COST OF TREATMENT
Although our basic charges are similar to primary veterinarians, the extra time, tests, equipment and number of people involved with each pet's treatment add up to a significantly larger cost. The veterinary medical needs of each patient vary widely, according to their problems. Please discuss the estimated cost of your pet's medical treatment with the veterinarian in charge of the case when your pet is admitted.
You should be aware, however, that it is not possible for our veterinarians to determine the exact cost of diagnosing and treating your pet's problems. Since no two pets' problems or responses are identical, the numbers and kinds of tests and treatments required can seldom be precisely predicted at the time of admission.
Full payment is required at the time of discharge. We accept VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Switch, personal cheques and cash. If your pet is insured, we may be able to claim directly from your insurance company. Please note that direct payment is NOT automatic for all insurance companies; our receptionists will be able to tell you whether your insurance company will provide this service.
If the cost of your pet's treatment will exceed the original estimate, it is our policy to notify you as soon as possible. You should also note that we may not be aware of all charges at the time of discharge. You may be billed by mail for 'supplemental' charges.
If your pet is being collected outside normal hours (i.e. 9-5pm Mon-Fri), you will be asked to contact our reception staff to arrange payment prior to discharge.
Herbert has a lump on his neck and has been referred to the oncology department. At this consultation it is decided that Herbert will need an ultrasound examination and as Herbert is a wriggly dog he will need a light sedation to get the pictures we need to help understand Herbert’s disease. His owner brings him in but only meets one vet and one nurse – but there are many people involved with Herbert’s visit:
- The oncologist (a vet who specialises in this field) who spends up to an hour examining Herbert and talking to his owner both before and after Herbert’s tests and treatment. They will also look at test results to decide on possible treatment plans, and will write a detailed report back to Herbert’s local vet. They will also speak to Herbert’s owner if they have any worries in between visits.
- The oncology nurse who will weigh Herbert, take him to Wards and organise and coordinate all of his tests
- The ward staff who will put Herbert in a clean kennel, feed him, take him for a walk and check on him regularly, and clean the kennel when he leaves
- An anaesthetist (another vet) who will examine Herbert and plan his sedation and organise the most appropriate drugs for his overall health
- A diagnostic imager (another vet) who will perform an ultrasound on Herbert and write a report detailing the results
- If Herbert’s lump needs surgery then a soft tissue surgeon (another vet) will be involved in discussing the surgical options before Herbert is booked a slot for his operation –and that will involve another whole group of people to ensure the best outcome.
- A receptionist who will book Herbert’s next visit
- A secretary who will process any insurance paperwork
So you can see that Herbert gets to meet lots of people who are directly involved in his care at his visit to the AHT.