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Cost of Care/Surgery

February 10th, 2011, 09:37 AM
Good morning!

I am new here so I am not sure if this is the right forum for this question. I just moved to Ontario (Mississauga area) a couple of weeks ago & am trying to find a vet for my dogs.

Since moving here, I have had to visit one vet already and it turns out that my dog will need surgery to remove a stone that has formed in her bladder. I have changed her diet to urinary S/O but still need this surgery done. The prices here in this province (maybe they are the same across Canada) seem to be very high for vet care if this one vet is any indication. Her quote indicates $1500 for this surgery. That is much more than I can afford right now and I was hoping to locate a teaching vet facility or similar that may perform the surgery for less. Is that possible here?

I know the adage "you get what you pay for" but I also want to ensure that I am paying a competitive rate for this surgery.

Any help is appreciated!

February 10th, 2011, 09:41 AM
Welcome ChloesMommy....I am not sure if they have this or not but there is a vet prpgram at the University of Guelph maybe you could try there? you could also ask your vet if you could make a couple payments.

It would be ideal if you could find a vet you like and feel comfortable with. I am sure some other folks will be along with vet suggestions! I dont live in your area so I couldnt reccomend one sorry!


February 10th, 2011, 09:49 AM
Hi, there! Thank you for your suggestion for University of Guelph. I will look into that.

I did ask the vet about reduced cost or payments. They won't accept payments ( even on her quote she would not reduce the cost of anything - including the $150 that she is charging me for the surgical gowns for herself and an assistant---wow) . With me still searching for a job, $1500 might as well be $10,000 right now!

I just want to ensure that I am doing the right thing proceeding with surgery for Chloe and that the price is standard. I am not entirely convinced that she needs it in order to address the problem.

I am sure kicking myself that I did not get her pet insurance last year when I was going to!

February 10th, 2011, 09:52 AM
I would be getting more quotes, it does seem a little high.

February 10th, 2011, 09:59 AM
150 for the surgical gowns? are you serious? I've never heard this before! we weren't even charged for the cone collar after our dogs surgery last month. Hopefully someone from around your area can help you find a vet

February 10th, 2011, 10:06 AM
I think I'd be running the other way fast! $150 for a surgical gown? Are they nuts?? :wall: These gowns must be lined with all the gold they're making off their patients. Are they throwaways or washable gowns? Both are relatively cheap. No where near $150!
We have a few folks here that live in the TO area. Hopefully they will check in soon. :fingerscr

February 10th, 2011, 11:39 AM
Call around. There is no standard pricing for veterinary services in Ontario and the prices for procedures and care can vary immensely from one clinic to another. I always call around now as it's not even the case of one vet being cheaper across the board.

Some examples. Giving one dog a few stitches after a dog fight, one clinic wanted close to $1100, we went to another vet and the bill came out to less then $300.
Neutering a large mastiff, I was given quotes as high as $800, kept calling, got it done for just over $300.
Eye surgery, $1300 at one vet, $700 at another.

In all of these cases the dogs received excellent care and there were no complications.
With vets, price is in no way an indication of a standard of care.

Some vets are more reasonable then others and don't treat people like cash cows. Two vets may charge the same basic rate for a certain procedure, but one of them may also charge for all sorts of things on top of the procedure that are of questionable necessity.

February 10th, 2011, 11:57 AM
I posted a great vets name on your visitor page. He let me pay for Buds surgery in payments and he was also 600.00 less than what I was quoted previously. He is not close he is in Scarborough but worth the drive

February 10th, 2011, 06:58 PM
Yes, I am very serious about the cost of the surgical gowns...:eek: I should have asked her if that meant that I can keep the gowns after the surgery to save money if there is ever another surgery to be done! (just kidding....).

The quote also included table disinfection, etc. I don't know - I guess I was thinking that maybe that is how they do things in this country (only been here a few weeks). I was a little miffed at the vet after I told her of my situation and that I would like to try & have the cost reduced. She agreed that she could reduce it and it was only reduced by $80 and then I saw the surgical gown cost on there - how is that working with the client ? When I questioned her yet again, she did say well, that price does include one follow-up call after surgery so that saves you the cost of an office visit. :rolleyes: I am not expecting charity, please don't get me wrong, but I do want a caring vet.

I would like to take her to someone for a second opinion because I was concerned that maybe it is not necessary. In fact, since I changed her food to Urinary S/O , I can see a difference in her. Of course, if I do that, I will probably have to get all the tests done again , including her xrays.

If anyone knows of a good vet in the Milton/Mississauga area, let me know.

Mastifflover, thank you for the message on the vet. I will check into it.

Gosh, this gets complicated quickly.

February 10th, 2011, 07:15 PM
Chloesmommy where in mississauga is this vet, where about are you located.

February 10th, 2011, 07:17 PM
If I were you I would call a few and explain you know they cannot give you a real cost of the surgery but maybe they could give you a ballpark number. I do not know any vets in your area but I am sure someone here will be able to help. The vet you went to is not someone I would use, my vet never charged me for a follow up visit and sometimes a second visit just to check on him. Will ask around and see if anybody I know can recommend someone.

February 10th, 2011, 07:42 PM
Not sure what Guelph is like, but I know around here, you can save a LOT by going to a country vet rather than a city vet.

February 11th, 2011, 12:20 PM
Chloesmommy where in mississauga is this vet, where about are you located.

Hi ! I am actually just outside Mississauga in Milton. The vet is just off Trafalgar Road.

From everything I have read here, I will call around to get some other "ballpark" quotes...

February 11th, 2011, 01:42 PM
Wow, harging for gowns..that's insane for sure. I agree totally with ETown Chick. The last vet we went to in Ontario was pretty good pricewise. She was the only vet and was very good.

I really lucked out when we moved out to SK. I go to a vet that's a half hour away in Alberta. First bonus, no pst. They're primarily a large animal clinic. Nothing fancy, when I dropped Noella off for her spay, someone was bringing in a horse. heheh kinda freaked me out last year when I stopped in for Bayley, they were expecting a bunch of bulls in for semen testing. Checking a kitty one minute then handling a huge bull the next!! I consider them to be dirt cheap compared to what I'm used to paying. Noella's spay was 250.00 but then they did the rest of her shots (no ill effects) wormed her, clipped her toenails. Then when she had a bit of a reaction to her sutures, it was only 75.00 for an overnight stay, subq fluids, a long acting antibiotic shot and several days doses of pain meds. She's fine now and her tummy is fuzzy :)

The receptionist was telling me that they have people coming from Medicine Hat to have some dental work done on their dog. Turns out that they're about $600.00 cheaper than the vet in Medicine Hat!! Well worth the 2 hour drive!!

I know vets in Kingston, ON were getting crazy expensive too. But I guess they need to make back the money they spend on decorating everything so it's all fancy. My vet doesn't even use a computer to write up the bills.

February 11th, 2011, 02:41 PM
There's also this site that people rate vet clinics on:

I think the ratings have to be taken with a grain of salt since everyone has different expectations (sometimes unreasonable) and requirements for a vet, but it's a decent starting point.

Hope that helps!

February 12th, 2011, 07:05 PM
AnneCS - Thank you for the vet rating site - I will look into it tonight! :thumbs up

Maybe I can find someone local that way too. Have a great weekend!