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Costs of routine vet care


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Good morning! I am just getting started in running my own mobile veterinary business to be used mainly at dog trials. I would very much appreciate any feedback on what your local vet charges for some of these services:


Office exam

Snap 4Dx test (HW/L/E)

Rabies vaccine

Hip radiographs for submission to Cornell/OFA/Other specialist


Getting a feel for what people are used to paying for the above would give me some valuable input! I would like to offer reasonable prices for my friends who often have LOTS of dogs, but I also would like to weigh in the "convenience" factor as far as providing care on-site.


Thank you :)

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I pay $52 for an office visit...a little less if it is a follow-up appt for a recurring problem. The HW test is part of a mini blood chem screen, they send the blood out and I think that the cost is around $70. I pay around $30 for a rabies vax and yes that is nuts, but it includes the county registration and paperwork (and is probably still nuts). I take 3 dogs there and one of the dogs has a record that is the thickness of a medium size city phone book; I don't receive a multidog discount, although I have gotten an occasional (and I mean very seldom) break.


From time to time, I've used mobile vets and the trip charge was $70-100. I live in town in a very accessable location, so its not like the vet had to drive on 20 miles of dirt roads to find me.


I'm located in the SE in a university town.

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In rural MI -


Office visit - $40-$45

SNAP $36-$42

Rabies $15-$30


The local vets will either discount the office visit fee or forego it for basic annual checkups that include a certain amount of yearly "maintenance" (vaccines and/or HW test). I don't do yearly core vaccinations end averaging $60-$70 a dog for office visit and HW tests for each dog and vaccines for the ones who need them. That does not count flea/tick/HW preventatives of course or any additional blood work for other reasons (senior dog, etc)


There would be definite added value to me for on site exam services provided by a vet with knowledge and experience with working dogs and their specific needs/possible injuries.

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Our annual physical exam with vaccines is $41 (vaccine extra charge). I think an office visit that is considered "extensive" is about $45.


An average (moderate) office visit is about $30 (sometimes less, if it's a follow-up like our last one which was $12 but for which I paid for any tests, including blood pressure).


SNAP test is $34.


Rabies vaccination is $14.


I've not done hip x-rays but I *think* a "regular" x-ray is around $70.


A full-body laser treatment (Class IV, spine and all joints) is $30 for established clients and maybe $35 for new clients? It takes most of half-an-hour and includes ROM stretches and some time to demonstrate whatever exercises the dog might be currently provided at home. A one-hour therapy session that includes laser and underwater treadmill, with ROM and exercises, is $75 for established clients.


Hope that helps!


My vet office is a pretty large and well-equipped office that serves the Morgantown and surrounding area. There are other vet offices available so there is competition.

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I just switched to a vet practice I've been trying to get into for a while. Many of my pet sitting clients go there and have been extremely happy with them, but they generally don't accept new clients as they're very busy. One of my clients asked the owner if he'd accept me and he agreed to.


I loved the vet I was going to before, but there's a significant cost difference. Their OV was $47.00, and the one I'm going to now is $35.


SNAP4 was $45.56 and is $35.00 at the one I just switched to.


Urinalysis was $76.53. I just paid $20.00 at the "new" vet.


I have app't for my other 2 dogs on Wednesday, so I can give you a comparison of fecals then. I don't do routine vaxes and do rabies at the county clinic, so no help there.


It remains to be seen how I'll like the new (for me) practice, but unless they're pretty awful the cost difference will keep me there. I won't pay for an awful vet no matter how cheap they are. I left one practice already because I wasn't happy with the vet's attitude to me, even though a friend's been with her for years, and another because he was too brusque with the dogs who became frightened of him as a result. Great diagnostician and reasonable fees (comparable to my new one), but just awful with the animals.


There is a mobile vet here. His website lists: House Call Visits start at $125 including our travel fee, physical examination & nail trim. Additional pets may receive the same for $50 each.




ETA: I should add that I'm in the Southern Tier of upstate New York (Binghamton area). The vet I just switched to is in the next county to the west. I'm sure it can vary by location.



2nd pet - previous vet no discount, 2 full OVs at $47 each. Current vet additional $10 for 2nd pet.


Fecal - Previous vet $23.93 Current vet $10.00


Nail clip - Previous vet $14.85 Current vet No charge


And a molar extraction for a dog with a broken tooth will be $150 at current vet. Dunno how much it would have been at the other one.

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Far northern CA here.

Home of fruits, nuts and not a few gold diggers.

Office exam, i.e. walk thru the door/no services rendered $100

Dog DHLPC vaccination $35

Dog Rabies $40

The two above are usually done in conjunction while the DVM is on site preg checking the cow herd. Charge for 30 minute travel time on a state hiway $200 plus an hourly work time fee of $150/hr plus a $10/hd preg check charge, $75/hd BSE charge & $15/hd Bangs vaccination charge

HW test $75

No in office discounts for services/products rendered nor for scheduling same day on site services in conjunction with calls to nearby ranches.

In spite of knowing me intimately and acknowledging my animal health expertise, under no circumstances will they write me an Rx that can be acquired more economically.

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Rabies: free at county clinics though my vet charges $15

Office fee to walk in: $37 at my vet (have seen others at $35-55)

HW: I think I paid about $40 last year

Fecal I think is $18 and urinalysis is maybe $30 or less.


Our large animal vet charges $45 to come to our place (we are lucky that they are only a 20min drive away). No office fee for bringing in kids to their office for vaccinating, disbudding, banding and such.


Prices in CA are crazy compared to here! I am in western NY state.

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OV for yearly vacc is $30, but is $35 for illnesses, etc. Each additional animal in the same visit is $25. Follow ups are discounted, $20 I think.

Rabies and other vacc are $20 each, not including county registration, which is $10 for neutered animals, more for intact animals.

Fecals are $20, sent to the lab.

SNAP4 is $35.

Anything requiring anesthesia also requires bloodwork first and catheterization, so tack on an additional $200+ to the price of the actual x-ray, etc.

My vet also charges a hazardous waste disposal fee of $3. Same fee whether it's from vaccs needles or surgery waste.

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Here are some figures from my most recent vet visit, Kiss for a lameness (toe) issue and Twist because I wanted to change her pain control protocol (arthritis, spondylosis pain);



OV ("exam level 1"): $40

1 radiograph, 2 views: $135 (front foot)



OV (brief): $15 (he did do a basic check, temp, ears, eyes, listened to her heart and lungs)

NSAID panel (basically kidney values and liver enzymes): $46

Urinalysis w/ sed.: $29.95


I think rabies vaccines are around $15, and this vet offers even lower cost rabies clinics fairly regularly.

If I can find the invoice where I got Kiss' vaccines, I will post that cost here as well.


At a former vet (large and small animal practice) they offered three different prices on vaccines, one price if you brought the animal in and also had a brief exam, lower price if the vet came out to the vehicle and administered the vaccine, and, um, maybe they actually sold me the vaccine to administer myself, which would have been the lowest price.


Having moved a lot in recent years, I can say that the prices seem to vary widely depending on location, with vets in poorer, more rural areas generally having lower prices (and vice versa). AAHA certification also generally means higher prices.


ETA: Found another receipt for Birdie, who had also injured a toe. Again a $40 OV, and $15 for a clip and clean of the injured toe.


When I check back in next week, I'll ask whether they offer the Snap 4 and what the cost is.



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I've been to three different vets (thanks to constant moving).


Their office visits ran: $47, $49.95, and $59, respectively. Wow, I did not realize I paid that much for the most recent visit. I should actually check bills before I hand over my credit card.


Rabies vaccine cost $21.95, while the annual vaccines were $12-$15.


We've also had to do skin scrapings at two of those vets, which were both $49 I believe.

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Just wanted to add: My large animal vet (different than for the small animals) charges $2/mile (one-way) to come to the farm, in addition to time ($100 per hour?). Plus additional for any vaccines/meds/supplies. Her time charge doesn't start until she pulls up to the farm (i.e. I am not paying her time to drive here, just the per mile charge.)


She has a small pick-up with a vet box on the back. And the inside of the cab is packed full of 'stuff' too.

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Thank you so much, everyone! This is very helpful :)


I don't know if I'll use the business locally (ie at home), but for now it will be primarily for sheepdog trials. Maybe I can break into the agility scene in the future? :)


IF it takes off and IF I get some decent start-up funds in the bank, I would really like to become chiro and acupuncture certified. And I've already figured out how to outfit a camper with a digital x-ray...surprisingly easier and more affordable than I would've imagined!


Thank you again! If I can just get a little extra money in the account, sky's the limit, huh?


Hmmm...benefit trial?

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Jovi, I used to do large animal, and that is one thing that drove me crazy about how the practice charged: flat-rate by the service and NOT by the hour. I can't tell you how many times I'd show up and we'd have to go get the cow up...by foot, by tractor, by dart gun. At least the horses were usually caught :/

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I don't think that agility people will pay for routine vet services at an agility trial. Those sorts of things will get done at home. Agility people will pay for performance enhancing things like massage and chiropractic. I am not sure about acupuncture. And ofcourse they will pay for onsite vet services if their dog should become injured.

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Yeah, by charging an hourly rate, I make sure that my animals are either penned in the barn or in a close paddock so they are easily accessible - otherwise I am paying for my vet to run around the pasture. :rolleyes:


I agree with Blackdawgs about the services desired at an agility trial - chiro, massage, laser and acupuncture. I don't think handlers will be looking for general vet services. Many handlers DO take the opportunity to use the above due to the convenience factor - whether or not their dog is injured. I have occasionally signed up for an appointment at an agility trial just as a wellness check and for massage for my dog.


Nellie Bierly DVM (Lexington, VA area) usually sets up at the agility trials in the Horse Center. Not sure if she goes to any other trials. She may be able to give you more info.

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Maybe a difference in clientele, because I have had numerous requests for routine care at dog trials. Mostly rabies, Snap tests, and various meds. I would guess that many sheepdog owners have more household or kennel dogs than agility owners. Maybe that contributes to the convenience and reduced cost of on-site care? In any regard, it's a supplemental source of income, so no big deal :)


Thanks! All good to know!

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Have the massage and laser down...need to learn the rest!


It would be fun to get to work with awesome owners such as you all on a regular basis. Looking forward to making it happen down the road.

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I would probably avail myself of routine care at a trial if I had the time (at trials where I'm working and not just running a dog). For me, the most important thing is a vet I trust (from both a diagnostic and caring standpoint) and reasonable prices. A couple of times Robin had a vet visit her farm while a group of us was there. It was very convenient to get bloodwork and other basic diagnostic work (including BAER testing--any chance you want to take that on Emily?) at a place I was going to be anyway....


And as you know, I have had need of vet services at trials, from exam and pain meds for injury to the worst of the worst (God bless Eleanor Peavy for helping with that situation), and would be happy for the services of someone who thoroughly understands our working dogs and their needs.



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I've worked at hospitals where exams ranged from $25 to $150. The lower end would be wellness with vaccines in a lower cost setting. The upper end would be an emergency in the middle of the night and did not include a fee for my time beyond the first 20 minutes.


HW/L/E/A tests have ranged from $30 to $75. The $75 test included a Lyme vaccine titer.


Rabies vaccines ranged from $10 to $30 for a dog.


A single view hip rad ranged from $75 to $150 and did not include sedation.

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Wow prices seem to be lower in the US...

A general exam in the town I work is on average $65-89

1 view rad is about $90-100

The snap4Dx test I think costs us $35 before we add anything on (ie markup, blood collection etc)

Not sure what the rest of the clinics in town do, but we add $12 or $15 onto the price of the office visit for each vaccine.

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It depends on the region. In general, vet care in the USA undervalues itself. The old business model was charge very little for the exam to get people in the door, but make your profit selling them drugs and products. The recommended business model is to charge for knowledge (exams, procedures, interpretation of blood test results, rads, etc) and mark up very little for products (drugs, vaccines, flea/tick control, food).

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Suzie Hughes does it down in NC (Durham area), and Kate Stephens does it in TX. It would be very handy to have someone who BAER tests who also routinely goes to sheepdog trials! (There is a practice in Short Pump, VA, that offers BAER testing as well, but I think the more people we have to do the testing the better.)



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