Originally Posted by Hazmat
How can one Vet charge me $55 and another 2 miles away cost me $235?
There can be several explanations. One is that the $235 vet is not in touch with demographics however I would think this is unlikely. What is commonly a problem is certain single line items on the blood test such as thyroid levels (T4,T3, T4 by Equilibrium Dialysis, TSH, etc...) can widely make the difference.
For example there are three common test I send to the lab and the print out will look the same 1) Basic CBC and Chemistry - two page report for $92, 2) same test but add on T4 - $125 and 3) same as the one previous but add on T4 by ED (Equilibrium Dialysis). All tests look the same but have one or two small extra lines on there. Also some of my in house blood tests range from $35 to $108 and can look the same. So if test like Toxoplasmosis, FeLV and FIV were added on the price can go high fast.
I think one of the problems with the testing is whether the people explaining them to you are explaining them as, "yep, look fine, thanks for the $235" or whether they are giving you an in depth analysis and understanding of not only the abnormal values but just as importantly the normal values. It is important to know 1) what the difference is between the $55 and the $235 test and 2) which one does your pet need. Often we give clients the option of different panels. For very healthy pets, often my routine blood tests are less comprehensive than for a sick patient.
I hope that helps.