A True Story about Cheap Veterinary Care

This is a true story.

Yesterday, I was at the gym and was making friendly conversation with a person I had seen there on a few occasions. It became known that I was a veterinarian and she revealed that she has been using a DVM who is well known in the veterinary community for their very basic medicine (primarily a spay and neuter clinic) and cheap prices. My new friend honestly admitted that cost was a big factor in her decision to use this Vet. Then she told me a story about her dog that was spayed at that hospital.

After the spay, her dogs incision never quite healed properly and it continued to become reinfected over a few months. Around the time of third infection, the owners daughter noted something sticking out of the incision that looked like metal. They took their dog back in and had the “metal fragment” removed and the incision healed within three days afterward. Per the owners words to me, that DVM and hospital did not seem to really “care” about the issue or “assume any, any responsibility”.

That metal fragment was stainless steel suture. In my opinion it is archaic and I would say inhumane. I don’t believe you would like to have metal wire buried in your abdominal musculature for the remainder of your life and I have to extrapolate that opinion to dogs and cats as well. But, this is the typical type of insanity you promote when you use a “cheap” vet or a “spay and neuter clinic”. First, most of these DVMs are truly poorly skilled and second, they cut corners with quality, safety, and material costs to offer you up your “savings”. In addition to these facts, when you use a veterinarian like this YOU ARE REMOVING REVENUE FROM THE VETERINARIANS THAT ARE DOING THE HARD WORK. You are taking the easy money and revenue away from them (us) and that means that inadvertently you are skyrocketing all of the other prices related to veterinary care in the “real” hospitals and clinics that do the hard work. If you kept that “easy” revenue in a real hospital that was doing a good job and offering you fair prices, you would help buffer price inflation and create a much more stable relationship between yourself and the “real” veterinarian.

So, I explained this gently while laughing and smiling as much was possible to my new friend. And she seemed to get it until she said she would only use the “cheap vet” for the simple stuff….never for anything more serious.

Jeff Cribb DVM     2014



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