DILLEMMA... what would you do?

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

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I arrived and I- conquered!
Barked: Sat May 5, '12 9:02am PST 
Hi Moms… it has been a while… because I have been a very busy bee at work and other places.
On the happier side, there isn’t one day that passes by and I don’t think about how your “little bundle of joy” is doing along with his/hers MoM.

So Maya has her spaying scheduled for the end of this month. It’s going to cost $300, give and take, and if I want the microchip, another $68.00!!!
So I am looking at a bill of almost $400.00. All these services are through my Vet, who I have been with for the past five years, and who I love.

Here’s the dilemma… my work is not full time, and my hours just got cut back. I am barely making a decent paycheck.
Looking at the local shelter, who mostly relies on donations and some proceeds from services they provide, spaying and microchiping Maya would cost me something like $200.
That is quite the difference between them and my Vet.

BUT… I don’t want to offend my Vet by taking Maya someplace else for her surgery. I still want to have Dr. Crosson as Maya’s Vet, but the cost of the surgery through him is too high for me right now.

On the other hand, I am pretty sure that the money I will spend at the local shelter, will help them in some form… and man… do they need the help!

What should I do?

Thanks for your time and thoughts.

Maya's MoM

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sat May 5, '12 10:16am PST 
your vets only goal should be keeping your pup healthy. He is not your friend and you are certainly not under any obligation to support him. You should be able to explain financial considerations without fear of affecting future care.
If you want him to do the surgery perhaps he could discount a bit or maybe you could postpone the surgery.

Barked: Sat May 5, '12 10:31am PST 
As someone who has adopted both her dog and her cat from the local shelter, I would consider taking your pup to the shelter for her spay. You are under no obligation to always use your favorite vet's services, and going somewhere else for a procedure that could cost you substantially less should not affect future care. Perhaps he would discount it to ensure that you come to his facility for the surgery? If not, going to the local shelter could lessen your bill AND help them take care of the animals in their facilities. Just make sure the staff performing the surgery is well-qualified.


I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Sat May 5, '12 11:44am PST 
My friend just booked his appointment for his 6 month old female Portuguese Pointer to get fixed at the local shelter next month.
His vet was going to charge upwards of $500. The shelter is something like $175. I don't know about the cost of microchipping.

Shelters do this procedure day in, day out. I say save the money.

Cheese? PLEASE!
Barked: Sat May 5, '12 1:27pm PST 
If you really want a vet to do it and not the shelter but cannot afford your vet, I would ask around for vet recommendations.

I got Frankie chipped at the local humane society, it was $25.00, and I had just missed the special they ran for $15.00 microchipping.

The tech who did it at the HS was very knowledgeable, very professional, and very kind, very concerned about explaining things very well, including what to possibly look for in the following coule of hours (ie possible blood on the white fur due to the large needle, and telling me how to handle it..) and was very thorough.

If you want, you can even hold off and see if your local humane society or shelter will be running any discouts or spay/neuter clinics coming up where you can get a reduced rate.

Sometimes they have spay/neuter clinics at Petco and places like that, but I have never heard any good or bad about those places having clinics.

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Sat May 5, '12 4:35pm PST 
I'm sure if you explain to your vet that you just can't afford the $400. for the surgery they will either be willing to help by lowering the cost or be fine with you using the local shelters services to save some money. As stated by others it should be your vets primary concern that your dog be healthy,not that you chose a more affordable option for the speuter,if they are that upset by your decision it may be time to consider another vet,even if you do like this one,having a vet you like and communicate well with is great but not if their primary concern is where you spend the money for your pets care rather than the health and care of your pet.hugwishes
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Sat May 5, '12 5:14pm PST 
Around here, at least, shelter sponsored spay/neuters ARE done by our local vets on a volunteer basis. If this is the case, you could end up getting it done by your own vet anyway!
I recently asked my vet about when he was doing the next shelter clinic because I had five females I wanted spayed and I preferred to have him do them on a day he was doing the clinic. He quickly matched the clinic price and had me bring them directly to him instead of waiting for the next shelter sponsored one. I brought them on a snow day since I live next door and he was even happier to have something for his employees to do since the scheduled clients were canceling due to the weather. It ended up with a huge savings for me ($100 each vs $200 each),and was good for him, too.
Frankly, I always felt a vet who is spaying/neutering for a shelter is probably even BETTER at the surgery due to having performed it so many times...practice makes perfect!

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Sun May 6, '12 6:55am PST 
Toto,our shelter itself does not do speuter surgery but our vet is one of a very few who participate in their voucher program. When you adopt you get a voucher for 1/2 off. When the surgery is performed and you take in or send in a copy of the certificate from the vet,your money is refunded. We are blessed to have him since most local vets charge around $400. and his highest price is $125.We didn't have our pups chipped but if done during speuter it is $25 at any other time $35. He is also the only vet within 100 miles that still has a full service 24/7 staffed animal hospital.

Work hard; Play- harder.
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.

Cheese? PLEASE!
Barked: Sun May 6, '12 9:37am PST 
Scooter brings up some excellent points about pre-op and post-op services.
If you go with the shelter, definitely ask what all is included. Small and toy breeds should def have the pre-op bloodwork done and other services Scooter mentioned.

If you decide to stick with your vet, maybe postpone the surgery until you can save up for it..? Some vets let you do payments. I know mine does this, because when I went to pick Frankie up from his neuter the lady in line in front of me was doing payments, so that may be an option to ask if it's available. And as a few others have suggested, if you talk with your vet, he may cut you a discount somehow or work something out.

You are smart in researching your options.
Even if you have to drive a bit to get to a shelter or a reputable vet with more affordable prices. Not sure if it is because of where you live that your vet charges those higher prices? We had Frankie done for around $200.00, an that inc all pre-op and post-op work done. So maybe finding a reputable vet in a nearby town with more affordable prices might be an option?

As others have mentioned, having a good vet is one thing, but when it comes to your pet's health, you need to do what works for you and to ensure her health and well-being are maintained.

Hope this helps!! flowers
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