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Is it worth saving the extra $ for having a spay done at a clinic?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Chloe needs to be spayed in the next couple of weeks. She is approximately 20 weeks right now I think, and I want to do it before she goes into heat for sure. My vet charges $175 but there is a clinic that does females not in heat for $45.

Is there something my vet would be offering that the clinic doesn't (like pain meds or an overnight stay)? I forgot to ask them. It's not that I don't have $175 and am not willing to pay it, it's just that I'd love to reduce vet bills if possible (being a grad student is oh so much fun in the money department).

I was fine with my decision to go with the low-cost spay/neuter clinic but after talking to my SO about it, he'd rather go to the vet. His specific words were "if one hair on Chloe's body is harmed because you wanted to save $100 then we're breaking up and I'm stealing her forever."

So what do you think?
post #2 of 13
From what I understand, the quality of care is not lower. The price difference is not the quality, just the difference in that the only service provided is the spaying surgery. The whole reason those clinics exist is so people with less means can still get their animals spayed and neutered to control the animal population.
post #3 of 13
I too struggled with this issue when it came to Jack's neuter. We were broke long before he came along and in the first 3 weeks had already dropped $200 on vet bills alone. I found a place that does all low cost stuff and cat neutering was $26. The first vet Jack saw was like $200 for a neuter.

I decided to go ahead and do the low cost clinic and I'm glad I did. Jack was well taken care of, spent the night and was his old self by the time I got him home. They offered a e-collar and pain meds but chose not to get them from prior advice, they were $40.

He licked one or two times and that was it. He healed up great and that vet is now our regular vet.

Their office visits are only $17

Have you ever been to the clinic? I had the benefit of taking Jack there about 3 weeks before the neuter for an ear infection, they have multiple vets but the vet that saw him for his ear infection also did his neuter. I felt better after I had been to the clinic.

Good luck
Leslie and Jack
post #4 of 13
We have taken several stray cats to a clinic to be fixed and have never had any complications or indication that they received poor care. The most recent one was ~1.5 years ago and they are all doing great!
post #5 of 13
Some clinics do offer aftercare but not all, I would ask your vet and anyone you know who has used them what they think. There are a couple in driving distance from here. One I know everyone recommends, two they will steer you away from.
post #6 of 13
My vet will do Eliot's neuter in a few weeks for $45, and that is his actual vet. I know females usually cost more, but $150-200 seems excessive.....when I had my Boxer spayed, she was only $110, and that was for a large female dog. I would shop around.

Good luck!
post #7 of 13
Spay neuter clinics that do large numbers of procedures often use intramuscular medications, do not place catheters, do not have fluids or blood pressure monitoring, and some will not even intubate or change tools between procedures.

Ask questions and get details prior to deciding where to send your baby. I am currently interning at a large shelter where we perform 20-30 spay/neuter procedures a day, and the quality of care and surgery is actually quite good, but I would still never willingly choose the faster, low monitoring anesthesia and recovery for my baby...
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misskiwi67 View Post
Spay neuter clinics that do large numbers of procedures often use intramuscular medications, do not place catheters, do not have fluids or blood pressure monitoring, and some will not even intubate or change tools between procedures.
Gross out is the understatement of the century.... remind me never to take my pets where that stuff happens!

I have always used my vet for stuff like that, but have heard WONDERFUL things about the clinics too. The problem you have in a small town is there is none! You got a vet or bust!! I would check on everything and take them to the cheapest, best place! It doesn't have to be expencive to be good care!! Good luck to you, let us know how its going! I got a baby boy going in this month too!
post #9 of 13
A lot of people have answered by I will give my opinions. I will never use an actual full vet clinic for a simple spay or neuter. I rarely take my pets to the vet as it is. I feel bad when I see people saying $200 for a spay. Or using their life savings on it. Just research the low cost clinic you choose. Ask around, call the pound and shelters and see what they recommend.

Spay neuter clinics can generally run for less because that is all they do there. Some will do basic vaccines and worming and testing, but as far as their main focus, speutering is all they do. Many will give pain meds when the operation is done and then you can request to take some home with you. I have never taken home pain meds for the cats I have had done.

Also, I would personally never take my animal to a vet where they are kept overnight. I think that is silly and way more stressful for the pet. I want my pet back in the comfort of its own home for recovery as early as possible. Just make sure the cat is awake, still groggy fine, but awake as all that matters to me.

I have been speutering cats of my own and rescues for almost 5 years now and have watched many many spaying and neuters take place on my animals. It is relatively the same at all places. I actually I had the worst experience shadowing a vet at one of the biggest Animal Clinics around here. One of the really expensive ones. It was a neuter done without gloves, the cat half awake and on the vets lap...

Even the mobile clinics I have observed have been totally sanitary.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misskiwi67 View Post
Ask questions and get details prior to deciding where to send your baby.
Abby had her spay done through the shelter at a low-cost clinic (the shelter insisted). She had some issues and I will always regret not putting up more of a fight to have my vet do it.

I am sure many of the low-cost clincs are fine, but please do your homework.
post #11 of 13
I agree - don't write them off on cost alone, but don't go in blind either. If you were to call up a local shelter, they'd probably know a thing or two about the clinic. Also, don't be afraid to go visit the clinic before you make an appointment.
post #12 of 13
all 4 of my present girls [plus Mouse] were spayed for under $40... well, except for Java & Firefox, who had the bad manners to be in heat when their spay time came around. anyway, Java was spayed at a vet - it was their competitive rate, no pain meds for after care, no overnight stay, etc.
unless i was spaying an adult, i wouldn't worry about the pain meds. most all of mine were jumping around in a day or two like nothing had happened.
i pick up on the day of the spay, & if they're still groggy you have to keep them in a dark, confined area. most of mine spent a few hours in a darkened bathroom. Firefox stayed in her carrier until she started complaining, then i let her out. she still just slept the rest of the evening, tho.
Java wanted to sleep on me [while i was watching tv] & she actually peed on me during her sleep!
my current vet wanted $120 to spay Firefox. i think i paid $45 [$35 plus the $10 extra for heat] at the local spay clinic.
post #13 of 13
We have them at our shelter twice a month. I went down there while they were performing one and it was kind of creepy, but the cats are well taken care of. It looks like an assembly line of cats that are unconscious, with their eyes open and tongues hanging out. After the procedure is done (it's fairly quick), there's a team of old lady volunteers that are called "rubbers and wakers" who rub the kitties to help them wake up. They're in by 8 a.m. and out by 4 p.m. We have done hundreds of cats at these clinics and they are godsend for people who have kitties and low income.

I have had cats go through these clinics and haven't heard of a problem yet. The only thing I don't like is that sometimes they spay them too early and when their too little. Otherwise, I think their a great way to get an expensive procedure done for a small fee, and more people are apt to do it because it's so convenient, which means less homeless kittens.
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