Friday, January 7, 2011

$2000 - $3000 for pyometra surgery

Since I treated this 8-year-old as a puppy, the mother in her late 50s took her Jack Russell to consult me. Deep yellow pus flowed freely from the vagina. Vet 1 had diagnosed pyometra by palpation and blood test (high WBC and neutrophils) and quoted $2,000 - $3,000 for the surgery. As the tanned daughter was in Shenzhen, China, she decided to wait for her to come back. So, for the past one week, the dog rejected antibiotics and now was not eating. It was now risky to go into surgery on the same day.

"Costs of living have shot up a lot," I said. "There is a lot of expensive equipment to be purchased, replaced and the staff costs have gone up."

"How much do you charge?" the mother asked. "The pyometra surgery and anaesthesia is $500," I said. "This excludes charges for medication, the IV drip and hospitalisation." In any case, my fees would be less than $1,000.

"If you had spayed the dog at a young age, you will not have to pay so much. It will be around $300! Now there is the risk that your dog may die under anaesthetic as she is 8 years old. Some vets reject surgeries of dogs over 8 years old dogs to avoid the unpleasantness of emotional lashes when the dog dies on the operating table! " Nowadays I have given up advising sterilisation as Singapore owners deem it cruel.

I hospitalised the dog for 2 days to give intensive IV drip and medication and will operate 48 hours later on Sunday.

I spoke to Julia about the $2,000 - $3,000 surgery. "It seems expensive," she said. "You are a cheap po!"

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