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.

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