Darlene’s Rant

On Wednesday (February 4th) my wife forwarded me the following post from Facebook made by Darlene Quincey of Fixed Fur Life. I have to say that as usual Darlene has hit the nail squarely on the head. Many of us in practice are waiting for the day when people stop asking “Why are you so expensive compared to insert practice name here?”, and start asking the right question… “Why is insert practice name here so cheap compared to you?”.

> Today it is my day to rant. This last week there have numerous posts
> on various forums re the cost of veterinarian care. Secret shoppers
> have been sent out to get a synopsis of what each vet charges and I
> believe a list has been posted somewhere re who charges the most to
> the least. I am really appalled by this. It reminds me of the way we
> acted in kindergarten. Can one not just call and ask a colleague what
> one charges. I am sure the answer will be the same.
> Anyway that being said I just wanted to address the topic of the vets
> in Quinte and surrounding area’s. From my perspective it upsets me to
> see certain vets getting slammed for what they charge and to be put on
> a list of most expensive to the cheapest as though it is something to
> be ashamed of. The more expensive services usually include fluids
> during surgery, Pre op blood work and pain control post surgery. Many
> opt out as they cannot afford it or do not see it as necessary.
> I often hear people say“vets charge too much” and “why don’t they do
> things for free” and I say many of them do you just don’t see it. One
> cannot expect vets to do things for free all of the time as they have
> staff to pay and families to support just like you and I do. How would
> you feel if someone asked you to go a day or 2 without pay or if your
> employer or source of income told you they were going to pay you so
> many dollars less an hour. I am sure many people could not afford it.
> The solution comes in the Form of Fixed Fur Life. The vet offers us a
> discount and we offer a subsidy and in the end everyone wins.
> In closing I would also like to point out that many vets go above and
> beyond the discount for Fixed Fur Life. They give back constantly
> through sponsorships, monthly donations and in house fundraising, free
> microchip implants, donation of food for our adoption centers. The
> following clinics give these things on a consistent basis. Foster Park
> Pet Hospital, Hillcrest Animal Hospital, Trenton Pet Hospital, Quinte
> Animal Hospital, Rossmore Animal Hospital, Belleway and Hastings
> Veterinary. Their contributions are very significant. Please Thank
> them for the behind the scenes things they do to benefit Fixed Fur Life.

Good veterinary care comes at an increased cost. Better trained and more competent staff are more expensive, better facilities and better equipment are more expensive, higher staffing densities increase patient care and come at a higher cost, quality veterinarians demand and deserve higher salaries, the list goes on and on. To be quite frank I am actually proud that we are one of the more expensive practices in the area. It means that we are providing excellent care and practicing the quality of medicine and surgery that we can be proud of. The kind of medicine and surgery that keeps our patients alive, happy and healthy.

Veterinarians absolutely CANNOT practice good quality medicine and surgery cheaply. If it is cheap, there is a reason… “There Ain’t No Such Thing As Good, Cheap Veterinary Medicine”!

Apparently Darlene then spent the rest of her already overfull day dealing with rants and flaming responses from people. Some of the responses were actually intelligent and well-reasoned, most were not. Anyone who responded in any derogatory form should be ashamed of themselves. Every single one of you do less than the tiniest fraction of the amount of work for animals that this fine woman does every day. Darlene you are an amazing person and I am thankful every day that you are out there helping people and animals and that I have been blessed to know you.

And Darlene, on behalf of the other hospitals on your list… Thanks for the recognition.

Mike Steen, DVM
Hillcrest Animal Hospital