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Thread: Low-cost clinic neutering?

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    #1

    Low-cost clinic neutering?

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    Just looking for some quick advice. We have a 5.5 month old border collie/German shepherd mix. He's getting to the age when he needs to be neutered, so we called up our vet and they told us it would cost $550. That seems outrageous to me, for such a routine surgery. I started googling around and found a low-cost spay and neuter clinic close to us. The total cost, including microchipping while he's under, would be around $85. This cost includes the neuter, microchip, and 3 days worth of pain meds.

    I'm just nervous because I know they don't do IV fluids or pre-anesthetic bloodwork. Are either of those items necessary for a healthy, active, almost 6-month old puppy? He's up to date on all his shots and puppy wellness visits at the vet, and he has never had any sort of emergency issue at all since we've had him. He's on a high quality, grain free pet food specific for large breed puppies as recommended by our vet.

    I'm just a worried fur-momma. I don't want to spend $550 to get him neutered, but I don't want to go the other way either and have him end up with complications in surgery by cutting corners, cost-wise.
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    #2
    I would be worried too! But I'm sure they know what they're doing. Maybe ask how many spay/neuter surgeries they have done. I know the local humane society does low cost and they do all of the animals that go through there and I've never heard of any problems.

    Not sure though about the pre-screening blood work, ect.. as I've always adopted and they were always neutered before hand.

    Good luck!
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    FYI, I was always told to wait to neuter until the dog is fully grown. Small dogs around 6 month, but larger dogs (like yours) not until they are 12-18 months. it can cause problems with the development and growth of the dog.

    Ask a Vet: Is 4 months too young to have my pet spayed or neutered? - latimes.com
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    Low-cost clinics are a great option, imo. I have used them in the past and will use them again in the future for dogs and cats. Ultimately it's like using any other provider, you need to do your homework. Have you googled the clinic to see what sorts of information comes up, any reviews from other users, etc? Do you participate on any "local" pages or boards in your area where you could make inquiries about the clinic in question? Is it a mobile spay/neuter operation or a single/set site?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kms51211 View Post
    I would be worried too! But I'm sure they know what they're doing. Maybe ask how many spay/neuter surgeries they have done. I know the local humane society does low cost and they do all of the animals that go through there and I've never heard of any problems.

    Not sure though about the pre-screening blood work, ect.. as I've always adopted and they were always neutered before hand.

    Good luck!
    Thanks! They are well established and have been spaying and neutering for awhile. I know it's not a complex procedure, especially for a male vs. female dog, but still, I worry...

    Quote Originally Posted by Amanduh View Post
    FYI, I was always told to wait to neuter until the dog is fully grown. Small dogs around 6 month, but larger dogs (like yours) not until they are 12-18 months. it can cause problems with the development and growth of the dog.

    Ask a Vet: Is 4 months too young to have my pet spayed or neutered? - latimes.com
    So strange. My vet recommended neutering at 6 months :-/ Still, we have no problems or issues waiting until he's older if that's what's best for him health-wise. We have another male small dog (westie/poodle mix) who is already neutered, and we will both be students in the fall, so our schedule is really easy/flexible. I'll do some more research and see what we should do. He has started slowing down, growth wise. I am crossing my fingers that he won't get much bigger than he is currently.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZivaD View Post
    Low-cost clinics are a great option, imo. I have used them in the past and will use them again in the future for dogs and cats. Ultimately it's like using any other provider, you need to do your homework. Have you googled the clinic to see what sorts of information comes up, any reviews from other users, etc? Do you participate on any "local" pages or boards in your area where you could make inquiries about the clinic in question? Is it a mobile spay/neuter operation or a single/set site?
    It's a set site. The reviews online seem positive, both through google and yelp. I'm PMing you a link to the clinic, just so you can ease my mind and tell me it's legit. I just don't want to post it here with all the privacy concerns as of late.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amanduh View Post
    FYI, I was always told to wait to neuter until the dog is fully grown. Small dogs around 6 month, but larger dogs (like yours) not until they are 12-18 months. it can cause problems with the development and growth of the dog.

    Ask a Vet: Is 4 months too young to have my pet spayed or neutered? - latimes.com
    I've heard about that a lot lately. My vet also recommends waiting until the dog is fully grown.
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    #8
    Seeing as I used to work up close and personal at a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, Ill tell you what I know.

    Quote Originally Posted by JaneSays View Post
    Just looking for some quick advice. We have a 5.5 month old border collie/German shepherd mix. He's getting to the age when he needs to be neutered, so we called up our vet and they told us it would cost $550. That seems outrageous to me, for such a routine surgery. I started googling around and found a low-cost spay and neuter clinic close to us. The total cost, including microchipping while he's under, would be around $85. This cost includes the neuter, microchip, and 3 days worth of pain meds.
    First, it $550 is actually quite low compared to what I have seen on estimate sheets brought in by people. But, yes, it is still outrageous.
    Im going to tell you this from a non-biased POV. S/N clinics, especially well established and well staffed clinics, have A WHOLE LOT MORE experience with this particular surgeries. The clinic I worked at typically did 40-60 dogs and around 50-70 cats every single day. That is a whole lot of practice. They are usually very very good at what they do.
    Now, from a biased standpoint, and from the POV of a pet-parent who has had a cat that went through a s/n clinic, they are really awesome. At least, the one I worked at. He was very well taken care of and had a close eye on him at all times.
    If you are truly concerned or have a gut feeling that you should not use the s/n clinic you found, follow your gut. But if its just worry about your beloved pet (which I totally understand) know that they are skilled at what they do.

    You can always call the clinic and ask how many surgeries they do per day on each animal, how the recovery process works, how many vets and vet techs are on staff, and any and all other questions you may have. They are very understanding usually.

    Quote Originally Posted by JaneSays View Post
    I'm just nervous because I know they don't do IV fluids or pre-anesthetic bloodwork. Are either of those items necessary for a healthy, active, almost 6-month old puppy? He's up to date on all his shots and puppy wellness visits at the vet, and he has never had any sort of emergency issue at all since we've had him. He's on a high quality, grain free pet food specific for large breed puppies as recommended by our vet.
    Typically, pre-anesthetic bloodwork is only needed in dogs that are 7 or older. A young dog doesn't usually get it unless there is a reason. My clinic also only did IV fluids when needed, not all the time.

    And, my clinic did s/n surgeries starting at 6 months, and has found it to be perfectly safe. I dont know if that has changed in the last year, but they were fine with doing surgeries on pets that age and actually encouraged a pet to be spayed before the first heat cycle. Neuters can wait a while if you want them to, but its still best to get it done early. Reduces the risks of certain cancers later in life.

    Quote Originally Posted by JaneSays View Post
    I'm just a worried fur-momma. I don't want to spend $550 to get him neutered, but I don't want to go the other way either and have him end up with complications in surgery by cutting corners, cost-wise.
    I know that with my clinic, if the pet ended up having complications, it was usually do to owner error (not implying you are going to mess it up by any means, just saying that a lot of the owners let the dog lick the incision, or didnt give the meds, or let the dog run and jump right away and rip his or her stitches open, etc etc) or by an unforseen issue with the pet, such as an undiagnosed medical condition.

    S/N clinics, in my eyes, are great things because they are really helping with population control, for a very low price. But keep this in mind. With our clinic, every surgery they did lost them money. They functioned mostly off of donations. So if his surgery costs $85, think about donating an extra $15 or something, just to help.

    I think you should do what your instinct tells you to do. As his fur-momma, you know what is best for your pup and your wallet. But, I would honestly say that I don't think you will have issues.
    What is the place you are looking at, if you dont mind sharing?



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    They are fine so long as you do your research and know, yes, there IS risk without pre-anesthetic bloodwork. If your dog has some kidney issue or liver issue, yes, they can die or become very ill based on the type of pre-med/anesthesia they use. 550 is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. Does that include all bloodwork/drugs/a night in the hospital/fluids/laser/pain meds? I mean, especially for a big dog, I can see it costing 250 with all the drugs and fluids and a night over, but still, 550 is too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amanduh View Post
    FYI, I was always told to wait to neuter until the dog is fully grown. Small dogs around 6 month, but larger dogs (like yours) not until they are 12-18 months. it can cause problems with the development and growth of the dog.

    Ask a Vet: Is 4 months too young to have my pet spayed or neutered? - latimes.com
    That is for very specific breeds, and even within those breeds, only very specific needs. 6-8 months is the ideal time to spay/neuter, especially neuter. Spay should be done BEFORE the first heat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by megan_laine View Post
    Seeing as I used to work up close and personal at a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, Ill tell you what I know.

    First, it $550 is actually quite low compared to what I have seen on estimate sheets brought in by people. But, yes, it is still outrageous.
    Im going to tell you this from a non-biased POV. S/N clinics, especially well established and well staffed clinics, have A WHOLE LOT MORE experience with this particular surgeries. The clinic I worked at typically did 40-60 dogs and around 50-70 cats every single day. That is a whole lot of practice. They are usually very very good at what they do.
    Now, from a biased standpoint, and from the POV of a pet-parent who has had a cat that went through a s/n clinic, they are really awesome. At least, the one I worked at. He was very well taken care of and had a close eye on him at all times.
    If you are truly concerned or have a gut feeling that you should not use the s/n clinic you found, follow your gut. But if its just worry about your beloved pet (which I totally understand) know that they are skilled at what they do.

    You can always call the clinic and ask how many surgeries they do per day on each animal, how the recovery process works, how many vets and vet techs are on staff, and any and all other questions you may have. They are very understanding usually.

    Typically, pre-anesthetic bloodwork is only needed in dogs that are 7 or older. A young dog doesn't usually get it unless there is a reason. My clinic also only did IV fluids when needed, not all the time.

    And, my clinic did s/n surgeries starting at 6 months, and has found it to be perfectly safe. I dont know if that has changed in the last year, but they were fine with doing surgeries on pets that age and actually encouraged a pet to be spayed before the first heat cycle. Neuters can wait a while if you want them to, but its still best to get it done early. Reduces the risks of certain cancers later in life.

    I know that with my clinic, if the pet ended up having complications, it was usually do to owner error (not implying you are going to mess it up by any means, just saying that a lot of the owners let the dog lick the incision, or didnt give the meds, or let the dog run and jump right away and rip his or her stitches open, etc etc) or by an unforseen issue with the pet, such as an undiagnosed medical condition.

    S/N clinics, in my eyes, are great things because they are really helping with population control, for a very low price. But keep this in mind. With our clinic, every surgery they did lost them money. They functioned mostly off of donations. So if his surgery costs $85, think about donating an extra $15 or something, just to help.

    I think you should do what your instinct tells you to do. As his fur-momma, you know what is best for your pup and your wallet. But, I would honestly say that I don't think you will have issues.

    What is the place you are looking at, if you dont mind sharing?
    I don't mind sharing. The link is: Colorado Low Cost Spay Colorado Low Cost Neuter

    I checked the reviews on google and yelp, and they all seemed very positive. I'm not worried about his health--he's been fantastically healthy, and really a wonderful overall dog. I guess I was just worried I'd be potentially cutting corners, and making it unsafe for him? But I didn't even think about your point of the volume of cases that low cost spay/neuter clinics would have. It makes sense that they would be very skilled at this one particular surgery. Thanks for making me feel better

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.VinoVet View Post
    They are fine so long as you do your research and know, yes, there IS risk without pre-anesthetic bloodwork. If your dog has some kidney issue or liver issue, yes, they can die or become very ill based on the type of pre-med/anesthesia they use. 550 is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. Does that include all bloodwork/drugs/a night in the hospital/fluids/laser/pain meds? I mean, especially for a big dog, I can see it costing 250 with all the drugs and fluids and a night over, but still, 550 is too much.


    That is for very specific breeds, and even within those breeds, only very specific needs. 6-8 months is the ideal time to spay/neuter, especially neuter. Spay should be done BEFORE the first heat.
    I think the quote is for everything, yes. It seemed crazy high to me, but I don't have much experience at this vet for how pricing is, as far as if it's high/low. They are located literally right across the street from us, and when we adopted our puppy, we bought their "puppy package," which included all of his vaccinations, wellness visits, heartworm tests, etc. for an upfront fee, and they took 20% off of the cost. I was honestly shocked with how expensive the neuter surgery was quoted as.

    I'm glad to get your advice about the age to neuter. I believe he's almost fully grown--he used to gain almost 5-6 pounds a week when he was small, and now he's only gaining two at most the past 3 weeks or so. He's about 57 pounds right now, and while I think he'll "fill out" more as he ages (he's starting to get a bit stockier and resemble the German Shepherd body type more as he ages) I don't think his bones will be getting much larger. Still, behaviorally, he doesn't mark and he's not aggressive. He does try to herd our smaller dog which is kind of annoying, but otherwise he's perfectly well behaved (completely potty trained, no chewing on furniture or shoes, and he's becoming SO much better about mouthing now that he's done teething). If there was a reason to wait for his health or development, we'd absolutely do it, but timing wise, if we get him neutered in the next few weeks, it'd be ideal, because we'll both be off school and able to keep a good eye on him while he heals.

    Vino, do you think there's any reason to wait? We've got a fenced in back yard and he's never allowed off leash unless one or both of us are with him and carefully supervising him. I'm not worried that he'd be able to get out and impregnate a dog. Do you still recommend neutering around this age, or are there enough reasons to wait?
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