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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first post, so I apologize in advance if it's miscategorized. I found a somewhat related post from 2010 that was helpful and I'm just looking for a little more info. Anyway...

My Lab will be 2 years old on June 1st and I'd like to have x-rays done for OFA. I talked to my vet today about a quote and it seems ridiculous (like I could take a weekend trip to Tennessee, stay at a nice hotel, have the x-rays done at a vet clinic there, and still save $). I've itemized the quote below and added in my questions/comments. Any input would be appreciated.

1. Pre-Anesthetic Examination = $54
Question: My dog has a $60 "wellness" exam every year. She literally just had one today. It lasted approximately 5 minutes, was performed by the Doogie Howser of vets, and cost me $60. Doogie found no issues at all, so why would she need an additional $54 exam?

2. Abaxis - Prep Profile II = $67 (*this is the only thing that my vet lists as optional)
Question: Is this necessary at all? Anyone have an opinion?

3. Pre-Anes. Medication = $37

4. Anesthesia (Inj+Iso) = $131
Question: $167 for anesthesia seems pretty crazy for x-rays. I could understand spending that much if the dog was having major surgery (or an actual medical procedure), but seriously she's a pretty laid back dog when there aren't any birds around. I would think any decent vet could do the radiographs with a mild sedative like acepromazine. Someone in the 2010 thread posted that their vet used dexdomitor and antisedan to sedate the dog. Those drugs would definitely cost less than $167. I'm thinking that the anesthesia they quoted me for is propofol and I really don't see the point in using that for x-rays (other than making $).

5. Radiograph - Digital OFA - Hips = $242

6. Radiograph - Digital OFA - Hips & Elbows = $307
Question: So, just to clarify, the x-rays alone cost $549. In the 2010 thread almost everyone paid less than $300 for everything (including the filing fee). It seems bizarre that there would be such tremendous variation regionally. Someone in Yardley, PA said that it cost them $360 total (including the filing fee). I live 2 hours and 30 minutes from Yardley, PA, so I guess going there could be an option... Unless the price of OFA radiographs has dramatically increased in the past 4 years. Is that the case? Opinions?

7. Hospitalization day - in patient = $75
Question: In the 2010 post, most people were bringing their dog home that day. If dexdomitor and antisedan are used, the dog should be able to walk out that day. Am I misinformed? The 24 hour hospital stay is another reason why I think they might be using propofol.

8. Medical Waste Disposal = $15 (Maybe I should offer to buy them lunch and pay their mortgage too?)

So the total cost of OFA Radiographs at my vet would be $928 + filing fee ($861 w/o Abaxis - Prep Profile II). Should I try to talk to my vet about doing this without anesthesia or should I just start vet shopping in Pennsylvania?
 

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I would run from that vet,
 

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Have you used this vet? what is your experience with him? I am looking for an OFA vet also
Yes I have.

I had hips done there in 2009, and walked out spending $110. That included OFA submission, and a copy of the X-rays on CD.

I think that I was quoted an additional $90 for elbows.
 

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OMG. That seems really high. I'll pay $300 and that's what I think is the high range. WOW. I don't consider my vet inexpensive and don't have a problem paying because I want good veterinary care, but that is a little outrageous.
 

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Yes I have.

I had hips done there in 2009, and walked out spending $110. That included OFA submission, and a copy of the X-rays on CD.

I think that I was quoted an additional $90 for elbows.
Do you happen to still have the CD ? I would love to see the positioning on the hips? What grade did the dog come back as?
 

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Do you happen to still have the CD ? I would love to see the positioning on the hips? What grade did the dog come back as?
I still have the CD.

They took several exposures, and reviewed them with me before deciding which one to submit.

This was the first and only time that I went to Steinbach, but it was for a resubmission to OFA.
The dog's 24 month X-rays done under anesthesia had poor positioning and came back with a grade of "Fair".

The X-ray from Steinbach, done without anesthesia or sedation, was much better positioned and came back with a grade of "Good".

I was very satisfied with everything. They know what they are doing when it comes to OFA X-rays.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I know... I've been really frustrated with them lately. I used to go to a smaller clinic that was owned and operated by a vet who's been practicing since 1972 and I really liked him a lot better. I moved farther away plus he's limited his hours (probably retiring and selling his practice soon). Also, I don't really like the vet who seems to be taking over that practice. She barely talks to you and just starts ordering tests. Anyway, the vet clinic I've been going to ever since I moved (the one with the ridiculous quote for x-rays) is a large 24 hour clinic. They have a good reputation for surgery and they're very close to where I train my dogs (convenient if one of my dogs got injured), but the routine care is way overpriced. Also, I hate the larger clinics because you end up seeing a different vet almost every time. They don't really get to know you or your dog and I want that familiarity (especially when my dogs get older).

In general, there aren't many smaller practices in my area - just large, impersonal clinics and it's really a shame. Presumably, the smaller clinics have a hard time staying in business.
 

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Talk to the dog breeders in the area those who are doing them on a regular basis. They are your key to finding the right person to go to. I know that one person drives from Virginia to Pennsylvania to get them done without sedation and for a cheap price. They always get great results.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you. Honestly, I've been a little upset about this all day and am probably kind of ranting at this point.

It's not like I'm trying to breed my dog to make money (my husband is an attorney), but there really should be some professional standard for OFA radiographs. If a mild sedative will work, why are vets using general anesthesia? I wish my dentist was that enthusiastic about administering anesthesia.

I don't mind spending a lot of money on my dogs, but getting ripped off is another thing. For her CERF and PRA, I plan to take her to the specialist that the more experienced breeders in our club use. He's expensive, but has a great reputation and all he does is ophthalmology. If the quality of the care is high, I think it's totally worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Susan. The breeders in my regional AKC/NAHRA club all seem to go to Pennsylvania too (or another vet in western NJ - I have her contact info, but haven't gotten a quote yet). They told me it was cheaper, but I honestly didn't expect such a tremendous difference in price.

By the way, I went to your website and my 4 year-old is a Southland dog. She looks kind of like Rusty except she is fox red. :)
 

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Most of the vets in my area who sedate use Dexdomitor. They can reverse it right away. Not a general anesthesia.
 

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WOW!!
I believe I pay $98 for hips and elbows. No anasthesia
My guy used to work for OFA, so he has read 1000's of x rays and knows his stuff
 

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From what you have been quoted and you are willing to drive, you could cross the border and head to Hillsburgh, Ontario to Graham Animal Hospital (about 2 hrs north of Buffalo). They do not sedate the dogs and breeders from all over Ontario have their OFA x-rays done here. Every x-ray we have had done there and have been told what they look like has been spot on to the OFA results. Hips and elbows are approx $300 CDN ... And right now you should end up with a 10-15% break due to the difference in the CDN and US $.
 

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Vets differ as to price--digital costs more--OFA recommends anesthesia deep enough to cause muscle relaxation--your math is wrong (you added the estimate for hips to that for hips plus elbows).

Amy Dahl
 

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I just had two done in College Station, TX in March. Both were lightly sedated and digital xrays. Cost was $315 which is a little more than what it costs at the vet we use in MN, but it worked out timing wise to get them in down there while I was on maternity leave so easier to do the running. One came back good hips and one excellent hips with both normal elbows. To me the added cost is worth the peace of mind and good results are priceless!
Had a puppy buyer take a pup to a vet that supposedly had shot many hips/elbows last December and films were terrible (would have been rated dysplastic), but were reshot and just received an OFA good (so she has two sets of bills now). The added costs are worth it if the vets are experienced in my opinion.
 
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