Why does my pet’s surgery cost so much?

Higher standards of care lead to higher costs.

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.

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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! 

 

Protect your pets from winter’s harsh reality.

Winter is officially here. As the days get longer, so can the list of potential hazards. Protect your pets from winter’s harsh reality.

Protecting your pet during the cold weather is just as important as protection from the heat of summer.  Follow my tech tips to kick of your pet’s winter safely.

Keep them cozy inside. Cats and dogs should be kept inside during the cold months of winter.  Most pets need to do their “business” outside, but be mindful of the length of time spent out there or in unattended vehicles.  Adequate bedding inside is also necessary to keep pets comfortable on hard, cold floors.ruby-snuggled-for-blog-12-21

Bundle them up.  Shorter haired pets can wear sweaters or jackets to keep the warm during outdoor winter activities. Be sure pet clothing fits properly to avoid chaffing and discomfort.

Protect their paws.  Paws can be traumatized by the frigid ground, sharp ice and chemicals  found in commercial ice melts.  Use booties during icy conditions or when going for longer walks or hikes.  Find booties that fit your pet properly.   Even cats can benefit from booties, but may be more reluctant to wear them.  When wearing boots, check feet often and look for any sores or bleeding – we’ve all had a blister from breaking in a new pair of shoes!

Godiva in Boots

            Ruby and Godiva wear Ultra Paws Rugged Dog Boots!

Clean up spills.  Antifreeze is deadly to pets.  Toxicity happens quickly and is lethal in very small doses. Try Low Tox™ brand antifreeze which contains propylene glycol and is recommended for use in pet households. If you think your pet has consumed antifreeze, contact your veterinarian and the Pet Poison Animal Poison Help Line(855-764-7661)  right away!

Choose ice melt that is pet safe. Safe Paw Ice Melter is a safe salt free alternative. Make your own, but be cautious of the pros and cons.

Be prepared for emergencies. Whether you’re at home or on the road, always consider your pet’s needs too.  Power outages during frigid temperatures and storms could leave you and your pet in need for days. The AVMA suggests keeping a supply of food and/or medications to last at least 5 days.  Keep an emergency kit, additional blankets and clothes in your vehicle.

Monitor dietary wellness. Be sure your pet is staying hydrated and well fed during the cold months of winter.  Proper nutrition is important for thermoregulation all year long -just because its cold doesn’t mean they need to fatten up.  Provide fresh water daily. Dehydration can happen in the winter too! Snow consumption is fine for fun, but too much could cause intestinal upset.

Keep them healthy.  Talk to your veterinarian about keeping your pet safe and comfortable this winter. Discuss changes in behavior and/or activity levels.  Changes in weather can often show us signs of illness we hadn’t seen previously, such lameness, hypothermia or frostbite.ruby-and-godiva-in-coats-for-blog-12-21

What will you do to protect your pet this winter?  

Ruby and Godiva want you to submit picture or story of you and your pet preventing winter’s woes!

Porcupines And Your Pets

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Godiva got quilled!

Porcupines are no joke.  They’re usually found hiding in wooded areas, but can be hard to spot here in the Sierra [read more].  When a pet comes into contact with this prickly rodent, it’s not pretty.   The barbed quills burrow into skin of the mouth, nose and eyes.  This is extremely painful. 

Often the quills can break off and cause infection and abscesses.  Attempting to remove quills yourself may only make the problem worse.  Most dogs need to be sedated or anesthetized for quill removal.

 

Tech Tips

If you see a porcupine, observe it from a far.

Keep dogs on their leash to avoid the encounter.

If your pet gets quilled:

  • Keep them from pawing at their face; this may cause quills to break off.
  • Get your pet to your veterinarian for treatment.
    • Quills must be removed to avoid quill migration, infection and further pain

Avoidance training

If your dog can’t keep his or her nose out of tempting holes and bushes, try avoidance training.  This is similar to rattlesnake avoidance training. Your dog wears an electronic collar and receives quick controlled electronic correction when they exhibit the undesired behavior.  The process is repeated to ensure the training is clear and the dog associates the behavior with the correction [read more].

Get Rattled will be offering skunk and porcupine aversion training; stay updated with their calendar of events here!

Have you and your pet had a porcupine encounter?  I’d love to hear your story, and how you handled it.