Some of the most shopped around fees in veterinary medicine are for the costs of puppy and kitten spay and/or neuter procedures. A recent publication from the College of Veterinarians for Ontario (CVO); the regulatory and licensing organization for veterinarians, alerts those shopping for prices be fully aware of what is being offered for the price quoted.
Unfortunately for the family in this particular situation, they lost the life of their young puppy before it even got into surgery. The puppy died from complications after being administered a drug combination that was incorrect.
The case was presented to the CVO disciplinary board, and they found over 30 standard infractions at this veterinary hospital. A sampling of their findings included: use of volunteers and untrained staff to administer medications and anesthesia to the animals, improper medications used and a below standard facility for the performing of surgical procedures.
One cannot assume that every veterinary facility is a carbon copy of another. The CVO and the Veterinarians Act of Ontario has a minimum standard that has to be met for licensing and accreditation of a veterinary hospital. Facilities are inspected every 5 years, and even with this, there is no guarantee the standards are always being met on a daily basis. Often shopped fees are used as lost leaders to gain clients, and even though the fee is reduced, very commonly corners are cut to maintain the low fee.
Be sure to ask the right questions if shopping around for prices, so a proper comparison can be made:
- Are there properly trained/educated veterinary technicians involved?
- What experience do the veterinarian(s) have?
- How is the pet monitored while in the hospital?
- Are there attendants in the hospital overnight?
- Ask for a tour of the hospital and meet the people caring for your pet.