Why does my pet’s surgery cost so much?

Higher standards of care lead to higher costs.

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dog-on-phoneWhen clients are shopping around for costs on spays and neuters, receptionists are often rebutted with, “Wow, that’s expensive!”  Although it may seem as if a routine surgery, like a spay or neuter, should be inexpensive, there are key components that increase the cost.

As an LVT at Lone Mountain Veterinary Hospital, I know we provide high quality care with knowledgeable, skillful, compassionate staff.  We are an AAHA accredited hospital and are held to high standards; and these are the same standards we want for our own pets.

Our routine surgeries include pre-anesthetic blood work to check the patient’s liver, kidneys, red and white blood cells, and electrolytes to be sure he or she is healthy enough for anesthesia.

Before any surgical procedure our doctors perform an exam to be sure the pet is well enough for the surgery.  Listening to the heart and lungs is very important.  Even our veterinary technicians listen to ALL pets before premedicating and inducing anesthesia.

We don’t practice cookie cutter medicine either! Each patient is assessed individually, and we tailor the pet’s anesthetic protocol to his or her own anesthetic needs.

pre-surgery-for-post
Pre-oxygenating before induction for better O2 saturation!

The surgical patients in our hospital have an intravenous catheter placed to allow easy injectable drug administration and intraoperative fluids.  The IV catheter also serves as quick, venous access in case of an emergency.  Fluids during surgery help maintain a normal blood pressure, vital to kidney health.  Fluids postoperatively help wash drugs out of the pet’s organs for quicker recovery and support proper hydration levels.

In addition to performing the actual surgery itself, patients are monitored with multiple parameters while under anesthesia.  Important vital signs like heart rate, respiratory rate and temperature are required by law, and must be recorded every 5 minutes.  At Lone Mountain, we take anesthesia very seriously and also monitor blood pressure, oxygenation in the blood, and capnography.

Finally, our veterinarians practice multimodal pain management.  Our licensed technicians give our patients pre-operative pain injections, infuse a local anesthetic at the incision site(s), and post-op medications as well.  In addition, each pet goes home with oral pain medications.

So next time you receive a treatment plan from your veterinarian, remember you get what you pay for.   Prices may seem high, but so are the standards!