Posts from January, 2015

How do you feel about Breed Specific Legislation? #TheMajorityProject

Breed specific legislation

Breed Specific Legislation are laws that regulate or ban specific breeds of dogs in hopes of decreasing dog attacks.   Breed Specific Legislation was originally designed to regulate pit bulls, but now there are a handful of other breeds that have been added to this list.  Currently, over 700 cities in the United States have enacted breed specific legislation. Continue…

Why spay and neuter costs vary so much

spay and neuter costs

It’s important to remember the old saying “you get what you pay for”.    Dr. Anna Coffin recommends asking 8 questions when price shopping for spay and neuter costs.  

When considering whether to spay or neuter your pet, please remember that this is a one-time fee that can drastically improve your pet’s quality of life.  Spaying and neutering your pet is part of being a responsible pet owner.  Please also consider that fact that pet overpopulation has a huge financial impact on your community as millions of dollars are spent to control and eliminate unwanted animals.  [Tweet “Spaying and neutering your pet is part of being a responsible pet owner. “]

If you do decide to price shop it’s important to understand what is included in the fee. 

Here are some basic questions to ask when price shopping:

1.  Does the spay and neuter cost include a pre-surgical exam?  Pre-surgical examinations are vital to detect heart murmurs and other congenital defects that could affect the safety of the procedure.

2.  Does the spay and neuter cost include blood work prior to anesthesia?  Blood work prior to the procedure helps to detect organ problems, anemia and clotting disorders all of which could affect the safety of your pet.

3.  Does the spay and neuter cost include pain medication?  Dr. Anna Coffin believes that if it bleeds it hurts.  Pain medication before and after this procedure will help your pet to be more comfortable and to heal quicker.

4.  Does the spay and neuter cost include IV catheter and fluid administration?  Having IV access and providing fluids during this procedure helps insure your pets safety if complications arise.

5.  Does the spay and neuter cost include anesthetic monitoring?  Monitoring with electrical equipment such as blood pressure, EKG and pulse oxygen level will help keep your pet safe during the procedure.  A technician should also be monitoring your pet every few minutes.

6.  Does the spay and neuter cost include heat support?  Pets under anesthesia are unable to regulate their temperature so using some sort of mechanical heating device will help with your pet’s circulation and recovery.

7.  Does the spay and neuter cost include gas or injectable anesthesia?  Injectable anesthesia is much cheaper, but providing gas anesthesia helps your pet be in a deeper anesthetic plane.  Also clinics with gas anesthetic machines are able to provide respiratory support if complications arise during the procedure.

8.  Does the spay and neuter cost include any follow up care?  Does the price include suture removal or follow up care from complications?

A few other things to keep in mind, spay and neuter clinics usually have less overhead because they have less equipment to buy and maintain, their facilities are generally smaller, and staff members don’t need as much training.  Of course, a clinic’s facility, equipment, inventory and staff are the main reasons why spay and neuter costs vary between general veterinary clinics. 

If you feel the need to price shop, keep this handy list and make sure you get what you pay for.  For more information on spay and neuter see these articles:

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comment section. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family.

Myths about early spay and neuter

spay and neuter

Animal shelters and pet rescue organizations perform early spay and neuter primarily to help reduce the pet population.  There has been much controversy as to the long-term effects on pets with early spay and neuter.  Dr. Anna Coffin will reveal the facts based on some long-term veterinary university studies.

Dr. Anna Coffin defines early spay and neuter if the patient is under 5 months of age when the procedure is performed.  Those opposed to early spay and neuter are concerned about the long-term physical effects that this procedure will have on the pet’s body.  Thanks to an 11 year study done at Cornell University most of these myths have been busted!

Obesity:  Spay and neuter does not make your pet fat or lazy.  Too much food and not enough exercise is the main cause of obesity.  The Cornell University study actually revealed a decrease in obesity for pets that were spayed and neutered at an early age.

Stunted growth:  Lack of hormone actually causes the growth plates in puppies and kittens to close at a later date.  This means that pets with early spay and neuter actually have longer bones than pets neutered later in life.

Hip dysplasia:  Studies on this subject have been performed at Texas A&M and Cornell University and they both came back with different answers.  Texas A&M showed no increase in hip dysplasia, while Cornell University showed a slight increase in the incidence of hip dysplasia.

Perivulvar dermatitis:  This is inflammation of the skin around the vulva and has been documented even in intact female dogs.  The incidence of this condition has nothing to do with when they are spayed.  Perivulvar dermatitis is a confirmation problem and is worsened by obesity.

Puppy vaginitis:  The incidence of puppy vaginitis is the same regardless of the age of spay and neuter.  In fact, there is controversy of when is the proper time to spay a puppy with vaginitis. 

Feline urinary obstruction:  Those opposing early spay and neuter suggest that this procedure will decrease the diameter of the urethra and lead to increase in urinary obstruction.  This myth has been busted!

Urinary incontinence:  It is well-known that spaying and the lack of estrogen causes urinary incontinence especially in older spayed females.  Three difference studies have been performed and they all came to a different conclusion.

Anesthesia:  The risk of anesthesia is probably the number one fear of pet owners.  Because of this fear, many owners prefer not to accept the risk for preventative procedures such as spay, neuter and periodontal cleanings.  There is always a slight risk involved, but the anesthetics currently used are very safe.  Blood work prior to anesthesia and monitoring the patient’s heart and respiratory rate with proper equipment will improve the safety of anesthesia.  The anesthetic risk for puppies and kittens is no different from an adult dog as their metabolic development is complete by 6 weeks of age.  Special attention should be aimed at maintaining body temperature and blood sugar levels because of the pediatrics’ lower body fat and decreased ability to shiver.

As you can see, a majority of the myths for early spay and neuter have been busted.  Dr. Anna Coffin recommends spay and neuter before 6 months of age for males and females.  [Tweet “Dr. Anna Coffin recommends spay and neuter before 6 months of age for males and females. “]

Still not sure?  Read the benefits of spaying and neutering your pet.

Why spay and neuter costs vary so much

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comment section. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four-legged friend as part of the family.

Benefits of spaying and neutering

Benefits of spaying and neuteringDr. Anna Coffin will share some staggering pet overpopulation statistics with you this week.  Besides the obvious pet overpopulation problem, there are many medical benefits of spaying and neutering your pets.

Each day 10,000 humans are born in the United States.  Each day a mind boggling 70,000 puppies and kittens are born in the United States.  As a results of this high number, each year 4-6 million animals are euthanized. 

Many people don’t realize the magnitude of the pet overpopulation problem.  Here are some statistics to put things into perspective.  Two dogs and their offspring, if not spayed and neutered can produce 67,000 puppies in 6 years.  Two cats and their offspring, if not spayed and neutered can produce 420,000 kittens in 7 years. 

Dr. Anna Coffin strongly believes in preventative medicine.  If everyone would be responsible pet parents and spay and neuter their pets, then many animals would not be unwanted, abused, abandoned or euthanized.  Unfortunately, the leading cause of death in pets in the United States is not disease, illness or injury… it’s euthanasia in our nation’s animal shelters.

Medical benefits of spaying and neutering your pets:

  • Eliminates your female from being in “heat”.  Female dogs actively bleed for a 3 week period.  The bigger the dog the more blood!  Female cats go in and out of heat until they are bred and display annoying behavior changes. 
  • Female dogs and cats attract unwanted males coming into their territory the entire time they are in “heat”.
  • Reduces aggression against other animals
  • Intact male dogs have a tendency to urinate more frequently because they need to “mark” their territory.
  • Reduce the annoying and embarrassing urge of male dogs to “mount” children and adult’s legs.
  • Decrease chance of cancer.  Intact females can develop uterine and mammary cancer.  Intact males can develop testicular cancer.  95% of intact male dogs over the age of 6 years of age will develop some type of prostate problem. 
  • Eliminates all the problems, potential risks and additional expense involved in pregnancy and birth.  Certain breeds of animals are more prone to having trouble giving birth and C-Sections are commonly needed to safe not only the life of the mom but also her babies.
  • Decreases your pet’s desire to roam in search of a mate.

As you can see, there are many benefits of spaying and neutering.  Dr. Anna Coffin recommends spaying and neutering prior to 6 months of age.  Spaying before a females first heat cycle will reduce her chance of developing mammary and uterine cancer to 0%.  [Tweet ” Spaying before a females first heat cycle will reduce her chance of developing mammary to 0%.”]

Still not sure?  Read Myths about early spay and neuter.

Why spay and neuter costs vary so much

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comment section. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family.

Benefits of spaying and neutering

Benefits of spaying and neuteringDr. Anna Coffin will share some staggering pet overpopulation statistics with you this week.  Besides the obvious pet overpopulation problem, there are many medical benefits of spaying and neutering your pets.

Each day 10,000 humans are born in the United States.  Each day a mind boggling 70,000 puppies and kittens are born in the United States.  As a results of this high number, each year 4-6 million animals are euthanized. 

Many people don’t realize the magnitude of the pet overpopulation problem.  Here are some statistics to put things into perspective.  Two dogs and their offspring, if not spayed and neutered can produce 67,000 puppies in 6 years.  Two cats and their offspring, if not spayed and neutered can produce 420,000 kittens in 7 years. 

Dr. Anna Coffin strongly believes in preventative medicine.  If everyone would be responsible pet parents and spay and neuter their pets, then many animals would not be unwanted, abused, abandoned or euthanized.  Unfortunately, the leading cause of death in pets in the United States is not disease, illness or injury… it’s euthanasia in our nation’s animal shelters.

Medical benefits of spaying and neutering your pets:

  • Eliminates your female from being in “heat”.  Female dogs actively bleed for a 3 week period.  The bigger the dog the more blood!  Female cats go in and out of heat until they are bred and display annoying behavior changes. 
  • Female dogs and cats attract unwanted males coming into their territory the entire time they are in “heat”.
  • Reduces aggression against other animals
  • Intact male dogs have a tendency to urinate more frequently because they need to “mark” their territory.
  • Reduce the annoying and embarrassing urge of male dogs to “mount” children and adult’s legs.
  • Decrease chance of cancer.  Intact females can develop uterine and mammary cancer.  Intact males can develop testicular cancer.  95% of intact male dogs over the age of 6 years of age will develop some type of prostate problem. 
  • Eliminates all the problems, potential risks and additional expense involved in pregnancy and birth.  Certain breeds of animals are more prone to having trouble giving birth and C-Sections are commonly needed to safe not only the life of the mom but also her babies.
  • Decreases your pet’s desire to roam in search of a mate.

As you can see, there are many benefits of spaying and neutering.  Dr. Anna Coffin recommends spaying and neutering prior to 6 months of age.  Spaying before a females first heat cycle will reduce her chance of developing mammary and uterine cancer to 0%.  [Tweet ” Spaying before a females first heat cycle will reduce her chance of developing mammary to 0%.”]

Still not sure?  Read Myths about early spay and neuter.

Why spay and neuter costs vary so much

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comment section. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family.

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