Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic or Our Regular Vet?


10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
MidCity, New Orleans
So, I rescued two puppies off the street. Which is about the most expensive way to do it, I'm quickly learning. I'll never sniff at rescued pet adoption fees ever ever again.

Anyway... they're about due to get neutered.

The vet that I'm currently taking the dogs to gave me a quote for their neuters, which is going to run approx. $700 for the pair (is an overnight visit, and the dogs are inseparable, so they'll both go at the same time). This includes some pre-op bloodwork, additional pain meds, and microchipping while they're under. (This vet installs the same microchip that my cats already have, so updating will be easier.) She did say they weren't the least expensive option, and that low-cost clinics were something that we could consider.

Low-cost clinic will be between $200-300 for both dogs.

I've adopted cats before, and taken them to the low-cost clinic, and they seemed to suffer no ill effects...

Is it worth the extra coin for all the extra stuff (bloodwork, meds, overnight)?


9 Years
Mar 22, 2010
If they are young dogs they don't need bloodwork. I would do the low cost clinic for them. I worked at an animal hospital for 3 years. They also shouldn't need extra pain meds. Good luck and congrats on the new puppies.


No Vacancy, Belfry Full
11 Years
Jan 23, 2009
South GA
IMHO, depending on the age of the dogs, a full panel blood work is not necessary. Since you said they were puppies, I'm going to assume less than a year old. I would pay to have heart worm test done but that would be it for blood work. Worming, micro chip and other regular vaccs for sure.

If the low cost clinic can do it for less than the regular vet, I'd make the appointment. I've never had a dog or cat stay over night. If you take the animal in first thing, and they have recovered form the anesthesia there is no reason they have to stay over night. Nor should they need pain meds. I would recommend crating one or both in case one recovers faster than the other pup, but it's not necessary to pay the vet to "monitor" them for such a routine surgery. In my opinion, that's a ridiculous practice to get a couple more bucks in the pocket of the vet. Unless there is a complication, you should be able to take them home same day
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12 Years
Nov 4, 2009
I like the low-cost clinic because they do SO much of it. If practice makes perfect they are pros, have seen every problem, etc. They can do 40 a day, compared to the regular vet who may do a dozen a week or less.
I think of it like seeing a specialist.

To save some money, learn to do basic shots yourself. It's really easy.


11 Years
Jul 31, 2008

I think all the other bells and whistles that the vet is offering these days is a crock... No Offence to the vets here....


When I had my kitten into the vet for her spay they asked if i want this that and whatever (extra pain meds, additional IV fluids, you name it, it was on there right down to a teeth cleaning since they were under already

They give them an injection post op while in recovery (or at least mine does)
they have an IV running during the surgery.. why would I pay for another line?

This may sound bad but hear me out... BUT when they are brought home to recover if you dull the pain from the surgery there is more of a chance for them to be all jumpy and playing cause they are in no pain... ooo gimmie another one of those happy pills..lol


they are in a little bit of discomfort and their reaction is to sleep... stay low dont move... so thats exactly what they do... just chill and recover

If I paid for all the extra bells and whistles that the vet wanted me to I would have ended up paying over $400 for a spay...
I declined all the extras and paid $95 for a cat spay .. the cat is fine.. and they dont even use real stitches anymore they use glue


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
14 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
Low cost clinic, although our Kitty was done at our vet. Our vet charges $45 for a cat spay, the low cost clinic is $30.
I learned a lesson about the low cost clinic around here. A kitten once showed up at the adult group home where I worked and the residents decided to adopt her. Technically the residents were allowed to have a pet, but the executive director hated cats, so we played "hide the kitty!" lots of times; but that's a whole 'nother story.
The residents saved up their allowances to have their kitty, Stormy, spayed. I agreed to bring the cat home after her spaying and keep her at my house for a couple days while she healed some. When I picked Stormy up at the clinic she was plenty drowsy, but recovered quickly; too quickly. Went to take a look at her incision and there wasn't one. Called the vet in charge of the clinic. They had put Stormy under anesthesia, but forgot to spay her!
So check for the incision before you ever leave the clinic! Isolated incident, but with as many of the surgeries they do, stuff happens.


You'll shoot your eye out!
12 Years
Apr 16, 2007
Elvis' birthplace......
Neutering is much easier than spaying. We have used both the low cost spay place and the vet. The only thing I have ever heard bad about the low cost place is that they line them all up and knock them out at the same time, so if your animal is one of the last ones in line, they could possibly be half awake when they are getting spayed/neutered. Now IDK how much of that is true, but it kinda freaked me out.


11 Years
Sep 10, 2008
Lakeland, FL
Since they're rescues you may opt for the low cost clinic. It depends on how good your low cost clinic is too. If you've never had problems before there's no reason to think you will now.

On the flip side of the coin, I'm an emergency vet and I end up fixing a LOT of "mistakes" from the low cost clinics around here, which runs up a good bill on top of what people have already paid. Just depends on if you want to take the risk.


Dense Egg Goo
9 Years
Mar 22, 2010
Sacramento CA
One thing to keep in mind with low cost clinics.. At least this is MY experience. Because they spay and neuter so many animals in such little time sometimes the stiches get sloppy.. I've had a few dogs come back with sloppy stitches, so I stick to the actual vets. To me it is important for a clean and tidy surgery, especially when there are so many animals (with and without shots) coming through the low cost places.


10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
MidCity, New Orleans
I'm leaning toward the low-cost clinic for several reasons:

Cost - the low-cost clinic is going to be hard enough to cover, and over twice the price at the regular vet is nigh impossible for me to manage without opening another line of credit
Volume - I was concerned about the assembly line, but the practice-makes-perfect argument certainly does make sense
Timing - the overnight portion of the event puts a crimp in my morning commute, and the Boss has made it clear that any dog-related time off work is frowned upon

Relative simplicity of the surgery

It's been so long since I've had a dog that I just wasn't sure how much was necessary to do for them.

Now I have to figure out how to get them outside to do their business afterward without them wrestling their stitches out. Potty time hasn't been terribly regulated, so they're not always inspired to have a wee as soon as they go out.

Thanks for all the replies.

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