Prices for neutering

(25 Posts)
MultumInParvo Wed 17-Jul-13 18:55:50

I received a price of £147 from the vet I'm registered with. I thought it was a bit steep so I phoned around and got one for £55 from a chain of vets. I'm staggered! he's 6 months old and 5 kilos. Nuts the size of half a walnut each grin

How can this be justified?

yesbutnobut Wed 17-Jul-13 19:33:25

The vet has to pay his rent, wages etc for the nurse and receptionist, insurance and many other running costs, disposing of waste, etc. There is also the cost of buying equipment and keeping up with training. Vets don't actually make that much money, especially not at £55. If it was another operation needed, you'd be amazed at the cost - neutering is a loss leader for vets. Hope pup is ok!

MultumInParvo Wed 17-Jul-13 19:40:32

Interesting. It's a shame because I like my vets. I've spent hundreds on him already though and that extra bit just tipped me over. Perhaps I should reconsider.

toboldlygo Wed 17-Jul-13 19:44:08

Going by the prices at our practice the bulk of the cost is in the anaesthetic. Only takes a moment to whip the nuts out but a safe, monitored anaesthetic costs the same for a neuter as any other procedure.

£147 is a bit steep though, ours charge that for a giant breed, a 5kg dog would be £100 bang on. Honestly I'd worry about it being a great deal cheaper than that, I'd wonder where they were cutting corners to get their numbers in to make enough profit on them at that price.

MultumInParvo Wed 17-Jul-13 19:50:26

Okay. So this vet says its aim is to make neutering (and other services) more affordable. For instance, boosters for dogs are £30 there and about £50 at my vet.

Is this a case of John Lewis v Primark?

Bakingtins Wed 17-Jul-13 20:08:08

So, I'd want to know for my £55...

What anaesthetic are they using? (most vets would use propofol + an inhalation agent like isoflurane)
Is the dog going to be intubated?
Who is monitoring the anaesthetic? (ought to be a registered vet nurse)
What pain relief is included? (would expect a morphine based drug as part of the premed and a non-steroidal injection as standard for neutering)
Who is monitoring him in recovery?
Are any post neutering checkups included? (ours includes 2 check ups, more if needed)
Who bears the cost of any complications of surgery, particularly if he needed to be seen out of hours?

I've been neutering dogs for 15 yrs and it would take me 5-10 mins to complete a dog castration, but that does not begin to reflect the time or costs involved in a vet checking the dog pre-op, it being monitored after the pre-med is given, safely inducing anaesthesia, preparation of the surgical site whilst the vet scrubs up, the materials used (suture material, drugs, gloves) time taken in monitoring recovery, nurse performing post op checks....
All vets are discounting neutering procedures precisely because clients phone round - ask them how much a 10 minute lump removal procedure would cost for more of an appreciation of the real costs involved.
We'd charge about £120 for a small dog.
I'd be worried at £55 what corners are being cut in order for them not to be actually losing money, and I'd be a bit suspicious that it's an "Easyjet" service where you'll find everything is an extra.

milkybarsrus Wed 17-Jul-13 20:38:53

Just had my shih tzu neutered at a chain called easipet, the estimates given in my area were around the £200 mark, easipet charged me £45. I asked all the right questions as baking tin suggests and am pleased to say that all went well, it included 2 check ups and meds for pain etc after.

I had my 7kg BT neutered at our vets4pets practice. It was £90 and included all meds inc pain relief at home and 2 post op checks. The paperwork did say that they subsidise neutering to encourage responsible ownership. Whether that is the case I do not know but compared to over bills I can believe it.

For what it is worth I am happy with the service we get there and the staff are really caring and helpful. Plus it is worth noting that some of the staff are exactly the same vets and nurses who were part of the practice when we got our now departed 16 year old cat as a kitten, long before the practice was bought out.

yesbutnobut Wed 17-Jul-13 22:19:34

I paid £350 for my bitch puppy's keyhole spay; conventional would have been half that. London as you'll have gathered.

MultumInParvo Wed 17-Jul-13 22:56:07

Baking my dog is a pug, and I am concerned that he may have extra difficulties due to his breathing apparatus! I think I will phone easipet and discuss it with them as you've suggested, and if I'm not happy then I'll probably use my own vet.

Milky where was your easipet?

Fan I'm going to google vets4pets

3boys3dogshelp Wed 17-Jul-13 23:18:58

Multum at my practice (north England, relatively deprived area) a small dog castrate would be about £100-120. There are vets around who subsidise/loss lead neutering but honestly there is often a difference in treatment received. The cost of just the drugs to me to spey my own small dog on my day off was £35! £55 sounds very very cheap indeed.
If I was you I would check up carefully, especially on drugs used, experience of staff involved, how anaesthetic is monitored and by who ( ie fully qualified and registered vet nurse), suture materials used, post op pain relief and check ups, 24 hour emergency cover if there is a problem overnight, hospitalisation facilities etc. Most times these things don't matter but if your dog is unlucky enough to have a complication it will be important.
My practice is proud of our clinical standards and safety record and regularly show clients round so they can appreciate where their money goes. It might be worth chatting to your own vet and the competition and getting a bit more info before you go ahead, see if they'll show you what they do.
I am just an employee where I work btw, i am not interested remotely in profit, but I know due to our clinical standards we make next to nothing out of our neuterings.

Actually I'd be hugely worried if a practice quoted me £55 for a neuter, and as others have said, I'd be immediately very concerned that they were either cutting corners or charging as extras lots of things that might be included in the all in cost. I'd budget for at least £100 for neutering, possibly more for a large breed. If you are really struggling financially, then ask about Dogs Trust Vouchers or even your local authority dog warden - sometimes they provide vouchers for low cost neuter/spay ops (again, usually in conjunction with DT).

I know it isn't always a popular stance here but generally I think vets don't overcharge, and I also see huge benefits from building a relationship with a trusted professional and a good practice team. It's not like shopping around for a tin of baked beans.

koutaliaphobe Thu 18-Jul-13 00:56:38

Some vets neuter under sedation instead of general anaesthetic, which might account for the difference in cost?

MultumInParvo Thu 18-Jul-13 07:08:31

Thanks for all your replies.

I rescued this dog when he was about 12 weeks old. He came frm Hungary with lots of other dogs in the back of a van when he was 5 weeks old. Most of the others have died. An illegal immigrant! Turns out he had demodex, which so far has cost me approx £400. Surprise surprise pet plan dont cover mites!

So what with the £300 adoption fee as well it's a bit much. I thought I'd try to get it cheaper but after all your comments I'll stick with my own vet. Cheers!

Multum, if you adopted through a reputable rescue, they would either ensure the dog is neutered before adoption, or if a puppy, would pay for the dog to be neutered via their own scheme. They should also have sorted out the demodex and helped with those costs.

If they refuse, they are not a reputable rescue, please name and shame.

Sadly, anyone can claim to be a rescue, but there are a number of people, especially with puppies, who are simply importing cheap pups from puppy farmers, claiming they are rescues, and selling them on for inflated prices (like the £300 you have paid).

For anyone else reading this, British rescues regularly have pups for adoption BUT they will make sure the pups are healthy before homing, and a good rescue will INSIST on funding the spay/neuter when the dog is old enough. If a rescue doesn't do this - it's a huge red flag and walk away.

MultumInParvo Thu 18-Jul-13 09:57:54

Scuttle have pm you

MultumInParvo Thu 18-Jul-13 10:35:43

Okay have contacted the rescue. They are reputable. I hope! Anyhoo will see what they have to say.

toboldlygo Thu 18-Jul-13 12:48:35

Heard a good tale this morning Scuttle, a lady brought a dog in that's come from one of these foreign rescue groups. She was told that in X country they 'snip' (I'm assuming vasectomise) dogs instead of a traditional castration. Pup had a very obvious set of balls, no detectable scar and is almost certainly entire!

Hmmm, that's a new one. Bangs head on desk, downs large gin. These mittel Europe pups are becoming a real welfare headache. sad

milkybarsrus Fri 19-Jul-13 10:54:29

Morning Multiminparvo
the easipets I went to was in Chatham, kent. Couldn't fault them. Puppy doing very well.

metimeatlast Fri 19-Jul-13 21:58:35

i know you have already had the dog done now, but only just seen the thread, just for reference our vet said it would be £175 for under 25kg and £240 for over 25kg. those quotes were given last week when i enquired, and their standard practice was to wait until dog was 12 months old..... to which i was a bit [sceptical] when other vets do do it earlier, it did cross my mind as to why they were waiting until the dog was fully grown so to speak did make me wander whether it was just for extra money tbh although that may not be a trully justified comment if im fair blush

metimeatlast Fri 19-Jul-13 21:59:00

northwest btw

Metimeatlast - age of neutering is something that vets disagree on, some think you should do asap before they hit puberty to prevent humping and accidental matings, others (including myself) think you should wait until they have finished growing, especially in larger breeds, as testosterone affects bone growth, and also so you have a true assessment of behaviour/confidence levels as we shouldn't be neutering nervous dogs (but again some - mainly older - vets would disagree with that too).

So that is why there is different advice from different practices, if anything neutering early is more of a money spinner as those you advise to wait may never come back..

Frenchfemme Sat 20-Jul-13 09:28:58

Ithasgone I have just had my (medium breed but 27kg) dog castrated at 16 months. I was concerned as he is nervous and fear-agressive to other dogs as we don't come into contact with many (rural France), but as he had one retained testicle my vet strongly advised me to have him done anyway. Hope I've not done the wrong thing by him. The cost was about 150 euros inclusive of drugs etc and the removal of the retained testicle.

MultumInParvo Tue 23-Jul-13 18:54:03

An update! I emailed the rescue and didn't receive a reply. After much dithering decided to go with my vet after all. I know it's expensive but after the advice here I couldn't not heed it.

Anyhoo, got him done today and as I was picking him up got an email saying of course the rescue would pay.

This rescue is unusual in as much as dogs go from 'situation' straight to another home so that's why it's done this way.

Thanks again flowers

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