Author Topic: Medical care for old/injured pets  (Read 6262 times)

Mom to 5

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Medical care for old/injured pets
« on: October 02, 2013, 06:25:31 AM »
We had a sweet cat that my husband accidentally backed over. While it was obvious that she wouldn't make it, he insisted we have the vet perform surgery to try to help her. There went $1K. This was a couple years ago, but it started to worry me as we have other pets to consider.

Now our German Shepard is 12. She has hip problems that require medical treatment at times. However, the main expense is that she has allergies that cause her to need a lot of medicine and some extra visits to our vet (awesome vet, btw). So, she has cost us $400 this year for her ears. She is hubby's favorite pet by far, and I am pretty sure he would go to any extent possible to do anything for her medically. We are spending more on medical cafe for her than for our entire family of seven combined.

We also have had to spend and extra $400 this year to get rid of fleas because hubby accidentally went too long between giving them their flea medicine (2 cats and 2 dogs).

How do you make decisions on what to pay for for animals? I am OK with our dog's treatment so far, but after the cat incident am worried about the future (like if she gets cancer, etc). I might add that at the time of the cat that died, we did not have the funds to pay the $1K, so he had his parents pay it, and they were fine with this!

We are spending more for medical care

Cromacster

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2013, 06:42:27 AM »
Hard to say not knowing your entire situation.  If you cannot afford to pay the 1k, sounds like some other things need to be squared away.  On to the point.

I also have a GSD, he is 9 months old.  Knowing that hip, elbow, and achilles issues are common in german shepherds and expensive to fix if surgery is required, I chose to get pet health insurance for my dog.  The cost is roughly 30 a month for a 250 deductible and 80% coverage.  This is insurance is only catastrophic coverage and includes replacement cost, it does not cover routine care (achiles or hip surgery can run 3,000+).  There are other options out there that cover routine care and ongoing issues.  I'm guessing for your older dog the insurance would be more expensive.

Now take what I say with a grain of salt here, each situation is different.  12 years is old for a german shepherd.  At that point I would focus more on keeping the dog comfortable so he can enjoy his days.  Anything life extending is going above and beyond at this point.  So if it's just 800 a year for care.  Thats reasonable.  Look into alternative options for the hip care.  If you have access to a lake or pool swimming is a great relief for dogs with hip issues.  The pressure from the water, the cool temperature, pressure relief all great for it.

There are also some other "home remedy" solutions for fleas and ticks.  Some say just adding some apple cider vinegar to their food and applying some to their ears/coat can help with alot of skin issues.  Something to try.  I don't have experience with trying this.  Also, coconut oil or fish can help with skin issues and joint issues.  I do give my dog a tbsp of coconut oil (he loves it).

Overall, it is hard to put a price on the care.  Afterall, they are apart of the family :).

KMMK

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2013, 06:48:15 AM »
It all depends on how you are doing financially, and the likely outcome compared to the cost.
So if you have tons of debt, try to spend as little as possible. Which is a tough situation all around.
(An aside to the above:) This is very difficult for vet clinic staff as we come off as the bad guys, because we already are underpaid and don't want to work for free. We didn't force you to have pets, or didn't control your life circumstances that caused your money difficulties. But if you have a good vet, you can discuss such things in a practical way. You need to ask the vet what the benefit of any diagnostic testing or treatment is. It may make more sense to pick the most likely problem and treat medically. Or just palliatively. Most vets aren't there to steal your money on testing; they just love to diagnosis things. It's really fun, to see a pet with weird symptoms, think about it, research it, do some testing and hopefully then treat successfully.

But if you are rich, I see no problem on spending thousands on your pets, if that is how you choose to spend your money.

But then there's the other side. Will that money help that pet? In the case of your cat, no, I wouldn't have spent that money. If a youngish dog has a type of cancer that responds well to chemo or radiation, or can be cured surgically, then go for it. But if you're only buying a couple more months of a perhaps difficult life, or the animal already has a string of health issues, there's no point in wasting your money on cancer treatment.

Melody

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2013, 06:51:02 AM »
Start he discussion with you husband now, so you can agree on what is reasonable, rather than making the choice in the emotion of the moment.

In my circumstances, I have one cat... I love her to bits. But my rules are:
1) no prolonging the inevitable. If she is old (for a cat average age is 14, so when she's over 12...)and it's an age related issue (such as cancer can be) pain medication only. I will let her age gracefully without massive medical interference to prolong her life beyond what is natural.
2) she must have a good quality of life after the medical treatment. I'm not spending money so she can have a painful or miserable life. I can be strong and let go.
1 and 2 will cover the majority of scenarios... but there are scenarios where they don't apply. Then I'd consider to spend up to about a months pay to fix her up. But I have only one pet, a strong savings rate (50%) and no debt. If these factors were different my number would be a lot lower. You should quantify the number with your husband, whatever if might be for you.

Spudd

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2013, 07:05:26 AM »
I'm facing a similar issue. My cat is 13, and he's developed heart disease. We have him on meds meant to slow his heartbeat and prevent heart attacks, and it's mostly working. But it's a progressive disease and we can see he's getting worse. Now we're debating whether to take him back to the cardiologist or not. It's expensive and stressful for him. And I doubt it will really improve his quality of life. We're leaning towards just letting it go, until he gets to a point where he's no longer happy to be alive. For now he's still happy.

onehappypanda

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2013, 07:16:58 AM »
My thinking is much like Melody's. For me, the quality of life of the pet is a big factor. Can the pet live a quality life given this medical treatment? Am I just delaying the inevitable? Am I risking putting them through a ton of pain and scary medical stuff for what will likely not be much gain for them? I'll spend money for my pet, but only if it will really benefit them.

Two examples that highlight the difference to me:
I had a friend whose cat was hit by a car, and needed a surgery that cost $1K to fix her shoulder. The cat was otherwise fine, and she was young enough to recover and lead a quality life if she had the surgery. To me, fixing the shoulder would have probably been worth it in that situation.
I had another friend whose dog was hit by a car, and he didn't fare so well. The vet said that they could pay around $2K for a surgery to try and save him, but he was in a lot of pain and probably wouldn't make it anyway. They chose to have the dog put down, and that's probably the decision I would have made too.

There are obviously other factors to consider- like whether you can afford it, or if it'll put too much of a strain on your finances. Not everyone could afford $1K in surgery for a cat even if they thought it was worth it. But given that I had the money, to me the first consideration is whether it's really going to help the pet. Sometimes I think we're quick to "do everything" for our pets because we want to lessen our own guilt and pain, or prolong our time with them. But there are times when the best thing we can do for them is to let them go in peace and dignity.

I also agree that this is something you want to think over and talk about ahead of time. Decisions are always harder to make in the moment, when you're under intense emotional pressure. I don't blame your husband for trying to save the cat, especially since it was a sudden event that he wasn't prepared for (and from the sounds of it, maybe there was some guilt involved). Since you have some warning in this case with your aging pet, talk about it now and see if you can't come up with a decision rule-of-thumb that will help you when the time comes.

bogart

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2013, 08:21:49 AM »
Nothing really to add except that once I got married and was dealing with these issues, particularly the end-of-life care (versus navigating them on my own i.e. being the solo decision maker), I realized that among the many, many issues our pets provide for us is helping us identify and work through how our significant others (not just romantic, but family in general) deal with / feel about these issues, and hopefully have reasoned and rational discussions not just about our pets' likely futures but about our own.

Like everyone else I struggle with these issues for my pets -- abstract principles are one thing, and decisions in uncertainty another (and emotions a third).  But I do remind myself that we are mostly a 2-dog family and adopt rescues, so at any given moment thanks to us there are basically 2 dogs enjoying healthy, comfortable lives that otherwise wouldn't be.  When one dog dies, another (new) rescue will have the opportunity to join our home (obviously in due time, etc., etc.), so overall, at any given moment we are helping two dogs and when we can no longer help one of the ones we've got (once things are "hopeless" from a quality-of-life perspective), it's OK to acknowledge this and go through the loss of that dog knowing that down the road we will probably welcome (and "save") another.

newleaf

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2013, 09:23:47 AM »
I actually have something very recent and poignant to add.  About two and a half weeks ago, our 14 year old Pug went from being just fine (besides slightly arthritic and deaf) one night when I went to bed--to being clearly in her last breaths when I woke up the next morning.  She was lying oddly and awkwardly on the tile floor in the kitchen and couldn't lift her head.  Her breathing was labored.

We drove to the vet's office before they even opened.  It was the only time I ever remember her being a dead weight in my arms.  It was truly one of the deepest, worst experiences someone could have--that your loved one is about to be suddenly gone.

I gave up pet insurance many years ago (when our dog was about three) after doing the calculations.  They did not pay for so many different afflictions, and would only pay half of others.  And, if you wanted it to pay part of any cancer treatment, there was an additional rider to pay on top of the usual monthly amount.  It just wasn't worth it.  I realized by putting away $30/month or so, we'd be well on our way to paying the veterinary bills in full within a couple of years, should anything major happen.  Nothing major ever happened--until this, nine years later.  By not paying a pet insurance premium, I saved us thousands of dollars.

The vet's initial diagnosis (pneumonia) was proven wrong after x-rays and an ultrasound found a large tumor on our dog's spleen.  It had burst, which was causing internal bleeding.  Without immediate surgery, she'd be gone within a couple of hours.  I am ashamed to say that I hesitated for a moment.  I thought, "She's 14 years old.  She's outlived many Pugs already."  But, finally, I said, "YES, DO IT."  My conviction came from that fact that I knew she was absolutely fine just the night before.  She had been walking around normally, eating, drinking, giving us kisses--everything had been fine.  Things had changed so abruptly.  She was in trouble and needed help.

She was strong, so she made it through the surgery just fine, even without needing a transfusion.  Even so, the tests, the surgery, follow-up visits with blood work, and pathology on the biopsy cost us all-in-all about $2,000.  And, I have to tell you now--even as hard-ass as I can be about spending--it was the best $2,000 I have ever spent.

Sometimes, especially where health of a loved one is concerned, you have to shake yourself and think--what else is money for???

In conclusion, in case you were wondering, she has bounced back like you wouldn't believe.  She's bright-eyed; she plays; she loves to eat; and, I'm not even seeing signs of the arthritis now!  The pathologists couldn't find any sign of cancer.  So, it was just one of those things.

If you knew me, you'd know how weird it is for me to say this.... But, it's only money!

jrhampt

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2013, 09:34:31 AM »
I recently spent about $700 at the vet for my cat, and I would totally do it again.  I would have no problem spending up to $5k for surgery for my cat if I thought it would be effective in making him happy and healthy again.  More than that, and I might have to think about it, but I have the money and I love my cat.

iamlindoro

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2013, 09:36:11 AM »
Sometimes, especially where health of a loved one is concerned, you have to shake yourself and think--what else is money for???

In conclusion, in case you were wondering, she has bounced back like you wouldn't believe.  She's bright-eyed; she plays; she loves to eat; and, I'm not even seeing signs of the arthritis now!  The pathologists couldn't find any sign of cancer.  So, it was just one of those things.

If you knew me, you'd know how weird it is for me to say this.... But, it's only money!

Newleaf, thank you for this.  This is exactly how I feel about my dogs.  Ultimately we're all here to learn/condition ourselves to weigh any expense against it's probability of bringing us true happiness and peace.  That is to say, mustachianism isn't about "just" being frugal or "just" saving money wherever possible, but about using our resources in a way which will maximize our satisfaction and enjoyment of our lives.  When I weigh any amount of money against the wellbeing of my dogs, who have brought me back from the worst depths of sadness and depression over and over, there is no expense that seems to great to care for them (presuming the procedure doesn't just prolong suffering and actually brings them some relief).

So glad to hear your dog is recovering well.

Spork

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2013, 09:38:08 AM »
I am not sure if this is the answers you are looking for, but my 2cents...   

I tend to get overly bonded with my animals.  I don't think it's particularly a good idea or that it is better for me or them... just giving you some context.

I've over treated several pets.  I've kept them alive longer than I should have.  And I hated myself for it in retrospect. 

I am all for doing what ever is necessary.  I am all for spending money on them... but... within reason.  A friend of mine once said (about his dog) that you knew it was time to stop treating them (and put them down) when "they're no longer a dog."  This really struck a chord with me.  I had been keeping a very aged and mentally disabled (think Alzheimers) dog for a long time.  He wasn't a dog any more.  He wasn't "Oscar" any more.   He was confused and upset and scared all the time. 

My theory is to provide whatever care you can provide... but don't take it beyond what they'd want.  It is so easy to "extend suffering" in the name of love and caring and memories.  Try not to fall into that trap.  And DO NOT feel guilty for ending misery. 

As an aside: I tried pet insurance many, many years ago and found it worthless.  They pretty much refused every claim I ever made.  Maybe it's gotten better over time... but it soured me on it.

newleaf

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2013, 09:55:28 AM »
Nothing major ever happened--until this, nine years later.

I have to laugh at myself right now--at my math.  3 Years + 9 Years = 14 Years Old?  Ah-haha!!

Please don't ask what I do for a living.  :-)

Damned multi-tasking.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2013, 11:09:17 AM »
I've had many cats over the years, and many of them with emergency situations.

What we've decided is that we will go forward with medical treatment if it improves the animal's life and the discomfort levels will be manageable for them (either fast recovery or pain meds provided).

We will not put a pet through surgery or other heroic measures if the chances of recovery or long-term outlook are bad. It's not about us and what we can deal with (being unable to let a beloved pet go). It is not about the money. It is about not prolonging suffering just because I can't deal with the situation of losing them.

Animals will not understand why you're putting them through surgery - the fear, the pain, the sickness  - all of that is only something I'll put them through if there is a good prognosis for recovery and leading a normal, happy life after.

We had to make this decision last year with a very dear cat that I still miss every single day. She was having a litter box issue (little runny when it shouldn't have been... not going into details on that) but otherwise was acting perfectly normal. Took her in for a checkup thinking it was an upset stomach or food allergy... only to have her diagnosed with masses in her abdomen. After further investigation, it was discovered that it was a fast growing and aggressive cancer that had wrapped itself around her intestines and had spread throughout her body. Surgery would not be a cure; they would have to remove a significant portion of her bowels, making her incontinent, and there were absolutely no guarantees they'd get all the cancer. Surgery would give her maybe a few more months and she would be in pain and scared from surgery, and her life up until she died would be miserable. If we didn't have the surgery, then she most likely would die within weeks. We discussed with our vet the best options for the comfort of the cat, and she gave us pain meds to administer at home, and the cat was her normal self up until she passed at home a few weeks later.

Jamesqf

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2013, 11:39:20 AM »
We will not put a pet through surgery or other heroic measures if the chances of recovery or long-term outlook are bad.

I would not put myself through that, either.

MKinVA

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2013, 11:42:39 AM »
I agree totally with Spork. One of the hardest things for me was having a sick and dying dog, putting him through all those tests and procedures, actually waking him up to take medicine, etc., and not being able to tell him that Mommy loves you and this is supposed to make you feel better. Finally, I realized, that's the point. He was sick and uncomfortable, and he was upset and frightened to go to the vet, spend the night in the doggy hospital missing us, all of those things and he was never going to understand that I was trying to keep him alive. It became about me not letting go because it certainly didn't make his end time easier. The last six months of his life, I only provided only comfort care. He died peacefully (I believe) at age 15.

MissStache

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2013, 12:48:33 PM »
When we adoped our cats (as teeny kittens), we sat down and discussed how much we would do to save our cats if it came down to making a decision like that.  The number that we agreed upon and both felt comfortable with was $1000.  If their medical treatment (surgery, continued shots, etc) was going to add up to more than $1000, we would let them go as peacefully and painlessly as possible.

We also agreed that we would do what was in the best interest of the cat, and not what would make us feel better (for example, making a 15 year old cat go thorough chemo so they had an extra miserable year).

It was easy to do that then before we had bonded with them and grown attached, because we were being logical instead of emotional. 

Luckily we haven't had to put that to the test, but I find it oddly comforting that we have already had that difficult conversation.

Spork

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2013, 12:50:46 PM »
We will not put a pet through surgery or other heroic measures if the chances of recovery or long-term outlook are bad. It's not about us and what we can deal with (being unable to let a beloved pet go). It is not about the money. It is about not prolonging suffering just because I can't deal with the situation of losing them.

This is what I was trying to say... and didn't say very well. 

We had to make this decision last year with a very dear cat that I still miss every single day....

We had almost the exact same issue a couple of years ago with one of ours.  My condolences.  Ours went from "it looks like something is wrong" to "limp and withered" in a matter of 3-4 days.

MrsPete

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2013, 12:55:40 PM »
I think Melony has a good answer, especially with Don't prolong the inevitable.

Our old dog began having some troubles last year, and the fact that she was 13 years old absolutely played into our decisions.  No matter what we did, she was still going to be an old dog with decreasing health.  The truth was that her quality of life was already slipping.  We opted to start giving her moderately expensive medication, but if surgery had been available (it wasn't a choice), we wouldn't have done it. 

I'll add:  Look around for the cheapest way to provide the care you've decided to use.  We were able to find her medication online for less than half the vet's cost. 

Rural

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2013, 08:05:25 PM »
I'll second all the comments about not keeping them around for us, when they are hurting or scared all the time. But one of the greatest benefits of having built up our reserves is that over the last few years, finally, finally, these sorts of decisions don't have to involve money. I look strictly at the situation, the animal's comfort and greatest happiness, and then decide as if the medical care were free. If I'd do it if it were free, I do. If not, then no.

This is what money and security are for.

Argyle

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2013, 10:32:49 AM »
What Rural says!  In spades.

dodojojo

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2013, 11:12:05 AM »
When I adopted my cats, they were sick and one of them, severely.  I had vet bills from the start and insurance didn't make sense thereafter since the cats had pre-existing conditions.  I, too, just hope my savings will take care of them when there is a medical emergency (just like it would for myself as I have a low-premium, high deductible plan).  My cats are only 5 so I haven't had to make any tough health decisions that come with old age.  Knock on wood, that will continue for a few more years.

One way for cat owners to keep medical costs down is to keep cats indoors.  That should knock off the costs from car accidents, poisoning, pest infestation, fights with other cats and animals, etc.

Tami1982

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2013, 09:43:17 PM »
As someone who works in the pet industry and a pet lover I thought I'd share a few money saving tips and thoughts.

I have a Labrador, when I got him, I knew what kind of risks came with that breed of dog.  From day one he's been on Fish Oil and Glucosamine.  I buy a year's worth of both from Costco for about $40.  Do not purchase specialty dog products - it's the same thing for 4 times the cost.  Costco fish oil works just fine, along with the human glucosamine supplement.  Dose it for your pet's weight.  My dog eats them both like they are cookies every night before bed.   These are to help protect his joints, good for his heart, skin and coat.

I have him on a high quality food.  You don't need to spend a bajillion dollars.  Just avoid the top allergens and look for food without ingredients you can't identify.  My friends, family, and customers have had good experiences with the Nature's Domain line from Costco - it's grain free and recall free - not a Kirkland Signature product.  A 35lb bag lasts about two months with a 70lb dog and runs just under $40.  Feed them well now, to avoid paying bills later I say!

If you want to take it a bit further, like me, here are things I do throughout the month.  I give him a spoon or two of yogurt periodically.  Maybe $4.  (Will be cheaper when I start making my own yogurt.)  When I make jerky with game meat I save all the bones and scraps and cook them down a very long time - until the bones start to demineralize.  (I think that's the term.)  Turns into a meat scrappy gelatin.  That gelatin is great for dogs and great for you if you can stomach it!  I can't.  I can eat elk to the cows come home, but elk jello does not appeal.  Great for the joints and coat.  Very little fat in that because elk is so lean.   I get the game meat for free from family and friends that are hunters.  Most hunters can't go through all their meat and are happy to share it.  He thinks it's amazing.  $0

You can also do that with other bones, but I use those to make broth that I in turn cook with, so he's reserved the game bones. 

Those are a few inexpensive ways to care for your pet's future.  I'm aware of the amount of jumping he does and try to limit any big leaps (into vehicles ect) and keep him a good weight.  In my experience, most people are overfeeding their pets.  If you are feeding a high quality food like I recommended above, they don't need a lot.  My 70lb Labrador receives 2 cups a day.  One in the morning, one at night.  He gets his pills before bed.  Maybe a cookie or two during the day and few tablespoons of elk jello or yogurt.  Not every day, not all the time. 

The last think I do is pick up some raw beef bones from the butcher to supplement.  He gets about one a week.  Raw bones are far less likely to splinter and do damage to your dog.  They contain lots of good enzymes and bacteria for their guts and keep their teeth sparkly clean.  My dog is almost five and his teeth look like the day they came in.  There is some savings in dentals right there.  Cost for a year's worth is maybe $30. 

Please keep in mind, since my dog was a puppy he has had rotating proteins and been fed a variety of foods.  He has strong guts because of this.  If you do any of the above suddenly, or too high of a volume, your dog may have poo butt.  Try one thing at a time and slowly, in small amounts, add it to their diet. 

Money saving tip ahoy!  If you have a dog that is not an extra large breed you can buy the larger packages of flea medication and split it.  I buy a 4 pack of Advantix for the St. Bernard size dog and break each container into two doses using a syringe.  In addition, the active flea preventative in this medication, ivermectin, has been proven to work UP TO 90 DAYS.  If you are dosing monthly, you are wasting money!  Essentially, a 4 pack becomes 8 doses for my dog, which in turn becomes 2 years worth of meds on a 3 month schedule.  This is what I've always done and it's worked for me, but note of caution: I am finding more and more people coming in saying they treat their dogs, but are still finding fleas.  Fleas are becoming resistant to these medications in different parts of the country, partially because their manufacturers have encouraged overdosing of pets.  So you may need to try a different med if one is no longer working.  In addition, if you have dogs and cats, certain meds can be used on both so you can purchase the large package and split one dose between both your dogs and your cats.  WARNING: CERTAIN FLEA MEDS FOR DOGS CAN KILL YOUR CAT.  Make sure you know the meds are safe for all your animals.

And finally, my thoughts on pet insurance.  I am very low income.  There is no way I could afford medical care in excess of probably $200 at a time without going into debt.  Because of this I purchased VPI when he was a puppy and have kept it since.  I'm grateful I did.  It has paid out over $6,000 in medical bills.  I am reimbursed for basic things like vaccinations, flea medications, fecal tests, annual blood work, wellness exams and more.  They have never NOT covered something.  My policy has a $100 deductible and then they pay 100% of whatever illness up to their limit.  My understanding is the exclusions are inherited diseases specific to breeds.  IE: Labradors - hip dysplasia. 

His health issues are not what you commonly hear about with labradors: ear infections, allergies, etc, but instead he began having seizures.  Over the years I've been reimbursed thousands of dollars I could never have afforded on my own.  Emotionally and financially this could have been devastating.  Instead, I know that I can always count on them to care for my pet.  Even if I had saved the monthly fee every month since I adopted him, I would not have ever half of what they've already paid out for him.  I'm reimbursed within 2 weeks, so I can pay the credit card or family member off immediately.  Speaking of family, it sure helps to have the pet insurance because people are much more willing to loan you money if you can pay it back quickly!

Those are my few cents.  Hope they prove helpful:)

And a final note: Don't be afraid of cancer treatments in older dogs.  They've changed a lot in recent years and are far less difficult on the body than before.  It won't be nearly so rough or confusing for them and if they get another healthy 4 years it's worth a few months of not feeling great.

totoro

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2013, 10:28:24 PM »
My parents just paid $3000 for surgery for the their dog.  A lot of money, but worth it for them.  She is young (3) and tore her ACL.  She has good prognosis.  I probably would have done it too in their shoes.

Our dog is 6.5 now and we are very attached to her.  I haven't thought about the dollar amount for medical.  We have pet insurance, I'm not sure it is worth it because we have never had a claim and it doesn't cover regular vet checks.  I should read the fine print more thoroughly....

Right now our dog is healthy.  We make her food and give her a marrow bone a day plus a fish oil capsule.  I never thought about glucosamine - I'll look into it.  I like the suggestion for gelatin as I have been reading about the benefits of bone broth for people and it makes sense that it would help with doggie health.




zarfus

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Re: Medical care for old/injured pets
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2013, 10:59:12 AM »
Our pup was ~8 months when she needed $2k shoulder surgery.  We did it, but my God was it tough on her.

If she turns 8 and starts having shoulder problems again, no way will I put her through surgery recovery again. Quality of life is number 1 in my eyes.  I've seen dogs live much too long, and it's broken my heart.  I'd rather do it too soon than too late to be completely honest, and my dogs are family members...not just pets.

Good luck OP