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 Cost of overnight stay and IV fluids
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snodogs

USA
348 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2012 :  11:20:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit snodogs's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi All: I'm trying to get a handle on what is considered "reasonable" for and overnight vet stay and administering IV fluids to a dog. We had to take one of our dogs in to our vet today because she stopped eating and seemed to be having intestinal trouble (was trying to vomit, but nothing came up; we think she might have swallowed something she shouldn't have eaten). In any case, after X-rays revealed no intestinal obstructions ($218.00) our vet recommend that she spend the night and stay on IV fluids until tomorrow. We thought "okay" sounds like a good idea. But, then, the estimate for an overnight stay and IV fluids alone was $500-600! So, here's my question: is this "reasonable" for an overnight stay and IV fluids? This just seems incredibly high to me....I can't imagine that IV fluids cost all that much, so maybe it's just the "overnight" stay that's so expensive??? Would appreciate hearing anyone's thoughts or opinions about this!

JC

USA
728 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2012 :  07:19:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit JC's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I am not sure on the overnight stay cost, but the xrays seem high to me. When I take a dog in for xrays, it is usually around $100.
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pcurtice

USA
450 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2012 :  08:45:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Why don't you call other Vet clinics in your area and ask what their costs are for the same services. I would "think" the costs for services might be competitive amongst the clinics. Might find out your vet is less expensive than others in the area.

Peter C. Curtice II
Ridgerunner Kennel
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RSmith

USA
3033 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2012 :  09:02:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit RSmith's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Every clinic is different, here in Upstate NY at my vet is $35 overnight, $35 for initial visit, $65 Xray and they really whack you for IV's, catheters and putting it in ($85). So, $220.
We no longer leave dogs overnight. (not a cost issue, its an issue of having nobody checking on the dog until the morning).

Roy Smith
Adirondack Kennel
Skandinavian Hounds/Stagsters
http://www.adirondack-kennel.com

Edited by - RSmith on 06/05/2012 09:04:17 AM
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snodogs

USA
348 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2012 :  10:53:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit snodogs's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your replies guys. I have started a list of services that we have used in the past and am going to call other clinics in the area to get comparative pricing. The clinic we use now recently went through a owner change and they seemed to have jacked up their prices since the change. Regarding x-rays, they said they wanted to do 2 views @ $100 each view, so maybe that's within the range of most vets? The fluids and high overnight-stay costs still perplex me, though.
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ChuckCubbison

USA
571 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2012 :  11:50:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit ChuckCubbison's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Roy's cost of $35 overnight appears to be for unattended care. I'm sure that the cost of $500 to $600 for an overnight stay and IV fluids is for attended care with a technician monitoring the dog, and a veterinarian there if needed. In addition to the cost of the fluids, there is most likely an infusion pump and other equipment to control the rate of fluid delivery. Obviously there is a huge difference in those services, and it depends on what care your dog needs based on the diagnosis and treatment plan. Overnight care is expensive because the hospital is not in full operation so is not bringing in money from other things going on (routine appointments, etc.) and because the staff is most likely being paid a premium to work that shift.
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snodogs

USA
348 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2012 :  12:31:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit snodogs's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Chuck for your comments. Yes, I agree that "attended" care is likely more expensive, with monitoring etc. Makes sense. Just amazing how much this stuff can cost sometimes!
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balzakjeff

USA
128 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2012 :  4:05:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If I recall correctly, recent dental surgery on our dog cost about a dollar a minute for just the technician time. I know a vet that charges $100 per hour if consulting on surgery outside his practice. We are a relatively rural area and at a big suburban clinic it is likely higher.

If you figure a technician rate of 20 bucks an hour and a 16 hour stay (5:00 pm to 9:00 am) the labor alone would be $320. Add in consumables, procedure charges, kennel charges or lab work, etc. and I bet you can hit $500 pretty fast on an attended overnight stay.

Jeff
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snodogs

USA
348 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2012 :  4:56:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit snodogs's Homepage  Reply with Quote
hi Jeff, thanks for your insight on this. It does sound like it can add up really fast. I guess the only other thing I'd add is that "clearly" the attending tech isn't just attending to one dog -- likely multiple dogs. In any case, I know vet hospitals need to charge accordingly for their services -- it's just very "ouchy" when you have to make use of them! But, also nice to know they're there when you need them.
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Fast E

USA
2198 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2012 :  10:05:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have spent thousands--i mean thousands of dollars with many different vets from different regions over the decades and i know not one that i feel 'under' charged me ;o)

www.fastestreeperkennel.com
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IN

USA
638 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2012 :  11:02:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit IN's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Snodogs,
Something almost identical happend to us couple of months back:
Two x-rays: $342.00
Overnight stay: $267.00
IV fluids: $345.00
And other charges...
$1348.00 total.

IN
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snodogs

USA
348 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2012 :  12:24:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit snodogs's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi "IN" : thanks for your reply! We managed to survive the "vet" bill and she's home now. Hopefully, there won't be another one of these for a while!

Thanks ALL for your replies and comments!

Gery
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Razor

Canada
761 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2012 :  4:35:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit Razor's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thank God I have a vet that beleives that keeping your dog for an over night creates more stress in the the animal, and it is much better off at home where it will have a much better chance at healing and be much happier. I don't beleive, no matter what a vet. may tell you that they are under watch 24/7 for the massive fees people are paying. I can get a bag of IV for $20.00 from my vet and administer it myself. The longer you have dogs, and the more you read up and become more aware about any and all problems or sickness that can happen with them, and the more aware you are, the less likely a vet is to try and sell you something you don't need. It seems people living in ares where there is less vets. per capita charge outrageous amounts of $$$ compared to the vice versa. Iv'e had dogs for 20 years so far, X-rays are $100.00, I.V are $20.00, and I have NEVER had a dog stay over night, even with there being the most extreme circumstances. I speek with people who are paying $400.00 to fix a bitch, I pay $200.00 incl tax. Why the difference? I ask questions, and acknowledge myself, most people don't. Build a rapore with your vet and you will save money.

Razor
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ChuckCubbison

USA
571 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2012 :  8:11:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit ChuckCubbison's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Razor

The longer you have dogs, and the more you read up and become more aware about any and all problems or sickness that can happen with them, and the more aware you are, the less likely a vet is to try and sell you something you don't need. It seems people living in ares where there is less vets. per capita charge outrageous amounts of $$$ compared to the vice versa.



While I completely agree that it is very important for all owners, and especially owners of multiple dogs, to be informed, and ask lots of questions...the idea that a veterinarian will "try to sell you something you don't need" is rather offensive to me as a veterinary professional. Most good vets will give you the options for diagnosis and treatment, and then let you make the decision. I haven't run across many that will try and push an owner in a direction that they don't want to go. As far as charging more where there are fewer vets...there might be something to that, and a little healthy competition always helps. On the other hand, there are likely fewer vets in such areas because their operating costs are higher and the demand for their services is lower. A vet that goes out of business because they can't cover their expenses and make a fair profit won't be around when you need them. I don't know any vets that are getting rich. The profit margin is low, expenses are high, and most of them (especially hospital/clinic owners) work hours that would make most people cringe.
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snodogs

USA
348 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2012 :  8:46:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit snodogs's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Razor,

Yes, if there is one thing we have learned it's to educate ourselves on various dog care issues. Given the high cost of veterinary bills, we have learned to ASK questions, and not take everything a vet tells us at face value. This is not meant to be adversarial with them, but just to make intelligent inquiries. In several cases, after talking with a vet, I have found that you really can negotiate with them -- to a certain extent. In some cases, I have just had to take the advice and go with it, even if it was expensive. I think each vet is different, though, and one of the problems we've had is that our hospital changed ownership. Once the new owners arrived, it became a different vet hospital. We are trying to re-build our relationship with this hospital by carefully choosing doctors we think will listen to us and consider the fact that we have a lot dogs to care for.
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midnightwind

Canada
460 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2012 :  9:29:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chuck - point taken but please bear in mind you can't speak for all vets. Vet clinics are, as you point out, a business and I have felt pressure to do things I didn't really need in the past. I don't know any rich vets either. The problem sometimes seems ideological. I also assume the problem sometimes is liability based; if they don't utilise all the bells and whistles then that potentially creates legal problems down the line. I don't really know, I am just guessing. The biggest hurdle as I encounter it is that there is no provision for multiple ownership. Most of the clinics are small animal clinics while we are essentially ranchers. An adversarial relationship benefits no one, least of all our dogs, so dedicating oneself to forming a relationship that benefits you and your dogs is key. Easier said than done.

Edited by - midnightwind on 06/09/2012 9:30:33 PM
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