FAQs - Consumer Advice
Why do some veterinarians charge more than others for spays and neuters?
Thank you for recognizing the need to spay or neuter your pet. Many people "shop around" for the best price on this surgery, without the knowledge of why the cost varies among veterinary practices. This guide was put together to help you find the best fit between the veterinary practice and your expectations for the care of your pet.
Questions to Ask and Why to Ask Them
1. Will my pet receive a complete physical examination prior to surgery?
This is important for a number of reasons. It is our first defense against performing surgery on an animal that may have an infectious disease, have a heart murmur, or be debilitated from parasites.
2. What safety precautions will be taken with my pet during surgery?
While most surgery is uneventful, emergencies sometimes arise. Early detection of impending problems greatly aids our ability to intervene and correct the problem. A breathing tube should be placed on all anesthetized animals. This keeps the airway open and allows for supplemental oxygen or gas anesthesia as needed. Monitoring the heart, ECG, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and CO2 levels allow the surgeon to keep track of heart rate and rhythm as well as the amount of oxygen in the blood. The practice should also have a "crash box" handy, which contains emergency drugs and supplies. Will someone besides the surgeon be constantly monitoring your pet?
3. Will the veterinarian performing the surgery use full sterile technique?
This means the surgeon wears a cap, mask and full sterile gown during the surgery, in addition to hand scrubbing and sterile gloves.
4. What safety precautions will be taken with my pet after surgery?
Surgery patients lose body heat through anesthesia and the opening of body cavities. If patients get too cold, the heart can be affected. Patient temperature should be monitored at regular intervals after surgery and supplemental heating provided as needed. Your pet's gum color, pulse and respiration should also be monitored.
5. How will pain be controlled for my pet?
This is very important - surgery hurts! The anesthetic will not provide pain control once the pet wakes up. Injectable pain medication should be used in the hospital and oral pain control medication should be sent home with the pet.
6. Will I receive written post-surgical care instructions for my pet?
After care of surgical patients is very important for proper healing. The hospital should provide written discharge instructions for your pet.
7. Is there access to after-hours emergency care should a problem arise? Is there a charge for postsurgical follow-up exams?
The veterinarian does provide access to after-hours emergency care if a problem were to arise. Follow-up postsurgical exams should be at no charge.
At San Cayetano Veterinary Hospital we pride ourselves on being able to answer all of the questions above in a way that reflects our commitment to safety and humane care of all of our patients.
Do I need an appointment?
Yes, appointments help us to avoid long waits for our patients.
Can my pet have a vaccination without an exam?
No, because vaccinating a sick animal could worsen his or her condition, and might not be effective.
Do you extend credit?
Yes, we use the services of a company called Care Credit. Our staff can process the application at the clinic or you can apply for credit online yourself in a matter of minutes.