Cherry Hill dog owner warning others after receiving hefty vet bill | Action News Troubleshooters

CHERRY HILL, NJ (WPVI) — If you’re a pet owner, Action News troubleshooters have important information before you take your furry friend to the next vet visit.

A Cherry Hill woman says she paid thousands of dollars more than was necessary and she wants others to avoid the same mistake.

“Ernie is my rescue dog,” said Jacqueline Canter. “He’s about 14 years old and had a problematic left eye.”

Canter said last month Ernie’s eye bulged out of the socket, so she took him to an emergency veterinary clinic, where the vet recommended removing the eye.

“I said okay, cried. They brought up an estimate and said, ‘You have to sign this estimate.'”

Canter signed and Ernie underwent surgery. But on the way home, Canter wondered about the price.

“I started saying that sounds crazy. That sounds like a crazy number,” she said.

Canter said the bill eventually matched the estimate: $4,298.64.

“She said you signed the estimate. If you had a problem with the price, you should have said so immediately,” she said. “We would have told you we could have cut costs, or you could have gone to your vet, but you didn’t and now it’s too late.”

Canter said her own vet told her the procedure would have cost $1,500, not the $4,300 she paid at the emergency room. When Action News called local vets, prices ranged from $1,450 to $2,571.

“Prices vary dramatically from practice to practice,” said Kevin Brasler of Checkbook Magazine.

Scheckbuch’s undercover buyers found wide price differentials for a number of procedures.

For example, to neuter a six-month-old cat without hospitalization – prices ranged from $186 to $956.

The good news is that Checkbook said you don’t have to pay more to get good care. But there are three things you must do before agreeing to any treatment.

First, get a written treatment plan with a breakdown of prices from your veterinarian. Then get a second opinion.

“Sometimes you may find that the procedure recommended by one provider is not recommended by another, or that there is a different treatment,” Brasler said.

After you’ve decided on a treatment plan, call to compare prices.

“You have to make sure the prices are inclusive. They include medication and follow-ups and things like that,” he said.

It’s a lesson Canter wants to pass on to others.

“I felt really taken advantage of, I felt stupid,” she said. “If someone says your pet needs this, you will do whatever it takes to get it to your pet.”

The veterinary clinic said Ernie’s procedure was not routine and the doctor spent a lot of time going over all the procedures before admission.

Despite this, Canter said she will now ask important questions, how must the operation be carried out immediately? And can I have this done cheaper elsewhere or is there a way to lower the bill?

To help viewers find cheap, quality vets in the area:

The link is active until November 1, 2022.

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