|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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