Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mid-week kitteh

Alas, there will be no cute pictures of Freya in this week's Mid-week kitteh. Instead, I need a moment to rant.

Earlier, I posted about getting Artemis spayed now that she's no longer sick with the kitty sneezies. They couldn't do the surgery while she was sick - apparently when they're stuffed up and can't breathe well, there can be issues with the anesthetic. She also didn't get her rabies and other vaccinations, because you don't want to give a sick kitty something that could make them more sick.

Now that she's been over the sneezies for a few days, I called my vet to make her an appointment to be spayed and have her vaccinations done. All was going well until I asked how much the spay would run. And I about dropped the phone when they told me:



I like to think I'm well aware of the cost of owning a pet. What with the horses, dogs, and other cats... well, it's not inexpensive. And all of our animals are current on vaccinations, wormer, heartworm meds, etc. etc. etc., so a good chunk of change is spent every month on animal feed and care.

And, I am ADAMANT that all our pets be fixed. Both Maddy and Artemis have had kittens, potentially contributing to the pet overpopulation problem. And given what a problem it is (over 1000 animals are put to sleep every month at the Town Lake Animal Center alone), I would think that having your animal fixed - in the interest of controlling the pet population - should be one of the least expensive things you can do. To put it in perspective, Maddy cost me all of $35 from TLAC, and she came spayed and with all her shots. So why the huge discrepancy in cost?

I can probably chalk it up to the location of my current vet - he's in a very nice part of south Austin, with very expensive homes all around. Still, it would be great if he could offer a discount for animals from TLAC or something. $270 for a spay surgery just seemed outrageous, so I called around. Turns out that my old vet up north charges $150, Animal Trustees of Austin charges $45, and Emancipet charges just $39 to spay a kitty.

All that leaves me feeling like my vet is really out of line with reality. I realize that pet ownership isn't cheap, but I feel that some basic things - like getting your pet fixed, and maybe Rabies vaccinations (since they are required by state law) - should be provided at a very basic cost. And that's not $270. Heck, I'd rather pay ATA or Emancipet to do the surgery and then make a donation... which is exactly what I've decided to do.

So, Artemis has an appointment at Emancipet to be spayed tomorrow morning. I'll be giving them an additional donation - hopefully enough to cover the cost spay 2 or 3 additional animals, since they do provide that service for free to families that show need. Because, well, I think helping to control the pet overpopulation is probably a better way to spend my money.

End of rant. Freya will return next week in all her cuteness... promise!


  1. There's a thread on COTH about once every two weeks ranting about vets. Eventually the actual vets come out of the woodwork and defend themselves. The new posh vet might have six-figure student loans, a huge rent/mortgage payment, and a huge equipment loan. (Or he might be a jerk.)

    I remember when I got my two girls spayed (one cat one dog) there was an option for some pre-anesthesia bloodwork, to rule out a very unlikely allergic reaction to the anesthesia. I think I got it done, because it was just another $20, but I doubt either of the cheapest places will do it. Pretty small risk, and that's about the only difference in services by a cheap vet and a posh vet.

    Make sure you get her some Metacam for the first couple of days! Poor girl. It's definitely for the best, but still - OW.

  2. Well I was going to offer some Metacam to the project, but what I have is dogs only. In the same vein, though, my (Austin) vet quoted me $450 to castrate my puppy when he's six months old ($470 if he's over 50 lbs by then). I called my Santa Ynez, CA vet, and there it will be $165 unless he's over 50 lbs in which case it will be all of $170. The difference will cover the petrol...

  3. Glad to see you support Emancipet! I think they're a great organization doing extremely worthy work. We got several of the kitties fixed there.

  4. The vet who does the work at Emancipet is the same vet who does the work for Austin Pets Alive. She's awesome. Dr. Ellen Jefferson. Highly recommend her and Emancipet. That is outrageously expensive ($270). Dr. Jefferson also used to work at Lake Austin Vet Hospital before devoting herself to shelter pets (so its not like she's not a first rate vet). She's just a vet with morals...incidentally she's also married to a horse vet - Dr. O'gan of Austin Equine : )