210 Pinebush Rd., at the corner of Pinebush & Franklin.

QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK WHEN CALLING AROUND FOR A PRICE ON ELECTIVE SURGERY FOR YOUR PET

How do you choose the right veterinarian to spay or neuter your precious pet? Most owners don’t realize that not every clinic is created equally. You might think a spay at clinic A will be exactly the same as a spay at clinic B, but that’s rarely the case! The surgical technique might be the same, but the anesthetic, nursing care and pain prevention protocols can vary a lot from hospital to hospital!

We recommend you print this page and use it as a questionairre as you phone around. You can fill in the answers in the blank spaces provided.

1/ How many surgeries do you do per day? (We suggest avoiding clinics that do many surgeries each day. That is an assembly line approach, where mistakes are more easily made due to rushing and where there is minimal patient nursing!)

Clinic A: __________ Clinic B: __________; Clinic C: __________;

2/ What do you routinely monitor during the anesthetic (what kind of equipment?)

Clinic A:

Clinic B:

Clinic C:

3/ How many staff assist the surgeon in the surgical suite during the procedure?

Clinic A: __________; Clinic B: __________; Clinic C: __________

4/ What is given to prevent post-op pain?

Clinic A:

Clinic B:

Clinic C:

5/ Do they stay overnight or can they go home the same day?

Clinic A: __________; Clinic B: __________; Clinic C: __________

6/ How do I find out how the surgery went after it is done?

Clinic A:
Clinic B:
Clinic C:

7/ Is anything done at no charge at the same time as the surgery?

Clinic C: __________ Clinic A: __________; Clinic B: __________;

8/ How many doctors and how many staff members do you have at your hospital?
(you can always check their web page for this)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The answers for our hospital are:

1/ How many surgeries do you do per day?

Generally, we do no more than 3 procedures per day. We try not to overbook our surgeries. We believe that patient care suffers in clinics that do too many procedures per day. At Hespeler Animal Hospital , we don’t like the “factory approach” to medicine and surgery. We like to baby the patients and make sure they are well monitored. We also want to set aside plenty of time to answer all of your questions when your pet is discharged.

mindray PM vet 9000

2/ What do you routinely monitor during the anesthetic (what kind of equipment?)

We monitor blood pressure, end-tidal CO2 (carbon dioxide levels of each breath), pulse oximetry (oxygen levels in the blood), ECG (electricity of the heart), temperature, pulse and respiratory rates. We have a designated veterinary nurse monitoring and recording all of these vital signs.

3/ How many staff assist the surgeon during the procedure?

Two, one surgical assistant and one dedicated anesthetist (a second staff member trained in anesthesia and anesthetic monitoring).

4/ What is given to prevent post-op pain?

We administer a mild narcotic before the surgery; this medication is a pre-op pain medication, and helps calm the pet. After induction of anesthesia, we give a stronger narcotic intravenously, and administer a local anesthetic where the incision will be. The freezing we choose lasts 6-8 hours, so your pet will wake up nice and numb in the surgical area. At the end of the surgery, as long as your pet’s blood pressure was stable during the procedure, we give a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory mediction called Metacam. Finally, we sent the patient home with some oral medication for 4 days or so, to ensure your pet stays comfortable while at home too.

Dr. Louise recommends: “Choose a hospital that believes in pre-emptive analgesia. Many veterinarians only give pain meds post-op. By then it’s too late, the animal is already sore! And, I know of a few older vets who choose not to give any pain medication at all. No, I’m not kidding! They think that animals don’t feel pain like humans do, or they believe that being in pain means an animal won’t use the limb and hurt itself. At Hespeler Animal Hospital, we strongly feel that animals do feel pain just like we do, and we believe there are better options than withholding pain medications to limit self-trauma after a surgery.”

5/ Do they stay overnight or can they go home the same day?

Except for feline declaws, all of our surgeries go home the same day. Veterinary clinics do not have overnight staffing (emergency clinics do). We prefer your pet be safe and happy in its own home than alone unattended in the clinic.

6/ How do I find out how the surgery went after it is done?

Our surgical nurse or the doctor will phone you with an update after the surgery. If you want to phone in yourself, we’re always happy to give you an update.

7/ Is anything done at no charge at the same time as the surgery?

At Hespeler Animal Hospital , we will trim your pets nails at no extra charge.
We also include a complimentary microchip with all our spays and neuters if you’ve purchased a Start Me Right Plan.

8/ How many doctors and how many staff members do you have at your hospital?

We have two doctors, two receptionists and two veterinary nurses. The nice thing about a smaller clinic is you get more personal care and we know your pet well. At Hespeler Animal Hospital , you really are one of our family!

As you probably now realize, shopping around for the lowest price might not be in your pet’s best interests. There may be a reason why some clinics offer cheap spays, neuters and other surgical procedures and it might be because they are not delivering the same level of anesthetic safety, nursing care and pain management than the more expensive hospitals are. Perhaps you do get what you pay for.

We’re located in Cambridge, Ontario and your pet’s well-being is very important to us. If you’re looking for a vet in the Cambridge, Kitchener and Guelph area, please give us a call!