|Barked: Sun May 6, '12 7:48am PST |
|There are times when comparing prices between your vet and the shelter or low-cost clinics, you are inadvertently comparing apples to oranges. From my standpoint, the big question is the extent of services you are getting for your dollar at either location. I'd ask your vet exactly what is included in his spay price and then find out what is included in the shelter's price.
For example, pre-op blood work, fluids, cardiac and pulse/oxygen monitoring are things I personally look for if any of my animals are going under, regardless of their age and health. Post-op pain relief should also be brought up. One of the reasons most low-cost clinics are cheaper are because they don't do any of those things and post-op pain relief is an add-on if the owner desires it.
Last year (when we were still in Seoul, South Korea), Scooter needed a dental cleaning and I happened to find a couple of loose teeth. The base vet could have taken care of it for @ $100. They didn't require blood work, do x-rays, or most of the things I mentioned. I had to take him to a Korean vet to get titers run and had them do routine blood work since the base clinic didn't do stuff like that in-house. One of his liver values was way off and others were borderline; they (the base clinic) weren't concerned.
The UC-Davis graduate Korean vet I chose required pre-op blood work (and based his anesthesia choice off it) as well as x-rays. Those x-rays revealed some nasty surprises; in addition, those liver values had gotten worse and did affect what was used as well as the type of pain meds he was given afterward. Bottom line, had I gone with the base vet, most likely Scooter would either be dead or have major liver damage and would still have a mouth full of bad teeth.
While I had saved knowing he needed a dental, and had money in my emergency fund (which was really hard to access at the time since we were overseas), the final total was still rather painful on my pocketbook.... we weren't stuck eating nothing but tuna, but it was painfully tight.
Compare exactly what each is offering. Talk to your vet about pricing.
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