Exclusive veterinary lab contracts: Deal or no deal?

September 12, 2016

New VHMA data doesn't tell you what to doit just tells you what other folks are doing when it comes to in-house and off-site testing.

It's a big choice to commit to an exclusive, long-term contract with an outside lab for your veterinary hospital. With contracts with outside labs such as IDEXX and Antech becoming more and more common for veterinary clinics, the details are even more important to consider when taking a contractual leap of faith.

Enter recent data from the VHMA, with roughly 600 management professionals participating. 

Photos courtesy of Getty Images, illustrations courtesy of Alison Fulton

Extra: The pros and cons of exclusive laboratory contracts

Here are some benefits and downsides respondents identified in an open-ended question. 


> Better service with quick answers to problems 

> Discounted/free equipment purchase, lab supplies and other goods 

> Good relationships with vendors 

> Built relationships that lead to great idea exchanges 

> Easily handled equipment replacement and new equipment 

> Great technical support 


> When quotas are involved, you may spend more money 

> Getting out of said contract can be difficult and billing can be confusing 

> Limited freedom or flexibility 

> Increase in prices annually or otherwise 

> Becoming "stuck" with a contract you're not happy with

> If needs change, the contract may not support it