Cost for spaying after heat-why do some vets charge more? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-28-2012, 06:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cost for spaying after heat-why do some vets charge more?

Hi All,

Well, Brandy went into heat on Halloween, just one week past her 8 month birthday. She was in it a solid 3 weeks. I wanted to wait for one heat cycle to pass before spaying her for the health benefits I believe it provides large breed dogs. I now have her scheduled for spaying at the end of January. My question is this: Our vet wants to charge us nearly twice as much as my father's vet (my dad looked into it after hearing the cost my vet was charging which is nearly $500). My father respects his vet very much. I believe my vet helped to get Brandy's UTI's under control holistically by a simple food change recommendation so I'd hate to believe he ups prices unnecessarily. My vet claims the additional costs are due to the fact that she went through heat and it requires a different process in the surgery(?)...I have heard that this is a false reason to jack up prices...what is your impression?

Also, our vet will keep her overnight one night while my father's vet sends them home that evening as they feel they do better at home with less stress then being in the kennel at the vet. What is the standard protocal there? I've only ever had boy dogs prior to this and my rescue whom I brought to the vet to be nutured came out that afternoon bouncing like nothing happened!! Our current boy rescue was fixed prior to our adopting him...just not sure with my girl as to what to expect.

Any shared experience/knowledge is greatly aprpeciated!

Thanks so much!
Linda
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well we've experience this...our vet calls it "enlarged uterus".

Before the heat, their uterus is small and easier(?) to remove. When they are older, it's surrounded by fat which can be dangerous apparently, and has enlarged quite a bit.

Most of our vets charge 1 fee regardless of age, etc.
However, the one vet will charge, like, $60 or so, but it goes up to just over $100 for a post-heat spay, any time post 1st heat that is. So in reality he's no cheaper since most of the girls we get in rescue have gone through at least one heat, and that vet in particular hasn't done puppy- alters for us.

It kind of sucks.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Does that include everything:
Pre-anesthetic blood work
Fluids
Pain management

I also do a buccal mucosal bleeding time test with first surgery dogs and ask that any MDR1 drugs are avoided. In addition, big pain in the butt here requests no NSAIDs for pain management.

Is there someone there while the dog is being held overnight? I know my vet office doesn't have someone there the whole night (but usually with emergencies there is coverage for a good part) and generally ask for overnights for most spays, but they will allow owners to take the pet home if they believe the owner will follow instructions.

My vet charges for some things by weight, so the heavier the dog, the more anesthesia, etc, they use.

I honestly do not know about the processes and costs. My vets have spayed for rescue for younger and older dogs and the costs have varied greatly by weight. Neuters on young males are definitely easier surgeries in terms of their recovery, but a young female and a spay is usually feeling well too soon - they want to do way more than they should for their stitches! Sorry for the roundabout non-answer.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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$500 for a spay seems very, very high to me...I would ask your other vet to break down everything it includes and see if there's anything missing that the other vet included.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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$400 is standard around here for a spay. Neuters are about $350.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I had Shasta spayed when she was about 20 months. I called around to a couple different vets I'd worked with when my mentor trainer and I were doing obedience classes. They wanted $500 and I was only given the option to remove a couple things for their list so it really only would have saved me $40. I went to one of the low cost spay/nueter clinics and paid $250 total and that included two days of pain meds plus urine sample collection, test for UTI and antibiotics. Shasta got to come home with me that night and she didn't have any problems but that spueter clinic I used has a good reputation too and the techs treated her very well. I'd say search around if you're able.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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And that price probably isn't too far out in WNY depending on what is included, in some areas. $250 is low for an adult female spay, I would say, in WNY, in general. The last dog I had done was a small mix, 25#, neuter, with all the things I listed and he was $250 so a female would definitely be more. My vets are still relatively reasonable for the area (knock wood). There are places like KZoppa was saying - Operation Pets in Buffalo, Lollypop Farm in the Rochester area that offer some help for people though, so that's good, but I think they have some guidelines.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanKBBMMMAAN View Post
And that price probably isn't too far out in WNY depending on what is included, in some areas. $250 is low for an adult female spay, I would say, in WNY, in general. The last dog I had done was a small mix, 25#, neuter, with all the things I listed and he was $250 so a female would definitely be more. My vets are still relatively reasonable for the area (knock wood). There are places like KZoppa was saying - Operation Pets in Buffalo, Lollypop Farm in the Rochester area that offer some help for people though, so that's good, but I think they have some guidelines.

Thanks for the food for thought everyone! I plan to get itemized lists from each vet to see what is included. My vet says that his cost includes everything from the cone to wear home to overnight stay, fluids, pain meds and pre-anesthesia bloodwork, surgery, etc. They said that there are some things I can remove to lower the cost. I do need to ask if someone will be there overnight-what is the sense of having her there overnight if she goes into distress and no one is there to help her. The only thing I can see this benefiting is if they are running fluids on her all night to ensure hydration and perhaps administer pain meds. My dads vet has minimal included in their cost but you can add things on...this is why I need to get the itemized lists ahead of time...I can't expect myself to be able to process what I want her to have while managing her at the desk and being so emotional about dropping her off. I like to prepare ahead of time!!!!

And Jean thank you for the info on NSAIDs-I forgot how they can cause the blood to thin and increase bleeding.

And of course both vets are going by weight and she is 76# which I just weighed and she's grown so the cost might go up!!! I'm not as concerned about cost as I am curiouis about whether a higher charge is typical after heat...she's a great dog and I want to ensure I'm giving her the best care which is why I still have a LOT of homework to do!!

I am going to post a new pic of her taken just the other day after our first big snow! She didn't remember the light dusting we had in April last year when she was only 8 wks old so it was all new to her!!! Once she realized how much she loves playing in it it's been hard to keep her inside!! I have to keep her on a lead inside the fence now because the snow is so high along it she can easily leap right over and off she'll go.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just an FYI, our vet routinely prescribes Rimadyl post-surgery, and we've not had any issues.
Studies have shown it enhances the healing process to take it, and we usually give it for 3 days post surgery.
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