We accept payment in the form of Cash, Visa, Mastercard and Debit.
If you have pet insurance (much like dental insurance) you are required to pay us and collect your reimbursement from them.
We do not offer payment plans.
We used to allow some of our “bigger bills” to be paid over time, but some “un-trustworthy types” made the decision for their bills to be left unpaid. So sadly, other people paved the way for a “pay-as-you-go” policy.
Additional links for clients considering pet insurance.
Pre-Surgical Laboratory Testing
More information: http://wainwrightvetservices.com/services/blood-testing/
Owners Guide to Pet Surgery
If you are like most people, you want to know what you are paying for and why things cost what they do. You will find that veterinary clinics are all different, and you may find that the prices for things like spay and neuter surgeries are quite variable. What costs $465 at one clinic might be $300 at another. Unless you know what to ask, it’s hard for you to know what the differences are between the two options. After all, a neuter is a neuter, right?
Well, not exactly. We have put together this guide for you so that you can ask informed questions and make informed decisions about your pet’s health care. Below you will find a lot of fact, some opinion, and a lot of advice – but advice is what vets are good at!
In order for your pet to have a safe surgical experience the veterinarian performing the procedure should be familiar with your pet’s history and physical condition. At the very least, this means that the veterinarian should have a copy of the records from any previous veterinary visits and should perform a complete physical examination of your pet before beginning any part of the anesthetic regimen. This is very important; pets with certain health conditions can be high-risk patients for anesthesia.
For example, a heart murmur in a young dog might mean a serious heart defect, and anesthesia could prove fatal. On the other hand, some heart murmurs in puppies can be “innocent” and pose no threat at all to the dog’s health. An examination well before the day of surgery will reveal most potential problems and allow the veterinarian to investigate any potential problems before “zero hour”.
Probably the most important factor is the veterinarian’s familiarity with your pet. If he or she has examined your pet several times over the course of puppy- or kittenhood, chances are they will already know about any potential pitfalls. There will also he a sense of trust between you and your veterinarian.
Pre-surgical blood testing
On the whole, routine full pre-surgical blood testing in apparently healthy, young animals (such as those presented as young animals for spaying and neutering) may be of little practical value. Approximately one in one thousand pets in this category that undergo screening will have an abnormality that results in a change in the anesthetic or surgical protocol.
Having said that, there are a few minor tests that can be performed quickly in the clinic the day of surgery that will be indicators of major problems. A hematocrit test (or packed cell volume, PCV) will tell the veterinarian whether a pet is anemic. A urine specific gravity (USG) will tell us whether the kidneys are working properly and concentrating the urine, and a blood urea test (BUN) will also indicate good kidney function. Looking at a blood film can tell the veterinarian whether the platelet numbers are adequate for clotting, and whether the white blood cells and red blood cells are normal. These tests can be performed in just a few minutes.
There are certainly reasons for doing tests if the surgery is not routine or if the patient is not a young (4-12 months) healthy animal. Whether to do pre-anesthetic blood testing of any kind is a decision between you and your veterinarian.
We now know that by giving pain medications before the pain signals are sent, we can significantly reduce the amount of pain experienced after surgery. Analgesics sit on the pain receptors and prevent the so-called “windup” of the pain response. Other things prevent windup as well, which we will discuss later. The pre-op analgesic is usually given in the same injection as the sedative, and in some cases is the same drug (e.g. morphine can act as both a mild sedative and an analgesic).
For some surgeries we can pre-place transdermal patches. These all work the same way, whether they are nicotine patches for soon-to-be-ex-smokers, or pain patches. In all cases a small, measured dose of the drug is released in a controlled manner from the patch and is absorbed across the skin into the bloodstream. For pain relief we place patches with a drug called fentanyl approximately 12 hours before surgery. By the time surgery is performed, there are therapeutic levels of fentanyl in the body and the drug is able to prevent pain windup.
Most animals in the hospital, just like people, experience some anxiety. If there is a lot of adrenaline rushing around the body it can affect the way the anesthetic drugs work, as well as making the heart more sensitive to some of the drugs. To counter this and make the pet more comfortable a sedative should be given before anesthesia. With a good sedative on board the animal will need less anesthetic agent and will have a smoother induction and recovery from anesthesia.
In my opinion, without exception, patients undergoing general anesthesia must have an intravenous catheter in place before anesthesia is induced. There are two main reasons for this and both are critical. The first is that the intravenous catheter provides a route to give drugs quickly into the circulation in case of an emergency. If something happens and the blood pressure falls, it is extremely difficult to raise a vein and place a catheter after the fact. By the time the catheter is in place it may be too late. With a catheter in place, emergency drugs can be given rapidly and easily with no loss of precious time, potentially saving the animal’s life.
We put catheters in all our surgical patients requiring intubation (general anesthesia).
Our philosophy is that all animals will benefit from intravenous fluids for the duration of the anesthetic period. We are giving a number of drugs that can affect the blood pressure. The addition of fluids improves circulation, enhances recovery speeds and improves clearance of anesthetic agents. We offer Intravenous Fluids at an additional cost during routine procedures. Making it mandatory would make a routine surgical procedure out of the reach of some of our clientele.
Induction of anesthesia is the process of actually making the pet unconscious by administering anesthetic agents. This is the step in human medicine where the anesthesiologist asks you to count backward from 100 as he gives you an injection. Generally, moderately deep anesthesia is accomplished very quickly when injectable drugs are used. This is the same procedure that should be used for all animals.
There is the option in to use inhalants to induce anesthesia. This is usually called “masking”, as the gas is delivered to the patient via a face mask. This is not the safest method for many reasons, although some Vets may tell you it is. It takes approximately 4 to 5 minutes before the pet is anesthetized enough to be intubated (which we will talk about next). During that period there is no control over the airway; that is, if the pet regurgitates, fluid can be inhaled into the lungs. This is also a very stressful and frightening thing for most pets. They have a large mask placed over the muzzle and they are forced to inhale a strong-smelling gas while being physically restrained. As the gas begins to make them feel dizzy, they try to escape it. There is a large release of adrenaline, which can cause heart arrhythmias. There is also a lot of waste anesthetic gas that escapes around the mask, exposing the veterinary personnel.
Instead, check that the Veterinarian is using injectable agents to induce anesthesia. These act very rapidly, in 30 seconds to 2 minutes generally. They allow excellent control of anesthetic depth and allow the airway to be intubated quickly, avoiding most of the risks of aspiration. With an IV catheter in place the pet does not even realize the drug is being administered, and just falls asleep with little or no excitement. Overall the effect is a much more peaceful, safer induction.
It is important to have control over the pet’s airway as quickly as possible and to protect it at all times. Oxygen must get to the lungs in order for animals to live! Some breeds are predisposed to airway trouble. Dogs and cats with short faces, like Bulldogs, Persians, Boston Terriers, Pugs, Himalayans, and Pekingese all have long soft palates and small nostrils that will interfere with air flow. Even in animals with “normal” anatomy the airway can become obstructed inadvertently.
We “intubate” a pet in order to have control over the airway. We pass a special kind of tube called an endotracheal tube through the mouth and into the trachea, or windpipe. This tube has fairly rigid walls and cannot be collapsed. This bypasses all of the soft structures that could potentially flop into the airway when the pet is unconscious and allows us to deliver fresh gas and anesthetic right to the lungs where it is absorbed.
The endotracheal tube has a cuff on the end, which effectively seals the airway. In addition to preventing anesthetic leaks, this also protects the patient from inhaling any gastric fluid that might be passively regurgitated during anesthesia.
Gas anesthesia is reliable and safe when delivered by an experienced anesthetist. We prefer them to injectable anesthetics (for maintenance) because the depth of anesthesia is much easier to control. This is particularly important when an animal become too “deep” under anesthesia and we need to lighten the anesthetic plane. With inhalant or gas anesthetics we are able to do this relatively quickly, since the anesthetic is expelled by breathing. With injectable anesthetics, if the pet is too deep after the anesthetic we have to wait for the body to metabolize the drug and eliminate it. With some drugs this can take up to an hour. In my opinion gas anesthetics should be used when an anesthetic period will be longer than 5-15 minutes.
As you can see, making an elective surgery like a spay or neuter safe for your pet is quite a complicated process. It involves several people, and a variety of specialized equipment. It is possible to “cut corners” and omit some of the things that we have talked about. It is possible to spay a cat like we did in the old days with an injectable anesthetic, without surgical gowns or even gloves, just bare-handed on a counter in the back of a clinic. This certainly would make the surgery cheaper! But for some things, cost should not be the driving force behind the decision. We have to consider safety and the animal’s pain first, and costs a distant third.
**This guide was adapted from an original put together by Animal Medical Hospital in Vancouver. It was so complete and excellently done. It exemplifies our own position and clinic philosophy and procedures. **
Cost of Vet Care
Why does veterinary care seem so expensive?
How much debt does my veterinarian graduate with after training?
How much does my Veterinarian and Veterinary Nurse make?
Comparisson of veterinary salaries with that of medical trained equivalents
Article 1: 5 Reasons Why Veterinary Technicians are Awesome!