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Painful questions to ask before submitting your pet to surgery – Part 5.

By February 23, 2014 April 9th, 2019 Uncategorized

What nobody would tell you about low cost spay and neuter services. Pain control SHOULD be no option…

Last week we began asking the 14 important questions you need to know before booking a surgery.

What else do you need to know about cheap spay or neuter services

4. What level of pain control is given during the surgery? The answer is quite embarrassing…

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 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”. Treating pets as overpopulation statistics and neglecting fundamental standards isn’t right. In this series we hope to educate every pet owner about 14 important details you need to know before submitting your pet to any surgery.

Veterinarians in Markham all agree: Animals do feel as much pain as humans do. A spay or neuter is a very painful procedure. We challenge anyone to try to resist painkillers next time your doctor does a surgery on you. The difference is, dogs and cats express their pain differently than humans, and people (including sometimes veterinarians and their team) often do not recognize it. That’s why painkillers are so often neglected. And of course they cost money. If you want to shave every penny off a surgery cost, you’d have to eliminate painkillers. The College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO), which is usually not very involved in making medical recommendations to veterinarians, recently issued a position statement making pain killers (analgesics) mandatory. It states: “The withholding of appropriate analgesic therapy should not be viewed as a justifiable means of reducing treatment costs.” It is publicly embarrassing that our profession needed its own regulatory body to intervene by issuing this statement. All surgeries need pain control! Are the pets paying the price of cheap surgery?

 5. Are painkillers prescribed for the days following the surgery? Ignorance hurts…

All painkillers work only for a short time, and very few work well for longer than 24 hours. But the pain lasts longer, and from human experience we know it takes 3-5 days until the pain is minimal. It is necessary to give something to regulate and minimize this pain home with the animal after surgery. Is that included in the surgery price?

 6. Is the pet placed on an intravenous (IV) drip?

IV drips are cumbersome to place. They take time, they cost money, animals sometimes chew them and you have to replace them. Should you bother? Many veterinarians in Markham strongly believe you should never have anesthesia without an IV. It helps pets to wake up well from anesthesia and can prevent serious complications:

  • Fast emergency access: In an anesthetic emergency, you need direct access to a vein within seconds. When every second could make the difference between life and death, you don’t want to spend 2 –5 minutes placing an IV line. It could be too late.
  • Maintain blood pressure: Blood pressure often drops during anesthesia and giving IV fluids will help reduce this effect. There are hypotheses, which are hard to prove, that short episodes of critically low blood pressure, as can happen during a spay or neuter, reduce the blood flow in the kidneys enough to cause permanent kidney damage. The clinical effects of this damage, however, often only show many years later. This hypothesis would explain why we see such a striking number of cases of renal failure in older cats.
  •  Intravenous injections: During and after a surgery several injections of different medications are being given. If you already have an IV line, you can give them without poking the poor animal more. Plus, drugs that are given intravenously work faster.

Stay tuned to learn what else you NEED TO KNOW about the risks of cheap dog or cat neuter or spay services.


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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