Q: Rip off Britain! I recently had to have a tooth pulled at my dentist. Cost? £11.56. Then my dog goes and breaks a molar tooth. Off to the vet, cost… £150! How on earth?
A: I’m glad you emailed and didn’t phone! This is a common complaint for us vets to hear. The answer is simple. First off, vets are not subsidised by the NHS.
Few are aware that even prescription costs are a token payment to cover the cost of prescribing (ie counting the tablets and putting them in a labelled bottle), rather than the actual cost of the drugs involved. The same is true of most dentists. You pay a part and the government chips in to settle the rest of the dentist’s bill for the procedure.
In your case, I am pretty sure you walked into your dentist, sat down and, like the good patient you are, had your tooth removed. Your dog’s treatment, however, will require pre-anaesthetic discussion, he will be weighed, sedated and returned to a comfy kennel. Later he will have a cannula inserted in his vein and be anaesthetised by injection and maintained on gas and oxygen.
A dog’s tooth is considerably more harder to remove than yours! He will receive pain relief and antibiotics and be returned to his kennel to recover, before you receive individual discharge instructions from a vet or nurse. You should also receive a follow up consultation.
The cost of treatment reflects all this, as it all costs!