By Catie Wark
Published on: March 2nd, 2021
“You value profits over my pet’s life.” “You don’t care if my pet lives or dies, you just want the money.” “Your prices are absurd; your prices are too high; who can afford treatment like this?” We have heard it all and have only been open for 1.5 years in the Denver Metro Area. People are ruthless. No matter how much emotion or empathy you show as a veterinary professional, it is never good enough. It’s no wonder vets have an extremely high suicide rate.
When we present estimates over $2,000-$4,000, people are often shocked. Why is it so expensive?, they ask.
Well, here is why: In the past ten years, veterinary medicine has made huge technological leaps and bounds and we are treating pets just as we would humans. We do blood transfusions, pacemaker implantations, and perform extensive, lifesaving CPR on coding pets! You wouldn’t believe how much of our profits support improving our patient care. Vets used to get reviews saying the medicine wasn’t good enough to save pets; now we get reviews shaming us, claiming that we don’t care because it’s too expensive.
We also have to account for inflation and the rise of drug prices. It is no surprise drug prices are increasing and becoming more scarce during the pandemic. Just as the price of human medications rises, the price of pet medications follows suit.
A veterinarian has to go to school for 4 years of undergraduate education (100-120k), and 4 years of post-graduate vet school (150-300k). Some of our board-certified doctors even went to 2 years of specialty internships! Veterinarians entering the workforce in this generation are being saddled with over 250k of debt, leaving them unable to buy a house or even afford to have kids early on in life.
Our team does what we do because there is a need for it. There are certain days where your pet could be waiting and suffering for 6-12 hours at other competing emergency veterinary hospitals. Our average wait time is around 15 minutes during the pandemic!
Here is your solution: Be prepared. Don’t assume accidents won’t happen–they will. It is just a matter of when.
-Set aside at least $5,000 for each pet or create new bank accounts for an emergency fund.
We know this is a lot to ask. Trust us when we say we are still working on our 5k reserves for our pets.
-Enroll in Pet Insurance!!
If your pet is young, this is the perfect time to start pet insurance. Even if your pet is older, insurance will still pay for accidents like pancreatitis that are not related to a pre-existing condition.
A veterinarian can make a recommendation, provide multiple financial options, and at times must offer the option to relinquish the pet, but YOU as the pet owner are ultimately responsible for your pet’s life, and you make the decision. We are sorry we can’t give our services out for free; we would if we could. All of us are animal lovers down to our core and we love to help people!
We have children, we have pets, and we have emergencies that we have to pay for too. Veterinarians work hard. You have to beg some veterinarians to take a vacation!
We want you to know that when you bring your pet to us, we are imagining it is our own pet. What would we do? How would we save it? Take all of these points into consideration and show some compassion for the vets that work hard to provide quality care for all pets. No matter how you treat us, we will still want to help, but communication is easier when we can work together.