...in general, for hocks and ankles? Does your vet charge for the drugs injected in addition to the procedure, or is there one "blanket" charge?
Two and a half years ago, I had two hocks and one ankle done (including flexions, x-rays of the ankle, sedation, full farm call, and a tube of Surpass) for under $500. Each injection was billed as its own "blanket" charge. This was with a vet from a nationallly-known clinic, if that makes a difference.
I just got a bill for two hocks and two ankles (including flexions, one block, sedation, 1/5 farm call, and two tubes of bute) for a little under $1k. I was charged for the actual drugs injected in addition to the procedure charge. The four injections with no drugs included were about $350. The drugs (not including sedation or bute) were an additional $400+.
Obviously I will pay my bill with no complaint, but I'm trying to figure out if this is the new "normal"...if so, then I guess Montana will just have to be retired the next time he needs injections, because there is no way I can afford to do that on a regular basis for a casual/pleasure use horse.
Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
My horse had a similar set of injections done last fall, for right around $600 total (farm call, exam/flexions, sedation and all medications).
Just had him done again, new vet, haven't seen the new bill, but I'm worried it will be more. Still, I think it is money saved--proven effective treatment, lasts for up to 6 months for my horse--compared to "feed thru" joint concoctions, it is cheap and works!
When I had my horses hocks injected with HA and cortisone this past Sept. it ran me about 550.00. That included farm call, actual drugs, and sedation. I think for flexions, 1 block and injections of both ankles and hocks 1k sounds pretty good! I paid 800 for a lameness exam/consultation about 2 ago years that just included a few radiographs, blocks, flexions and consultation. That didn't include any injections.
Of course everything is relative to where you live. In my neck of the woods 500.00 is the average price for just hock injections alone.
Last edited by LookinSouth; Mar. 5, 2012 at 07:37 AM.
That's a bit steep, but not far off the mark fom average. Is there cheaper? Sure.
I'm guessing it breaks down to something like this:
55 x 6 joints injection fee
70 x 6 joints steroid/HA/antibiotic
50 x 2 views X-rays during hock injections for needle placement
120 level 1 lameness exam, existing client
50 diagnostic block (less if a nerve block, more if a joint block)
20 farm call split (total guess)
Total: 1,090 + bute paste
But your total is a little under 1k so they probably didn't charge you for X-rays during the injections (none of my vets do).
Here is what I would expect for the same thing at one of the clinics I use (this one is a major hospital in Oklahoma)
35 Office fee
38 per joint injection fee
62 per joint (hocks, pasterns or ankles, all others are more) drugs
40 Sedation, zylazine
36 Nerve block or 38+36 for a joint block
0 x rays during injections
15 bandages per ankle
20 IV Bute
115 level one lameness existing client (135 new client)
they don't do farm calls, but there is the office fee
So total: 876
Another hostipal down the road has very similar costs except joint injections are a flat fee of around 150 for hocks and ankles. I only used them that one time for injections...
Their estimated total for the same thing: 1,176
When I go someplace new, I always ask for an estimate before we start. Some areas of the country you don't have many other options and in other areas it can be very competitive (oklahoma) with a range of costs. But it's always nice not to have bill shock after the fact.
The bill didn't seem outrageous to me, but it was significantly higher than I was anticipating. I've never paid more than $350 for hocks (including x-rays, which he didn't have this time) or $500 for hocks + one ankle (including x-rays), so I was expecting to pay around $600ish this time - not $1k. I didn't ask for a quote because (a) he needed the work done, regardless and (b) I have been paying for injections for this horse for eight years and thought I had a good handle on about what the visit should cost. I won't make THAT mistake again!
It sounds like some of you are paying prices around what I expected to pay and some are paying closer to what I was charged this time around.
There are two things that jump out about that.
1) polyglycan is not approved for use as an IA injection (or an IV one, but I've never heard of a vet using it IA.) ok, so not an big deal and wouldn't bother me if my vet suggested it.
2) a 10ml vial runs 75-90 depending on mark up and you'd not even use that much in hocks and ankles! That charge would be for a 50ml bottle so I sure hope you go to take the other 42+ ml home with you!
If the is what they charged you for polyglycan, I would call the office Monday just to double check it's billed correctly. No harm in asking.
Generally I have paid $125-150 per ankle for injections and about the same, maybe a little more for hocks. Last year though I went to a racetrack vet for my mare's hocks and stifle injections. He does straight HA and no tranq. It cost me $150 total. And most people who no my mare said he was probably the only one who could have done it so easily without her exploding. The only downside is hauling to him and because of his hours I had to leave work early to do it, but I plan to do it again this year and am thinking of taking the old man to get his hocks done as that is cheaper than oral supplement.
Nope, not a typo or billing issue. The charge was listed as "polyglycan vial for IA injection" or something like that - not sure because I already sent the copy in with my check. That was what really raised my eyebrows initially...