The Disadvantages and Risks of Low-Cost Spay and Neuter

Disadvantages and Risks of Low-Cost Spay and Neuter picYou’ve probably heard the expression “What you don’t know can hurt you.” And, in the case of free and  low-cost spay and neuter clinics, what you don’t know can hurt your pet.

Free and low-cost spay and neuter facilities rose out of the need for pet population control. Clinics like these are often funded by grants and municipal and state funding specific to pet overpopulation. While the mission itself is a noble one, the sheer numbers of animals seen by such clinics overwhelm, and the care received by each individual pet often is lacking.

Low-cost clinics are often primarily focused on basic services in spay and neuter surgeries or rabies vaccinations. They are meant to provide services to those who rescue strays in volume or low-income families that might not otherwise be able to spay/neuter or vaccinate their pets.

The temptation, however, for the public is the “free” or “low-cost” tag-lines. Unfortunately, low fees often translate into basic or substandard care for your pet.

The Risks of Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Clinics

Any surgery has inherent risks, even spay and neuter procedures. When you are considering which clinic to select for your pet’s spay or neuter, consider asking the following important questions.

  • Is a wellness exam and preoperative blood work included? Most low-cost clinics forego pre-surgical testing and examination, which can put your pet at risk. We recommend a complete blood count and chemistry profile to get a baseline understanding of your pet’s health, which is important prior to administering anesthesia.
  • Will my pet be given anything for pain? Can you imagine having surgery without any pain management medications? Surgery is painful and there are no excuses for not prescribing pain meds. Of course, controlling pain during and after surgery should be priority, but many low-cost spay and neuter surgery fees do not include administering pain-reducing medication pre- and post-surgery.
  • Will my pet be monitored before, during, and after the surgery? Few low-cost clinics have the ability to monitor temperature, carbon dioxide levels, heart rhythm, pulse rate, and oxygen, and as a result, this increases the chances of complications.
  • Will an IV catheter and IV fluids be used? The use of IV fluids during surgery is standard practice during any surgical produce. IV fluids help prevent dehydration and stabilize blood pressure, resulting in a safer anesthesia and a smoother recovery.
  • Will the doctor be performing the surgery in a sterile environment? This may seem like it should be a given, but many low-cost facilities are not held to higher standards of surgery room protocol or whether or not the surgical instruments are fully sterilized.

Prairie Ridge Veterinary Clinic offers complete surgical packages for your pet’s spay or neuter surgery, including pre-operative examination, pre- and post-surgery pain management, monitoring by a licensed veterinary technician, and  a thorough examination by the doctor before your pet is released to go home.

While everyone loves a bargain, the life of your pet is too precious to fall into the cliché of “cheaper is better”. Ultimately, as the guardian of a beloved pet, the health of your pet is your greatest concern.

The advantages of choosing your dog or cat’s regular veterinary clinic is that you will establish a history between your veterinarian and your pet, therefore making early diagnosis, consistent wellness exams, and tailored vaccine and preventative protocols much more thorough and effective.

If you would like to discuss your pet’s spay or neuter, or our other services, please phone our office today.