Important Questions to Ask when “shopping” for a spay or neuter
Here are some questions to ask to find out if a veterinarian, whether in a shelter setting or private practice, is operating under the best quality surgical methods.
- What type of maintenance anesthesia is used?
Injectable drugs are cheaper but far less safe than inhalant anesthesia, which can be adjusted continuously throughout surgery. Recovery from inhalant anesthesia is also smoother and safer for the dog.
- Is pre-surgical blood work required or an option?
You would be hard pressed to find a human hospital that will perform elective surgery on you without baseline blood work.
- Are pain medications required?
If not, this is a red flag. Surgery is painful and there are no excuses for not prescribing pain meds.
- How is the dog's progress monitored before, during, and after the surgery?
Few low-cost spay and neuter clinics have blood pressure and EKG monitoring available, and as a result, this is an area where private pet hospitals will typically excel over many spay-neuter clinics. This continuous monitoring helps keep complication rates low.
- Is an IV catheter placed before surgery, and are IV fluids provided throughout surgery?
Using IV fluids is a sign of a high quality surgery. At the minimum, I would strongly encourage pet parents to use a clinic that at least places an IV catheter for all routine surgeries. This gives the veterinary team immediate access to the patient's blood supply should an emergency arise.
- Will a sterile environment and supplies be used for each unique dog?
Many low-cost surgical programs just don't have the funds to provide their surgeons with basic sterile gowns and gloves for each surgery. The Pet Vet Hospital and Wellness Center is AAHA certified and adhere to the highest standards. Learn more: https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/about_aaha/why_accreditation_matters/about_accreditation/aaha_standards_help_your_pet_receive_quality_surgical_care.aspx