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$77.50 for a 30 second tendon palpation??

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    $77.50 for a 30 second tendon palpation??

    I have been dealing with a bandage bow. I have been fairly certain that it was not a problem, but wanted a professional opinion to get a green light to put him back to work.

    I had made an appt for a lameness evaluation for horse #1, decided to send along horse #2. The office was notified I was bringing another horse!

    Did the lameness/flexions. Didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. I really just wanted the offending fetlock xrayed, Sent me home with bute/robaxin.

    I get the other horse off, he palpates the tendon for maybe 30 seconds. I jog him up and down the ring. He is completely sound. Exam over. 3 minute conversation regarding work load/schedule. Charge- $77.50!!!

    Am I wrong to think that this is way out of line for a 30 second exam, and to watch the horse jog 200 feet?

    I am seriously considering calling the office on this one. Please tell me if I am right or wrong on this!
    Last edited by spacehorse; Jul. 21, 2009, 03:22 PM. Reason: Rephrase of 'important' information.

    #2
    You did not pay for a 30 second exam. You paid for years of knowledge and experience that are behind the exam.

    Next time if you are worried about the price ask what something will cost before you toss an extra horse in the trailer.

    Comment


      #3
      And you got the peace of mind you sought.

      Agree with trubandloki. Next time ask first.

      Comment


        #4
        OK, you are wrong on this one. He palpated AND watched him jog...bet it was closer to 5 minutes then 30 seconds.

        That is what the vet charges for his opinion based on education and field experience, not the time spent.

        77.50 is pretty reasonable for an unschedualed, second horse on the same visit in most areas with most better vets. Some geographic areas may be less overall though.
        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          The office KNEW I was bringing another horse. I didn't just 'throw him on the trailer' as I first wrote. I apologize for my phrasing error.

          So, even if I didn't notify them, that gives them the right to bend me over (which they already had done with the lameness exam)?

          Ok, he was TOUCHING the horse for 30 seconds. I jogged him 200 feet. 3 minutes. TOPS.

          Comment


            #6
            I'd be throwing a party for a $77.50 lameness exam.

            I just got charged $200 for "physical exam/time" when, in reality, there was NO exam at all--the horse was down and thrashing when the vet got there. So she just charged me for her time instead.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Jasmine

              And if they "bent you over" on the first exam, it sounds like you need to find a new vet. My vet is really expensive, but he's also one of the best in the area. I'm willing to pay the extra because I trust his judgement. If you're not willing to pay that clinic's prices, find a different one. I'm guessing you won't find anything a whole lot cheaper, either.
              Yeah, my thoughts too!

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #8
                I agree. I so feel like I need a new vet. Pickins are slim around here, though.

                This office has gotten huge, I have never ever seen the same vet twice. Every time I get some first or second year. I am not 'paying for experience', IMO.

                They have come through in emergencies, but for routine work I am scared to call them for both what I will get charged, and I also wonder what vet I will get THIS time...

                Comment


                  #9
                  If it makes you feel any better; I hauled my horse 120 miles for a tendon recheck. Regular vet was not immediately there; new vet decided she would get things started and sedated the horse for the recheck ultrasound. Proceeds to ultrasound the horse and is telling me how she can see the tendon is healing, I point out that she's about 4 inches above the tear. At least she was on the correct leg.

                  Regular vet shows up and wants to see the horse jog first. Since he was sedated, surprise surprise, he didn't want to trot out!! I was so angry. I talked to the regular vet after paying the bill and he admitted it "was a bummer" that the horse had already been sedated. They still charged me for the clinical, however, did give me "free" ultrasound later.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    You're not just paying for his time, you're paying for the staff that was there to answer your call, send you the bill, the facilities that were there, insurance etc. My firm bills me, a paralegal, at $200/hour. 10 minutes of my time would cost you $40 and I'm not nearly as educated as your vet. Sounds like you got off cheap and that he didn't bill you for a full exam!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I paid $150 as a base price for lameness exams. blocking or radiographs were on top of that.
                      Going in for a recheck is around $80 to basically palpate the site and jog.
                      But I respect his knowledge and am willing to pay for it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I'm willing to pay seriously top dollar prices, *IF* I know that the vet is seriously top notch. There's a vet here that I'm willing to pay through the nose to deal with because she's just that good. But I won't pay it for other vets, so I don't even schedule appointments with them. A $77 lameness exam with her would be well worth the peace of mind because I'd know that in that 3 minutes, she made a highly educated and accurate diagnosis or decision/recommendations, etc. But $77 with one of the other vets in their clinic - ehhh, no thanks.

                        I use one vet who is sort of a "down home cow vet" type guy who is about to retire, and he's super nice, low reasonable fees, but I don't use his services for for truly complicated stuff like Libbey's Founder/Cushings/IR/Arthritis. But I will go to him to put 3 stiches in the dog's torn hide, or get drops for an eye infection, or film xrays.

                        I guess at the fancy equine hospital with the really up-to-date equine specialist vet, I expect to pay a lot more, and it doesn't bother me. Going to the local pet/farm animal vet, I expect to have a lower bill, and I'd be really shocked if I got a big one. So far that's never happened.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          OP, what did you expect to be charged?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by spacehorse View Post
                            I agree. I so feel like I need a new vet. Pickins are slim around here, though.

                            This office has gotten huge, I have never ever seen the same vet twice. Every time I get some first or second year. I am not 'paying for experience', IMO.

                            They have come through in emergencies, but for routine work I am scared to call them for both what I will get charged, and I also wonder what vet I will get THIS time...
                            So why don't you request which vet you want to see for your appointments?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              This is the classic case of the old story about a big factory where everything ground to a halt because the generator stooped.
                              The repairman showed up and looked over the system for 5 minutes.
                              Then he turned a valve.
                              The system roared to life.
                              The repairman handed the factory owner a bill for $500.
                              The factory owner said, "but all you did was open one valve! This is outrageous!"
                              The repairman took back the bill.
                              He wrote out a second bill--

                              "opening valve--$5.00
                              knowing which valve to open--$495.00"
                              "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                              ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                                This is the classic case of the old story about a big factory where everything ground to a halt because the generator stooped.
                                The repairman showed up and looked over the system for 5 minutes.
                                Then he turned a valve.
                                The system roared to life.
                                The repairman handed the factory owner a bill for $500.
                                The factory owner said, "but all you did was open one valve! This is outrageous!"
                                The repairman took back the bill.
                                He wrote out a second bill--

                                "opening valve--$5.00
                                knowing which valve to open--$495.00"
                                HAHA! And
                                "Aye God, Woodrow..."

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  That seems very fair to me.


                                  My vet charges $100 for soundness exam
                                  $75 for facility use
                                  there are usually xrays and sedation and injection on top of that.
                                  they have to make something for all the time and cost in getting a veterinary education?

                                  I actually think you got lucky, I know my lameness vet would only do a full soundness exam and he would charge a facility charge at the least, which I am happy to pay because he is so knowledgeable and caring towards the horses.

                                  Comment

                                    Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                                    This is the classic case of the old story about a big factory where everything ground to a halt because the generator stooped.
                                    The repairman showed up and looked over the system for 5 minutes.
                                    Then he turned a valve.
                                    The system roared to life.
                                    The repairman handed the factory owner a bill for $500.
                                    The factory owner said, "but all you did was open one valve! This is outrageous!"
                                    The repairman took back the bill.
                                    He wrote out a second bill--

                                    "opening valve--$5.00
                                    knowing which valve to open--$495.00"

                                    Ok, ok, I get it....

                                    Comment

                                      Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      I am just having trouble justifying paying that for what seemed like a total nonchalant exam.

                                      When I left that office, I seriously wondered if I was going to be charged at all. For what he did, it almost seemed silly to me. Did not ask the horses name or anything.

                                      On the bill, it is listed under a horse that was euthanized over 3 years ago. Think I may enlighten them on that bit, cause they treated the horse before he was euthanized at Leesburg and should certainly know that he doesn't need a tendon examined!

                                      I don't even know if I could request a specific vet. I haven't seen any one of them enough to know if I 'like' any of them. I was in horses professionally for years up until this spring. I have a very good relationship with two very good vets. I could see either one of them but I would have to make arrangements to a visiting farm in order to use them, as their travel area does not make it to my barn. Neither one have a barn/clinic area.

                                      I will be revisiting one of them for the follow up for the lameness.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by spacehorse View Post
                                        I am just having trouble justifying paying that for what seemed like a total nonchalant exam.
                                        You may think it was a nonchalant exam but consider that vet had about $200K in student loans for undergrad & vet school.

                                        Most vets have enough experience that they don't need to do a thorough, 30 minute exam. A cursory exam may have yielded the diagnosis.

                                        In my area, I would be hard pressed to find a vet to do such an exam for that price. That includes vets that come to the farm as well as clinic vets.

                                        Don't burn any bridges! You never know when that particular vet will be the ONLY one available to see your horse at a given time.

                                        Comment

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