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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. :3
I'm new here to the rat forums, but I've been lurking around for a while before I decided to sign up.

Anyways, some time in the not-so-distant future I want to get a ratty, and I just made some calls to find out if any of the vets around here that will spay/neuter them. I really want to spay, because I've read about all the health benefits it has on girls, but it looks like the only vet in the area that spays/neuters charges about $254 for it--add another $66 for the exam.

I'm debating with myself whether it's worth it to spend $300+ right now, or not, and see if tumors even develop later on in life. It would only take one whole paycheck to pay that off, but I'll feel like it was a waste if tumors end up developing anyways, regardless of spaying.

So I guess my question is, how many of you who have spayed females still ended up with tumors later on?
 

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This is exactly why I haven't spayed my girls yet. I have three females, am a graduate student, and the grand total for all three rats to get spayed came to over 750.00 dollars. The freaking office visit costs more than the office visit for my dog. I am wondering where all these vets who give a cr*p are, you know, the ones that charge reasonable prices for routine proceedures?
 

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well, if you really want those health benefits you could save up and spay them later, some rats never get tumors and they aren't spayed
 

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Discussion Starter #4
sunbirdx said:
This is exactly why I haven't spayed my girls yet. I have three females, am a graduate student, and the grand total for all three rats to get spayed came to over 750.00 dollars. The freaking office visit costs more than the office visit for my dog. I am wondering where all these vets who give a cr*p are, you know, the ones that charge reasonable prices for routine proceedures?
You're from Seattle? I moved to Virginia from Issaquah! :D

Anyways, I agree... I really wish the vet down the street treated rats, but they only treat cats, dogs, and ferrets. Maybe birds and reptiles too, but I haven't asked about those ones. Their prices are very reasonable, and they seem very knowledgeable about the pets they treat. Unfortunately they don't treat rodents... at least according to a magazine they don't. :(

The guy I talked to on the phone about spaying rats said something about it being completely uneventful. I'm not sure what he meant by that, but if he means there's no point in spaying/neutering, then he's wrong. :/
 

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If your vet mostly sees cats and dogs, they may jack up the price on small animal surgeries because they don't routinely do them, and therefore, are generally not set up. So basically, they're charging the big bucks to switch out the equiptment that they'll need to "downsize", etc.

I've also heard of vets jacking up the prices because they just don't want to sputer rats, so they charge outrageous prices to discourage people. :\

Not saying that's always the case, but...

However, there IS advantages, no matter how you look at it. In the long run, you'll probably pay more for tumor removal then for a spay.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's what I'm thinking too, that tumor removal will cost more, plus be more uncomfortable for the poor rat.
 

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Unfortunately, my vet is a exotic/small animal vet, and that is the "base" price office visit for any critter.

As far as paying for the tumor removal, that is an if, not when question. If my rat gets a tumor (and what if she is 3.5 years old, will I still operate?). And, spaying doesn't change the odds of other cancers. So I could very well pay for the spay and then another tumor later on.

This is exactly why I DIDN't go to vet school. So few vets care about anything other than the bottom line.
 

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Really you have to look at what the vets have to work with. Different areas charge more or less for rent/utilities/etc. The office also needs to pay a competitive salary with benefits to it's support staff. Also there is the rising cost of all things medical plus the need to provide better more human like care and surgeries for all animals that come in. There is now lazer surgery and cryosurgery, pre anesthetic blood work made more routine, safer anaesthesia, pain meds and antibiotics and antibiotic injections for after the surgery (and pain injections), etc.

A human surgery would cost a heck of a lot more. Vets didn't go to school for 8+years to make money. If they did that, they would of been human doctors instead. Sure many live a decent life and aren't struggling but if you went 8+ years to school and had a billion dollars in student debt along with all that I mentioned above in hospital overhead you would want to be rewarded at the end of a hard long day as well.

Really, I wonder how the veterinarian hospitals that cost less stay afloat and how well their staff is paid :/ I also worry about what corners they cut.

And $66 office visit is a tiny bit high but not unreasonable. I would rather it be a flat rate for any animal seen rather than another rate.

But my inability to spay a girl is why I will try and adopt from shelters that do spay if I ever adopt a girl. It is an elective surgery but it is proven to drastically reduce the number of tumors found later in life and eliminates pyrometria. Not being able to afford a spay/neuter doesn't make you an abusive pet parent though. If I were you I would call around some more or be willing to travel further out to find lower prices. Call a rat shelter and ask if you can go through them (some do this). I just don't really see the need in accusing the office of being greedy for their price which yes is a little steep but we charge around that much for a cat spay and more for a dog at our hospital.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's a good point, Sunbird. I didn't think of other cancers...

Do mammary tumors usually only appear in older females?

We have a cute little Dumbo blue-hooded male at work (I'm not exactly sure how old he is but he can't be that old, because he's still very small) with a tumor of some sort under his chin. ;_; It's so sad because he's so young, and he's already got a tumor.

I hate the vendor we get our small animals from at work..
They keep sending them to us with all these health problems.


Oh, and I'll pay the $300 if I need to. :)
I understand prices are probably gonna stay along those lines. I called another vet, and they said they neuter males (but no females) for $200. Maybe I could try and find a shelter that adopts out rats who are already spayed/neutered.
 

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That dumbo male sounds might actually have an abscess, which is common in young male rats. They just throw them all in together and hope they get along and don't pay attention to any cuts or scrapes in pet shops :/ It could be a tumor but since he is so young I would be more likely to think it is an abscess and needs vet treatment.

Good luck in finding a shelter with spayed/neutered rats and even if they are a little far from you, there is always trying to organize a rat train to get the babies to you. I'm sure no matter what the rats will find a good home with you with all the wonderful research you are doing for them.
 

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Total post hijack here, and I apologize in advance.
Having worked in vet offices for 4 years of college (my degree was in veterinary medicine, I was accepted to two vet schools), I can safely say many vets aren't out there for the pets. I can't even TELL YOU how many vets "hate" certain breeds of dog "see dollar signs" when they see certain breeds of dog, and "how far the can reel in" for certain owners.
Ever seen a weeping owner have to make the decision between putting an animal down or going 5000 dollars in to debt because a vet "doesn't do payment plans" and "doesn't have flexible charges". My own vet is guilty of it. Their office cat is a cat that had a urethral blockage, and the owner surrendered it to the clinic because they couldn't afford the blockage surgery. So...clinic took it in, did it at their own cost, and kept the cat. Now, I appreciate that they would rather work on a pet than euthanize it, but seriously, explain to me the ethics there.
I understand the costs of vet school, they are the same as medical school, except vets aren't as limited by medical malpractice and have the benefits of choosing to open their own practice (something that in almost impossible for a medical doctor). Vets also take liberties a human doctor can't, for example, pretending they are knowledgeable about animal nutrition, and charging people 5 dollars a pill for benedryl.
If you want to believe vets have your pets best interest in mind, open your eyes. There are great vets out there who charge a fair price and use fair practices (I know a great one in Tucson), but there are A LOT of bad ones out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I looked on Petfinder.com for rats, and there are two girls in the area... One is in the city I work in, only a couple minutes away. Her name is Lilly, she's 1 year old, and she's described as a shy, sweet girl who never bites, but will give a warning nibble if she's unhappy with something you're doing. The drawback to her is that they say she gets scared in crowds, and I think the love of my life would scare her, considering how hyper he is. Sister-in-law might freak her out, too. Lilly doesn't have a cagemate.

There's another girl with a picture, but no description other than she's a baby rat. She doesn't have a cagemate either.

The other rats for adoption are all one state over.
None of them say anything about already being fixed, which is to be expected. That's ok though, but considering I can't drive, I'm at the mercy of my Love and/or his parents, and I don't think they'll be willing to drive to Maryland for a rat. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but what's sputers? n_n;
 

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Is it pretty typical for rescues to spay and neuter?

I got my one of my rats from our local animal shelter, no sputers there.
 

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Sputers = Spays and neuters. It's "shorthand". :)

It's not common for all rescues to PRE-spay/neuter, though some do. But many rescues (like us) get discounts at their vet, and can sputer before adoption, your cost being their cost. If that makes sense.

For instance, we will get girls spayed for $70. Adopters, if they'd like, can pre-pay that and we will get them spayed before they go to their new homes.

Not all rescues do this, I guess. It depends on their relationship with their vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think I found a better vet. :)

The receptionist sounded very friendly, and excited to know about my future rats... I decided to get two. Maybe one female who I'll have spayed, and a male so that I can have a cuddle-buddy.. or two females. Not only would that be best for the rats, it would make my sister-in-law happy too, so that when I have one to play with, she can as well. According to the rat calculator my cage is big enough for two.

Anyways, she (the receptionist) said she'll have the vet call me later with an estimated price for the operation. I really hope they call back. The other vet I called today didn't know if they sputer rats there or not, but she said she thinks they do, because one of their associates has rats, but she recommended that I call back tomorrow to talk to someone else.

I feel more confident with the first one I talked to today, but nonetheless, I'll call back tomorrow to talk to the man who would be in charge of operations and ask him some questions.
 

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i have not spayed my two girls and no tumors at all.
 

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I spay and neuter all of my rats, and they're much more healthy and happy that way. My vet charges $50 for neuters, and $60 for spays. The "norm" for spays is $80-$200, where as it's about $40-$120 for neuters. It all depends on your area, the vet, and how they do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I talked to a local breeder who I would like to get my rats from, and she said that most rats die from Myco before they get tumors. I think she wouldn't feel very comfortable with me getting rats I got from her spayed, because rats can die during the procedure.
 
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