I live within 15 minutes of two 24 hour emergency clinics. Both are also regular veterinary practices. I go to the one because they always have a surgeon on duty and the other doesn't. I do realize they have to pay salaries, utilities, etc. for a 24 hour clinic. And yes, when you need them, it doesn't matter the cost. However... Sammy had surgery to remove a tumor last year. He started bleeding pretty badly when I got him home. My vet office is not staffed 24 hours, so I headed to the emergency clinic. My vet charged $463 for the surgery and $163 of that was for the biopsy. The emergency vet charged me $1,100 to watch him for the night. They gave no meds, no fluids - just kept an eye on him. I'm sure there was staff time involved, but as far as any other services, there were none. My vet had already dispensed meds - antibiotic and pain. This clinic charged me $300 for the same. I did request that they use the meds I brought with me and they agreed, so they lowered it to just over $900. Absolutely no reason to charge that for very common meds, so that's where they really get you. This is a very high tech clinic, so I have peace of mind that anything that happens, they could handle - and it's going to cost me big time. They do use the new docs on the night shift. I think that's their normal hours, so I doubt that they get any kind of premium pay. No different than shifts at any other job. But I must say, I couldn't be more happy that they are there. Like the rest of you, when you have an emergency, that peace of mind is priceless.
On the flip side, when we had to put out 21 year old kitty down, it was of course, at night. We went to the e-clinic and they were incredible. Very caring and they gave us priority service. Their prices are less than my vet, who happens to be one of the most reasonable in the area.
Samson, GSD, 10/13/07
Annabel, Keeshond, 4/21/11
Petie, Toy Poodle, 5/5/07
Kitties: Meezer, Bob, Mia and Dewey