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Old 01-19-2012, 11:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Trying to decide: Spay at vet or humane society

So here's my dilemma. Our regular vet quoted us a minimum of $500 to spay Nova. Spaying her at the humane society will be closer to $110. Bit of a difference, eh? I had called an affordable spay/neuter place once when we were having our Chihuahua fixed and I was told it was like an assembly line. Well that freaked me out a bit!! I asked the girl at the humane society about that and she said they are done one at a time.

I mean, they do a ton of these surgeries right? Would you consider taking your pet to the humane society for care? For the record Nova is a vWD carrier so I am not worried about that.

Any thoughts/opinions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would ask for written estimates and compare them. personally I'm a stress nut and only let my regular vet do surgeries if at all possible. It's more expensive and she uses more expensive anesthesia, but to me it's worth it. They also often get more fluids and a few other things. I think the anesthesia my vets uses is Sevoflurane (sp?).

That being said, there's nothing wrong with using the humane society either.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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maybe you can find a different vet that is more reasonable
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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we have a low cost spay/neuter clinic in our area and I have used it for both my female springer, and my cats (my dobe boy is still intact) we didn't have any issues. I have been told that the main difference is the meds that the animals recieve, they are much more groggy after the proc. but after they wear off everything should be the same. As long as your dog is otherwise healthy there really shouldn't be much of an issue.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had to make this very decision when I had to neuter both my boys at the same time. Over $350 per dog via my regular vet whom I love or spay/neuter clinic for $125 per dog. I went with the spay/neuter clinic and they did a great job. That is all they do so they were setup for this procedure and I felt confident that they were specialists. Some vets may only do this procedure only a few times a week or even less if a very small practice so I didn't feel any more concerned than if it was being done by my regular vet.

Go with what makes you the most comfortable. I was recommended to the clinic by a happy customer so I didn't go in completely blind.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Does the humane society provide all followup care, meds in needed for $110? If something happens when you get home (after the surgery), do they have an after hours vet to provide medical attention?
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam&macksmom View Post
Does the humane society provide all followup care, meds in needed for $110? If something happens when you get home (after the surgery), do they have an after hours vet to provide medical attention?

This ^.

If they say yes, ask what kind of pain meds and how long they last for. Do they get antibiotics? Are they hooked up by IV? Where do they recover? Do they use sutures or skin glue?

Because its so cheap, they do cut corners.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with Adara. Low cost spay/neuter clinics and the like aren't making enough money to deal with my stress. I'm a high-maintenance dog owner. I like to know every single 't' has been crossed and every single 'i' dotted. I also opted to have a gastropexy done on Fiona at the time of spay and I couldn't have added that procedure if I'd went with just a spay clinic.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I agree with Adara. Low cost spay/neuter clinics and the like aren't making enough money to deal with my stress. I'm a high-maintenance dog owner. I like to know every single 't' has been crossed and every single 'i' dotted. I also opted to have a gastropexy done on Fiona at the time of spay and I couldn't have added that procedure if I'd went with just a spay clinic.
I would have this procedure done on any female I was having spayed since they are already in there anyways. Kind of like getting your tubes tied if you have to have a birth by c section if you know your are done with having children.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Usually "assembly line" means the while one animal is in surgery, the next one is being prepped. When you have a bunch of routine surgeries, that is the easiest and fastest way to do them. By routine, I mean something like a spay/neuter on a healthy animal. For a vWD affected dog, or one with other problems, no surgery is "routine".

What does the $500 include? If it's just the surgery, and anything else (bloodwork, any pain meds, etc.) was extra, I would be looking for a cheaper alternative, myself. My vet charges about $100 for a spay on a dog the size of a dobe, and any blood work, etc. is extra. I used our humane society clinic to spay two cats, and was offered (at extra cost) pre-surgery bloodwork, pain meds, etc., just like my regular vet (actually, one of the volunteer vets WAS my regular vet). The only difference was cost. If your Nova is healthy, I wouldn't have a problem with going to the low cost clinic.

As for being concerned about complications, they are a risk with any surgery, no matter where they are performed.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Back when I almost got Prime neutered, I was debating about taking him to a shelter or regular vet. I was at the shelter one day pulling a dog and saw the room where they were prepping dogs for surgery. There were many dogs waiting on the floor, one dog jumped up with his front paws on the table where another dog was under anesthesia. I was like "oh hell no."

Then a friend of mine who volunteers at the shelter told me that there was a new tech not administering anesthesia correctly and a few dogs died.

I will only use a vet clinic. Luckily here we have a rescue that offers a prevent a litter program and offers 40 dollar speuters for personal pets at a few local vet clinics. The rescue pays the remainder of the cost.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I would only use my trusted Vet...no matter what the cost..I would never consider going to a shelter for the surgery....
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:10 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I would use my vet.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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There are things you can cut corners on......surgery on your dog isn't one of them.

If it were me, I'd bite the financial bullet and use your regular vet.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Wow $500 ??? I just had my 6 month old done 3 days ago at my vets. She charged $150 but with the pain meds to come home came to $175. She trims her nails and kept her overnight to be sure everything was alright. I like her because she uses disolveable sutures not skin glue.... I'd check a few places and compare the meds, sutures and so on..........Good luck, as long as she stays healthy it's all worth it............
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I would stick with my vet...
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I just called around for a neuter for my baby Monty, and my regular vet gets $469 and another vet that I also use when mine isn't around, gets only $300. My hubby said, go to our regular vet, we trust him much more then any other we have seen, surgery isn't worth skimping on.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:59 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I really appreciate all the input. Living in SW Florida our cost of living is high so the surgery costs more I guess. I'll try calling other vets I have dealt with before for estimates and not take her to the humane society.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:44 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I had one female done at our local humane society, and the other done at a vet. I know most of the staff working at the humane society so I don't have a problem with them here locally. I would shop around. The cheapest spay I could find in our area a few years ago was 350, and that was through my uncle who is a vet. Do some shopping before you decide.

All these people talking about $100-200 vet bills, I need to move where you are! Its about 100 at the humane society, and 350 and up for vets, plus other fees for meds and what not..
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Soleil (01-19-2012)
Old 01-19-2012, 08:43 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Just wanted to say real quick, not all low-cost spay clinics are death traps waiting to happen. Fi & Tali's regular vet is PHENOMENAL. She's known as one of the best in this area. And she donates some of her services to the local shelters and some area rescues as a way of giving back - at times, she's performed low-cost spays (low-cost for the rescue or shelter - pro bono work for her). I would just ask who the vets are that perform the spays and then maybe look into them a little myself to find out their experience, if it's their day job, etc. See if you can get a list of the meds they commonly use pre-, during, and post-surgery. Things like that.

There's nothing wrong with opting for a low-cost clinic if that's what you prefer. Like anything, just do your homework.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:20 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I agree with brw. Our s/n clinic is much cheaper because they do not have near the overhead costs. The doctors as well as the staff donate their time. The clinic is only open two days a week. So you are paying for true costs of supplies, meds, etc.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:43 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brw1982 View Post
Just wanted to say real quick, not all low-cost spay clinics are death traps waiting to happen. Fi & Tali's regular vet is PHENOMENAL. She's known as one of the best in this area. And she donates some of her services to the local shelters and some area rescues as a way of giving back - at times, she's performed low-cost spays (low-cost for the rescue or shelter - pro bono work for her). I would just ask who the vets are that perform the spays and then maybe look into them a little myself to find out their experience, if it's their day job, etc. See if you can get a list of the meds they commonly use pre-, during, and post-surgery. Things like that.

There's nothing wrong with opting for a low-cost clinic if that's what you prefer. Like anything, just do your homework.
I agree. My vet does tons of work for a couple rescues & a feral cat program. I have used both.

I would still ask about if their are complications. Kyrah's incisions became infected. Had to go back for a visit, antibotics and re-surgery to fix her tummy. I tried to pay when picking her up and was told no charge.

And all I can say is WOW about the amount being charged over there. My vet was about $140.
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brw1982 (01-24-2012)
Old 01-19-2012, 09:52 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I had Gunner neutered last month at our regular vet...with the surgery and pain meds it was right around 200.00 We do have a low cost mobile vet unit that does spays/neuters, and although they were a good bit cheaper (90 I think) I wasn't comfortable compromising for something that involved surgery. The risk of going under was too big of a deal for me to worry about money. I trust our vet and he came through the surgery just fine....never even acted like he had it done. Go with your gut though...at 500 i'd be looking elsewhere too!
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:59 PM   #25 (permalink)
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My son's 6# min-pin was spayed at the East Bay Spay and Neuter Clinic which is part of the Oakland SPCA. Their fees are $100 but she was so little, they charged her for the cat fee ($75).
My Dobe was a shelter dog, so she had to be spayed before being adopted out. She was really emaciated and rather weak. She got transported and spayed with a group of the shelter dogs up at Univ of California at Davis since they have a veterinary school there.
Kind of interesting, huh?
Since you have a choice, just go with what you are most comfortable with.
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