vet nurse looking through microscope

When should I desex and/or microchip my dog or cat?

Desexing is probably one of the most important health measures you can do for your pet, and offers both long-term and short-term benefits. Puppies and kittens should be desexed at approximately 5-6 months of age, as this is when they are approaching sexual maturity, and in the case of females, before they come on heat.

Microchipping can be done as early as 6 weeks of age, and getting it done sooner rather than later is always advisable in case they escape. A lot of clients choose to get it done when their pet comes in for desexing, however, at which time we will also put tattoos in their ears to indicate that they have been desexed and/or microchipped.

When should I register my puppy with the council?

Your puppy should be registered with the local council by the time they are 12 weeks to 3 months of age (or as soon as you get them if they are older). Most councils offer discounted registration for desexed and microchipped pets, and a few will discount further if your dog is up to date with its vaccinations. Your council will supply you with a unique ID tag for their collar, and this should be replaced when you renew your registration every year.

How much does desexing cost?

The price of desexing is determined by a number of factors, including weight, species, and health status of the animal. The prices we charge for desexing are based on the type and quality of the products and services provided to your pet.

There is always a risk associated with any anaesthetic procedure, however your pet is constantly monitored the whole time they are with us, and we strive to ensure your pet’s surgery is as safe as possible. We always use the best quality drugs and anaesthetic agents available to veterinarians. This also applies to all of our suture materials, sterile gloves, surgical drapes, and surgical instruments, which are all discarded or cleaned and autoclaved after every procedure to ensure the highest level of sterility.

Prior to surgery, a full health check is performed by our qualified veterinary team, and an intra-venous catheter is placed into your pet’s cephalic vein. While under anaesthesia, a pulse-oximiter and respiratory monitor is attached to your pet, and they are on a heated surgical table throughout the entire procedure. Post-operatively, they are placed in a dedicated recovery ward with blankets and warming mats to reduce the risk of hypothermia, and are monitored one-on-one by one of our qualified nurses to ensure they wake up safely and comfortably.

Desexing fees include: the pre-surgical exam, IV catheter placement, a full-day stay in our hospital; ear tattoos to indicate your pet is desexed and/or microchipped; nail clipping; pre- and post-operative pain relief medications; and a 10-day follow up exam to assess the wound and remove their sutures.

Optional (though recommended) services include: pre-anaesthetic bloods to assess your pet’s general health before anaesthesia; intra-operative fluid therapy to aid in maintaining blood pressure, and to help metabolise the anaesthetic for a smoother recovery; additional pain relief medication to take home; and an Elizabethan collar to prevent your pet chewing out their stitches.

We are very proud of the high level of service we offer our patients, and are not willing to compromise on quality for the sake of reducing cost. If you would like an estimate for your pet’s desexing, or have any questions about the procedure, please call Woodville on (08) 8268 6777 or West Lakes on (08) 8353 3600 and chat to one of our friendly nurses.

Why does my pet need to be admitted so early for surgery?

We ask that all patients that are being admitted for surgery present to the clinic between 8am and 9am. This allows our nursing staff to go through an anaesthetic consent form with you, and discuss any other health issues or concerns that may be relevant. It also gives our veterinary team time to monitor your pet prior to and after administering any drugs or anaesthetic agents to reduce the risk of them having an adverse reaction. Even if the veterinarian doesn’t start surgery until later in the day, early admission gives us time to do a thorough health check on your pet, place an IV catheter, and set up everything we need for your pet’s procedure.

Why do veterinary services cost what they do?

You need to keep in mind that your veterinarian is not only your pet’s general physician, they are also a surgeon, radiologist, dentist, dermatologist, neurologist, ophthalmologist, psychiatrist, pharmacist, and more! Your veterinary bill is a reflection of the time and experience put towards your pet’s care, not to mention the costs of maintaining suitable facilities, equipment, exceptional quality products, and ongoing training of vets and nurses to ensure that we provide the level of care that is expected in veterinary medicine today.

You may be surprised to learn that the cost of veterinary services has risen very little in the last 20-30 years in comparison to human medicine. However, advancements in both research and technology allow us to offer your pet better quality care and help prolong their life through surgical and medical means.

Although it may feel as if you are paying more for your pet’s health care than your own, chances are you have had access to or still use services such as Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), and private health insurance. Consequently, you often don’t see the bottom-line figure for your own bills. When human health care costs are added up – there is just no way to compare the much lower veterinary care costs.

Please remember that the original cost of your pet has no bearing at all on the cost of the services rendered, and despite popular opinion, only a very small portion of what you pay goes towards the wages of veterinary and nursing staff.

Why is there a wait time if I booked an appointment?

Veterinary practices often include general consulting and health check services, hospital services, and emergency departments all rolled into one. Your pets are our priority and we do our very best to meet your appointment times, however, for several reasons, this is not always possible.

It may be necessary for the welfare of an animal to see them at short notice, and we do our best to accommodate this around our existing appointments. Emergency cases will always take priority over routine healthcare, and our qualified nurses may need to perform triage in the waiting room, redirecting the vet’s attention accordingly. Occasionally we will also need to spend longer with a patient than we thought due to unforeseen complications or special care needs. This does mean, however, that other appointments that day may be delayed.

We wish to assure you that we are committed to doing the best for our patients and clients. We thank you for your patience and understanding in advance.

Do you provide boarding services?

At Pet Doctor we can offer a limited boarding facility for cats.

We can also advise on boarding for dogs – see our links page for more information, or ask our friendly staff.

What happens if you can’t provide my pet with the required necessary care? Do you refer elsewhere?

As Veterinarians and Vet Nurses, we are called upon to help people and their pets deal with a wide range of health issues.

We do the best we can, however, there are times when the expertise of a specialist may be needed.

In South Australia we can offer referrals to a number of centres that have specialists who deal with the following areas:

  • Pathology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedics
  • General Surgery
  • Internal Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Behaviour
  • Imaging

My pet seems to be in a lot of pain. What do I do?

We know you don’t want to see your pet in any pain and today’s analgesics (pain relief) can help greatly with the management of acute and chronic pain.

If you suspect your pet is in pain please contact us to organise a consultation. Pre and post-operative pain management are routine at our clinics.

Do you make house calls?

Sometimes and in certain instances, it is difficult to get your pet to us so it is possible to arrange a house visit. Depending on Vet availability and practice caseloads we can organise this as soon as possible.

Another option is to call us at Pet Doctor and we can organise a Pet Transport Service where someone will come to your home and assist in transporting you and your pet to the clinic.

If your question isn’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us and one of our friendly team will be able to assist you.

See our contact page for more details.