Thursday, May 7, 2009

Vet Price Gouging

I know that medical expenses are high. It's true that going to school for medicine is extremely high and time consuming. I really do understand. To become a vet at the University of Wisconsin the tuition is about $18,000.

Tonight I had a friend that had a hurt lovebird. We called the only 24 hr vet in the area, which happens to be in Appleton, WI. They said for her to just walk in the door and see the vet the cost would be $89. From there they estimated the cost for helping the bird would be $250. For a little love bird? Why? It fits inside your hand and there isn't a whole lot you can do to a bird, honestly.

When I spoke with them they told me that we could either go to them, Green Bay, or some other small town I've never heard of. They were the only gig in town. So, they were more into the all might dollar over actually doing what is right for the pet. They didn't care if the person couldn't afford it or if the price was way too high. They knew that they were the only ones open and that they could basically charge what they wanted.

My friend cried. Her bird was seriously hurt. She is a single mother now going through a divorce. A year ago, perhaps, she could have paid for the service, but tonight there was no way. She'd be lucky to bring home enough money to pay all the bills in the house. But it doesn't matter, because in the mind of big business she's just a circumstance like many others.

I've heard it said that if you can't afford to take care of your pet then you shouldn't own one. Yet there are millions of people that have pets that are like family members. The amount of an office visit for a pet shouldn't be the same price as one for a human. Yet, here it is. It's actually more.

It's funny how pets are considered therapeutic for people. I'm sure that my friend gets much pleasure and companionship from her pets since her husband is gone and she has to share her children. She loves them and treats them like members of her family. It has to be heartbreaking and frustrating to not be able to do anything because she didn't have the money to walk in and get the help she needed.

If it were one of her children that was hurt the hospital would take them right in. A doctor would see her child without worrying about the payment. An MD has to have more training and schooling then a vet. They put out a lot more money and time and go through much more stress. You'd think that they would be more concerned about the money, but it doesn't seem so.

Now, I'm sure not all vets are that way. I know for a fact that my neighbor who happens to be a vet has a very large heart. He works hard for his family and he cares about what he does. I'm not saying all vets are heartless bastards, not at all. I am saying that the 24 hour clinic that we have here in town, however, just doesn't seem to care. They know they have a monopoly and are happy to take full advantage of that fact.

You can get pet insurance for your pet. It runs around $25-$30 per month for each pet. It also has a deductible, but it would help keep expenses down if and when something happens. Unfortunately they don't cover birds, only dogs and cats.

1 comment:

Vidooshak said...

I hope your neighbor who is a vet managed to help out the Lovebird, out of humanity.