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellsfeathers&fur View Post
The cost involved in training to become a vet is eye watering. Not only do you have the usual living/tuition costs involved as a student, but every holiday is spent on work placements and/or rotations as you reach the final year. None of these are paid -eg some farmers, might give free b&b and meals, but certainly not all. Even large well visited animals centres only offer a subsidised meal when there.

The running costs of a vet practice are high. The cost of specialist machinery etc. Yes, drugs are dear especially given that for humans it is under £10 per item (in very much larger quantities) and it is surprising how many people don't actually pay for prescriptions.

The sheer dedication of those working in the veterinary profession is underestimated. A reptile keeper can find practices where there is a vet
with additional qualifications for reptiles.

Hear what you are saying about individual training costs to vets. However, a particular trend in recent years is the takeover of some practices by growing corporate groups. These are then in position to monopolise local areas resulting in quite poor pay for vets. Yet on the other hand they are looking to constantly raise costs and boost profits.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
respiratory infection , veterinary

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:34 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright © 2005 - 2011, Reptile Forums (RFUK™)