Keep in mind that many low-cost clinics are nonprofit organizations and therefore, they are getting grants and donations that help them offset their costs. This is a good thing since it means that they are NOT cutting corners when it comes to your pet’s care – they are just bringing in other forms of “revenue” to supplement their lower service fees.
Still, you want to make sure that the clinic you choose is going to provide your pet with the best care possible. Questions to ask:
- Who is doing the surgery?
Find out the name of the veterinarian and number of years of experience he/she has. You might also ask how long the vet has been working at the clinic.
- Will your pet be given pain medication before and after the procedure?
There is no reason for your pet to be in pain. Ask about clinic protocols when it comes to giving pain meds.
- What protocols are in place for monitoring your pet during the procedure? Monitoring your pet’s vital signs – like heart rate and blood pressure — during the surgery is done to signal any distress while under anesthesia. Make sure that your pet will be monitored during the procedure.
- What does the clinic do to identify any pre-existing conditions that could make surgery risky? Pre-existing conditions such as a heart condition — can cause complications – and even death – during surgery. Ask the clinic how they identify any pre-existing conditions or health issues that your pet may have. In many cases, it’s a good idea to have blood work done as well as an echocardiogram before any type of surgery. Low-cost clinics do not typically offer either of these – so you may want to ask to see if they recommend that your pet be checked first by your regular vet. Your pet’s age will also be a big factor.
- Who should I call if there is a problem after the surgery? Does the clinic provide you with emergency contact information in case there is a problem following the surgery? Can you bring your pet back –and what should you do after regular hours?