I agree!!! They've always been expensive but they seem to have put their prices up in the last few years! It's disgusting really. I have a feeling that a certain lady at the top is running it like a business instead of a veterinary centre. It's a shame because I would hate to think that people won't take their animals if they're in need of help. Possibley try Town Farm instead? They're still pricey (unfortunately all vets are), but not as bad as Westmoor!!
Vets have always been a costly expense.
Given that, we've had several visits which cost an awful lot less than I'd feared.
When my last cat was diagnosed with kidney failure and then cancer, the ongoing treatment was superb. When then end came they made a house call and were amazing, both in manner and cost. I don't know how else I would have managed, saying goodbye after 13 years, so I'm infinitely grateful.
Traditionally, vets weren't in it for the money but for the welfare of the animals. I fear this may have changed. When they demand huge amounts of money, they are playing on owner's love for their pets. The PDSA, of course, don't do this and are wonderful. Sometimes, though, we may have different ideas as to what constitutes a big expense. I think over £50 for a dog's ears to be checked and ointment to be given is extremely expensive. Particularly as the medicine doesn't cost more than £6 for me to buy elsewhere and for a vet to buy, probably less.
The PDSA are a charity. They still pay their vets, nurses and other staff the same as any other practice. The difference being that they rely on donations from the public and other companies to cover the costs. Unfortunately other practices have to set fees that cover the costs of running and practice. Sadly due to the NHS being fee to all many people have no idea how much it costs to buy equipment and maintain a practice to provide the best care for the animals under their care. For example a xray suite and digital processor costs in the region of £100000 to install. Endoscopy costs £25000. These pieces of equipment allow vets to provide the care to their patients. They also need replacing at regular intervals. I am sure all vets would love to do the job for free if they were asked. Sadly that is not the case. Things can be done cheeply but this has an immediate impact on the level of care that a patient will receive. I feel vets in general provide a fantastic level of care to their patients especially when you compare the cost of an ovariohysterectomy to the NHS (costing thousands of pounds) to the cost in the veterianary field (only hundreds of pounds).
Most vets love the work they do and do it for the love and care of the animals. Unfortunately they do have to run it as a business also
You should see the amount of care, compassion and love for all the animals that came in to the practice. Every animal is treated as if it was owned by a member of staff.
At the end of the day - it is a business and would not be able to continue to provide care for animals if it wasn't.
Westmoor vets has got very high standards and do everything they can to help animals get better or provide an end to thier suffering.
Everything costs money and if you had to pay for all the medication/operations etc for you may require for yourself, you may understand the costs involved.
You may be able to buy the medication elsewhere but due to the companies who make the medication - as soon the label states veterinary, the price goes up - there is nothing veterinary practices can do about this.
Just following this thread, I felt I had to share my experience of Westmoor Vets.
I'm an ex-vet nurse so I don't say this lightly.
We've been going there with our 3 dogs for about 4 years now since we moved here, and the reason we keep going back? We have confidence that our precious beasties are well taken care of and the right thing is done. The care our lot have received has been excellent. One of our dogs has always been a wreck with vets but she has so improved since going to Westmoor due to the time and patience of the vets and nurses - one vet in particular gets down on the floor and gives her a treat at the end of the consultation.
With regard to age old moan about the costs of vets, I will give the age old reply - the moment you take on the responsibility for an animal, you accept all that goes with it, cost and all.
Just to reiterate an earlier quote - expertise, equipment, drugs etc does cost a bomb and there's a very good reason why e.g. just think of the time and level of cost for a drug get to market from it is discovery at research level - it takes at least 10yrs - the cost over that time for scientists, the various scientific disciplines, the level and type of kit necessary for analysis and production runs into millions of pounds. Just because it's a small white tablet doesn't mean some quack has just whipped it up in a shed outside!!
I seen many times a client roll with an up to date mobile, nice clothes or a nice car only to moan about the cost of a vet bill. Yet there's hardly ever a whinge about the cost of gadgets, clothes or even the extortionate price of a poor quality coffee at Costa Coffee!!
Final word on the matter....Just because vets and vet nurses get paid, it doesn't make them uncaring. If you apply the same argument to everything, that must mean all those that work in animal rescue shelters, all doctors, nurses, carers, ambulance crews are uncaring....
I agree that vets and veterinary workers are on the most part doing their jobs because they have a genuine love for animals. And yes, this certainly does come across with the westmoor staff, but my question is why do they charge more then other local vets? Town Farm, and particularly Glebe Farm seem to be cheaper across the board. Ok so it's not by loads, but every penny counts to the average person. It's not fair to say that people are prepared to spend money on gadgets, bit not on veterinary bills. I am more than happy to fork out for my pet, but when it comes to paying £25 for a 'surgical pack' that probably costs the surgery no more then £5 to buy in bulk I can't help but feel resentful.
Hear hear Tanker10...that was my point at the very beginning of this argument that has now lost its original context! I think WhitePig and marktowl are indulging too much in expressing the costs of equipment and comparing vets to other jobs such as doctors and nurses and people who work in animal rescue (has it been forgotten that these people actually don't get paid enough?!).
The amount that I was charged for ear drops was certainly extortionate and though I appreciate all the equipment that is necessary to run such a practice, it doesn't make it right to charge such high prices when not using that equipment, especially when there are other places that charge less. Buying a coffee is hardly the same! I'm quite sure there are many vets who love their jobs and are concerned for the welfare of the animals (though believing they would do it for free is pushing it a bit!) but this was my experience of Westmoor Vets and I don't believe I'm alone...
I think the answer to that question can be found in our love for animals...vet centres know this and they realise that as we love our animals, we will pay, and consequently exploit this. I think that's why people feel resentful. It's hard to feel as passionate about other areas of business that don't have large brown eyes and a wagging tail!
Star2sparkle - your turn of phrase is extreme and one that should not be used lightly. There are people of all ages and children living in deprivation the UK even in this day and age, and indeed other parts of the world - they are the ones vulnerable to exploitation (and risk) because the seriousness of their circumstances afford them little or no choice.
In no way can the vast majority of pet owners in this country be called 'exploited'. You can freely choose to take on a pet and freely choose to take your pet to whichever vet you want to.
From my experience of working as a vet nurse, the UK's accolade of being a 'nation of animal lovers' is questionable too e.g. vet doing a PM on a lovely healthy young dog because someone had slit its throat or a middle class parent bringing the pet rabbit in because the child (old enough to know better) had shut it in a drawer for a week, breeders who just use their dogs as a walking puppy producing machines to feed the public desire for cute pups then when the poor thing can do no more, it's just dumped - on and on and on.....
Vets and nurses work very long and unsociable hours including being on call 24/7. Vets, and nurses, have to have knowledge about so many different species - what's good for one species may be fatal to another - and deal with patients that can tell them what the problem is.
I used Town Farm For a few years before i started using Westmoor. Yes Westmoor can be slightly more expensive in some things, but town farm are more expensive in others :) For example their frontline is around £8 more... you may also realise that town farm vets in tavistock is tiny consisting of one vet, one nurse and 2 rooms (waiting area and consult room) and only open in certain hours.
Unlike Westmoor that has 5-6 vets, 5 consult rooms, a ward, operating theatres, 2 waiting areas for dogs/cats (and a toilet which can be useful!) and lots of nurses and admin etc. It is also open all day with vets and nurses available 24 hours 7 days a week - in case you have an emergency or just need some advice. Oh yes, and it has its own car park, so no need to struggle finding parking spaces in Tavistock.
Maybe its just me... but i know which vets i prefer to take all my animals. After all in this day and age, you certainly do get what you pay for!
Yes you do get what you pay for but there should be a limit. Yes the PDSA is a charity which provides excellent care. It too has ultrasound, xray, endoscopy, ecg and many other expensive bits of equipment. the difference is every one of the 43 hospitals nationwide has this equipment which is all funded by charitable donations. The PDSA also provides 24 hour emergency care 365 days a year and carries out many life saving often complicated operations every single day.
While private vets such as Westmoor obviously have to make a profit they shouldn't make this the sole reason for running a practice. The animal care and welfare should be paramount. Fat cats in offices with no veterinary experience who are just hell bent on retiring as soon as possible shouldn't be running a practice in what always was and should still be a caring profession!
Westmoor Vets have been used by our family for our last 2 dogs over a period of nearly 20 years. They have been excellent throughout. Both times our dogs had to be put to sleep because of illness and they were so compassionate. Our last dog Tim had been ill for quite a while and was also suffering because he was separated from my father who was ill with cancer and had to come and live with me. All the staff at Westmoors were fantastic because they knew my father and knew how important he and Tim were to each other's recovery. Unfortunately Tim did not recover and I had to rush him down to Westmoor's as an emergency. It was extremely traumatic as he was hemorrhaging. All the staff were wonderful. We received a condolance card a few days later which my father was very touched by. We did not received the bill for quite a few months (which was very reasonable). We have never felt 'ripped off' because of cost of medication/treatment. When we eventually get another dog we will have Westmoors as our vet.
I rate Westmoor vets very highly and they have always tried to keep the cost as low as possible, given our circumstances.
It must be hugely expensive to run a surgery like theirs and those costs have to be passed on to the customer.
You also pay for the qualified vets time and experience, so I think the original post by S2S is just a bit of petty moaning.