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Here are the answers to questions frequently asked about vets and vet fees.
What training do vets have?
Veterinarians need to complete a veterinary science degree, which takes around five or six years of study, depending on the university they attend. Australia currently has seven universities offering undergraduate veterinary science courses.
While studying their veterinary science degree vets learn about all species of animals and gain valuable clinical experience.
All veterinarians who practice must be registered with their state or territory veterinary board, which makes sure they have completed their required education, and investigates any complaints from members of the public
Why is vet care so expensive?
Because there is no government support for your pet's health care, it might seem that you are paying more for your pet's treatment. Human patients have Medicare, which pays most of the cost of our medical treatment.
However, when you compare veterinary fees with other professional service fees, they are really not excessive.
It’s also important to remember that your veterinarian is not only your pet’s GP, but also their surgeon, radiologist, dermatologist, neurologist, oncologist and pharmacist as well.
Why do veterinary fees and charges differ between practices?
Each veterinarian sets their fees based on the treatment being given as well as the expertise available and the cost of supplying the service. These prices cover all of the expenses that keep the veterinary practice running, such as salaries, overheads and equipment. Expenses can vary widely from place to place.
Why can't vets advise, diagnose or prescribe over the phone?
It’s very difficult for a vet to come up with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan if they haven’t seen and examined the animal themselves.
It is also unethical and illegal to prescribe prescription medication for an animal that hasn’t been physically examined by a veterinarian.
I need to find a vet I can trust with my pet. With so many vets out there, how do I know I am going to get the best service?
There are some great benefits to using a vet who is a member of the AVA. This is because AVA members commit to a Professional Code of Conduct which means high ethical standards for people and their pets. Members also take advantage of continuing education programs to keep up on the latest techniques and research, which is important for your pet’s health and treatment.
The AVA offers a community for vets to network and to share ideas, to find out who is offering breakthrough treatments or alternative options, and vets can use this information to better treat pets. Check out our Find-a-vet service for an AVA member near you.
Do I need pet insurance?
The decision to get pet insurance is up to individual owners, but it can be a good idea and save you money in the long run.
Some owners find that pet health insurance gives them peace of mind. It also helps you avoid unplanned expenses and helps with your family budgeting.
If your pet is involved in an accident or suffers a sudden illness it can give you the ability to consider all treatment options and not be restricted by cost.