Many of you may have wondered why castrations are apparently so expensive and why there are so many price differences between some clinics and others. With this article, we will try to give you an answer and, above all, help you have reliable arguments for choosing a trustworthy veterinarian if you have decided to castrate your dog or bitch.
What exactly happens to our animal once it enters the operating room door?
Marta Castillejo is the founder and director of the Bitxus Veterinary Clinic in Reus (Tarragona). She explains to us what happens when we leave our dog at the vet for neuter, why the costs of the whole process vary from one clinic to another and what inconveniences a surgery performed at a meager price can entail.
What the owner does not see?
When an owner decides to neuter his dog, he expects the veterinarian to use the most advanced and safest technique when operating. But, according to Marta Castillejo, if you do, the resulting process should look something like this:
First, an analgesic will be applied to the animal, morphine, and the veterinarian will wait for half an hour until it takes effect. Then you will be given an antibiotic to prevent infection. Next, a venous catheter will be placed through which the serum and all medications will enter while the surgery is being performed. Whenever this is done, you will be calmed.
Be careful because if we want to be sure that nothing bad is going to happen to our dog at all times, and for the safety of our animal, there must be a person aware of its condition.
IN THE OPERATING ROOM
Once in the operating room, the best thing for our dog will be to administer another drug that makes intubation easier when it is already anesthetized. That is, it produces a stronger sedative effect and allows a tube to be inserted into the trachea to administer an inhaled anesthetic, which is safer than the one administered intravenously (the latter is applied in a dose-effect format and not in a continued as inhaled so that the veterinarian has to monitor if the dog begins to wake up to apply a little more).
Once the dog is intubated and breathing correctly, the vet will shave and disinfect the area where the incision will be made.
The animal must be continuously monitored by measuring temperature, oxygen saturation, breaths per minute, etc.
By the way, the room where the surgery is performed will also have to be appropriately conditioned because, when the animals are sedated, their temperature drops.
Once the dog is ready, it will be the vets who get ready. To minimize the risk of infection, they will use sterile gloves, sterile material and gauze pads, sutures, and a new scalpel blade.
To go well, at least two people will have to be in the operating room, one monitoring the anesthesia and helping the surgeon and the other operating. And, if it’s a female dog, two vets will surely be needed for the surgery itself.
We will not go into details about the surgery process because they could be too technical. Still, it seems important to the veterinarian Marta Castillejo to emphasize that, in the case of castration of a bitch, it is worth asking our veterinarian if he will do what is called a colposuspension. This technique serves to prevent one of the most frequent long-term complications in the sterilization of females: urinary incontinence.
Here is an important tip!
Do you want to avoid your dog having to wear an Elizabethan collar or bell for more than 10 days with the stress and discomfort that entails?
So, it is best to have the vet perform an intradermal suture (inside the skin).
AND TO FINISH …
Once the suture is finished, the vet will turn off the inhalation anesthetic and wait for your dog to wake up quietly while applying an anti-inflammatory. Now you have to put him in a cage in the hospitalization room, with a suitable temperature, and monitor him until he is fully awake.
What is the price of castration?
The price of castration in Spain can vary considerably. Some clinics offer male castrations starting at 30 euros, a suspiciously low price.
To give you a reference: in a city like Barcelona, the usual cost of sterilization for a dog weighing more than 8kg can be around 200 euros.
In females, prices are always higher because the complexity of the intervention is greater, and we can find trustworthy clinics that operate for around 300 euros.
It must be taken into account that the more our animal weighs, the more the price will increase. And also that, to the cost of the surgery itself, we must add that of the pre-surgical analysis (about 40 euros).
Why do the costs of a castration vary so much from one clinic to another?
We have already seen the importance of the technique used during surgery, the properly conditioned environment, and the uninterrupted supervision by an assistant or a veterinarian.
Of course, all these costs are added to the fixed expenses that any employer has: rental of the premises, purchase of material, payment of salaries, ongoing training of staff, etc.
All these factors intervene in the establishment of one or another price.
What are the risks for my dog to be neutered cheaply?
Reducing the costs that we have just mentioned is very complicated. Therefore, when the health of our animal is at stake, it is not worth betting on the sales.
As always, generalizing is risky. However, be careful when choosing “cheap” clinics because having a properly equipped center, well-trained and professional staff, and adequate material is never free. Therefore, the reduced prices tend to be detrimental to the safety and health of our dogs.
As Marta Castillejo explains: “Veterinarians cannot reduce fixed costs. Of course, we can castrate as it was done 10 years ago, or as it is still done in some places: without giving analgesia to the animal, without a catheter, without serum, without gauze … with four incorrectly placed staples and without colposuspension. It all depends on what the client values their pet ”.
So, now that you know a little more about what castration entails, it may be easier to weigh new aspects aside from the economic one when choosing a trusted veterinarian.