How do you know if you are being overcharged for veterinary care? Are there laws to protect us from this?

I am a pet owner I live in California I have always wondered about this and have never known who or where to ask Is there such a law to protect us from being overcharged for vet care If anyone can help me I would be so grateful. Thank You...

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    No. You need to shop around for a vet just like you would shop around for a physician.

    Keep in mind that Vet school is as expensive as med school and even harder to get into. My old boss wanted to be a Vet but when he tried to get into Vet school he was not able to; his counselor told him it would be much easier to get into Med. school and become a physician than it is to become a Vet.

    Because of that, procedures are expensive; my ex-sister-law-law had to take a dog that her son had dropped and broke his leg to the Vet and she had to pay $300 for emergency treatment to save the dog, and an additional $2,700 for surgery to repair the broken leg.

    There are some companies, such as the one below, that offer insurance for veterninary care insurance that can help you mitigate your costs if you have an expensive procedure.

    http://www.petcareinsurance.com/?ovchn=GGL&ovcpn=U...

  • 1 decade ago

    Although I don't live in California, I really doubt there is any law protecting animal owners from being overcharged by the vet. The only instance I can see you being able to prosecute the vet is if they charge you for something that isn't performed at all or if they mislead you with something that is being performed at it turns out to be something else completely. The only way to protect yourself from being overcharged is to get quotes from other vets in the area so you can gain a general sense and average of what it should cost you to take your animal to the vet. I hope this helps and good luck!

  • anna13
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I'm not aware of any law having to do with vet charges. My guess would be that vets are free to charge what they wish.

    That said, I have spent the last 25 years dealing with unscrupulous vets. I've lived in four states and taken my cats to dozens of vets, and in the majority of cases I felt like the vet was taking advantage of me and/or lying to me about what my pet needed. I once had a cat with a flea allergy who periodically needed a cortisone shot to get over an outbreak. Some vets would give her the shot and she'd heal up nicely. Others refused to take my word for it and insisted on multiple costly tests and medications before they'd give her the shot. Needless to say, I never went back to them. I also had a vet tell me my cat needed surgery or she would lose her tail. But as I continued to grill him and tell him I couldn't afford the surgery, he eventually said she'd probably be fine with meds. So I put her on the meds and she was fine.

    So, how do you know if you're being overcharged? It's hard to say. Based on my experience, lots of vets do overcharge, and will take every opportunity to charge you for stuff. I think that those kinds of vets will try to play on your emotions, and make you think that you don't care about your pet if you're not willing to spend hundreds of dollars on him/her.

    My advice would be to call around and get prices before getting work done. Be leery of whatever the vet says until you get a feel for whether they're trustworthy. I also advise you tell the vet right off that you have limited money, and that you can only afford the minimum of what your pet needs. If they think you're loaded, they'll take advantage of you.

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