We often see our clients take their new puppies and kittens to low-cost spay and neuter clinics because of the difference in price between a private veterinarian and a low-cost clinic. But are these two options really to same? Are private veterinarians just charging more for the same, run of the mill, surgery?
The answer is no.
Low cost spat/neuter facilities operate on a tight budget in order to provide a low cost service and still be able to pay for supplies and staff. This means they may use cheaper materials for suture and anesthesia; they may not have a protocol for controlling pain and nausea, often have limited hours, and may not have monitoring equipment or capabilities in case of emergency. Probably most important is the fact that a low cost performs a high volume of surgeries each day. This limits the individual attention a patient can receive if an “assembly line” approach is used. Often these are the situations were only the ovaries are removed and the uterus is left behind so as to save time or where the entire spay is performed through a tiny incision only a half inch or so long so as to save time closing ( and sacrifice inspection of the abdomen for bleeding). Most of the time the result is the same but it is a good idea to know what one is paying for.
At College Park Road Vet Clinic we have a doctor/technician team which is dedicated to your family pet from start with the pre-op physical exam throughout the surgery and recovery.
Monitoring equipment is truly the best available and all surgeries have intravenous catheters and fluids along with intra operative and post op medications to help control pain, anxiety and nausea. All pets recover from surgery in a warmed recovery cage with a technician that can evaluate them for any type of discomfort. We have a doctor available for questions or emergencies and we will give you a call the day after surgery to check up on your post op patient and answer any additional questions.
Another consideration is the vaccination status at low cost /shelter facilities. In most cases there are no requirements that all patients must meet. Your pet could share space with a dog that is incubating or shedding parvo virus or your cat could be exposed to a cat that has an active respiratory infection or feline leukemia. At College Park each pet has its own space and it not in contact with any other pet.
Although there is a larger than life need for these clinics in the fight over animal over population and homeless animals; there is a big difference in the service provided to these pets.
As always, it is our job to give out the information and let our clients make the informed decision. So, know what you are paying for and what you expect for your pets care.