At Valley Animal Hospital of Merced, our Spays & Neuters include:
1) Physical Exam before Surgery
2) Pre-Surgery Blood Work to check for signs of hidden diseases, anemia or other problems that might increase the risk of surgery.
3) Pain medication is given before we've even started surgery! Studies have shown that going a dose of pain medication prior to surgery reduced the overall post-surgery pain that an animal feels.
4) A surgery nurse monitors every patient with a Pulse Oximeter (blood oxygen concentration and heart rate.)
5) Pain medication is given during surgery while your pet is still asleep.
6) The fee includes the surgery which is performed by the Doctor (of course!)
7) Pain medication after surgery. For dogs, this is usually three days of a once or twice a day pill. For cats, we usually give a long acting pain injection that lasts for 3 days.
8) Pets go home the same day as the surgery. No overnight stays needed because pets recover more quickly in their own homes.
9) We use all "absorbable" sutures that will dissolve away on their own. You and your pet won't be inconvenienced by another trip to the vet just to get the stitches out.
10) Spay and Neuter surgeries qualify for our Loyalty Rewards Program. If you enroll in the program, you'll earn 5% of the total cost toward you next visit!
For Dogs: Our prices range from $150* to $195*-- it depends on the size and gender of your dog, because bigger dogs require more anesthesia and pain medication and a spay surgery (females) is more complicated than a neuter (for males.)
For Cats: Our prices range from $105* to $140* depending on the gender of your cat.
*There are additional fees for females that are pregnant, in heat or lactating (breast feeding).
*We will charge $15 -$20 for a flea treatment (that lasts 30 days) if your pet has numerous fleas-- because we don't want any of our patients to go home with fleas!
Please call if you need more information or to schedule your pet's surgery
Note: Spay & Neuter surgeries provided through discounted programs such as New Beginnings for Animals or Merced County SNAP program do not include blood work or post-operative pain medication. However, you may purchase these services for a small fee! Discounted Spay/Neuter and other procedures performed during a discounted spay/neuter do not qualify for our Loyalty Rewards Program.
More Facts about Spay and Neuter
The Spay and Neuter services provided by Valley Animal Hospital of Merced are permanent birth control against unwanted litters of puppies and kittens.
Spaying: Ovariohysterectomy of females: Did you know that statistically 25% of female dogs will develop malignant breast cancer if they aren't spayed?
The research is clear--- dogs that are spayed or neutered are less likely to develop cancer, run away & get lost, or have behavior problems.
Animal birth control is a plus in a nation where only 1 in 5 puppies or kittens are expected to find permanent homes – if you love your pet, have her spayed by 6 months of age or as soon as her planned breeding has completed.
Neutering, for male dogs and cats, has additional benefits as well, as it has been proven to prevent testicular cancer and infections or cancer of the prostate in males. If you have questions about our spay and neuter services, we would be happy to answer them for you and schedule a visit for your pet.
We cooperate with several local area Rescue groups and participate in the Merced County Animal Control sponsored Spay Program to provide reduced-fee spay and neuter surgeries for families of need.
Unfortunately, the Doctors at Valley Animal Hospital routinely diagnose dogs with a "ruptured ACL." This is a common knee injury in young/athletic or older/overweight dogs. A dog's knee is designed a lot like a human's knee-- with two ligaments inside the joint that cross (the ACL and the PCL) to stabilize the lower half of the leg.
Whether the cruciate ligament partially tears or completely ruptures, this causes a wobble in the lower half of the leg every time the dog is bearing weight on the limb. (A reminder that dogs only have "knees" in their back legs, so this injury can only happen on a rear leg. The front leg is designed like a human's arm-- with an elbow joint and the bones + ligaments you'd expect in a person.)
Once the ACL ligament is torn or ruptured, the knee joint is unstable and the body attempts to 'heal' the joint by producing bone spurs that limit the wobble in the knee. It's a great idea that has very bad consequences. Anyone who has ever had a bone spur knows how painful they can become. Dogs are very good are hiding pain and in many cases, the only sign of "pain" that you'll see is that the dog is limping. In other words, if your dog isn't using his leg like he used to (i.e. walking with it) then it means it hurts to walk normally!
Most dogs that have ruptured their ACL will be very painful for the first few days and then will seem a little more comfortable after that. This is just like any of us with an injury-- drop a brick on your toe and it hurts a bunch at first and then settles down after that. Except that a ruptured ligament will not heal on its own, and the longer the knee is unstable, the more likely it is that your pet will suffer from muscle atrophy and bone spurs.
Dogs with a ruptured ACL will usually "toe touch", so the leg isn't held all the way up, but instead the foot is just tapping the ground. We may see these dogs try to use the leg when walking on good footing-- such as carpeting or the grass-- but will quickly pull the leg up as soon as they get on slick footing such as linoleum or hard wood floors.
Though you may find splints or other gizmos on the internet to "repair" a ruptured ACL, they really don't work that well. The way to repair this problem and restore function is through surgery. There are several surgeries for this problem and they all have advantages and disadvantages-- just like every other choice we have to make in life!
At Valley Animal Hospital of Merced, the Doctors routinely diagnose this injury and perform surgery to stabilize the knee. We primarily use the Extracapsular Technique to stabilize a knee with a ruptured ACL. With the Extracapsular Technique, two false ligaments are implanted at an angle to 'replace' the torn ligament.
We have done hundreds of these surgeries over the years with excellent success rates and return to function.
Diagnosis of your pet's knee problem will likely require an Exam and Sedation (to manipulate the knee without hurting your pet.) It may also require X-Rays. We've seen where some dogs rupture their right knee's ACL ligament because the left hip has a problem-- causing the dog to shift more weight onto the right knee. Understanding all of a dog's orthopedic (bone & joint) issues helps us to determine what is the best surgery and course of action for that dog.
After the dog's workup, we'll discuss the various surgeries, their costs and advantages/disadvantages of the techniques. From there, the choice is yours whether we refer you to someone who performs a different type of surgery or we use the Extracapsular technique on your pet!
The Doctors and Staff at Valley Animal Hospital of Merced hope that this information helps you to understand a little bit more about ACL injuries in dogs. We've helped hundreds of dogs by repairing the ruptured knee ligament with our affordable Extracapsular surgical technique.
-- Jon Klingborg, DVM