Low-Cost Pet Surgery: Know What You Are Paying For

When searching for a veterinary hospital to perform a surgery on your pet, be informed about why the price is what it is. Don't make a decision solely on price.

Do you know how much it costs to neuter your dog in the Lilburn area? How about spay your cat?  If you have ever shopped around for prices for such services for your pet, you know you have been told a wide variety of prices.  I often hear people complain that they were appalled that vet ABC wanted to charge $400 for a dog spay and vet XYZ only wanted to charge $150.  Hopefully this post will clear up some of the confusion as to the wide variety of prices for canine and feline sterilization surgeries.  In a nutshell, you get what you pay for.

Pre-operative bloodwork

This helps the veterinarian in knowing that the pet is healthy enough to endure an anesthetic procedure. 

IV catheter placement 

This allows access to the veins in case a life saving drug needs to be administered.  In a situation where seconds count, do you want the doctor or technician struggling to find a vein on your pet?  The catheter also allows IV fluids to be administered during the surgery.

IV fluid administration

Administration of fluids during the procedure helps maintain proper blood pressure and usually helps pet recover from anesthesia more quickly.


What type of monitoring is going on before, during, and after the procedure?  Is you pet connected to a pulseoximeter (measures heart rate and blood oxygenation), an EKG (measure heart rate and rhythms), a thermometer, and is a technician monitoring during the entire procedure and during the pet’s recovery?

Overnight stay

Is your pet staying overnight after the procedure is completed? 

Many times the price of a procedure is reflective of what is involved during the procedure.  So vet ABC who charges $400 for a dog spay may be implementing all of the above options in the dog spay.  Vet XYZ may not do any of these things and just have a technician pop in once or twice during the procedure and put a hand over the dog’s chest to feel for a heartbeat. 

My intent is not to steer you towards vet ABC or away from vet XYZ.  I just want you to know why oftentimes prices vary so much.  If you are looking for someplace to have your pet spayed or neutered, ask them what the procedure includes and/or ask them to explain their pricing to you.  Be sure to make an informed decision, not one based just on price.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Star Gregory October 23, 2012 at 01:09 PM
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Zutilla Veterinary Housecalls 404-859-9246 www.zutillavet.com
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