Trust your Vet to spay or go with the cheapo clinic?

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pblove
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Re: Trust your Vet to spay or go with the cheapo clinic?

Postby pblove » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:23 pm

FBODGRL wrote:$180 for bloodwork, spay and an overnight! That is seriously cheap!

go to your vet, $18o.00 is very cheap and that way you will feel moe confident and also will save the spot at the low cost clinic for a dog/family seriously in need

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Re: Trust your Vet to spay or go with the cheapo clinic?

Postby Odnarb » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:31 pm

Old post that I wrote back in my days working in the biz...

As far as the stuff for the spay goes, this is the stuff you should ask about...

Ask about pre-anesthetic bloodwork. Many folks think this tests to see if they are "allergic" to anesthesia. What it does is test the function of the internal organs and blood cells to be sure the dog's system can handle metabolizing the anesthesia. And just because your dog had bloodwork a couple of years ago, or even six months ago, doesn't mean he/she doesn't need it now. Dogs age a lot faster than we do. Internal organs can degrade fast. If the organs aren't up to snuff, surgery protocol needs to be changed or canceled.

What about IV fluids? Blood pressure drops under anesthesia. That can be fatal. IV fluids help keep the BP up. It also helps keep up body temperature (hypothermia kills, too). They help the organs metabolize the drugs more efficiently. Also, there is an open vein in case emergency drugs are needed.

What kind of anesthesia? Preferably, you want sevoflurane (1st) or isoflurane (2nd) gas anesthesia. Injectable only anesthesia isn't as safe.

Make sure they intubate the dogs with an endotracheal tube. This will help prevent possible aspiration pneumonia, which can be fatal.

Ask if they use any induction drugs, or if they gas the animals down. We use either propofol or valium/ketamine to induce depending on bloodwork and other potential health problems, or sometimes we gas the animals down (depending on the situation).

Ask if they give any pain relief.

What about monitoring? Are the pets monitored during the procedure on a Pulse Oximeter or EKG? Does a technician stay with the pet until they are sternal and swallowing on their own so they are extubated at the proper moment? Were they ever intubated in the first place?

Make sure they don't use stainless steel sutures (your dog will never be able to get an MRI if one was needed). Most cheap spay /neuter places use stainless steel sutures.

Often times the spays/neuters are able to be done very cheaply because they cut corners & costs. Cheap steel sutures, cheap anesthetics that aren't as safe, no pain relief, no monitoring etc. Is it worth saving a few bucks if it means your dog's comfort or safety? Something to think about...

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Re: Trust your Vet to spay or go with the cheapo clinic?

Postby mypuppyJack » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:33 pm

I used a voucher for a lowcost neuter for jack and he did great. I got the voucher from the shelter where I adopted him. For ellie I used hope clinic for her spay and they charged around $100. for spay, tattoo, vacc, nails -the works. Very happy. They might receive grants or donations to offer low costs, but that doesn't mean they are low quality.

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Re: Trust your Vet to spay or go with the cheapo clinic?

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:41 pm

Excellent post Odnarb.

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Re: Trust your Vet to spay or go with the cheapo clinic?

Postby gixxerific » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:24 pm

I will talk to my vet about some of things brought up here.

And just so you know I'm not cheap I'm broke there is a difference. lol

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Re: Trust your Vet to spay or go with the cheapo clinic?

Postby heartbullies » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:45 pm

Odnarb wrote:Old post that I wrote back in my days working in the biz...

As far as the stuff for the spay goes, this is the stuff you should ask about...

Ask about pre-anesthetic bloodwork. Many folks think this tests to see if they are "allergic" to anesthesia. What it does is test the function of the internal organs and blood cells to be sure the dog's system can handle metabolizing the anesthesia. And just because your dog had bloodwork a couple of years ago, or even six months ago, doesn't mean he/she doesn't need it now. Dogs age a lot faster than we do. Internal organs can degrade fast. If the organs aren't up to snuff, surgery protocol needs to be changed or canceled.

What about IV fluids? Blood pressure drops under anesthesia. That can be fatal. IV fluids help keep the BP up. It also helps keep up body temperature (hypothermia kills, too). They help the organs metabolize the drugs more efficiently. Also, there is an open vein in case emergency drugs are needed.

What kind of anesthesia? Preferably, you want sevoflurane (1st) or isoflurane (2nd) gas anesthesia. Injectable only anesthesia isn't as safe.

Make sure they intubate the dogs with an endotracheal tube. This will help prevent possible aspiration pneumonia, which can be fatal.

Ask if they use any induction drugs, or if they gas the animals down. We use either propofol or valium/ketamine to induce depending on bloodwork and other potential health problems, or sometimes we gas the animals down (depending on the situation).

Ask if they give any pain relief.

What about monitoring? Are the pets monitored during the procedure on a Pulse Oximeter or EKG? Does a technician stay with the pet until they are sternal and swallowing on their own so they are extubated at the proper moment? Were they ever intubated in the first place?

Make sure they don't use stainless steel sutures (your dog will never be able to get an MRI if one was needed). Most cheap spay /neuter places use stainless steel sutures.

Often times the spays/neuters are able to be done very cheaply because they cut corners & costs. Cheap steel sutures, cheap anesthetics that aren't as safe, no pain relief, no monitoring etc. Is it worth saving a few bucks if it means your dog's comfort or safety? Something to think about...

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We are lucky here-- the protocol for both the shelter/low cost spay-neuter programs I am familiar with now both use sevo as of 3 months ago, fluids, dissolving sutures, intubate animals, and provide post-op pain meds--- but they don't do bloodwork.

One of the private vets I would never send anyone to uses metal staples, another uses sutures that require removal.

Basically-- the point for the OP is to ASK.

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Re: Re: Trust your Vet to spay or go with the cheapo clinic?

Postby Odnarb » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:13 am

gixxerific wrote:I will talk to my vet about some of things brought up here.

And just so you know I'm not cheap I'm broke there is a difference. lol



LOL, I get you. These are some things to ask about, though. Then make your decision. As others have said, there are some low cost places that do surgery safely with modern protocols.

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Re: Trust your Vet to spay or go with the cheapo clinic?

Postby FBODGRL » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:39 pm

I'm still in shock at the only $180.

I adopted a kitten over the summer who wasn't old enough to spay. They have a couple vet hospitals that they work with and told me that the hospital would call me and set up the appointment. Her spay was "included" in her adoption fee. Her adoption fee was way cheap like under $50 dollars. The shelter I adopted her from was about an hour from my house and obviously the vets they use are by them. I considered having my vet do it, so I wouldn't have to drive to their vet. then I called and found out how much it would cost. It has been many, many years since I have had to get an animal spayed/neutered myself. After I was done having a heart attack. I decided that driving an hour plus each way was worth it to me. The office was a VCA and although they do the spay/neuters for the shelter. They give you the option for about a million other things...including blood work. I opted for no blood work. Which for kittens I have never had done. For my adults blood work is always done before anesthesia.

I admit I still feel a little guilty, because I realistically could have afforded the $300ish dollars for my vet to do it, but that wasn't a planned expense as I thought my kitten would have already been spayed. We have a low cost clinic in my area that does spay, neuter and vaccines. I keep hoping to have time to volunteer there. I have recommended them to a lot of people who don't have the money to get there animals speutered.

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Re: Trust your Vet to spay or go with the cheapo clinic?

Postby GoingPostal » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:52 am

FBODGRL wrote:I'm still in shock at the only $180.


I know right? It cost me $215 to neuter Nero locally, my ferret vet wanted $350. I don't even want to know what they charge for a spay. There is a cheapo clinic a few hours away I took a foster too that only charges shelters $75, I think a little more for regular customers but I didn't feel super confident with them although my foster did fine. Our humane society now runs occansional free spay/neuter clinics which is awesome, they've been filled up every time so far.

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Re: Trust your Vet to spay or go with the cheapo clinic?

Postby Alyssa » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:07 am

What Odnarb said.

Look at it this way - a spay is basically a hysterectomy. The surgery is done a same way that it is done for humans, using much of the same equipment. Then compare the costs. You would NEVER find a human hysterectomy that was only 400 bucks (and I'm talking before insurance - no fair comparing a mere co-pay to the whole cost of a procedure!)

Would you trust a hysterectomy that was 40 bucks? LOL

Compare a 40 buck spay to a 400 buck spay. They CANNOT be doing the SAME surgery for so much less without cutting some corners, UNLESS there is some kind of sponsor covering some of the cost. Not to say that more expensive automatically means a superior vet or result, but it is data that ought to be collected, compared, and considered, IMO.

Many low cost shelters don't do squat for pre-surgery, use outdated methods, and little to no pain relief for after.

There are some amazing vets out there doing low cost spays though - but they are not what I'd imagine are the norm.

Ask what is included in the surgery and get an itemized bill for the cost should it go without complications aqnd then compare those. Ask the questions Odnarb mentioned.

I wouldn't rule out a vet because they charged more than a low cost clinic, if I felt the vet was a great vet and their charges for the surgery made sense once I looked at what was involved and included in that price.

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Re: Trust your Vet to spay or go with the cheapo clinic?

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:20 am

(Splitting hairs here but a dog spay is actually an ovario-hysterectomy--they remove both the uterus AND ovaries)

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Re: Trust your Vet to spay or go with the cheapo clinic?

Postby Alyssa » Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:35 pm

Oh that's right, for humans they often will opt to leave the ovaries, huh? I forgot about that! LOL

Thank you!

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Re: Trust your Vet to spay or go with the cheapo clinic?

Postby Flibgit » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:41 am

I'd also take the dog's personality into account. I wouldn't take Amber to a cheap clinic (where she doesn't know anyone) because she has anxiety and would be even worse if there wasn't anyone to comfort her and all that crap. Not saying that the vets/techs don't care, but normally the clinics are really busy and they don't have time for some of the cuddly, soothing niceties that some dogs need.


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