Author Topic: Annual vet visits?  (Read 2086 times)

RedmondStash

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Annual vet visits?
« on: October 07, 2017, 10:07:44 AM »
I always took it as read that dogs and cats had to have annual vet visits, in part to comply with vaccination laws. But I'm wondering if that's an assumption worth challenging.

Lately, we've cut back on taking our cat in, partly because she acts like a feral wildcat there, and partly because she's indoor-only and doesn't get exposed to anything besides the dog and us. The dog gets his teeth cleaned a couple of times a year, though I've gotten those metal dental cleaning devices that look like torture implements and am teaching myself how to descale his teeth. I'm just not yet proficient enough to obviate the need for some professional cleaning.

So -- how many of you take your pets to the vet each year for check-ups, even if they aren't sick? How many don't? And if not annually, then how often?

Dicey

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2017, 10:21:37 AM »
PTF, because I've been wondering about this too.
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Dave1442397

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2017, 10:59:22 AM »
I've taken our dog to the vet only because we can't board him unless the shots are up to date. However, this year we didn't need to board him, so I skipped this year's visit. I'll probably take him next year, because his rabies shot will be due and we have had rabid raccoons in the neighborhood.

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2017, 11:10:04 AM »
I take the dog and cat in for shots/annual checkup.  Dog is 11 years old and never had her teeth cleaned though.  Her gums are always healthy so it' not necessary.  They both stay healthy so I don't mind taking them in annually.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2017, 11:30:00 AM »
We have two very old indoor cats.  One has a very hard time at the vet and the vet, knowing we'd prefer a low intervention old age for our cats, has told us we don't need to bring her in for routine care anymore because it's so stressful for her.

The other one is hyperthyroid and takes arthritis medicine, so she needs twice yearly bloodwork.  We've opted not to do teeth cleaning as it's risky when they're this old.

Having a vet who understands we're not into every elective procedure really helps.

Erma

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2017, 12:57:28 PM »
We go annually for a check-up, but also missed a year once. But we have more vet visits due to sickness and injuries during the year. We do not have any vaccination laws, but as we have two cats that can go outside I think it is important that they are vaccinated. I know it is stressful for one of the cats, but the other doesn't mind.

Thinkum

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2017, 02:17:46 PM »
We have taken our pets to the vets annually most years. I find it especially important for our feline who is now past 10 years old. I find it's cheap insurance to be preemptive. Funny thing is I do not see the Dr as often as I should.

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2017, 02:43:06 PM »
We do our rabies shots during our local community days, it's $5 for three years worth.

The other stuff is done on an as needed basis for boarding by vet techs for $20.

We havenít done flea and tick in forever (knock on wood) and instead buy cheap heart worm medicine from Australia with no prescription needed.

This year we did do an annual checkup with blood work for our dog, she is 13, but regret doing it.

Cleaned her teeth once a few years ago.

Dog has had issues in the past. Pancreatitis, blown ACL, ear and eye infection and several UTIs. None wouldíve been found with an annual exam..

PoutineLover

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2017, 03:55:14 PM »
I was thinking about this too because I just got a call the other day about scheduling an annual check up for my 7 year old cat. I asked if she needs any shots, they said not until next year, so I opted out this time. She's a tiny bit overweight and already on a diet, but otherwise very healthy and I don't think missing one visit will hurt her. She's probably been to the vet most but not every year of her life.

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2017, 04:34:10 PM »
My dogs see the vet when I think something's wrong.

MrsPete

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2017, 05:00:20 PM »
We take our dog once a year for a couple reasons:

- We do board him occasionally (less often now that my oldest child is married and owns a home), and for that he needs his Kennel Cough up to date.  That's a yearly thing.
- A rabies vaccine, of course, is completely non-negotiable ... but that isn't an every year shot. 
- We have him on monthly heartworm pills, and that requires a vet visit.  It costs about $30/year, and heartworms are nothing with which to mess.  Essentially they get into the dog's heart and reproduce until the dog's heart explodes.  I can't face that possibility. 

Since our dog's young and healthy, we refuse some of the stuff the vet wants to do as "overkill". 

On a similar note:  We've taken a couple animals to the county Spay-Neuter Clinic instead of the vet for, um, that little operation.  Worked out well and MUCH cheaper.

neverrun

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2017, 06:12:29 PM »
In December of 2015 one of my cats was diagnosed with diabetes during an annual exam.  He's had a healthy life since that time.  If I hadn't it's like Fern would have gone over the rainbow bridge because I didn't realize anything major was wrong.  I knew he had lost weight but I ignored the signs.  I'd say skipping could be ok if you will see the signs of illness.  Personally I have all my pets in every year because I know I don't see the signs of illness very well.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2017, 06:19:41 PM »
I know not everyone shares my attitude, but I think that you're responsible for the health and well being of your animals just the same as you are for your children. If it's not OK for your kids, it's not OK for your animals. Would you be prepared to forgo your children's annual dental check ups or whatever?

I also think it's kind of false economy, frankly. If you catch a condition early (or prevent it altogether with vaccs), you'll save a lot of time, money and stress.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2017, 06:34:34 PM »
I know not everyone shares my attitude, but I think that you're responsible for the health and well being of your animals just the same as you are for your children. If it's not OK for your kids, it's not OK for your animals. Would you be prepared to forgo your children's annual dental check ups or whatever?

I also think it's kind of false economy, frankly. If you catch a condition early (or prevent it altogether with vaccs), you'll save a lot of time, money and stress.

I basically agree with this.  I have two cats who are almost 9 years old.  They've always had an annual check-up and they get their recommended/required vaccinations on schedule.  There have been a handful of times in their lives when I've brought them in extra due to injury or illness.  Cost of petcare so far has not even been a question for me.  I want them to stay safe and healthy as best as I can help that along.

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2017, 06:34:40 PM »
I know not everyone shares my attitude, but I think that you're responsible for the health and well being of your animals just the same as you are for your children. If it's not OK for your kids, it's not OK for your animals. Would you be prepared to forgo your children's annual dental check ups or whatever?

I also think it's kind of false economy, frankly. If you catch a condition early (or prevent it altogether with vaccs), you'll save a lot of time, money and stress.

On farms if dogs get really sick they unfortunately get put down. Somehow weíve evolved to spending home equity on chemo for Fido.

Outside rabies there isnít any annual vaccinations needed. Even heart worm can be overkill depending on where you live and especially not year round. And that is available inexpensively without vet visits buying the product from overseas. Believe it or not around here people even administer it themselves because itís so cheap when bought from a feed store.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 06:51:12 PM by inline five »

Laura33

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2017, 08:32:56 PM »
You know, I delayed the last vet visit by maybe 6 months, party to save the money and partly because I just never got around to it. 

Then we had a dead bat in the house while we were on vacation, and the petsitter got scratched by one of the cats, and we ended up having a giant rabies scare from several thousand miles away.  Because the cats' shots weren't up to date, the county could have taken them and put them down; best-case scenario was individually quarantining them for I think 45 days, plus rabies shots for the poor teenager who was feeding them.

We got lucky, and they recovered the bat and it tested rabies-free.  But I am never, never missing that deadline again.  Just not worth the potential downside.
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skip207

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2017, 03:03:35 AM »
Once a year, ahh the luxury.  We have 3 dogs, all OAPs and we are at the vets every few weeks.  One has Cushings plus a bad back.  Other has heart / pancreas issues and the other is blind and deaf.  Several thousand pounds a year easily.  But I would rather have them happy and healthy (as can be!!).  We spend about £300 a month on medication and the only bonus is they were all very healthy until they got into 11-12 years old.  Now its just something we have to do.

As for the boosters, we continued until recently due to travelling a bit with them and also thought it was worth it just in case.  Now they are older they all seem to have a reaction now to the boosters so the vet has said don't worry about it now they are pretty much house bound or just very short walks.  Our vet is also very good and used to fit all 3 in for one consult for their boosters, had the jabs ready, on the table quick look over and stick with the needle "NEXT!".  Used to take longer to write out the cards than the jabs.

slappy

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2017, 06:21:25 AM »
I take my dog every year because there are shots she gets every year. Iíve never taken my cats, although I heard that they still need a distemper shot even if they are indoor cats.

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2017, 06:31:07 AM »
If your pets are outdoor pets then you definitely should have the vaccines up to date.

Now if your pet is strictly an indoor pet then I can see where maybe you could skip a year but I would not skip more than a year.

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2017, 07:39:18 AM »
Have two 13 year old indoor cats.  One doesn’t mind going to the vet but is allergic to at least one of the standard vaccines so only goes if something is wrong (e.g. throwing up more than is usual for a cat). The other hates being picked up so hasn’t been in 3 or so years and probably won’t go again in her lifetime unless there is an obvious problem.

If I had a dog or the cats were outdoors then a yearly visit would happen.


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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2017, 07:54:20 AM »
The dog gets his annual shots, partly for his own health (he meets a lot of other dogs on the beach each day) and partly so that he's covered if I do have to board him in an emergency.

He is also on arthritis meds, but he mostly gets those renewed without a visit as we are probably in for something else during the year - the latest is discovering that he has an allergy to the detergents I washed his drying off towels in (see: beach).  Even when he was younger and healthier I didn't think I knew enough about his wellbeing to skip an experienced eye on his wellbeing. 

Now he is 12 he gets his routine care in the hundreds.  He won't get extraordinary measures in the thousands.
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Mtngrl

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2017, 08:31:54 AM »
We have always taken our dogs every year. When they are young, this may be the only time of year they see the vet. As they get older, they invariably develop more problems and see the vet more often. I like having a relationship with a vet, who knows my dogs and, if something arises, has a baseline by which to judge their health. As others have said, once a year seems like cheap insurance, and the cost is part of being a responsible pet owner. I  have a great vet who listens to me and is not one to recommend excessive tests or treatments.

nara

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2017, 01:52:21 PM »
I think that regular vet visits and dental care is a required part of pet ownership! It took us 2 years to find out that our dog had heartworm despite an original test that came back negative (and monthly preventatives after that). Our pets don't always act sick maybe until it's too late and I would hate to regret not taking precautions just to save a little money. We've also had our dogs teeth professionally cleaned after neglecting their dental care. It came out to several thousand dollars for extractions, etc. We will now bring them in for annual cleanings. Dog's teeth need to be taken care of and brushed daily just like peoples'!

goatmom

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2017, 03:01:04 PM »
I take my dogs in for annual visits/shots.  Last month on a Friday afternoon, my dog got sick.  Luckily, I have a relationship with a vet who told me to just bring her in.  They were really booked.  They would have otherwise sent me to the Pet ER.  That is where you can spend lots of money.  Having someone I can call is well worth the cost of the annual visit. 

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2017, 11:03:31 PM »
I know not everyone shares my attitude, but I think that you're responsible for the health and well being of your animals just the same as you are for your children. If it's not OK for your kids, it's not OK for your animals. Would you be prepared to forgo your children's annual dental check ups or whatever?

I also think it's kind of false economy, frankly. If you catch a condition early (or prevent it altogether with vaccs), you'll save a lot of time, money and stress.

On farms if dogs get really sick they unfortunately get put down. Somehow weíve evolved to spending home equity on chemo for Fido.

Outside rabies there isnít any annual vaccinations needed. Even heart worm can be overkill depending on where you live and especially not year round. And that is available inexpensively without vet visits buying the product from overseas. Believe it or not around here people even administer it themselves because itís so cheap when bought from a feed store.

Working animals and livestock are a bit of different case. A good farm dog is usually pretty well looked after, because they're valuable. That doesn't have to translate to vet visits. I'm the same with my chickens. They've had their chick vaccinations, but they get cydectin in a dropper if they have parasites.

Although I probably would take them to the vet if they had an accident. I'd have the only chicken with a cast on the planet.

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2017, 11:18:45 PM »
My dogs see the vet when I think something's wrong.

I like this.  My wife takes our dog too often.  Same way she would like to visit for herself or the kids.

We now 'feed' a cat that seems in perfect help but is just stray.  She wont' come to us...so....

I go to the doc when I think something is wrong............wrong not being a cough, etc. (I'd think differently if I were about 20 years older)

katekat

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2017, 02:53:44 AM »
I like having a relationship with a vet, who knows my dogs and, if something arises, has a baseline by which to judge their health. [...] I  have a great vet who listens to me and is not one to recommend excessive tests or treatments.

For me this is key. Until a couple of years ago I had a cat who I only took to the vet if she was sick. Not recommending it, it's just what happened, mostly through my own ignorance/lack of experience/immaturity (I got her when I was 11 so I was strongly influenced by what my parents thought was okay when I was growing up). She did okay despite being sometimes-indoor/outdoor (depending on my living situation), I don't think she went to the vet between the ages of about 2 and 17. Then when she was sick, over the last year of her life, I ended up taking her to a great, communicative, dedicated vet and realised what a blessing it was to have someone who knew her like that and was able to help me manage her care and know what was right, not just do specific interventions as-needed. When I got two new cats recently I obviously started taking them to her and regular health checkups seem like a minor cost/inconvenience to maintain that relationship during times they are well (of which there are hopefully plenty!). I'm hoping that taking them fairly regularly will also mean they aren't as terrified when they go as my last cat. My vet is reasonably priced, responsive, and caring. If I ever move I just hope I can find one as good as her. I might feel differently if I hadn't hit the vet jackpot.

Astatine

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2017, 03:22:19 AM »
I like having a relationship with a vet, who knows my dogs and, if something arises, has a baseline by which to judge their health. [...] I  have a great vet who listens to me and is not one to recommend excessive tests or treatments.

For me this is key. Until a couple of years ago I had a cat who I only took to the vet if she was sick. Not recommending it, it's just what happened, mostly through my own ignorance/lack of experience/immaturity (I got her when I was 11 so I was strongly influenced by what my parents thought was okay when I was growing up). She did okay despite being sometimes-indoor/outdoor (depending on my living situation), I don't think she went to the vet between the ages of about 2 and 17. Then when she was sick, over the last year of her life, I ended up taking her to a great, communicative, dedicated vet and realised what a blessing it was to have someone who knew her like that and was able to help me manage her care and know what was right, not just do specific interventions as-needed. When I got two new cats recently I obviously started taking them to her and regular health checkups seem like a minor cost/inconvenience to maintain that relationship during times they are well (of which there are hopefully plenty!). I'm hoping that taking them fairly regularly will also mean they aren't as terrified when they go as my last cat. My vet is reasonably priced, responsive, and caring. If I ever move I just hope I can find one as good as her. I might feel differently if I hadn't hit the vet jackpot.

Same. Our local vet practice is fantastic and were so supportive and helpful when one of our kitties had genetic kidney disease at a young age. We were able to have multiple frank discussions about what to look for re quality of life/time for euthanasia and that OTT interventions were not a good idea for this particular kitty, even though it might have extended his life by a few weeks or months. They didn't even charge us for some of those appointments and every vet and nurse we dealt with went above and beyond for us. And they couldn't have been more caring and lovely when we did have to put our beloved kitty to sleep. (he was just like a dog and so full of personality - it's been a year and we still miss him every day)

And now with our other kitty, they're working with us on managing her particular quirks. She's an indoor kitty and has only had 2 vaccinations. The second one she had a really bad reaction to, so we haven't been game to try again. However, we need to replace our bathroom in our small townhouse (for health and safety reasons, not for fashion) and we'll need to have her off-site when that gets done. But she can't go in to boarding without vaccinations. The vets have been brainstorming with us (and have been very non-judgemental about us having an unvaccinated cat) on how best to solve it. We <3 our vets so much.

mlejw6

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2017, 08:42:01 AM »
Our cats are strictly indoor. When they were young we were poor, so we only took them in when necessary. For example, we moved frequently, and landlords required shot records. We would take them to a shot clinic or a vet to get shots before a big move.

Now that they are getting older (one is slowing down quite a bit) and we are better off financially, we take them for an annual visit. So far, they have had very good health, nothing major. And the vet has recommendations that have allowed them to lose weight and remain healthy. As they get older, it is nice to have someone they see regularly who knows them and who we trust. They are like our children, so we treat them as such.
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DoubleDown

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #29 on: October 09, 2017, 09:53:08 AM »
I don't take our cat to the vet for regular checkups. She's kept strictly indoors, and therefore exposed to nothing. I will of course take her if she ever gets sick or hurt, but I think vaccinations for an isolated animal are unnecessary and probably unwise. She's about 8 years old now, never had any troubles. Ironically, my wife takes the cat she had prior to our marriage to the vet every year, and picked up a flea infestation during the last visit. That was then spread throughout our house and to the cat that doesn't go to the vet. Score 1 more for not going to the vet unless necessary.
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TheAnonOne

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #30 on: October 09, 2017, 11:07:58 AM »
We love our cats very much and would immediately take them in if they looked sick. However, after 5-6 years they seem to be doing fine and that is without bringing them in annually. After a certain point, say 14-16 years old we would not spend any large sum to prolong. There is a point where, to the animals point of view, it just looks like torture. People who grew up in the cities don't really get that brutal reality.

My neighbors spent THOUSANDS prolonging their cats life, the cat was 19 years old, and stayed on drugs for the last 6 months of it's life. Sounds way worse than just passing when it is time.

Again, if the animal is young, it may make sense, depending on the condition, to really treat issues.

Sibley

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #31 on: October 09, 2017, 11:49:26 AM »
So, for everyone who doesn't take their animals in, I'd love to get lessons in cat from you. /s Because I'm a cat person, I'm the person EVERYONE talks to when they have a cat question/problem, I am constantly petting/handling my cats and keeping an eye out for issues and I have missed serious injuries and illnesses in my cats. More than once.

Cats in particular are notorious for hiding problems. Just because you don't notice a problem doesn't mean there isn't one. My poor cat had an infected tooth and was in massive pain, and I had no idea. For months. My other cat had an infected bite wound and I didn't know she'd been bitten. Add in kidney disease or diabetes, both of which are common ailments in cats with subtle or no symptoms, and you're basically screwed.

Also, if your animal hasn't had a rabies shot and something happens, in some places the animal will be killed immediately, no negotiation. Plenty of places have quarantine, etc, but not all of them do. Even in places with quarantine, it's not unheard of for police to shoot the animal anyway. Is that something you can live with?

Having animals that don't travel well isn't an excuse either. There are vets that will do housecalls. Mine does I know, they had a sign on the wall last time I was in.

Personally, I have 9 and 18 year old cats. I will treat illnesses/injuries, to a point. I consider quality of life  and expected lifespan when making decisions. I won't do chemo/radiation/transplants. If quality of life isn't going to be adequate, I will euthanize them. Then I'll fall apart for a while because they're my babies. :(

Thinkum

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #32 on: October 09, 2017, 11:59:03 AM »

Cats in particular are notorious for hiding problems. Just because you don't notice a problem doesn't mean there isn't one. My poor cat had an infected tooth and was in massive pain, and I had no idea. For months. My other cat had an infected bite wound and I didn't know she'd been bitten. Add in kidney disease or diabetes, both of which are common ailments in cats with subtle or no symptoms, and you're basically screwed.


Very true indeed. Our cat was indicating kidney issues on a routine blood test during one of her annual visits. We had no clue as she was eating, drinking, and using the loo just fine. Turned out to be nothing since her diet was/is so high in protein and the Dr's attributed the reading to that fact. The Dr's said if she was acting fine, then she's okay. As I have stated before, the annual check ups are cheap insurance for our pets well being.

Astatine

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #33 on: October 09, 2017, 03:10:54 PM »
Also, if your animal hasn't had a rabies shot and something happens, in some places the animal will be killed immediately, no negotiation. Plenty of places have quarantine, etc, but not all of them do. Even in places with quarantine, it's not unheard of for police to shoot the animal anyway. Is that something you can live with?

I'm lucky that rabies doesn't exist in my country so that's not an issue for my unvaccinated indoor cat. If rabies did exist in my country, then I'm pretty sure the conversations with our vets regarding vaccinations would be very different.

danakado

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #34 on: October 10, 2017, 09:29:27 AM »
I do an annual visit but my bill last time was crazy, like over $500.  This included a couple of vaccines that needed to be updated, the heartworm test, a fecal test and the exam itself.  I wonder if there is a way to save on vaccine costs? 

Thinkum

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #35 on: October 10, 2017, 10:22:23 AM »
I wonder if there is a way to save on vaccine costs?

Yes there are! You can and should check with your local animal shelter/SPCA. They usually offer steeply discounted vaccines during the year. We recently remembered about this, and will utilizing it in the future.

nemesis

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #36 on: October 10, 2017, 12:14:35 PM »
I know not everyone shares my attitude, but I think that you're responsible for the health and well being of your animals just the same as you are for your children. If it's not OK for your kids, it's not OK for your animals. Would you be prepared to forgo your children's annual dental check ups or whatever?

I also think it's kind of false economy, frankly. If you catch a condition early (or prevent it altogether with vaccs), you'll save a lot of time, money and stress.
I agree, except on 2 points:

1) there are greedy vets, who will charge for unnecessary procedures because they know how much you love your pets and won't mind wasting money.  Case in point, my dog was tested for heartworm when we adopted her, test was negative.  We give our dog heartworm medicine every month, and she has been tested twice since for heartworm, still negative.

And yet, we are required to get a heartworm test every year just to get the heartworm refill.  That really pisses me off.  According to articles like this: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Is-Heartworm-Testing-Really-Necessary  heartworm tests are a waste of money once a dog is on a preventative medicine.  My vet's answer?  "we don't know if you're regularly giving her heartworm monthly so we still need to test before you can get a refill."

We've shopped around for other vets and it seems they are all in the same racket - no refills unless they do a heartworm test.

Well, fuck that.  What's the point if I'm already paying $200 per year for heartworm medicine, and still have to pay another $100 for heartworm test?  And we live in an area that is very rare for heartworm to occur.

Seems like a blatant rip off to me.

2) My pets != my kids.  I'll do anything for my kids.  As much as I love my pets...if they should get severely sick, and the bill is more than we can afford...I'm sorry, but I'm putting the animal down.   I'm not going to put our ability to eat and live under a roof at risk because of a pet, I will do that for my kids.


inline five

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #37 on: October 10, 2017, 01:00:11 PM »
I know not everyone shares my attitude, but I think that you're responsible for the health and well being of your animals just the same as you are for your children. If it's not OK for your kids, it's not OK for your animals. Would you be prepared to forgo your children's annual dental check ups or whatever?

I also think it's kind of false economy, frankly. If you catch a condition early (or prevent it altogether with vaccs), you'll save a lot of time, money and stress.
I agree, except on 2 points:

1) there are greedy vets, who will charge for unnecessary procedures because they know how much you love your pets and won't mind wasting money.  Case in point, my dog was tested for heartworm when we adopted her, test was negative.  We give our dog heartworm medicine every month, and she has been tested twice since for heartworm, still negative.

And yet, we are required to get a heartworm test every year just to get the heartworm refill.  That really pisses me off.  According to articles like this: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Is-Heartworm-Testing-Really-Necessary  heartworm tests are a waste of money once a dog is on a preventative medicine.  My vet's answer?  "we don't know if you're regularly giving her heartworm monthly so we still need to test before you can get a refill."

We've shopped around for other vets and it seems they are all in the same racket - no refills unless they do a heartworm test.

Well, fuck that.  What's the point if I'm already paying $200 per year for heartworm medicine, and still have to pay another $100 for heartworm test?  And we live in an area that is very rare for heartworm to occur.

Seems like a blatant rip off to me.

2) My pets != my kids.  I'll do anything for my kids.  As much as I love my pets...if they should get severely sick, and the bill is more than we can afford...I'm sorry, but I'm putting the animal down.   I'm not going to put our ability to eat and live under a roof at risk because of a pet, I will do that for my kids.

As I posted above you can buy online with no prescription for heart worm.

http://www.vetshopaustralia.com.au/Generic-Heartgard-Tabs-for-Large-Dogs-Nuheart-23-to-45kg-Red-P224C96.aspx

Under $50/yr for our dog. Have used them almost a decade. We live in NC and stopped flea treatment around the same time, itís horrible on the dog...no issues.

We just did a senior blood test a few weeks ago, after almost a decade on generic heart worm, guess what still negative.



jlcnuke

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #38 on: October 10, 2017, 03:15:54 PM »
I prefer dogs over most people (and pretty much every child that ever lived...). As such, my dog will always get a trip to the doggy doctor every year to make sure she's as healthy as she can be and so we can find/address any problems with her health that do come up. There are medical problems that you won't spot until it's too late in people and animals if you don't visit the doctor regularly. That's one of the man reasons why they recommend you visit them regularly... I can't begin to imagine how much of a piece of crap I'd feel like if my vet told me we had to put down my dog, but everything could have been just fine if I'd been bringing her in for her checkups instead.
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Mikila

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #39 on: October 10, 2017, 04:01:11 PM »
I only take mine in to get their rabies boosters to comply with city ordinance.  They are healthy otherwise.

Cassie

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #40 on: October 10, 2017, 05:09:49 PM »
Until recently I had 4 very old dogs ( 2 recently passed).  We did everything by the book. they all but 1 had a ton of health issues for years.  Never once did an annual exam find a problem. I usually noticed that something was wrong and took them in.  I have been reading articles by vets saying our animals are way over vaccinated and that  is making them sick.  It turns out for most dogs after they get all their puppy shots they are immune from rabies for life and you can do a yearly titer test to make sure.  We recently got a new puppy and will be doing things differently with him.  WE also had to start making tough decisions about level of care as they aged. We spent a lot more on them when young then we did when old except for the medications of course.  No one lives forever. I love them dearly and these can be tough decisions as they age. The 2 that died were 12 and 20. We have a 13yo(small dog) and a 12 yo big dog.  The big dogs don't usually live as long.

nemesis

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #41 on: October 11, 2017, 12:19:37 AM »

As I posted above you can buy online with no prescription for heart worm.

http://www.vetshopaustralia.com.au/Generic-Heartgard-Tabs-for-Large-Dogs-Nuheart-23-to-45kg-Red-P224C96.aspx

Under $50/yr for our dog. Have used them almost a decade. We live in NC and stopped flea treatment around the same time, itís horrible on the dog...no issues.

We just did a senior blood test a few weeks ago, after almost a decade on generic heart worm, guess what still negative.
Got it, thanks!!

nemesis

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #42 on: October 11, 2017, 12:21:22 AM »
I prefer dogs over most people (and pretty much every child that ever lived...). As such, my dog will always get a trip to the doggy doctor every year to make sure she's as healthy as she can be and so we can find/address any problems with her health that do come up. There are medical problems that you won't spot until it's too late in people and animals if you don't visit the doctor regularly. That's one of the man reasons why they recommend you visit them regularly... I can't begin to imagine how much of a piece of crap I'd feel like if my vet told me we had to put down my dog, but everything could have been just fine if I'd been bringing her in for her checkups instead.
This type of response makes me chuckle.  I love my pets, but they won't make me a hot bowl of soup when I'm sick.  They won't take me to a doctor when I need help.

I put people over animals because I'm not a psycho.  I love animals, but people come first.  I'll do almost anything for animals, but I still feel responsible to my fellow man and women.

MOD EDIT: Please read the forum rules. Calling other people names is not acceptable.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 09:24:27 AM by arebelspy »

asauer

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #43 on: October 11, 2017, 05:47:54 AM »
My mom is a vet- here's her advice:
1. Do the annual exam and vaccines.  Even if you pet is 100% indoor, you and guests track in dirt/ bacteria/ germs which gets on animals paws and therefore into their mouth.  The illnesses that are vaccinated are pretty horrible and painful. 
2. At these exams you will be upsold on several tests.  Ask what each one is for and what age the test is recommended for.  Several vets try to sell geriatric (over 5 years old) tests for younger pets.  Generally, she  recommends doing the fecal as it is one of the only ways to detect worms which animals can get at any age. 
3. Unless your animal is old or has a history of illness, you probably don't need bloodwork.

Knapptyme

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #44 on: October 11, 2017, 06:40:52 AM »
Annual check-ups here for two dogs. While I like saving money, my local vet costs no more than $50 for said visit including fecal and blood tests. I feel ok about that cost and do not plan to switch. Heartworm medicine and flea/tick prevention are more costly and would be done anyway. I've never, however, done the teeth cleaning or nail trimming by a professional.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #45 on: October 11, 2017, 01:21:00 PM »
I prefer dogs over most people (and pretty much every child that ever lived...). As such, my dog will always get a trip to the doggy doctor every year to make sure she's as healthy as she can be and so we can find/address any problems with her health that do come up. There are medical problems that you won't spot until it's too late in people and animals if you don't visit the doctor regularly. That's one of the man reasons why they recommend you visit them regularly... I can't begin to imagine how much of a piece of crap I'd feel like if my vet told me we had to put down my dog, but everything could have been just fine if I'd been bringing her in for her checkups instead.
This type of response makes me chuckle.  I love my pets, but they won't make me a hot bowl of soup when I'm sick.  They won't take me to a doctor when I need help.

I put people over animals because I'm not a psycho.  I love animals, but people come first.  I'll do almost anything for animals, but I still feel responsible to my fellow man and women.

Nemesis, you seem to be implying that jlcnuke, or anyone who has a sense of humor like his, is a "psycho."  I can see you are a newer member on the forum and would suggest you review the forum rules to make sure you keep your conduct consistent with this community.  The first sentence of your second paragraph crosses the line.  https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/forum-information-faqs/forum-rules/
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 01:24:03 PM by LeRainDrop »

nemesis

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #46 on: October 11, 2017, 01:26:13 PM »
I prefer dogs over most people (and pretty much every child that ever lived...). As such, my dog will always get a trip to the doggy doctor every year to make sure she's as healthy as she can be and so we can find/address any problems with her health that do come up. There are medical problems that you won't spot until it's too late in people and animals if you don't visit the doctor regularly. That's one of the man reasons why they recommend you visit them regularly... I can't begin to imagine how much of a piece of crap I'd feel like if my vet told me we had to put down my dog, but everything could have been just fine if I'd been bringing her in for her checkups instead.
This type of response makes me chuckle.  I love my pets, but they won't make me a hot bowl of soup when I'm sick.  They won't take me to a doctor when I need help.

I put people over animals because I'm not a psycho.  I love animals, but people come first.  I'll do almost anything for animals, but I still feel responsible to my fellow man and women.

Nemesis, you seem to be implying that jlcnuke, or anyone who has a sense of humor like his, is a "psycho."  I can see you are a newer member on the forum and would suggest you review the forum rules to make sure you keep your conduct consistent with this community.  The first sentence of your second paragraph crosses the line.  https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/forum-information-faqs/forum-rules/
Sorry but I did not accuse jlcnuke of being a psycho.  I said I'm not a psycho, because I prioritize people over animals.  I never said anything about him.  Sorry if that was not clear.

MOD EDIT: Uh, no. Saying "I'm not [insulting term] because I believe Y" implies that those who don't believe Y are [insulting term]. It's rude. Please stop.

I will say this though, it seems there are more and more people who do put animals above fellow human beings.  It seems a bit messed up.  I love animals, especially my dogs.  It seems politically incorrect to put humans above animals in many places, and you are a devil if you dare put humans above animals.  We should respect all forms of life, and love all forms of life, but I wouldn't place an animal over a person.

I know of a lady who is wealthy, and takes her dead stuffed dog everywhere she travels, and she actually pays someone to walk her dead dog... I'm not joking here.  This kind of stuff blows my mind.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 09:26:02 AM by arebelspy »

slappy

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #47 on: October 11, 2017, 01:46:02 PM »
Maybe I'm using the wrong vet, but I can't imagine something that they would catch during an annual visit. The annual visit is usually just shots and a quick physical exam in my area.

IWannaGo

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Re: Annual vet visits?
« Reply #48 on: October 11, 2017, 06:21:54 PM »
Ah....I've experienced it varies by geographic region.  Ex. - when I live in Texas, I had my Shepherd of 13 1/2 years teeth cleaned, at the advice of the vet, once a year, starting at about age 3.  He had bones, lots to chew, never ate soft foods (like cat food which gets stuck in gums and can impact gum and teeth health).  I moved to Colorado, had a short stay on Illinois, with my sweet pup today, she's a 65 lb mix, now 4 years old.  When I first got her at age 2 - the vets in Colorado looked at me like I was crazy for wanting to do a teeth cleaning, advised unless there was a problem, they wouldn't look to clean her teeth until age 5 or older, and even then it would not likely be annually - more of a "as needed".  Moved to Chicago for a year....those vets had a similar message.  Interesting learning for me....here is what else I can share....

First - ENZYMATIC doggie toothpaste
.  Please, spare yourself trying to go after your dog with a toothbrush out of the gates.  You'll have a longer adjustment time but the ENZYMATIC kind (there are many out there that are NOT enzymatic) will at least have a positive benefit without using the toothbrush :-)  So find one your dog likes, look at Amazons top seller.  I started giving my dog a taste, no force.  Just 2-3 times a week.  She loves it.  Next, when she's relaxed, laying down, we're watching TV (it's on the coffee table or nearby) I can place some on a finger and rub it on a few of her teeth.  Of course 30 seconds in, she's done - she gets up - but hey! mission accomplished.  No brush required.  Next step, maybe next month, will be the finger toothbrush and that is where I will be happy that I've got her teeth cleaning under control.  Per the vet, it can buy a couple of years before a formal cleaning under anesthesia.

Second - I discovered FIGO pet insurance.  The annual premium is, or at least was less than $160 for the annual premium.  Paid for itself within the first visit to the vet for an upset tummy.  While it wont cover regular vaccines or annual exams, routine, I have found it a pocketbook saver.  Shop around, but I think this is the best investment in covering health care for your furry family.