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WWYD? Neutering a dog...

(18 Posts)
QuietTiger Tue 10-May-16 09:40:52

Have a bit of a dilemma and would welcome thoughts.

We are going to neuter our big 3 year old male collie (Farm dog). That is a given - it's going to happen.

BUT It is not cheap to do so and the Dogs Trust charity run a scheme that neuters farm dogs in Wales for free via "approved vets". Again, so far, so good you'd think.

Except out of 3 practices we could use - The first practice that runs the scheme we believed killed our working dog with incompetence because they failed to correctly diagnose an illness, treated it incorrectly and subsequently failed to refer our dog to specialists in a timely manner (which would have saved his life). We lack confidence in them. (They are a very large practice -lots of vets and a veterinary hospital). They have neutered dogs for us under the scheme in the past.

The 2nd Practice - I thought was very good, except that I have discovered that the vet in question has "questionable" practices with over charging and care of the pets whilst in his surgery. (This is not "scuttlebutt" but from cold hard facts from people first hand). He neutered a dog under the scheme for us in the past, the dog needed a second operation because there were complications with infections and she also ripped all the stitches out. (He's a 2 man band - again, I lack confidence in him).

Both those practices run the "free neutering" Farm Dog scheme.

The 3rd practice, DOESN'T run the scheme and charges £180+ for the procedure. They are our farm practice, we've not had a problem in the past but I do know of issues and I know personally of a number of people removing their animals to a different practice because of issues with the small animal vets (again first hand knowledge). The large animal vets would not be carrying out the neutering - it would be their small animal team. Our dogs are registered there as we get the large animal vets to treat them by doing a farm visit for vaccinations etc.

What would you do? Yes, I am being a bit "precious" but I am genuinely conflicted. The only given is that the dog is going to be neutered, it's just a question of where. a) The free farm dog scheme or b) pay?

SavoyCabbage Tue 10-May-16 09:56:29

I'd use the first practice. The misdiagnosis led to a series of further errors which led to the death of your dog. Which is awful. flowers This incident is not going to impact on their ability to carry out the routine neutering I wouldn't have thought. £180 is a lot of money to spend when you can get the procedure for free.

ScrotesOnFire Tue 10-May-16 10:11:30

I'd just leave him entire tbh if you can't afford it.
The health risks don't seem to be as common or serious as in entire bitches.
I wouldn't use any of the scheme vets in your situation.

QuietTiger Tue 10-May-16 10:28:13

Cost not an issue - he's being done on the advice of a behaviourist. It's just where.

ScrotesOnFire Tue 10-May-16 10:53:05

If cost is not an issue then why are you debating having him done for free at what frankly sound like very poor vets?
To be honest, the free scheme sounds like it was intended for the poor who need it can't afford to have it done.
If cost is no issue then surely you pick the vet who offers the best quality of care?

QuietTiger Tue 10-May-16 11:43:55

If cost is no issue then surely you pick the vet who offers the best quality of care?

Which is what we're trying to do. All 3 practices have their pros and cons. The small one has been ruled out - it's just a toss up between the 2 big ones and whether we pay or not. The dog will get the same care at both, but I have my issues with the first one, which runs the scheme. Other people have had issues with the second practice. Likelyhood is we'll go with the second practice.

Wyldfyre Tue 10-May-16 14:24:35

I can understand blaming the first one for the loss of your dog - it's the natural thing to do when things go wrong.
Our last springer had a lump on her leg which our vet said not to worry about - it was a lipoma and there was no point in removing it as it wasn't bothering. Unfortunately it suddenly metastasised into a cancer on her internal organs. It wasn't picked up until her stomach began to swell, by which time it was too late. She went in for an exploratory op and had to be put down on the table as it was so bad. She was eight.
However we still get our dogs treated there. What happened was unusual and my family have been using that practice for about 40 years - always been a good experience prior to that. And always been a good experience since - they make a point of checking a lipoma on my youngest girl thoroughly on every visit.
Vets are human, and dogs may present atypically. As they cannot speak and are very good at hiding discomfort things occasionally get missed.
Apart that one experience how was the rest of your experience with that vet? If you felt it was good then personally I'd be sticking with that one.

ADishBestEatenCold Tue 10-May-16 21:24:51

Find a good small animal vet and use him/her for all routine care of your dog. That way your chosen practice can build up a good understanding of your dog's general health and well being, while providing that routine care over time.

If cost is no issue, then make your choice through research and personal recommendations.

Are those three practices your only choices? If so, then I would stick with the third one ... from what you have said in your OP ... but would first of all discuss any concerns of 'hearsays' with the Senior Vet.

If cost is no issue, then I absolutely do not think you should be using a Dogs Trust voucher. It is a charity.

Scuttlebutter Wed 11-May-16 00:56:11

Pay a specialist small animal practice for this and don't let the DT voucher cloud your thinking. You want your dog neutered so go to the best practice for that. While I appreciate the convenience of having your dogs treated when vets are at the farm for other things, look at this way. Would you rock up at a typical small animal practice and ask them to have a look at your llama that just happens to be in the car park?

Go to a specialist small animal practice and let them treat your dogs. One of the things that I am so grateful for about vets is that we as customers can easily vote with our feet and our wallets. None of the three you have listed sound at all suitable to be honest. Find a good fourth practice - yes, you will have to take dogs off the farm, which is a faff but you will be able to build a relationship of trust - that quite frankly would be impossible with any of the others you've listed.

mollie123 Wed 11-May-16 07:09:51

what scuttlebutter said
£180 for a safe operation with a vet who specializes in small animals is not a lot of money
Vets fees for dog health do not come cheap if you are unable to afford this small(ish) amount
I had my dog neutered at 4 years old - it cost me (8 years ago) approx £200 and no - I did not get a 'free op' although I am on a low income but I have always found the money for his vet bills hmm

mollie123 Wed 11-May-16 07:12:47

I would also agree that just because the Dogs Trust give free vouchers - they are a charity (one that I support) - if cost is not an issue leave the financial help for those who genuinely cannot afford the fee!

QuietTiger Wed 11-May-16 10:07:39

Oddly enough Scuttlebutter we have done just that and I suspect that you may be familiar with the vet we have chosen to use. wink

mollie123 Thu 12-May-16 12:06:32

I have been mildly surprised that 'free' neutering is available to sections of society who are often well-heeled and sitting on assets worth millions because they are farmers.
To this end I have queried this with the Dogs trust who have been the recipient of my money as I assumed the charity was concerned with caring for 'dogs' rather than handing out my contribution to those who do not need it? (for dogs that may not necessarily be 'working farm dogs')
All set to cancel my membership and amend the bequest I have written in my will.
Sorry OP not getting at you if it is the situation currently - just angry with Dogs Trust that they do not use their money to help with vets fees for the genuine cases (i.e. those on certain benefits).

mollie123 Thu 12-May-16 12:07:56

I do recognise that DT do use my money to look after rescue dogs - that is fine by me.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Thu 12-May-16 12:09:22

I would pay and let the dogs trust use the money they've not given you on saving dogs lives.

SecretSeven Fri 13-May-16 08:03:19

I echo what others say here and suggest you find a fourth vet. Dogs are such good value for money, even with vets bills.

QuietTiger Fri 13-May-16 16:33:06

Right - to clarify a few points.

The Dogs Trust HAD a scheme in Wales which was to meet the costs of neutering farm dogs as they were trying to reduce the number of dogs in Welsh pounds - abandoned farm dogs and unwanted litters have been a big problem in Wales.

There are BIG issues with education of farmers regarding the ability of their dogs to work if they are neutered. (That is another discussion for another time) which is why the Dogs Trust had the scheme.

I find your assumption mollie123 that farmers are "well heeled" because they "sit on assets worth millions" offensive. The majority of farmers I know are deep in debt, trying to make ends meet because the supermarkets and the people they supply, want constantly cheaper produce and the cost of production outweighs what they are actually paid for their goods. As an example - Dairy Farmers are being paid between 13p & 21p a litre for their milk - it costs 29p/litre to produce. Wheat is currently being sold at £130/tonne -it costs £135/tonne to produce. I can go on. They work long hours for little reward and recognition. That again, is a different argument for another time and one I'm not going to get in to and am not going to use it for a "Dogs Trust should neuter my dog for free because I'm a farmer" argument.

I defy anyone here not to consider using a free neutering or veterinary scheme if it's offered by someone. I have no doubt that many would say "I wouldn't", but many would.

Having done my research (which it appears I should have done in the first place) it seems that Dogs Trust have changed their scheme. They no longer neuter Welsh farm dogs for free, but instead run this scheme Here which we don't qualify for, so the point is now moot- we will be paying for our dog ourselves. Hopefully it can help someone else.

My dog is now going to a 4th vet that has been recommended by Scuttlebutter who knows me and lives in my area, so she has recommended her vet. My dog saw that vet this morning and is being neutered by her on Tuesday.

Thank you all for your input.

SecretSeven Sat 14-May-16 05:37:57

Hope I didn't sound judgemental. I certainly don't think farmers have an easy life.

I do think, though, that with vets you need one you're happy with.

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