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Surcharge for opting out of vaccine

May 15th, 2008, 03:39 PM
As some of you know,I drove my friend and his Siamese cat to the vet and I am really baffled:confused:
He chose not to have his little 9 lb cat vaccinated,he is strictly indoors and there is no way he could ever get out.
Well,I could not believe it,when they charged my friend a surcharge of $36 for not wanting his cat vaccinated,has anyone heard of this??What a total rip-off!!
It's not like my friend did not spend money there,the total bill for exam,bloodtest,pooptest came to $360,including the $36 surcharge.
I did not want Rocky to have his shots this year,he has enough problems,but I certainly did not have to pay a"surcharge"..
What the heck is that about:yell:something new???
My friend is a really kind man,does not want to bother anyone and I hate for people to rip him off!!

May 15th, 2008, 03:54 PM
That's a nutty policy chico2 :confused: ....and I hate nutty policies.
You'd expect such nonsense from insurance companies or banks or telephone companies (a surcharge for NOT having a phone number listed) but a vet doing this.... not cool IMO. How can someone charge you for what you don't buy?

I mean what if I went to McDonald's and ordered a coke and they charged me extra for not buying a Big Mac?

What if went to a foot doctor to have a bunion removed and they charged me for NOT buying their foot cream?

What if...ok....sorry to threadjack...but I'm with you - that policy is BAD.

May 15th, 2008, 04:03 PM
Marko,I was just stunned by this and am itching to say something,but it's not my vet,not my cat,I was only the driver.
I however suggested to my friend to call the vet for an explanation and also for the testresults,he already had a call about the tests,but the girl was east-indian and he hardly understood what she said,no,he is not racist,just did not understand her.
But I doubt he will,he lets people walk all over him:yell:

Dr Lee
May 15th, 2008, 04:08 PM
Question, was this charge in addition to physical exam/office call? It was a charge that was in place of the vaccines?

There are no surcharges at my hospital or any that I have worked at. However when clients come in for vaccines on their pet and we as veterinarian and client decide that vaccines are not best for their pet by virtue of detailed history and life style evaluation of the pet, physical examination, etc... the office call/physical exam (which they would have paid ALONG with the vaccines anyways) is still charged out. If there was some error of reminder sending - our receptionists will handle it in the front and if the pet does not get evaluated by the doctor, then there of course is no charge. :pawprint:

May 15th, 2008, 04:17 PM
Dr Lee,the cat was taken in for what was thought to be either an allergy-problem,or asthma,so he needed a physical exam,bloodtests etc..
Vaccine was never talked about,my friend brought the cat in for a specific problem,not a yearly exam.
Yes,the $36 surcharge was seperate from the $69 physical,the total bill came to about $360 including bloodtest and fecal test.
Also he was specifically told the surcharge was for chosing not to vaccinate.

May 15th, 2008, 04:23 PM
Yep, been there.

When I lived in an apartment I always opted out of the rabies vaccine. Both cats strictly indoors, I lived on the top floor, no possible way for my two to get out in the wild.

I still got their yearly shots ( well Amos did, Phoebe can not be vaccinated she is horribly allergic) Amos's shots were 76.00 no rabies.

When I moved into my house I took Amos and got his rabies, it was time for his shots. The bill with vaccs including rabies......54.00.

I asked the vet where the 22.00 difference went.....he said you included rabies. Ummm so wouldn't that make it more? He said no, I was being charged a penalty for not admistoring the rabies vacc before. He said that he believed that all animals should be vaccinated against rabies.

I agree that the rabies vacc is needed now......I live in a very wild life populated area now. Raccoons, skunks and foxes everyday in my yard. They now is a possiblitiy that Amos could get out. But I don't think it was fair that I was penalized for not over vaccinating my cat.

May 15th, 2008, 04:26 PM
Also he was specifically told the surcharge was for chosing not to vaccinate.

That is outrageous. I'm doubting that this clinic has the best interest of the animals in mind and would seriously consider a new vet. I would also call and tell them why I'm leaving and why I'm telling everyone I know not to go there. But that's just me. That is seriously messed up.

May 15th, 2008, 04:39 PM
I agree that the rabies vacc is needed now.......

You might be interested in this link:

It's more applicable to the U.S., where many States have mandatory rabies vax laws, but the premise is that rabies vaccinations last longer than previously thought and that boosters should only be needed a minimum of every 5 years (maybe even 7).

May 15th, 2008, 04:43 PM
[QUOTE][Also he was specifically told the surcharge was for chosing not to vaccinate.

wow. that is really brazen. nobody is in their right mind at the vet but he should have challenged it right then. He should go back for a fuller explanation, in person, non-confrontationally, even apologetically. There must be more to this story, and he deserves to hear it.

May 15th, 2008, 04:45 PM
Thanks for the link Sugarcatmom, I changed vets anyway. I now go across into Michagan were they don't vaccinate every year. Over there it is every three years. Our vets on the Canadian side (speaking for the ones in my city) say it is mandatory to vaccinate every year no matter what. It has been a hot topic in my city now that people are clueing into the possiblitity that pets are way way over vaccinated.

Dr Lee
May 15th, 2008, 05:13 PM
Thanks sugarcatmom - I guess I missed the surcharge explanation.

I agree that this is a 'poor decision' and policy of the hospital. The surcharge obviously encourages and pushes the client towards vaccinations which may be unnecessary for the individual pet. This standpoint seems to be in singular contrast to the current 'feel' of the veterinary medical community. I would be concerned that there are other aspects of their hospital and medicine that may also not parallel the current feel and ideology of the veterinary medical community. JMHO.:pawprint:

May 15th, 2008, 06:55 PM
i think we all have stories of overpriced vet charges....seems to me that the prices vary quite a bit from vet to vet......:shrug:

May 15th, 2008, 08:59 PM
Well,I could not believe it,when they charged my friend a surcharge of $36 for not wanting his cat vaccinated,

:eek: wow , that is unbelievable ! A vet should be doing what a customer asks (within limits) and not charge a surplus because an owner has his own opinion about vaccines !!

May 15th, 2008, 09:05 PM
I agree that this is a 'poor decision' and policy of the hospital. The surcharge obviously encourages and pushes the client towards vaccinations which may be unnecessary for the individual pet.

I agree...only it would push me to still skip the vaccination and find me a new vet! :laughing: Too bad you aren't a little closer to Hazel Run, Dr Lee. We could throw quite a bit of business your way. :D

Dr Lee
May 15th, 2008, 09:18 PM
Ahh... shucks:lovestruck:

May 15th, 2008, 09:22 PM
Actually Hazel , I think a vet in your area could have only the pack as customers and still be able to pay their mortgage :laughing:

I mean 8 dogs .... :cloud9:

May 15th, 2008, 09:27 PM
Actually Hazel , I think a vet in your area could have only the pack as customers and still be able to pay their mortgage :laughing:

I mean 8 dogs .... :cloud9:

8 clutzy dogs...who need antibiotics for something or other every other month... :rolleyes: Yep, I believe we built the new wing on our vet clinic! :laughing:

May 16th, 2008, 07:00 AM
Great response everyone,thank you!
Over the years I've known my friend,he was always in awe over the vet he once had(the surcharge vet)but his hospital beeing further away and no car,he had been seeing another vet,who was closer.
When Junior kept on coughing,I suggested I'd drive him to his former vet,whom in the past had taken care of all his cats and parrots.
What bothers me the most,is that now my friends distrust in vets has been further reinforced:frustrated:
I changed vet myself and am very happy with him,he has a 3-yr policy for rabies-vaccine and when I opted out of vaccine for Rocky this year(he has HyperT)he certainly did not charge me.
Junior is now on prescribed Prednisone,I was told he is a little listless and sleepy,but my friend will continue the Pred for the prescribed period,then we'll see what happens.
I feel really bad,I was the one who suggested going to this vet whom he liked very much before.:shrug:

May 16th, 2008, 07:47 AM
Wow, sounds like the cat is on a bigger dose of prednisone than he needs. I'd be on the phone to the vet or even reduce it myself.
Chico, if the guy has access to the internet, send him our way :) - less work for you.

May 16th, 2008, 09:10 AM
Oh Badger,now you got me worried,I better call him again..
I know at 9lb's,Junior gets 1/2 pill/twice daily,I have no idea what strenght it is.
My friend is dyslexic(sp?)stays away from Forums:cat:but he knows I get a lot of info from here.

May 16th, 2008, 09:37 AM
O geez, not my intention, what do I know anyway. It might be worth a conversation with the vet however.

May 16th, 2008, 09:49 AM
This is very interesting. I am off the Vet's today for two cats' annual exam. It's a new Vet who administers only the annual rabies and my two have been on the 3 yr. version and neither need a rabies vac. this year. Rabies Vac. is mandatory here and they are inside/outside cats so I have no problem with it but now I will be alert to check for such surcharges. Glad I found this thread.

I'm also debating which annual vac. I will have as have been delving into the over-vac. topics. And, I have asked the Vet to write me prescriptions so I can order flea/tick/heartworm for all four from a pharmacy I've been using in Toronto. The girl on the desk professed ignorance of this option so I hope they don't give me a hard time about it.

May 16th, 2008, 09:49 AM
Badger I value your opinion very much and I agree,he should call,just to be safe,Junior is such a small he is.

May 16th, 2008, 10:25 AM
Kale has asthma Chico, we don't give him the pred. all the time only when it flares, he is 13lbs and gets 1/2 pill every other day until it subsides. He then can go months without a flare-up. Charging for something you did not get, is that not akin to fraud :confused:

May 16th, 2008, 10:29 AM
I don't understand a charge for something that is not supplied, isn't that illegal? I think I would have refused to pay, I can be very stubborn, lol.

May 16th, 2008, 12:11 PM
Longblades,it will be interesting to hear what happens,my vet does 3yr rabies.

L4H,I certainly would have refused too,but my friend is not as feisty as me:laughing:

May 16th, 2008, 12:28 PM
I don't see how that vet can have a ridiculous surcharge like that. :eek:

I would call the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association and ask if a vet is allowed to charge for "not" vaccinating. Good luck. :goodvibes:

May 16th, 2008, 12:59 PM
Don't quote me on this as I am going from memory, which has certainly been known to be faulty, but... Apparently the adjuvant used with the 3yr. rabies is linked to cancerous tumours at the injection site. The one year shot does not use adjuvant (at least this one doesn't, maybe some do) so is deemed by some Veterinarians to be safer.

I was not charged for the vaccine they did not get, the rabies. I was not charged a fee for them to write the prescriptions, as I was at the last Vet. The last Vet charged me $17.50 for EACH prescription and it was still much cheaper to order through the on-line pharmacy. I was not charged at all for the dog who had his goobery eyes checked for a third time. And I learned that one medicine my cat with cholangial hepatitis is on is from bear gall bladder so we will be looking into finding an alternative for that as well. I won't buy glucosamine products made from shark cartilege so I am certainly unhappy to learn I've been promoting the slaughter of bears. But otherwise I am very happy.

Edited because I forgot to say, with the last Vet who did use the 3 yr. rabies the charge was the same whether they got it that year or not.

Oh, and wanna know what I paid for the cats' FVRCPC LV this year? $67.00/cat, including the cost of the office visit discounted for two. Last year I paid $90.23/cat and that was after discounting for three cats. So, last year (maybe with the stronger Canadian dollar some prices went down, eh?) I paid 34.68% more than this year at a new Vet.

May 16th, 2008, 01:22 PM
That is ridiculous charging for something you are not getting. I only vaccinate for things that my dogs really need. My vet would never charge for not getting vaccines. In fact he stopped charging me for Buddys ear check up since we knew he was going to get his usual meds for it. The only time he charged me was when it turned out to be something else. He knew he was getting a 150.00 for each ear infection for the meds he required.

May 16th, 2008, 02:59 PM
They've got some really huge you know what to be charging him for something he specifically did not want. I've never heard of such a thing. I hope your friend decided to call them and talk to them about it. Even if they didn't give him his money back, at least he'd be able to let them know their policy is ridiculous.