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High volume / low cost spay and neuter services (by a Markham Veterinarian)

By January 10, 2014 April 9th, 2019 Uncategorized

14 important details every pet owner needs to know before they subject their family pets to high volume or low cost surgery – Part 1

Recently, it has been reported that there are facilities that offer to spay or neuter your pets for costs as low as $60.00, whereas The Ontario Veterinary Fee Guide suggests fees in the area of $300 to $500 depending on the age and size of your pet.

Clearly, this begs the following questions:

Why is there such a drastic difference in price? 

If some veterinary clinics can do the surgery so cheap, then why do the other veterinarians charge so much more?

If it actually costs more than the $60 dollars being charged at some clinics, who pays the difference and how do costs get recovered? Are they passed onto the client in other ways? Is there a separate funding model that allows low cost surgeries at certain clinics?

 What exactly is the client paying for? Is there a difference in the way pets and owners are treated in one veterinary hospital or the other?

Veterinarians and their clients in Markham and around the GTA are asking these same questions on an almost daily basis.

At the Animal Hospital of Unionville, a veterinary clinic in Markham, we love animals through and through. Our job is to inform and educate pet owners to help facilitate their decision-making. Animals need our and your protection.  Only when you have the right information and take the right action can you give your pet optimal health.  Low cost surgical services make us cringe… not because they save money, but because high standard quality can’t be “cheap”. In this multi part series we hope to educate every pet owner about 14 important details you need to know before submitting your pet to any surgery.

Let’s try to answer these questions one by one:

What does a surgery really cost?

It was recently reported in a Toronto Star article that the Toronto Animal Services (a wholly Government funded and operated Veterinary practice) are conducting spays for $60.00 and neuters for $40.00 According to Tammy Robbinson (spokesperson for Toronto Animal Services) the $60.00 spay fee charged is “cost recovery”. So ipso facto that must mean that all other Vets are overcharging their clients? …. Not so fast. What did that $60 buy? ….

  • A pair of sterile surgical gloves (assuming they are being used) at ~ $3 per pack
  • A pack of sterile suture material (stitches) ~ $8
  • Anesthetic drugs and narcotics ~ $20
  • Disposables (like syringes, needles, gauze etc) all pennies that add to the cost of the surgery.

In the next issue we’ll itemize many costs that are “forgotten” in the surgery price. It’s going to be quite revealing…


Dr. Ernst Marsig, veterinarian in Markham

Practicing Veterinary Medicine in Markham for a Long and Happy Life of ALL Your Pets.

Animal Hospital of Unionville, a veterinary clinic on the north side of  Hwy 7, serving all pets in Markham, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Stouffville, and North York since 1966. We are your family vets for dogs, cats, pocket pets (rabbits, chinchillas, gerbils, mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, skinny pigs, etc.), ferrets, and birds (budgies, cockatiel, parrots, amazon, cockatoo, love birds, conures, African greys, finches, canaries, etc.).

Disclaimer: No part of this website constitutes medical advice. Readers are advised to consult with their veterinarian.

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