|Barked: Thu Nov 1, '12 12:02am PST |
|Just my two cents...on the notion you "get what you pay for." I used to work at a low-cost, non-profit spay/neuter clinic (recently) and have worked with shelter vets that do high volume spay/neuter. From my perspective they are the absolute best when it comes to these surgeries. A vet in a high volume spay/neuter practice like that, may do as many s/n surgeries in a month as a regular general practice vet does in 10 years. Experience Counts. Spay/neuter specialty vets have better technical skills. Not only that, but they have seen (and know how to deal with) all the other "stuff" that can be encountered in a s/n procedure: tumors on organs, infections in progress, etc.
The low-cost clinic where I worked is low-cost because it IS a non-profit. I.e., the clients' costs were subsidized by grants, private donations, and even other non-profits that would help with (or cover at 100%) individual cases. The clinic was also high volume, and yes, that was important for the financial model. But there was no compromise on the standard of care; the anesthesia protocols, the level of training of the medical staff, etc, all were at least on par with typical vet hospitals in the area, and superior to many. All our canine patients got Elizabethan collars and pain meds to go home. And the proof in the pudding -- our rates for complications, minor or major, were way lower than local or national averages. Although, there is one caveat, that we generally only accepted young, healthy, low-risk patients (again, typical of the high-volume low-cost model).
Prices at that clinic (in New England) range from $75-$225 for dog s/n. At the shelter affiliated non-profit vet clinic where I worked down South, prices were lower.
Private practice vets, of course, will expect to make money on a spay/neuter surgery just as with all your pet's care. It IS a business after all. There is nothing wrong with that. Indeed, I do think there are some advantages to seeing your regular vet for this surgery; mostly the fact that IS your dog's regular vet, they know you and your dog the best, and there's a loyalty factor involved. The vet relationship is a precious one IF you have a great vet that you trust.
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