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Low cost snip clinic vs. regular vet for spay?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Polliwog

Semper Fido!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 10:35am PST 
Does anyone have any experience going to a low-cost, high volume spay/neuter clinic vs. a vet? I know you can't tell me what the one in my area is like necessarily, but I need to get Polly spayed and wonder if there are any pros and cons to going to a snip clinic vs. my regular vet or questions I should be asking.

My vet gave me an estimate of $270 to $300--the clinic is $75.
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Obi

Sassy Britches!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 10:44am PST 
hmm well we got our cat neutered at the vet and our dog neutered at the low cost clinic. There were no problems in either. The vet just cost more and wanted to keep him overnight. The clinic just did it in the morning and I took him home in the afternoon. I also got his puppy shots at the clinic for less money while he was there. I suppose it depends on the money. If there is a problem the vet knows what to do.shrug
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Obi

Sassy Britches!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 10:44am PST 
hmm well we got our cat neutered at the vet and our dog neutered at the low cost clinic. There were no problems in either. The vet just cost more and wanted to keep him overnight. The clinic just did it in the morning and I took him home in the afternoon. I also got his puppy shots at the clinic for less money while he was there. I suppose it depends on the money. If there is a problem the vet knows what to do.shrug

oops sorry for the double postnaughty

Edited by author Mon Jun 24, '13 10:45am PST

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Hucky and- Ringo

1184791
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 10:50am PST 
Years ago I adopted a dog and the shelter gave me the phone number of a low cost spay clinic. I think it only cost me $50 back then. I dropped her off in the morning and picked her up that night if I recall correctly. I had no problem with them at all. The cone that they sent her home with was included in the price.

Obi, the people at the clinics are just as much doctors as your vet is. They are not just people off the street looking for a job. All my dogs, male and female were sent home the same day. Huck was the only dog that stayed the night. The vet was the first time I ever went to him and he was an old timer, semi retired and just wanted to keep him overnight as a precaution.

Edited by author Mon Jun 24, '13 10:56am PST

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Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 10:59am PST 
In general, the quality of a given surgery is largely determined by how often the doctor does that surgery. That means that, in terms of the quality of the job the vet will do, there is NO REASON to avoid a low-cost clinic in general.

As you note, I can't advise you on how your particular local low-cost clinic is run.

First, it's important to note that the price your vet is quoting you is already most likely a discounted price, compared to what they'd charge for any other major surgery like this, where they have to open the abdominal wall. The low-cost clinic is heavily subsidized by someone.

There are some things your regular vet should do that your low-cost clinic may not do, that would be important things to consider.

1. Pre-op blood work. Young, healthy dogs rarely have a problem with anesthesia, but the pre-op blood work, which may be included in the quote your regular vet gave you, will detect many potential problems and enable the vet to make adjustments and do the surgery safely.

2. A tech to monitor respiration and anesthesia while the vet is operating. Again, for young, healthy dogs, the lack of separate monitoring is rarely an issue--but it can be.

3. Post-op pain meds. Usually, your regular vet will include these. Usually, a low-cost clinic won't. Many people still think that post-op pain meds aren't necessary because they make the dog more likely to be active/harder to keep quiet, but the truth is post-op pain management speeds healing and reduces the risk of complications.

It's worth asking both your regular vet and the low-cost clinic about these things. It would be unusual, but it's within the realm of possibility that your low-cost clinic may do more of these things than your regular vet, depending on the age and outlook of your regular vet, and who is funding the low-cost clinic.

All of this, though, is assuming that you can AFFORD what your regular vet is charging. If you can't, ask around to make sure your low-cost clinic is decently run, and assuming it is, go for it. This is major surgery, but it's one vets do all the time, have lots of experience with, and therefore in practical terms it's not really a risky choice, especially if the alternative is to have a female dog intact past the point where you're confident of your ability to handle an intact female. Going through a heat with an intact female, if you're not experienced with it, is not fun.

Best wishes, whatever you do.
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Paris

support the- rabid
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 11:20am PST 
Nicky and Paris both go to a low cost clinic for their yearlies. Nicky was already neutered by his rescue, but Paris was a stray and not spayed yet so she went to the low cost to get spayed. My mom asked around about them, and heard nothing but good things. They did pre-surgical bloodwork to make sure the dog is healthy enough for surgery. They have one day designated for just spay and neuter surgeries- Paris was dropped off in the morning, and picked up in the evening. They provided a shot of pain meds that lasted a couple of hours (can't remember how long), pain meds in pill form in case they are needed when the shot wears off, a cone, and care sheet. The spay site was a tiny little incision, and I can't remember if they used dissolvable stitches and glue, but I remember the skin was glued together. They also put a tattoo mark on her abdomen to indicate she was spayed. The incision site healed up wonderfully and you can't even see it now. There were no complications. This place is very professional, and very clean- moreso than some of my area full service vet clinics I have been in, but there are a lot of shady clinics in my area.

Edited by author Mon Jun 24, '13 11:23am PST

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Polliwog

Semper Fido!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 11:29am PST 
Thanks everyone!

@Addy! I think mostly I'm nervous because even though it's routine surgery, it's still fairly significantly invasive for the dog and I've never had to nurse a dog through a spay!

Definitely they do pre-op blood work at my vets. I called the snip clinic and asked about meds--they said they keep them overnight--you drop off at 8am and pickup at 7:30 am next day--they get pain meds while there, but no take home meds.

I suppose I'm inclined to feel more peace of mind going to my regular vet--knowing they will answer any follow up questions and can always see a pet same day for most situations if there were complications or any concerns, but I did just spend over $2000 in emergency care for our cat, so money is tighter . . . or at least feels tighter. . . .

The snip clinic person who answered the phone asked if she had any history of seizures . .. none that I know of--I've only had her 5 weeks. She is 1 1/2 to 2 years old.
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Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 12:02pm PST 
Does the low-cost clinic have overnight staff, or would your dog be ALONE until morning?!

There is normally no reason for a dog to stay overnight after a spay; if they really need to stay, they really need to be in a staffed facility. Really, it sounds like, in this case, you will be much better off with your regular vet.
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Arya

Serious Face
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 12:13pm PST 
We had both of our cats spayed at a low cost clinic with no problems at all. It's a fairly well-known clinic in the community though, so we had already heard lots of good things before taking them in. They didn't keep them overnight or send home any pain meds or anything.

Ask around and look online to see if you can find any reviews for the low cost clinic in your area.
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Missy

Miss- Pig!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 12:39pm PST 
Personally, i'd request pain meds to take home. A spay surgery is a major, invasive surgery and pain meds should be a given, not an "extra". Missy had some complications during her surgery and I could tell she was in some pain or discomfort so the pain meds were a relief for her i'm sure. I wouldn't expect my dog to go through such a surgery without meds to take home.
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