On my way in to work this morning, I heard a broadcast about "consumers checkbook" on saving money on vet bills and how the "cost of the same procedure varies between $150-650", making out like veterinarians are running up the bills. The above is not true. The old adage "that's like comparing apples to oranges" applies. When there are drastic differences in procedures, you have to ask why. Does the price include pain medication? Does it include post-operative care, does it include bloodwork to make sure there are no pre-existing conditions? There are many options that make your pet's medical care exactly like yours. There are also options that make your pet's medical care more like the medical care you would find in a third world country. These are all questions that should be asked.
Many people think that when they call to get prices they are comparing the same things. This is rarely true, it's difficult to go into a detailed estimate on the phone and the assumption that because you are going to someone with a vet clinic means you are getting the same care is incorrect.
As a matter of fact, there are some clinics that I feel would not meet my standards for quality medicine and patient care. There are regulations that govern clinics, but sometimes, you have to ask yourself "do you get what you pay for?"