Comparing Costs of Human vs. Pet Health Care

by Dr. Doug Mader

** Note: this is reprinted with permission of Dr. Doug Mader, Marathon Veterinary Hospital from a 10/31/2010 article in his local Key West paper.

A lot has been discussed about the cost of veterinary care in my column over the last couple of months. I have been pushing for preventive health care — it is always less expensive than treating a problem once it happens. But sometimes, things happen and we may not get a choice when we can seek the care.

I was in a serious auto accident many years ago. I have had my share of surgeries as a result as a result of that even. Nary a body part that hasn’t been cut on but the record by far is my left elbow. The most recent of seven surgeries was just last month.

Interestingly, just prior to this last surgery, I performed a similar surgery on one of my patients. I weigh 175 pounds. My patient was an adult, male golden retriever named Rover, weighing in at an even 100 pounds. He and I are about the same age in dog years.

I had an olecranon bursectomy. I did an elbow hygroma repair on my quadrupedal counterpart — a very similar surgical procedure. Boxed is a breakdown of the two parallel procedures.

I received fantastic care during my surgery and brief stay at the hospital. I guarantee that Rover got just as good a quality of care as I did. I think service and compassion were a wash in this comparison.

I know for a fact that many pet owners think veterinarians charge too much. I hear that all the time. Take a look at this side-by-side fee comparison. The same surgery, one-tenth the cost.

Dr. Mader is an ABVP board certified veterinary specialist practicing in the Keys.

There are 2 comments

  • Kim Briggs says:

    I work at Sykesville Veterinary Clinic in Sykesville MD and am copying this to share with my team think it is very neat.

  • Tanner says:

    Looks good to me. Seems to me like there is no reason why human surgery should cost what it does. Do you always get paid by the clients’ families/owners, or do you ever get paid by insurance companies? Do you think that might have something to do with the difference?

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