Letter to dvm360: Why veterinary clients cant pay

October 3, 2019

One reader is concerned that excellent but expensive standards of care in veterinary practice may be hurting some clients and patients.

A reader responds to this article, posted August 30. Go here to read the original pieceI read your article about pet owners moaning about veterinary fees, and I thought it somewhat true. However, my experience is different and my take on it is different as well.

First, fees are driven up by practices afraid of the “standard of care” ruling and not being willing to allow the client to choose cheaper routes of treatment that could still be effective. The second reason for moaning are the clients themselves, who have a sense of entitlement and feel that their needs should be met regardless of the cost, regardless of the risk and regardless of their inability to pay. Those two things will never mesh, no matter the communication used in the process of deciding the best care for their pet that day!

I have no issue with giving my clients from Plan A to Plan C, and they pick their choice of workup and treatment after full discussions of success rates for each choice. I think that the “standard of care” has gotten a little crazy, and often I think old standards and methods may work just as well and keep the trust between the client and the veterinarian.

- Rickey Broussard, DVM

Ingleside, Texas