Surgery has a lot of unexpected costs associated with it, and estimates with large ranges, reflect these unknowns.
A good example, is when a dog ingests something they shouldn’t, such as a sock or a rock. The surgical time, and therefore cost, depends on where the foreign body is located, how difficult it is to remove, as well as how much damage has been done to the intestines. If the foreign body can be removed with one incision in the intestine, and the remainder of the intestines appear healthy, then the surgical time, surgical risk, and the surgical skill required is markedly less than, if multiple incisions need to be made, and some of the intestine needs to be completely taken out and the ends reattached.
This is why estimates can range from $4,000 or $5,000 to $8,000 or even $10,000 to $12,000! How long it is going to take, and how difficult it is going to be, are unknowns until the surgery is actually happening.
This can be extremely difficult for owners. You may be able to afford $4000, but can spend $4000 only to find out it is might be $6000… Sometimes as owners, we cannot go further, as the possibility of the higher amount, precludes us from even trying.
By offering “All-Inclusive” Surgery, we are giving owners another option. After initial work-up has revealed that surgery is needed, $2500 All-Inclusive Surgery can allow some owners to affordably give their pets the ‘chance to be fixed’, that otherwise, if their family veterinarian is unable to perform the surgery at that time, they would have to make the difficult decision to say good-bye.
Our “All-Inclusive” surgeries do not include emergency surgeries that require a Boarded Surgeon, Internal Medicine, ICU with a Criticalist, or an Anesthesiologist. They have years of specialized training and specialized equipment, such as a CT scan. Though we perform these surgeries on a regular basis, often, there are circumstances where their specialized help is required. A good example of this is the dog that ingested the sock, but has severe heart disease, and would need the expertise of the anesthesiologist to help get him through the surgery.
Ideally, all surgeries would be performed by a Boarded Surgeon, with work up performed by the Internal Medicine Specialist, and monitored by a Boarded Anesthesiologist, and recovered by a Criticalist in the ICU. Unfortunately, sometimes this is not always financially feasible for owners, and their pets would therefore, not be able to have the chance of recovering from their ailment. This is where we come in.
We are performing these surgeries with the same high standards of medicine that we have been providing for the last 13 years. If, however, there are unexpected findings (such as a belly full of cancer), or unexpected deterioration, despite our best efforts to the contrary, then the decision must be made to either:
• opt for humane euthanasia
+/- regular cremation at our expense (we will not allow our patients to continue to deteriorate and needlessly suffer)
• opt for further workup +/- care at your expense (ie/ complicating pancreatitis that will extend hospitalization and supportive care beyond the included 48hrs)
• opt for referral to a specialist clinic
(at your expense)
Basically, we are doing this to provide an affordable option at an emergency clinic, when your family veterinarian is unable to perform the surgery for you. If there are too many complicating factors; intra-op findings that are unexpected (ie/ cancer is found), or post-op complications causing delayed recovery or deterioration (ie/ pancreatitis, sepsis, dehiscence to name a few), then we reserve the right to recommend humane euthanasia for the best of our patients, (with regular cremation if so desired) included at our expense, or you can choose to proceed with diagnostics and treatment at your expense, either with us or at a referral clinic. These are similar options that your family veterinarian would provide given the same circumstances.
We are here to help, and want to provide an affordable option for owners, with no surprises. We will go over everything with you so that you are well informed and are very clear about what is involved. We will help you help your pet.
I just want to thank the staff at Vaughan-Richmond Hill Emergency Vet Clinic especially Dr. Melissa White. I recently nervously brought in my 4 year old golden retriever and Dr. white totally put me at ease. She was knowledgeable and compassionate. She explained everything she wanted to do for my dog and informed me of the pricing so there were no surprises. I felt very assured that they were taking the best are of him and I didn’t feel taken advantage of with the pricing as I often have with other vets. Thank you again for making my baby all better again! I will definitely recommend you to all my friends with dogs!