Hif: Oh Jeez… that seems a bit steep, I didn’t think it would be that much
Dr. Melissa Meehan: HIF are you ok… what's the the matter?
Hif: G’day Dr Mel i’m just wondering why my last visit to the vet seems so expensive
Dr. Melissa Meehan: You don't have to be like that and throw it away. I mean it’s a normal business there is running costs involved. There’s gas, there’s rent , there’s electricity, there’s admin, staff to pay and that’s before you even get into the medical costs. Mean you think about what happens when you go to the vet. Who helps you make the appointment?
Hif: That lovely receptionist that smells like flowers. Ooo and then there's the friendly vet nurse who always makes sure I get a treat… or two...or three! (giggles) when I come in.
Dr. Melissa Meehan: Well you’ve been pretty lucky, and that's before you even get to see the vet, that all that happens.
Hif: Hmmm I haven't thought about that before. I guess there is a bit involved.
Dr. Melissa Meehan: There is! I mean there is the normal running costs that we were talking about and then we have to buy and maintain the medical equipment that's required to diagnose and treat all the different species and diseases that we see. Some of that equipment can run into tens of thousands of dollars.
Hif: Woah! Well I guess you’re not like a doctor's consulting rooms are you?
Dr. Melissa Meehan: No no! we are different to that! I mean we’re the surgeon, the dentist, the anaesthetist, the radiologist, the pathologist, the pharmacist, you get the point.
Dr. Melissa Meehan: And then we have a fully equipped theatre and all the medical equipment that are required to look after you guys.
Hif: It sounds as complicated as human surgery
Dr. Melissa Meehan: Well it is, its very similar. Except that human surgery is subsidised by medicare and private health insurance. So it’s very easy for owners to underestimate the cost of procedures on their pets. I mean take dentistry for example, if you needed a tooth with a cavity removed.
Hif: Oh well how hard can it be to pull a tooth?
Dr. Melissa Meehan: You would be surprised! I mean unlike humans you’re not just gonna lay back and lets us pull out your tooth while your awake are you?
Hif: No, i’d probably bite you. I just thought the nice vet gave me an injection, I fell asleep and away they went!
Dr. Melissa Meehan: It's a lot more complicated than that. I mean before we even give you an anesthetic we have to do a full examination and make sure there is no risks to you having all those drugs and going under. I mean what about if you’ve got a heart disease or something you can't just talk and tell us… well actually you can
Hif: Yeah but I’m special
Dr. Melissa Meehan: Yes very special. We might have to do a blood test, there's the pre med, the induction agent, the gas anesthetic which we deliver by a tube we put down your throat. And then while you under anesthetic you’ll have some IV fluids and then we will monitor your heart rate, your oxygen saturation, your blood pressure and then if you have a tooth removed we’d have to give you painkillers, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, in injectable form while your under. There’s a lot involved!
Hif: Oh my god there is so much involved. I knew I liked those vet staff for more than just the pats and treats (giggles).
Dr. Melissa Meehan: Well the equipment that we use is pretty much the same as what they use in humans. I mean your teeth and your body aren’t that different you know!
Hif: So there is more to it than I thought and then I suppose there is some recovery time as well, I don’t usually go straight home after i’ve had teeth removed.
Dr. Melissa Meehan: No, I mean unlike humans who do lay back and just let the dentist do what they need to do, you've had an anesthetic so we have to recover you and make sure you’re ok. There’s a post op check that we might have to do, we have to clean the theatre, sterilize all the equipment that we used on you, and then I didn’t want to say it but there's all the towels and the blankets and the hospital bed that you’ve used.
Hif: Oh ok I am starting to understand the vet bills a little bit better now, so much time and equipment and medication and stuff it's crazy! I definitely don't want any other dogs cootees after they’ve had a tooth removed either, so i’m glad for that. Jeez doctor Mel I sure am glad I have HIF pet insurance now and that i’ve got dental cover as well otherwise i’d have to get a second job sniffing out bad guys or something (giggles).
If you haven't got pet insurance yet why not? It's not too late though just visit www.hif.com.au/pet website for piece of mind for when your fur kids feeling poorly. Our basic cover insures cats and dogs of all ages and our higher cover options are available for cats and dogs under nine. Thanks for clearing that up for me doctor Mel.
Dr. Melissa Meehan: Pleasure!
Hif: There was just one thing I was hoping to see you about… I have this itch just behind my ear wonder if you can have a little look at that for me?
Dr. Melissa Meehan: (tickles HIF’s ears)
Hif: There it is!! (sighs in relief)