Local vet spay vs. low-cost spay program - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Local vet spay vs. low-cost spay program

Hi everyone,

The time has almost come for River Ghost to be spayed. Although I am going with my "family vet" for the procedure this time, I am very curious about the low-cost spay clinics.

My vet charges a total of $270 for a spay - this includes a pre-anesthetic screening to make sure there won't be an unforeseen allergic reaction, the actual surgery itself, and an overnight stay at the vet. In addition, the vet has laser surgery equipment, though I'm not sure if it's used on spay surgeries or only declawings.

In contrast, I could get a cat spayed at a local low-cost spay program for about $45 - $60. If any of you have gone this route, were you glad that you did? What kind of service did you get?

Again, I'm not considering this for River because my vet has been dealing with her already for the past month and knows her history very well. This same vet also spayed my Shade about a year ago and she was great to work with. But I'd be lying if I said that the cost isn't a problem. River came into our life so unexpectedly that we are having a hard time coming up with the funds for the vet bills (but I have been taking on some extra work and selling stuff to help pay for it), and I can't help but think that the next time I get a cat, I'd rather avoid the high cost of spay surgery at my family vet.

Any suggestions or personal experience are MUCH appreciated, thanks!!

And just for fun, here's some updated pics of River Ghost



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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 10:39 PM
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That's a tough call.
$270 does sound excessive (unless you're in Canada?). My vet charges $175 and they are considered pretty expensive here in LA.
That being said, I think the most important thing is who you feel more comfortable going to. If you have confidence in your vet it's worth the money to take her there.
I have 2 vets. One is less expensive and I do a lot of things there but when it came to my cats dental, although I like these guys a lot, I went to my old vet even though he was double the price. I'm sure the cheaper guys are probably fine but at my old vet, I know the techs and I know the quality of care when the client isn't around. I didn't want to run the risk that, God forbid anything did go wrong, I'd be left wondering was it because I tried to save a few bucks?
I've never gone to a sp/n clinic but I know people who have and their pets were fine. They don't usually keep them overnight though and personally I think it's better if they do stay. (Albeit, harder on you!) They get a good nights rest and recovery and more pain meds.
You could also ask around your area and see what experiences people have had at the sp/n program. Rescue org would probably have great info 'cause they use them all the time.
Hope all this babble helps!

Victoria
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 11:17 PM
 
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Our Anti-Cruelty Society has a low cost spay/neuter program. A friend who volunteers there said that although they are under the supervision of an experienced vet, the people performing the surgeries are vet students who volunteer there for the surgery experience. It is also an assembly line type of operation.

All this said, 20 yrs ago when I got my first cat I adopted her from this place and they spayed her before releasing her to me. She did fine and recovered quickly.

For me it would boil down to how much can I realistically squeeze out of my budget. Now that I have more cat experience and income, I would not have my female cat spayed there. Spaying is a major surgery and more things can go wrong.

I would use one of the clinics for a male neuter. The procedure is so much simpler. A very small incision and a snip. Done and home the same day.

$270 is not unusual here (downtown Chicago) if you include the pre-surgery bloodwork, overnight stay and pain medication. I paid $260 a year ago for Squirrel. The average seems to be $175 - $250 depending on the clinic.

River is lucky to find you. But you are learning what I did - There is no such thing as a free cat. The ones that adopt you end up being costly during the first year. But well worth the cost!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 11:26 PM
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In College Station, there is a program where you send in the spay/neuter receipts and the humane society reimburses you $20 for each pet.

For me, I have always wished that I had gotten my cats at the humane society. All my five cats were abandoned kittens but "free" kittens all ended up FIVE TIMES MUCH more expensive than cats at the humane society.

For me, I would go to the cheapest vet in town with a little gift (couple of soaps) for the vet tech (a little bribe, maybe? ). They make so little money so I wouldn't mind tipping them a little bit. The surgery and the "tip" would still be considerably cheaper than the expensive vet and knowing that I "tipped" the vet tech ensures that my cats are well looked after.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 08:55 AM
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I've had it done both ways. We didn't have a low cost clinic in our area until last January and the last 3 of my babies were done there.

It's my opinion that the clinic did a better job with the incision etc than the regular vet. Think about it...all they do all day long is spay and neuter surgeries so they've got to be pretty good at it.

I volunteered at the clinic this past October and I was very impressed with the whole operation of the clinic. I recommend it to everyone I know that has an intact animal because the cost of going to a regular vet is very prohibitive for some.
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 11:15 AM
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So you named her Rover Ghost! Cool!

I've done both low cost and reg vet.
Puck was spayed and declawed (before I knew how cruel declawing was, so please don't slam me!) at a low cost clinic. I think it was $110 total with pain meds and all. The place I used was highly recommended to me by my friend's mom who has been taking cats there for years They were very nice and did a good job.

But that being said, this past time when I had Buick neutered, I took him to my regular vet. I don't know, I guess I was just more comfortable with the setting and it's closer.

$270 does sounds like a lot tho!! Do what your heart tells you to do. You want to be comfortable with your decision. I know I would never forgive myself if something happened cuz I was trying to cut corners with costs.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2006, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys... sounds like low-cost clinics really need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. I think that when I'm ready for my next bundle of fuzz, I'll call around to find out which ones are good, and visit them in person.
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