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This vet surgery estimate seem high?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Mountain, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Mountain

    Mountain NES Member

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    I know there are a lot of dog owners on the forum and appreciate any feedback from the NES sounding board. I have an older, very large dog with a growth between his toes that should be removed. It's in a bad spot and not right for me to just let it go. He's otherwise in good health, a great watchdog for the family when I'm overseas, and a great companion to all.

    Have been going to the same vet for years and the entire practice has been great in terms of quality of care. However, seems like lately the fees have been getting a bit pricey, more like Tufts than a small practice. Estimate for the removal includes pre-op blood work (good idea for an older dog), anesthesia, removal of the growth from between toes, and biopsy is $900 to $1400. I can skip the biopsy to save ~$320; but still $600 to $1100.

    That the going rate these days, or does it seem high? Thanks.
     

  2. Evadd

    Evadd NES Member

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    If it includes actual anesthesia (and not just sedation) it seems like a bargain to me. We just paid several times that at Tufts to remove a large but benign mass from our dog's ankle.
     
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  3. RumRunner

    RumRunner NES Member

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    Ten years ago, but we had our local vet remove a tumor from our dogs underarm (underpaw?) area. Was $600. Ended up being cancerous, we had to see a specialist for follow up, but saved big on the initial surgery.
     
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  4. bdb

    bdb NES Member

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    Having been through a variety of dog surgeries, including one to remove a toe (so maybe similar at some level) this price sounds reasonable to me. I seem to recall paying more 8 years ago when it was done.
     
  5. eboos

    eboos

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    Compared to the $3500 cat surgery I paid for last year (intestinal obstruction), $600-$1100 sounds like a bargain. Avoid Tufts - ripoff.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  6. s4mt3k

    s4mt3k NES Member

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    sounds reasonable to me.

    My GSD got Bloat recently (look it up) - wife woke me up @ 3a and I was able to rush and get to Tufts before real damage happened, the option was put him down or pay estimated $6k for surgery. Because I got there so fast and they were able to get the surgery team out in 15mins we were able to avoid most of the costly damage (cutting out dead parts of the stomach, intestines, other organs...) they actually gave me some of my deposit back and the final bill was ~4k.
     
  7. RumRunner

    RumRunner NES Member

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    I didn't want to compare this to the last surgery my dog had, which was an end of life event. It was internal surgery for a tumor on her spleen. This was at a vet hospital and cost me about 6K, the estimate was 8500 if they finished the surgery, but had to end it when they found out how much it had spread. I thought the surface tumor removal we did was a better comparison; however, the amount of time since may make it quite a bit off to compare.
     
  8. RumRunner

    RumRunner NES Member

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    I always worried about that with my older lab. She would flip over and do all kinds of things she should not have been doing at her age and it can twist those insides around.
     
  9. s4mt3k

    s4mt3k NES Member

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    Thing is - everything they know today isn't even factual or proven, all just guesses (drink water too fast after playing, roll around, eat certain things...)
    Tufts asked me if I'm willing to share my dog's findings with ongoing research they have now which of course I accepted

    If/when they do the surgery, they now sew the stomach to the inside to prevent it from happening again. I also heard nowadays, when they neuter they can do something preventative as well. Worth keeping in mind.
     
  10. Burgermeister

    Burgermeister NES Member

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    That sounds cheap to me. Our 13 year old lab developed a cancerous tumor on his leg last winter and we had it removed in March/April. We did not have it biopsied because we would not have done chemo because of his age regardless of what the test showed. Surgery went well and the vet thought she got it all. She didn't and the cancer returned and 3 months later we had to put him down. All of the initial visits and pre-ops as well as surgery came in between $2,500-3,000, I don't recall exactly. The vet was great post-op when he started having complications and then into his last days, didn't charge at all for many of the appointments.
     
  11. Mountain

    Mountain NES Member

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    Thanks guys- Sounding like it's not out of line. Maybe the high estimate is a bit generous.

    I paid a rather handsome bill to Tufts for plasmapheresis when our young GSD got into literally enough Rimadyl to kill a horse. Basically a transfusion of 1.5X her total blood volume. Essentially a stupid tax for the person who left chewables in reach and I didn't want the dog to face some nastiness before ultimately having to pull the plug.

    Dog with the growth now is an almost 9 year old Rott. He doesn't look 9 but typically the large males don't last much beyond 10 or 11. Have to think whether or not we'd subject him to chemo.
     
  12. Wrench75

    Wrench75

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    Go to a non profit vet. It will probably cost half.
     
  13. one-eyed Jack

    one-eyed Jack Manufacturer Dealer NES Member

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    Yes. Stomach torsion. Many years ago my great dane did that. We were on vacation at the lake house in NH and were able to find a local vet who fixed it late at nite for about $100. Jack.
     
  14. s4mt3k

    s4mt3k NES Member

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    Must've been many many many :D
     
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  15. CAR

    CAR NES Member

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    I also wouldn’t skip the biopsy. It has been a while since I had a dog with something like that but it seems to me that a tumor between the toes has a pretty high likelihood of being malignant for some reason. My dog actually had an oral melanoma (treated successfully on a clinical trial at Tufts) but growths between the toes was something they had us watch out for through the rest of her life so it’s stuck in my head that it’s related to the melanoma. Lots of “it depends” i there of course - your dogs age ‘ overall healt, size of the current growth and how fast it has been growing, etc.
     
  16. Mountain

    Mountain NES Member

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    Thanks everyone- great responses and a good example of how helpful the NES community can be.
     
  17. Penniepup1

    Penniepup1 NES Member

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    It’s a reasonable price for everything.
     
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  18. Tinkermatic

    Tinkermatic NES Member

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    Sounds reasonable and is in line with what we've paid on multiple occasions for our cat with lymphoma. Keep in mind, surgery for animals is just as, if not more complicated due to the size of organs/workspace. Vets are in medical school for 7-9 years plus residency and the good ones have better bed-side manners than most human doctors I've met.

    I hope it goes well for your pup.
     
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  19. Mountain

    Mountain NES Member

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    LOL I guess a sign of getting old when you remember when everything was cheaper. I'd be happy to pay a bit of a premium for the excellent care at our vet but at least wanted to be sure that fees were in the ballpark.
     
  20. ToddDubya

    ToddDubya NES Member

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    I paid a few hundred dollars to have the vet tell me my 16 year old indoor cat was old. He couldn't see or walk very well, but they gave him his rabies vaccination anyway, "in case he runs out the door". The decision was made that day that his next visit would be his last.

    Same goes for the doctor who said I didn't have strep because the inaccurate test said I didn't. She changed her tune when I asked her to just look in my mouth. Same goes for the doctor who wasn't sure I had chickenpox. Or the dentists (plural) who missed that I needed a root canal.

    I only go to the doctor when I need it and FFS they can't diagnose shit.

    Wait, what was the question?
     
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  21. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

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    105deg temp; ER doc said "Its deinitely not a UTI, we need a chest x-ray". Sent me home with Bactrim. Lab results were in by the next day when my GP said "ecoli based UTI, no problem, the Bactrim will cure it but I'll switch you to Cirpo if your insurance will pay".

    Hospitalized with severe thrombocytpoenia; MD said I had NAFLD. I asked for 2nd opinion. The sent the same doc back to tell me he was really sure :). Transferred to Tufts and the first thing the head of hemo said was "This is definitely not NAFLD". (he was right, it was a bad reaction to Niacin).

    My best friend was told 'you may have a thyroid issue' by a local vet. Took him to another DVM - mouth was a mess, some rotted teeth, great treatment/recovery and enough teeth left for him to stay on solid food.
     
  22. Woodstock

    Woodstock NES Member

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    We paid $1100 when our springer was knocked out for eyelid surgery and removal of a big lipoma on her belly. Our vet is a Tufts alumna and has taken great care of this dog and a previous one. She's no-nonsense and doesn't miss a diagnosis.
     
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  23. smokey-seven

    smokey-seven NES Member

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    Yea sounds fair to me, also, whenever a dog is under anesthesia, ask the vet what a tooth cleaning would be, since he is already asleep.
     
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  24. VetteGirlMA

    VetteGirlMA NES Member

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    The last time I paid for surgery on a dog it was for kidney stones and that cost me around $2200 for the operation.
     
  25. Sweeney

    Sweeney NES Member

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    Just had 3 large lipomas, one intrusive, removed from our 9yo Black Lab. They also snipped a few skin tags. The total was just under $500.00. A family friend got an estimate to have a cyst removed from her pup. The estimate from her surgeon was $3500.00 so we referred her to our Vet. The estimate was $400.00.
    Our Vet doesn't do major surgeries but has a surgeon come in every Wednesday. This reduces overhead greatly for both and the cost reflects it.
     
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  26. NHCraigT

    NHCraigT NES Member

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    As others have said = Those amounts are not high for anything surgery related = sounds about average and completely reasonable.
     
  27. robjax

    robjax

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    back in the 90's the wife paid $1,000.00 for an overnight observation of one of her cats. I offered a cheaper solution but she wasn't in agreement.
    Anyway, that cat lived to be 22. now we have a cat and a dog and pet insurance.
     
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  28. blindfire

    blindfire NES Member

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    Some employers actually offer pet health insurance. Depending on the breed, it could be worth the money. But they do not have allowances for pre-existing conditions for obvious reasons. Hope the pup recovers fully.
     
  29. GomerPile

    GomerPile

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    It cost me $250 for porcupine quill removal where they knock the dog out just long enough to get the quills. His elbow operation was $2700 which seems like a serious operation to me. The incision was like 3 inches long, they took x-rays, and blood tests.

    Your prices do not seem out of line to me.
     
  30. Romokid

    Romokid

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    I can relate. We just lost our 9yr old GSD to a ruptured spleen. Got him to the Animal Hospital and his heart rate was 198 (resting) and should have been under 100. Took x-rays and some tests, and said 50-50 chance of making it out of surgery (estimate $5-$8K without transfusions) and even then if he does, they said probably only have him for 3-4 months. They were guessing it was a tumor that ruptured. Couldn't believe how fast it all happened. That night cost me $1000.

    This pic was about a week before, he's on left and the one the right is 13 yr and still going, just at a slower pace.
    42488893_10212833690622520_311249309209198592_n.jpg
     

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