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The cost of Veterinary care

The cost of Veterinary care

Old Feb 24th 2015, 4:17 am
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Question The cost of Veterinary care

Hello,

Can anyone tell me how the cost of veterinary care in Britain compares to the cost in the U.S.?

Also, what are your opinions about the care itself in Britain?

Thanks.
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Old Feb 24th 2015, 8:11 am
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Default Re: The cost of Veterinary care

In general, I think it costs about the same. I just ran expenses for Suzy's healthcare for the 4 years after we came back.

I took out health insurance, so it's difficult to say what healthcare cost (because it wasn't a reimbursement plan; the vets submitted the paperwork and if there was any unpaid balance, they billed me).

Total cost for 4 years was £2,547.21, of which about £670 was vet bills for insurance excess or routine care.

As with most countries, pet health insurance gradually (or rapidly!) increases as your pet ages and you are then stuck - it's hard to take out new pet health insurance on an old animal. Suzy's insurance went from £18 per month in 2007 (when she was about 9) to £23 in 2008, £32 in 2009, £42 in 2010, and £56 in 2011.

If you have a steady income stream and/or decent savings, I'd recommend not taking out pet health insurance. Put a regular amount into a separate, interest-bearing account and draw from it any time you have vet bills.
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Old Feb 25th 2015, 4:40 am
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Default Re: The cost of Veterinary care

Thanks so much, dunroving, for your quick and detailed reply!

I had read awhile back somewhere here that the vet costs were less in the UK, so I was surprised by what you wrote.

What's your opinion of the vets in general there?
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Old Feb 25th 2015, 8:57 am
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Default Re: The cost of Veterinary care

Originally Posted by Downton Gabby View Post
Thanks so much, dunroving, for your quick and detailed reply!

I had read awhile back somewhere here that the vet costs were less in the UK, so I was surprised by what you wrote.

What's your opinion of the vets in general there?
Generally very happy with them. My neighbour, who is on benefits and has three dogs, takes her dogs to a budget veterinary clinic (Vets4Pets). They are very reasonably priced and great with her dogs. She lives for her dogs and wouldn't take them anywhere except the best vet.

So, I think you can get cheaper than I listed (my costs were mainly because the insurance premiums were daft). I can't figure out my vet costs because insurance paid them, but I'd guesstimate a healthy dog would cost £100 per year for routine care. Once you start hitting chronic or serious health problems, it's hard to generalise.
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Old Feb 25th 2015, 9:37 am
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Default Re: The cost of Veterinary care

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
Generally very happy with them. My neighbour, who is on benefits and has three dogs, takes her dogs to a budget veterinary clinic (Vets4Pets). They are very reasonably priced and great with her dogs. She lives for her dogs and wouldn't take them anywhere except the best vet.

So, I think you can get cheaper than I listed (my costs were mainly because the insurance premiums were daft). I can't figure out my vet costs because insurance paid them, but I'd guesstimate a healthy dog would cost £100 per year for routine care. Once you start hitting chronic or serious health problems, it's hard to generalise.
I would certainly advise getting pet insurance, there are plenty of firms offering oit, and many of the household insurance companies are now doing it as an add on.
Insurances do not cover annual injections, but not doing them might well invalidate the insurance. I have, at various times owned around 20 dogs in the UK, all show dogs and having had them im numbers of up to 6 at a time, then any vet bills would be extremely high if you were very unlucky.
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Old Feb 25th 2015, 1:17 pm
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Default Re: The cost of Veterinary care

I personally thought it was cheaper in the UK but I guess it depends where you're living. Kent vs Los Angeles so LA was definitely more expensive. We LOVED our vet back in the UK. We'll be going back there when we return.
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Old Feb 25th 2015, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: The cost of Veterinary care

Our vet charges about £30 for an examination, then the cost of drugs on top of that. If you need a follow up appointment, sometimes they charge £25, other times they have done it no charge.
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Old Feb 25th 2015, 5:13 pm
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Default Re: The cost of Veterinary care

I'd recommend insurance for anyone who is concerned about not being able to afford major emergency care, just for peace of mind.

Personally, on reflection I would have put money aside in a separate account, and in the early years used a credit card if I didn't have the money. I am sure I paid 2-3 times in premiums over the 15 years Suzy was alive, compared to the cost of the health care she needed.

Separate to the cost issue, I also think it can be tempting in later life to spend lots of money (or ask the insurance company to) on long-term major chronic treatment when a dog is so sick we just need to let them go. Different issue, maybe, but worth thinking about.
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Old Mar 5th 2015, 2:54 am
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Default Re: The cost of Veterinary care

Thanks everyone! Sorry it took a while to get back here to say that

One other thing...are there Emergency Vet Clinics there? If so, are they as crazy expensive as in the U.S.?
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Old Mar 6th 2015, 5:13 pm
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Default Re: The cost of Veterinary care

Anyone?
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Old Mar 6th 2015, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: The cost of Veterinary care

I know there are emergency vet clinics, but I couldn't comment on the price in relation to the USA prices.

Healthcare for your pets is definitely a good move in my opinion. Some people avoid it and take the chance because they've never experienced hefty vet bills before, but for a few pounds a month, I would always choose to have it. Some plans will even cover emergency care, which is an added bonus.
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Old Mar 6th 2015, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: The cost of Veterinary care

I would definitely look into getting pet insurance in the uk. You'll also find its much more compressive than the coverage I can find in th US. I haven't had any major vet bills here yet (touch wood) but one surgery one of my dogs had cost £9000 in the uk so well worth he insurance! There are plenty of emergency clinics (out of hours) most practices will have them, and if they don't they should have a sister practice that they will send you too out of hours. Ice used them many times. Hope this helps.
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Old Mar 6th 2015, 8:45 pm
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Default Re: The cost of Veterinary care

Sorry also forgot yo say, yes the emergency clinics can get expensive, I once had to go in on new years eve and I think the initial consult was three times the price of a normal one! I'm not sure how that relates to the cost of them in the states though sorry.
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Old Mar 6th 2015, 9:02 pm
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Default Re: The cost of Veterinary care

My vet does 24 hour emergency service for their own practice and 27 other local ones. So not all vets do it but I think legally they have to have an arrangement with one who does.

Keeping rats for over 21 years I have had many emergency visits. In my vets they charge an 'emergency service' one off fee, usually £100, ma y be more after midnight. Then the rest of the fees are as normal.

I concur about pet insurance. You can get it for cats, dogs and rabbits. Only one company does 'exotics.' There are two basic types of policy. Annual and lifetime. The cheaper annual ones will cover a new condition for 12 months. The better policies like Pet Plan will cover a new condition for life. And within each company they often have different levels, gold, silver etc (a bit like Obamacare). So gold has a higher maximum payout per condition a.d a lower excess than silver or bronze etc. But any insurance is better than none. If we had a dog or cat I wouldn't go without insurance. It's good to know you'd be able to afford things like complicated surgery for awkward fractures or chemotherapy etc if needed giving your pet every chance he deserves. If I couldn't afford the insurance I wouldn't have a cat or dog.
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