Author Topic: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?  (Read 11761 times)

meteor

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Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« on: January 23, 2014, 10:00:01 PM »
I grew up in rural Indiana where pets lived outdoors and often had a lifespan of 7 or so years, and most of them just came to us by chance (we didn't have shelters).  We never took pets to vets because vets were for farmer's cows and pigs. It was just the way people did things, yet we still loved and fed them.

Now I live in the SF bay area and it's another planet.  People spend a ton of money on their pets, including giving them  daily diabetes shots and annual checkups. I feel like I am the only one who thinks that's weird.  The vets charge too much ($400 for a blood test!  That's more than a person!) and while I love my pet, I have told my husband I am never going to be a person who pays for cancer surgery or gives pets a shot daily.  I feel like if a pet lives 10 years, they had a good life (compared to living in the wild).

My cat is 11 years old and if he gets really ill, I don't want to pay much to keep him alive. When I tell people that -- it's like I'm some terrible, uncaring person. But I'm not. Where do you draw the financial line? 
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 10:12:13 PM by meteor »


Greg

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 10:03:41 PM »
I think it's different for everyone.  I just had to have my cat in for an exam and urinalysis, and with antibiotics and pain killers left $200 lighter.  No way was I going to leave him there for $700-$900.  He's much better now, had a UTI.

IF we had to put him down we could probably do it ourselves (we're on a farm and raise meat chickens and goats) but it would be sad.

meteor

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i_am_the_slime

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 04:55:05 AM »
I will probably be in the minority, but 4 years ago I paid $2500 to amputate my 10 year old dog's back leg that had a GIGANTIC fatty tumor.  It made the last 3 1/2 years of her life much easier for her - otherwise she was going to start dragging a 25lb leg behind her everywhere.  It was certainly worth it - she gave us a lot of joy over the last 3 1/2 years of her life.  Though I will admit, I was a little worried she would die 6 months after the surgery which would've left me less excited about spending the money.

To me, it's partially about probabilities - a dog in otherwise good health that is expected to live 3+ more years I would pay up to $3k for.  But if the dog is old and has cancer and treatment probably won't work then I wouldn't pay to prolong life. 

Cassie

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 01:19:29 PM »
I probably will also be in the minority. It is not just about $ when it comes to pets-it is about everything they provide us-love, companionship, lower BP etc. When our first dog was 3 months old we paid for heart surgery (cost of $4000 in 2004). Worth every penny & she is now 9.  I will spend $ if it something that can be fixed/cured. However, I would not pay for cancer treatment because it only extends their life a year or 2 but does not cure.  We started to rescue Maltese dogs and recently I added up how much we had spent-$17,000 for a total of 4 dogs.  Now have decided that by natural attrition we will only have 1 or 2 dogs because now that we are semi-retired it takes too much $ to care for them. I would give daily shots if needed. Small dogs often live to between 13-20 years so 10 years is not a full life.  Big dogs live between 9-13. I think if you have a pet you need to budget & provide for their medical care.   

FIence!

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 01:34:08 PM »
I have also paid thousands for medical care for my dog, so I don't know how much we're in the minority... people who have spent significant amounts on their pets are now half or more of this thread.

Insanity

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2014, 01:39:22 PM »
We just had to put our dog to sleep in early January.  We could have spent $6K to try to save him, but they wouldn't have known what they were looking for and if it turned out to be what the ER Vet thought it was, he believed it would have only gathered another 6-12 months and we'd be looking at the same thing again.  Now, had he told us that they knew what it was and that it would have cost $6K to do the surgery and he'd be a healthy dog (he was only 5) we would have done it no questions asked.  That wasn't the way we were led to believe and the other thing we were told was that he might not have (a) made it through the night and (b) might not have made it through the surgery.

Insanity

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2014, 02:22:01 PM »
Seems like I might be in the minority!  I don't really understand the allure of having pets, so I have less understanding about dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars on those pets.

I do love those pet owners, who insist that their taking care of their pets is totally like me having to take care of my two human children.  Its basically the same thing! Right..

For instance, during Christmas, my wife's sister came over with her dog, and the dog just wouldn't leave my 1 year old son alone. When i suggested that the dog spend some time in the back yard, her response: "It's really cold, (like 40 degrees) would you leave your kids out there!?"  Uh..

Just out of curiosity, and I know this is going to come across as it isn't intended to --

If you don't understand the allure of being a pet owner, why would you put a post in this thread?  It's almost trollish.

Spork

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 02:33:58 PM »
Back to the original question...  For me it's really hard to quantify.  I'd be one that is willing to spend a bit ...but conditionally:

* it has to really fulfill a quality of life.  I don't want a dog/cat to be alive just for me.  It has to enjoy life, too.  In other words: it has to still be a dog and be able to do dog things.
* the amount I'd spend is wildly variable depending on age.  If the animal is near the end of it's life, extending it a few months isn't for me.

I've kind of made these semi-guidelines as I go... and I've made them by choosing the wrong thing.  I've extended dog and cat lives much longer than I think *they* would have wanted me to.  And I did that for me, because I couldn't stand to let go of them.  I am trying to not do that any more.

[edit: typo]
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 03:24:42 PM by Spork »

thepokercab

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2014, 02:52:58 PM »
Insanity- after review, it was a bit trollish and I apologize.  Bad day at work and I took it out on this thread.  I removed the post.     

Rural

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2014, 03:24:42 PM »

Back to the original question...  For me it's really hard to quantify.  I'd be one that is willing to spend a bit ...but contitionally:

* it has to really fulfill a quality of life.  I don't want a dog/cat to be alive just for me.  It has to enjoy life, too.  In other words: it has to still be a dog and be able to do dog things.
* the amount I'd spend is wildly variable depending on age.  If the animal is near the end of it's life, extending it a few months isn't for me.

I've kind of made these semi-guidelines as I go... and I've made them by choosing the wrong thing.  I've extended dog and cat lives much longer than I think *they* would have wanted me to.  And I did that for me, because I couldn't stand to let go of them.  I am trying to not do that any more.

As I think I said in the other thread, one of the real benefits of building up substantial savings for me has been that I'm much better able to make those sorts of humane decisions when they don't necessarily revolve around money. We're able and willing to spend whatever we have to for one of our pets' quality-of-life. Somehow not having the money worries to go with it has made it easier, if not easy, to make the decisions purely based on what the pet would likely want done if the pet could talk.

Spork

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2014, 03:29:26 PM »

Back to the original question...  For me it's really hard to quantify.  I'd be one that is willing to spend a bit ...but contitionally:

* it has to really fulfill a quality of life.  I don't want a dog/cat to be alive just for me.  It has to enjoy life, too.  In other words: it has to still be a dog and be able to do dog things.
* the amount I'd spend is wildly variable depending on age.  If the animal is near the end of it's life, extending it a few months isn't for me.

I've kind of made these semi-guidelines as I go... and I've made them by choosing the wrong thing.  I've extended dog and cat lives much longer than I think *they* would have wanted me to.  And I did that for me, because I couldn't stand to let go of them.  I am trying to not do that any more.

As I think I said in the other thread, one of the real benefits of building up substantial savings for me has been that I'm much better able to make those sorts of humane decisions when they don't necessarily revolve around money. We're able and willing to spend whatever we have to for one of our pets' quality-of-life. Somehow not having the money worries to go with it has made it easier, if not easy, to make the decisions purely based on what the pet would likely want done if the pet could talk.

What has also helped me:  I have always been lucky enough to have good vets.   But more importantly, I've been lucky on occasion to find vets that will answer (truthfully) "what would YOU do if this were YOUR animal."  Our current vet has reluctantly said things like (I paraphrase) "I'd like to try and treat her, but honestly if she were mine, I think I would put her down."

It's also good to get an established rapport with the vet so they know you're not just some schmuck that doesn't give a shit... and you're really looking out for what is right.

Cassie

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2014, 03:52:31 PM »
I also agree that quality of life for the pet is huge and if the dog is near the end of life prolonging it for a short time is silly if it takes a lot of $ or the dog/cat is not enjoying life.  We also have a good rapport with our vet which makes things easier.  My kids are grown & the dogs are similar to having kids except I love my kids more.  I have had to make the decision 2x's to put a dog to sleep and each time it was horrible but a necessary part of being a pet owner. 

i_am_the_slime

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2014, 04:32:39 PM »


What has also helped me:  I have always been lucky enough to have good vets. 

I agree, this is important.  Recently our young dog (1 year old) chipped a canine tooth and the root was visible.  Our vet said "well, technically you could pay $1k+ to get a root canal.  Or I could pull it.  But really I'd just wait and see how she reacts to it - the exposed root will probably just die and recede and she'll be fine".  So we left it and she's fine - she chews sticks/bones/toys non stop all day and has never shown any pain.

For our old dog (that had her leg amputated), the fatty tumor became visible when she was about 6 years old.  Vets told us to just wait - it was entirely possible that it grew slowly enough that she died naturally before it became an issue.  It grew pretty quickly and by age 10 her back leg was basically useless.  It's tough to watch a family member drag their back leg around, so the cost was well worth it - she definitely provided me more than $2k in happiness over the years.

Another way to think of it - a $2400 surgery that extends life by almost 4 years is basically $50 per month - I'll trade cable TV for my dog any day of the week.

Cassie

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2014, 04:35:50 PM »
I would have also done this surgery for a dog that age.  The enjoyment you get far exceeds the cost. Actually I am happy that so many people on this board see the value of spending $ on pets as needed!

horsepoor

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2014, 07:19:59 PM »
One thing that I'm not sure has been factored in is the invasiveness or discomfort of the medical care to the animal, who doesn't understand what is happening.  I had both of my cats euthanized in the past few years, because cats are particularly miserable with medical treatment and loss of their dignity.  The first cat was in renal failure and giving him sub-cutaneous fluids 1-2x daily, then taking to the vet weekly would have been a completely miserable way to spend the last few weeks/months of his life, so when he started to go downhill, I had him PTS before subjecting him to that intensity of care.  The other cat started losing control of her hind end, so her back legs would slip out from under her on slick floors, and she could no longer jump up on the couch. Again, it was a matter of not wanting to prolong the indignity.

Overall, dogs seem to deal better with being patients, so I would be more inclined to pay for more treatments for a dog if the prognosis was more favorable.

Like the OP however, I would not go to great lengths with cancer treatments and so on.  I also have limits with my horses, and probably would not elect for colic surgery (around $10K last I heard) should one of them ever be unfortunate enough to have serious colic episode.

Insanity

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2014, 07:26:58 PM »
Insanity- after review, it was a bit trollish and I apologize.  Bad day at work and I took it out on this thread.  I removed the post.   

No problem. I was trying not to be a dick about it.  I know some people question the need for it.  I might have been a bit sensitive given I just had to put our dog done who was only 5.5 years old.  Having our four year old say she misses him still is hard to hear.

On a second pet story -- a friend of mine's wife has an older cat that had an obstruction in the urinary tract.  They couldn't remove it so they put a stent in.  Every 6 months they have to get an x-ray and ultra sound to see how it is.  When it had to be replaced that had to take the cat 1.5 hours away because the only doctor (who happened to do the original surgery) had moved to a different city.  From what he said, the bill could have paid for a new car. 

nessness

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2014, 09:04:28 AM »
I spent $2k on my dog a few months ago, but she is young and had an excellent chance of making a full recovery (which she did). I love my dogs and would spend pretty much whatever it would take, so long as I didn't have to go into debt and they would still have good quality of life. Once they get old, I think I'll focus more on just keeping them comfortable, and not go through any extreme life-prolonging measures.

Cassie

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2014, 11:17:18 AM »
I agree that age has alot to do with how the decision is made.  We adopted a small dog (16lbs) 4 years ago that no one wanted because she could hardly walk. Her back end and legs were funky & she would frequently fall but was so incredibly happy. The vet that rescued her realized she was not in pain so he fixed her cherry eye, spayed her and put her up for adoption.  No one knew how old she really was. We had pergo floors so it was harder for her to walk then if we had carpet but she was not potty trained either. We trained her to pads in the house and she was a great, happy dog for about 2 years. Then the third year she slowly went downhill and we found out that her discs were crystallizing which meant they were turning hard from her neck to her tail. She had to go on pain pills but was still happy. Then she could not make it to pads so we carried her alot to go potty.  Eventually though she would just pee & lay in it instead of flopping out of it like she had always done. At that point I knew it was time to let her go. My hubby did not want to but I insisted that she was in pain & had lost all dignity.

Exflyboy

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2014, 01:43:02 PM »
My beloved 15 year old puddy cat.. I love her to death.

She has never been to the vet and I give her shots from the farm store.

But I have a box of shells for my22 cal rifle.. Thats how her life will end when she becomes so sick that I can't nurse her back to life (like I did once when I think she must have scarfed down a rat that had been poisoned.. not by me).

Its not for everyone but to me that is the cycle of life and hundreds or thousands of bucks is better spent elsewhere IMHO.

Frank

i_am_the_slime

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2014, 03:10:30 PM »
  Eventually though she would just pee & lay in it instead of flopping out of it like she had always done. At that point I knew it was time to let her go. My hubby did not want to but I insisted that she was in pain & had lost all dignity.

Wise choice.  I wouldn't want to be at the point where I pee and lay in it - so I don't think a dog would like that either. 

LowER

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2014, 05:56:50 PM »
I wish that we treated our family members as humanely as folks here treat their pets.  If the general population had any idea how much our health care system spent on futile and expensive flogging at the end of life, picketing would become the new rage.  It's not just about dollars though, the collective "we" tend to err on the side of doing EVERYTHING to our unfortunate dying and uncomfortable family members. 

Sorry to hi-jack, but it seems fairly salient.

Hotstreak

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2014, 09:36:12 PM »
We got a dog when I was a kid, maybe 10 or 11.  We (I) loved her, she was an amazing member of the family and will always have a place in my heart.  When she got hit by a car, we let her broken leg recover on it's own.  She walked with a limp but never stopped smiling.  When she got a tumor in her eye, we put her down, and it was really a touching moment.  She was given the shot at home, and the whole family traveled in town to be there.

Whatever you do, no matter how much they mean to you, pet's aren't people.  Don't try to treat them humanely, they aren't human.  Treat them like a pet (there to make you happy, provide a service), care for them, they are important, but you aren't spending money for kin here, you're spending money for what's basically entertainment.

Cassie

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2014, 05:58:46 PM »
Robby, I totally disagree with you. Pets are not just entertainment-they are living, breathing, feeling souls.  No their lives are not worth as much as a person but they are loyal, love you unconditionally,  provide health benefits, etc.  Pets are not for everyone so if you do not want to spend $ to give them a good life do not get one.

Hotstreak

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2014, 09:37:14 PM »
Robby, I totally disagree with you. Pets are not just entertainment-they are living, breathing, feeling souls.  No their lives are not worth as much as a person but they are loyal, love you unconditionally,  provide health benefits, etc.  Pets are not for everyone so if you do not want to spend $ to give them a good life do not get one.

Yeah, I can definitely see where you're coming from there.  I'm not opposed to basic health care, food, or fur combs for pets, but at some point it's too much.  I'm not sure what you mean by giving them a good life.  That could really mean anything, and I don't appreciate the moral judgement either, implying that people who don't spend lots of money on pets are treating them poorly.  I take excellent care of pets, and when they are ready to die, they die.  It does not require much money for a pet to be "happy" and "fulfilled", just a commitment of time.

Mlkmn

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2014, 06:36:06 AM »
When we lived in the country our neighbor spent $1500 at the vet on an outdoor cat. I thought this was crazy since cats in rural Indiana don't tend to live very long. They get ran over, eaten by coyotes, or severely injured or killed by another cat/dog/weasel/skunk/raccoon/etc. Putting any sort of money into a smaller animal in the country is a gamble. Even indoor dogs can easily be hit by a car when you take them out. Outside of routine health maintenance and medical procedures that are good investments based on age/outcome, I would set the cost pretty low. I provide a good life for the animal and keep the animal as comfortable as I can.

When we first got chickens, a mink got into the coop and killed two of them, took one, left one alive but disemboweled, and took a wing clean off another. I put the disemboweled one down. The one with the missing wing got its wound cleaned, a dressing, and some antibiotics from tractor supply. I wasn't going to take it to the vet. If it got worse I would have put her down. She healed up, rejoined the flock, and laid some really good eggs for us. It was pretty sad/funny when she would try to flutter, she would flip over. She was a trooper.


I super proofed the coop after that.

HappyHoya

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2014, 07:18:07 AM »
It seems like most people here are assuming that pet medical expenditures are always expensive and involve end-of-life issues. I agree that it's silly (and not kind) to spend lots of money to slightly prolong the life of an animal who will be in pain. There is a lot of good, preventative veterinary care that can help your pet that suffering and you will avoid those bills and tough decisions (or, at least mitigate your risk). We take our dog to the vet as necessary and give her recommended preventatives (to prevent against heartworm, parasites, and fleas). Even in an expensive city, the only vet bill that cost more than $200 was for her spay surgery, which the rescue we got her from reimbursed us for, since they demanded we have it done and send them records (we've since paid them back for it, since we could and we wanted them to help another dog in the same way). We have a good relationship with our vet clinic, and they will help us over the phone if we have an issue where we're not sure if it's necessary to bring her in or we could take care of it at home. So far, they've never had us bring her in- they've told us how to solve the issue at home and never charged us for this help. There is pet health insurance and programs through vet clinics where you pay a low, flat rate per month, if predictability of cost is an issue. Some people absolutely spend too much money on their pets, but you're setting up a false choice between being stupidly spendy or having your pets die at 7 or 10.

Dezrah

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2014, 11:09:55 AM »
We have birds.  We truly sound like crazy people when I discuss them but here goes.

Sunny conure
- Re-homed to us from the family of a patient who died.
- Was likely mal-handled when he was young (not intentionally abused) and now seems to have underdeveloped muscles and social behaviors.  He can't fly and he has to be put in a box and wrapped in a towel every night or he'll fall off his perch in his sleep.
- He's been sick at death's door twice, once with flu-like symptoms and once with liver failure.  Both times he recovered with round the clock care and medication.  I would guess about $800 total to treat.
- We suspect he might have epilepsy, but unless he's sick he does not suffer symptoms and does not require regular medication.
- He's been in the family now for about 12 years now and we can expect about 20 years for a healthy bird (which he arguably is not).

African grey
- Purchased directly from a family who needed to re-home him after their daughter developed allergies to the bird.
- Has been in great health for the 3 years we've had him, but we do take him to the vets to trim his nails and get him annual blood tests.  Annual cost of about $175 for these.
- We have no idea how old he is (he's been re-homed at least 3 times before we got him) but we're guessing about 13 years old.  In good health, we hope he'll live to about 40.

2 cockatiels
- They belonged to my husband's grandmother. She became ill and is now permanently bed-laden and the birds weren't getting the level of attention they needed, so they were given to us.
- They are not hand tamed and do not like to be handled in any fashion.
- The yellow one is spry and in good health, but the grey one was lazy and grossly obese (the vet said he was the equivalent of a 400 pound man).  It turns out he has gout.  GOUT!  Now he requires daily medication to alleviate him of the swelling in his foot (which was initially misdiagnosed as an old injury) and take away some of the pain.  Fortunately his medication is actually pretty cheap at $19/month. 
- I would guess we've spent about $175 in vet bills for them, most of that from the X-ray that diagnosed the gout.
- We think these birds are about 5 years old and could live as long as 20 years.

And before you ask, no we will not be getting anymore birds for a long time, even if they really needed a good home.  It's actually a running joke in the family about all the "free" pets we get.  The joke, of course, is that every pet will eventually have extra expenses and that's just part of being an owner.  There is definitely a cut off point where we would say that between cost and quality of life, it would not be worth treatment, but it's something I could only really decide on a case-by-case basis.  Honestly the money is nothing compared to the time it takes to care for these guys.


Cassie

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2014, 01:32:54 PM »
Robby, it does require some money to be spent on pets to keep them healthy. They need yearly immunizations/physicals to head off any expensive health issues that may be slowly developing. If you do not take them to the vet they will die years earlier then they should. You may disagree but I do not consider letting a dog's broken leg to heal on it's own providing good care. Again you do not have to spend a fortune on your pet but if you are not willing to provide appropriate vet care then don't get a pet because the expense is not worth it to you which is fine. Expecting an animal to suffer for your unwillingness to spend any $ on them is not providing good care in my opinion.

nvmama

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2014, 08:09:31 PM »
We have a beagle.  He is now almost 12 years old and we have had him since he was 1.  We do pay for the pet health insurance.  It is a small monthly fee, but it covers all of his annual shots, a dental cleaning, and I can bring him in anytime I want and not have to pay an office visit fee.  If medications are needed there is a discount.  In the long run the insurance has been worth it because I still would have needed to get those things, but it would have cost more otherwise. 

Recently our dog got off his lease and was hit by a car.  Because it was an emergency I had to take him to the pet emergency room.  He was pretty banged up.  When I first brought him in they took him immediately into the back to start getting him cleaned up and checking him over.  After a short while the vet comes out to discuss their normal procedure with car accident victims...after the vet ran through their treatment plan they wanted to do they hand me an estimation of costs $3500.  I about choked.  Now, I know my dog had a pretty banged up leg, but they said they wanted to monitor for any internal damages.  I told them that I couldn't afford that.  You know what they did, they offered me financing.  I was again shocked.  I told then that I couldn't afford it and that we may have to look into other options.  They left and about 20 minutes later came back with another estimate.  This time it was around $1500.  It was still too much.  Our dog was  almost 12 years old and it was just too much to spend.  I told them that if they could not do any better than that then we would have to put him down.  (Trust me when I tell you, I was in tears when discussing this with the vets, but it needed to be said.  you couldn't believe the pressure they put you under and how they make you feel guilty for even mentioning putting your pet down).  Anyways, after much time they told me they could staple up the 3 major wounds on my dogs leg, prescribe me some pain killers and antibiotics for him and send me on my way.  Follow up 2 weeks later to have the staples removed.  All for the price of $225.  Can you believe that.  the estimate went from $3500 to $225.

Today he is as good as ever.  Yes, there is a scare, but he is a dog.  A very loved dog.

wtjbatman

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2014, 10:04:13 PM »
Our 8 year old Chihuahua jumped off our bed and tore the ACL in one of her legs. The vet told us about the injury by saying "Have you ever heard of Adrian Peterson?" Anyway, he said he could do a procedure to repair it for $2k. Um no. Me and my gf are not going to spend two grand on fixing our dog's ACL. She's actually fine walking and running around, she just has a little trouble on linoleum. Solution? Move her bowl onto the carpet. Just saved us $2,000.

Cassie

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2014, 10:46:44 PM »
NVMama, glad this worked out for you. Here I know someone in the same situation with a dog with a broken leg & they did not have the $ to pay for the procedure & they did not offer a discount so took their $ to have the dog PTS. Sounds like you got lucky!

iris lily

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2014, 12:55:52 AM »
I did the cancer thing once and won't do it again. For two years and $5,000 we treated our dog and at the end, the cancer grew and killed her.

I'm like the OP, no cancer treatments, no daily shots.

I do have a recently adopted bulldog with horrific skin allergy that is kept in check with a daily pill. It's expensive, about $1,300 annually, but I adopted him from the rescue program with my eyes wide open to this expense. I think that had this pill not been so effective, our rescue group may well have put him down. And  I didn't adopt him in order to "save" him, I adopted him because he's the funniest, sweetest, clown dog to come along in years and we love him. He gets along with our difficult Frenchies, so he fits in very well here. It was a case of "he needs us/we need him."

Vet expenses are one of my stated luxuries like wine and iris and lilies. I can afford about any treatment, but I consciously pull back for life prolonging treatments that do not improve quality of life. And if some pets dies before their average life span is over, that is hard but that's the way it is.


Cassie

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Re: Where do you draw the line on pet medical costs?
« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2014, 10:10:49 AM »
I would not do the cancer treatment either. A good friend of mine charged $10,000 for a 6 yo dog that got cancer but died 18 months later anyways.  They are still paying the bill off. Another friend of mine had a 5 yo dog that got cancer and my advice was just keep it comfortable until the time to PTS.  Sometimes a dog will not live a full live & that is part of life. However, some posters do not want to spend $ on their pets at all and that is when I say then don't own one because they will cost you $.