I love our vets. They are bright and cutting edge, and have provided wonderful care for our fur kids for the past fifteen years. But, they are expensive. One dog’s annual will run us anywhere from $200-$350, depending on how many vaccinations are given, and whether or not we do a senior exam with special testing. Being on a fixed income, and having five dogs, it can be tough to come up with that over and over again throughout the year. Fortunately, our vets work with us, and will give us 60 days to pay. But to be honest, I don’t like being tied down to multiple payments. God forbid if anything goes wrong. So I’ve started looking for bargains where I can find them. If I can get vaccinations cheaper from the county or a clinic, I’ll take our dogs there for that. If I can get heartworm testing at half the price, I’ll go wherever it’s offered.
Maria has been needing a rabies booster since August. I’d been hoping on a county shot clinic, but they reduced the frequency of them this year and I couldn’t get to the one in September. Our vets want $25 dollars for a rabies shot, and although that’s not a lot of money, Waldo and Rocket Boy both needed their annuals, one in September and one in October, and I knew that was going to rack us, so I was trying to save money wherever I could. I finally called a vet that I had used once to get a heartworm check for Taco, (exactly half the price of our regular vet) and they told me that they have rabies shots for $10.00, with no office fee. That last bit is important, because there are vets in the area who offer lower prices, but then they tack on an office fee, whether the dog has an exam or not. $10 for a rabies, is less than half the cost at our vet’s office. So I made an appointment for Maria, and took her in.
While we were there, I wanted the vet to look at her paw because she has a bump on her toe that’s been worrying me. I’ve seen so many cases of dogs with a bump on their foot that turns out to be a mast cell tumor, that every time a see a growth on one of my dogs’ feet, I go in to panic mode. The receptionist asked me if I wanted an exam for Maria, so I asked the cost for that — $5.00.
Wait. That’s 9 times less than I pay our regular vet. Yes, you bet your boots I want an exam, (which was exactly the same as the exam she’d have had from our vet — and the bump…probably just a sliver of glass from the storm window she broke last week.)
The exam revealed that Maria could use a dental cleaning, and probably a few tooth extractions. I knew that, but it was something I was avoiding thinking about, because those are crazy expensive. When we first adopted Zoey, she had a bad infection in her mouth that was causing kidney issues. She needed an immediate dental, which resulted in the extraction of every one of her teeth. It was more than $800. We’d received help for that from a local rescue group.
So, out of curiosity, I asked…”how much for a dental”. And although I’d been teetering, this is where I began to feel like we’ve been being ripped off for the past 15 years.
$100. Flat fee. Includes any extractions and post dental pain meds.
I’m not sure how to reconcile this. I love our vets and feel a sense of loyalty to them. But, wouldn’t more people take care of their pets and get them the vet care they needed, when they needed it, if it were always this affordable?
It’s kind of looking like the girls and I may be changing vets.
Do you live in the Greater Cleveland area and think you are paying too much for vet care? Here are some vets and clinics that might help you lower your costs (info is 11/25/16). (If you know of more that I haven’t mentioned here, please comment or email me.)
- Premier Spay Neuter & Wellness Clinic 7876 Broadview Rd, Cleveland, OH 216-573-7387 $10 rabies, $5 exams, $20 heartworm check, $100 all-inclusive dental. Great prices on spay & neuter.
- Aaron Animal Clinic 7640 Broadview Rd, Parma, OH 44134 216-901-9980 Free exams for senior pet owners, pets adopted from shelters, and low income pet owners. Dental savings during month of November. Vaccination packages.
- Gateway Animal Clinic 5606 Fleet Avenue, Cleveland, OH 216-771-4414 Low prices all around. Good price on ACL surgery.
- Quick Fix Low Cost Clinic 930 Lafayette Rd, Unit A, Medina OH 44256 330-558-1540 $15 DHLPP, $20 Heartworm check
- Copley Pet Vet 1245 S.Cleveland Massillon Rd. Suite 314 , Copley, Ohio 44321 (330) 576-3095 $8 rabies, $14 DHLPP, $12 Bordetella, $16 Heartworm check.
We are also always looking for coupons for certain items we purchase for our dogs on a regular basis. If you have Rachael Ray Nutrish coupons, Cesar coupons, or milkbone coupons that you will not be using, please save them for us. Contact me if you have some to send.
And if you come across an errant box of Purina Busy HeartyHides in your store, for God’s sake, send them to us!
I also have a wishlist of items that we just can’t afford, but that would make life a whole lot easier. It has recently been updated.