Xrays can definitely be expensive. The main reason why they cost so much is that the equipment required to take the xrays can cost tens of thousands of dollars. You are also paying for the expertise of the veterinarian who interprets the xrays.
Here are some things that may help you reduce the amount of money you are paying for these xrays:
- Let the vet know you are on a tight budget and ask if he or she can take the fewest number of xrays that they feel would be helpful. While the best medicine is usually to take multiple views (i.e. a side view of the abdomen combined with a front to back to view), many times we can determine what we need to see with a single view. Often if I know that a client is on a tight budget I will take a single view and if I donʼt have my answer then I will add a second view.
- Ask if you can save money by waiting with your pet (or taking him or her home) while the xrays are being developed. Many places will charge a boarding or hospitalization fee for your pet to take up cage room (because the cage needs to be cleaned afterwards). Sometimes you can have that fee waived if your pet stays with you while you wait.
- Is sedation necessary? There are some vets who have a standard practice of sedating an animal every time they are xrayed. This may not always be necessary. You can ask your vet if they can attempt to do the xrays without sedation first and only administer drugs if necessary.
Have you heard of Petassure?
I do not personally have experience with Petassure, but it certainly sounds like an interesting way to save money. Petassure is an alternative to pet insurance.
This is how I understand the program. You sign up for Petassure and pay a yearly fee of $99 for a dog, $59 for a cat, or $149 for a family of 4 pets. Then, when you visit your vet you get a flat 25% discount off of any service and anywhere from 5% to 50% off of supplies.
Here are the benefits of Pet Assure versus Pet Insurance:
- There are absolutely no exclusions.
- There is no paperwork. You simply receive your 25% discount when you pay your bill.
- The discount applies to ALL veterinary bills including routine care like vaccines, spays and neuters, dentistries and more.
However, there is a drawback to this program. There are only vets available in certain areas who belong to Pet Assure. The benefit to a vet to join this program is that they will get a number of new clients who choose them because they are willing to give the discount. However, not all vets will want to subscribe to this program.
You can find out more about Pet Assure by visiting the following link: http://www.petassure.com
Has your pet had an adverse reaction to a veterinary product?
Although it does not happen often, we do sometimes see pets that have an adverse reaction to a product. The most common type of reaction we see is an allergic reaction to a vaccine. However, I have seen other reactions such as:
- An allergic reaction to an antibiotic
- Diarrhea or vomiting caused by an oral medication
- A localized skin reaction to a topical medicine such as a flea medication
- Kidney failure as a result of administration of a non steroidal medication such as Metacam. (This is extremely rare, but can happen.)
- Cancer seen at the site of an injection (Again, this is very rare.)
Sometimes, if a pet reacts to a medication the treatment can be very expensive. In many cases, the company who made the product that caused the problem will reimburse the vet clinic for any costs that were incurred and the clinic can pass that reimbursement on to you.
However, this information is not always offered! In my practice if I do see an adverse reaction I always have one of my technicians call our representative for the particular company and ask if the company will help my client with the costs. The vast majority of the time they are very helpful. The last time we did this a patient of mine had a serious reaction to a rabies vaccine and had to be hospitalized at an emergency clinic in the middle of the night. The vaccine company paid for the entire visit.
However, if you donʼt ask, you may not be automatically be told about this. So, ask your vet if they can have their staff contact the company on your behalf.
Article by Dr. Marie