Author Topic: Vet Expenses  (Read 8870 times)

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #50 on: September 28, 2022, 02:05:57 PM »
People have had pets for thousands of years, what ever resources they may have or afford, your "very common opinion" is not so common nor wide spread. People can let nature take its course beyond certain effort. What is reasonable is the question here.. Spending few thousand a year on a pet is not reasonable by any means to most  people. Its not fiscally responsible either.
Indeed. In an ideal world everyone would be able to spend thousands a year on vet bills. However, in the real world millions of pets killed each year in shelters [1], and it would be better for those pets to enjoy some good years with people that will put them down when they eventually become ill.

Dreamer40

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #51 on: September 28, 2022, 02:28:15 PM »
OP, I think youíre doing all you can. Keep asking the vet questions about what is truly necessary and what you stand to gain from everything being recommended. I have two aging dogs who cost me a fortune. My vet recommends a lot of crazy stuff that suddenly isnít so necessary when I start to push back. I say no a lot. And also still spend a lot. Itís rough.

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #52 on: September 28, 2022, 02:40:12 PM »
A very common opinion is that people who can't afford reasonable care for pets should not have pets.

I can't fathom choosing to have a pet for my own pleasure only to kill it even though it has a totally treatable problem, just because it costs a few thousand a year.
People have had pets for thousands of years, what ever resources they may have or afford, your "very common opinion" is not so common nor wide spread. People can let nature take its course beyond certain effort. What is reasonable is the question here.. Spending few thousand a year on a pet is not reasonable by any means to most  people. Its not fiscally responsible either.

We all have different priorities and we can act on their basis.

If it is your priority go for it but that doesn't mean that is the only way for everyone.

I didn't say it was or that it should be.

I merely said that it is common, especially among people who work with animals, and that I *personally* subscribe to the philosophy for myself that I would not take on a pet that I couldn't support.

I then shared another example of this from my dog breeder mom who doesn't feel responsible breeding dogs without being willing to take them back if they get too sick for people to manage.

The attitude is common. You will very frequently hear people say that if you can't afford a pet you shouldn't have one.

If you are curious about *my* personal belief of how *others* should be behave, you may have noticed that I didn't share one.

I'm personally a harm reduction pragmatist.

If you buy a purebred puppy and kill it because the inconvenience of reasonable care became inconveniently financially burdensome to you, then I would gladly scalp you and wear your scalp as a hat, especially if you immediately go out and buy another fucking puppy.

And that's me being polite about my feelings on the matter.

However, if you rescue dogs who otherwise would be put down, give them a good and loving life, but can't afford expensive treatments, then I send you big hugs when you have to make the heartbreaking decision of putting them down if you don't have a good rescue that will take them and rehome them with people like me. 

So my personal feeling is that people putting down animals who need reasonable but expensive treatment can range from anything from my heart breaking for them to homicidal rage.

Hence why I decided not to be a vet, even before I found out about the shit pay.

chasesfish

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #53 on: September 28, 2022, 03:35:21 PM »
@Malcat Well said

It never failed to have the biggest complainers about financial problems to my wife be the people with purebred dogs

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #54 on: September 28, 2022, 10:49:16 PM »
Chase fish, purebred dogs also need to be rescued. I prefer Maltese because they donít bother my allergies or asthma. They end up in shelters and with rescue groups. I have officially decided that local vets have lost their minds. I took Max to the vet for his blood work today before his dental on Tuesday. As I left I was given the estimate. Last year it was 500 if they didnít pull teeth and the high estimate was 1k. They pulled 2 teeth and I paid 800. I was expecting a slight increase since it went up a lot last year.

After the blood work they bring me the estimate and the low estimate with no teeth pulled is 1k and the high with 3 teeth being pulled is 1900. They donít know until they knock them out if they will need to pull teeth or not. Now I have already paid 200 for blood work. I am having this dental because I have money invested but certainly canít do this yearly for 2 dogs. I have already waited 18 months thinking I could pay 1k per dog every 18 months. Pet insurance doesnít cover dentals. I have shopped around prices in the past among good vets and they are fairly standard.

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #55 on: September 28, 2022, 11:11:44 PM »
Chase fish, purebred dogs also need to be rescued. I prefer Maltese because they donít bother my allergies or asthma. They end up in shelters and with rescue groups. I have officially decided that local vets have lost their minds. I took Max to the vet for his blood work today before his dental on Tuesday. As I left I was given the estimate. Last year it was 500 if they didnít pull teeth and the high estimate was 1k. They pulled 2 teeth and I paid 800. I was expecting a slight increase since it went up a lot last year.

After the blood work they bring me the estimate and the low estimate with no teeth pulled is 1k and the high with 3 teeth being pulled is 1900. They donít know until they knock them out if they will need to pull teeth or not. Now I have already paid 200 for blood work. I am having this dental because I have money invested but certainly canít do this yearly for 2 dogs. I have already waited 18 months thinking I could pay 1k per dog every 18 months. Pet insurance doesnít cover dentals. I have shopped around prices in the past among good vets and they are fairly standard.

Not that you are saying you will put down your dogs for dental reasons, but just to make a point based on earlier comments about expensive care, you do have options short of euthanasia for the expense of dental care.

Rehoming: cute little Maltese are easy to rehome, someone with money would want them.
Or full clearance: meaning you pay once to have all teeth that are likely to ever need to be removed removed right away.

I've had several toothless dogs, they eat just fine. My little dude just had full clearance except for a few molars that would have broken his jaw to remove.

If maintaining their teeth is truly not a sustainable prospect for you, they're better off without teeth and the horrible effect that periodontitis has on their general health. Plus little dog teeth have very short roots, so extraction is not a particularly invasive treatment, and healing from it once has a lot of benefits. Then they also don't have to be put through general anesthetic when they're older and more frail.

My cat has a heart murmur and high heart rate, and the vet is always anxious about anesthetic for him. He is suuuuuper prone to gum disease for some stupid reason and we're talking about full clearance for him to prevent the risks of chronic gum disease (horrible) and anesthesia as he ages.

Certainly a far better option than killing a pet over their teeth being expensive. Not that I'm saying you would. I'm just making a point.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2022, 11:16:47 PM by Malcat »

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #56 on: September 28, 2022, 11:24:06 PM »
Thanks Malcat, I hadn't thought of that option and that might be useful in 10 years for my little dog, based on the last one's dental experience. The last one had to have his last dental when he had a bad heart murmur and they couldn't keep him under long enough to remove all that they'd like. In hindsight, we should have removed more earlier.

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #57 on: September 28, 2022, 11:41:21 PM »
Thanks Malcat, I hadn't thought of that option and that might be useful in 10 years for my little dog, based on the last one's dental experience. The last one had to have his last dental when he had a bad heart murmur and they couldn't keep him under long enough to remove all that they'd like. In hindsight, we should have removed more earlier.

Yeah, prophylactic tooth removal isn't offered very often but really should be discussed when it comes to little dogs or any animals that are prone to chronic gum disease.

The systemic affects of gum disease are atrocious, especially on the heart. I would rather a toothless dog than a dog with unmanageable periodontitis any day. Dogs don't really chew much, their teeth are designed for shearing meat and swallowing it in chunks, not chewing kibble, so as long as they can swallow it, their generally good. Cats too.

That's why whenever they throw up its full on, intact kibble, not mush like human puke.

Plus if you have a bitey little psychopath like my tiny dog who is steadily getting more aggressive as he goes blind and deaf, it's nice that he has no teeth to bite people.

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #58 on: September 29, 2022, 12:20:49 AM »
I have been told by more than one vet that on tiny dogs they canít pull teeth that arenít loose because you can break their jaws. I asked when a 5lb dog was left with one molar and a year later had to have her knocked out just to pull that one. She did fine with no teeth.

 I would never put a dog to sleep over dentals and would never give them away. My experience has been people with the most money are usually the stingiest especially on pets. Max will have his on Tuesday and I will start pricing dentals with some other practices again. I canít believe they have all gone up that much.  I have downsized from 4 to 2 due to natural attrition and will probably only have one in the future. At one point I could have flown to Kansas where I have a friend and paid her vet and it was still cheaper even with airfare so I check into that again.

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #59 on: September 29, 2022, 06:15:11 AM »
I have been told by more than one vet that on tiny dogs they canít pull teeth that arenít loose because you can break their jaws. I asked when a 5lb dog was left with one molar and a year later had to have her knocked out just to pull that one. She did fine with no teeth.

 I would never put a dog to sleep over dentals and would never give them away. My experience has been people with the most money are usually the stingiest especially on pets. Max will have his on Tuesday and I will start pricing dentals with some other practices again. I canít believe they have all gone up that much.  I have downsized from 4 to 2 due to natural attrition and will probably only have one in the future. At one point I could have flown to Kansas where I have a friend and paid her vet and it was still cheaper even with airfare so I check into that again.

I really didn't think you would.

And yeah, full clearance for little dogs often only means the teeth they can safely remove. My little guy (also called Max, lol) as I mentioned also has a few high risk of jaw fracture teeth left.

It's a complex risk with little dogs, because the molars are often anchored in a way that is dangerous to remove, but also,.chronic gum disease makes the jaw bone disintegrate, leaving it even thinner and more prone to fracture.

It's a real catch 22.

But yeah, dental issues and dental costs are one of the trade offs of having little dogs, unfortunately. On the plus side they tend to live longer and surprisingly hardy little buggers.

I've had a ton of purebred little dog rescues because I rescue the worst off dogs possible: the puppy mill breeders. And whenever there's an 'omg this dog should not have survived' case, it's usually a little one.

My last mill rescue was a Maltese, awesome special girl. One of the weirdest and collect dogs ever. She had no teeth when I got her though, so I didn't have to deal with that issue.

JupiterGreen

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #60 on: September 29, 2022, 06:47:02 AM »
I mentioned tooth health and yes as some have mentioned it seems to be a little dog problem (our dogs were little too). With ours, the one that got her teeth brushed regularly did FAR better than the others we had. She still had to have the occasional dental, but it was not once a year with regular extractions like the others. She passed with a fair number of healthy teeth. Brush those little dog's teeth. Not only will it save you money, but they will be healthier and you don't have to risk the anesthesia as much.

Also agree with the sentiment that if you get a pet, it is your responsibility to care for it- expect accidents and illnesses. We don't do this, but I had a dog breed that was prone to breaks and I know people who kept a separate accounts to save up for the procedure should their dog need it. I might start a separate account for my cats. I already have a line item in my budget but I don't sweep the cost into a separate account. The discussions on this thread are great. It's interesting to read how much the costs of dentals have increased, the last one we had a few years back was around $300. Anyway, always good to talk about tracking our pet spending and how to fo it better.

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #61 on: September 29, 2022, 09:38:50 AM »
15 years ago I flew to Texas to adopt a deaf puppy mill breeder. She was unsocialized and not potty trained. She was so afraid of everything. She was so smart and I made up signs to communicate with her and she knew 7. She ended up being a awesome happy dog and lived until 18 and she was 8 when we got her.

 When I was married and we both had good jobs we took the old dogs that no one wanted. I have a friend that since retiring has 10 old puppy mill poms that she devotes her life too. She was lots of money and lives in Texas where vet care is much cheaper.  Thereís no sacrifice that I wonít make personally to make sure my dogs have the care they need.

Besides my real kids my Maltese are the most important thing in my life. Funny Malcat that your dogís name is max also but I read itís gotten quite popular. In the 18 years that I have rescued dogs I have made a difference in 9 dogs lives. After these dogs pass my plan is to adopt the oldest small dog at the shelter and rinse and repeat until I die.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2022, 09:40:46 AM by Cassie »

SunnyDays

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #62 on: September 29, 2022, 10:27:15 AM »
Thanks everyone for confirming that small dogs are not for me!  They're cute as heck but I have no desire to deal with those kinds of dental issues.  I grew up with a 7 pounder who lived 19 1/2 years and only had one cleaning done.  The vet recommended against another as she got older, and when she had to be taken to a different vet one time because her usual one wasn't open, we were told in a snotty voice "Her teeth are atrocious" by their vet.  Another totally unrelated incident at that office put me off them for good. 

I've only had larger dogs myself and I plan to keep it this way in future.  One of my cats just cost me 650.00 for a cleaning and the other is due too.  Plus the dog.  That's enough for me.

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #63 on: September 29, 2022, 10:38:26 AM »
15 years ago I flew to Texas to adopt a deaf puppy mill breeder. She was unsocialized and not potty trained. She was so afraid of everything. She was so smart and I made up signs to communicate with her and she knew 7. She ended up being a awesome happy dog and lived until 18 and she was 8 when we got her.

 When I was married and we both had good jobs we took the old dogs that no one wanted. I have a friend that since retiring has 10 old puppy mill poms that she devotes her life too. She was lots of money and lives in Texas where vet care is much cheaper.  Thereís no sacrifice that I wonít make personally to make sure my dogs have the care they need.

Besides my real kids my Maltese are the most important thing in my life. Funny Malcat that your dogís name is max also but I read itís gotten quite popular. In the 18 years that I have rescued dogs I have made a difference in 9 dogs lives. After these dogs pass my plan is to adopt the oldest small dog at the shelter and rinse and repeat until I die.

Awesome!

My second last rescue was the most brutal one I've ever had. He was a ~10 year old shitzhu and had never been out of his cage except for breeding. They were stacked in wired cages, pooped and peed on each other and hosed down.

He was so infected he lost an eye, was blind in the other, was deaf because his inner ears had rotted away, had all of his teeth pulled and big voids in his upper jaw that eroded through to his nasal passages, and his vocal cords were destroyed. His feet and spine were fucked from never having been able to walk on solid ground.

Evidently he just screamed for the first 3 weeks and would only drink his own urine.

Ever tried to socialize and train a blind, deaf dog who has never been outside or known people?

Lol, he ended up being the best dog ever and the best communicator ever. By magic, he figured out how to navigate the house with no issues. A light whimper meant he needed to go outside. He taught himself that grass was the best place to pee. A yawn meant he wanted down or up, basically away from wherever he was.

He also instantly calmed any other dogs or animals around him.

He walked into the total insanity of my mom's pack, who ate always craziest when a new dog arrives, and within a minute, they all calmed right down and most lay down around him when he found a spot to rest.

Seriously zen dog.

I called him Winky because he had one eye and looked like he was winking. I wrote a lot at that time inspired by him and called it 'Winky Wisdom."

In no small way, that dog informed quite a bit of my personal philosophy as a disabled person.

JupiterGreen

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #64 on: September 29, 2022, 12:09:34 PM »
Thanks everyone for confirming that small dogs are not for me!  They're cute as heck but I have no desire to deal with those kinds of dental issues.  I grew up with a 7 pounder who lived 19 1/2 years and only had one cleaning done.  The vet recommended against another as she got older, and when she had to be taken to a different vet one time because her usual one wasn't open, we were told in a snotty voice "Her teeth are atrocious" by their vet.  Another totally unrelated incident at that office put me off them for good. 

I've only had larger dogs myself and I plan to keep it this way in future.  One of my cats just cost me 650.00 for a cleaning and the other is due too.  Plus the dog.  That's enough for me.

They're definitely not for everyone but g'damn I vibed so heavy with the breed we had -- lovely little cuddle bugs.  We rescued all of ours too. We had one from a puppy mill rescue - that was an experience but interestingly as far as vet bills go she wasn't too bad. The puppymill doggo ended up being our favorite dog and so even though we cancelled our dog ownership card we ended on a high note with her. I doubt she could be bested by any mix or breed. :( Still miss her heaps.

jac941

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #65 on: September 29, 2022, 06:01:11 PM »
Wow. This thread has been a wealth of information! It sounds like a lot of people (but not all) have the same philosophy of care, so thatís helpful.

Iím definitely going to check out medication pricing at a human pharmacy & Costco to see if that helps a bit. Iíll also continue to ask questions for every recommended test and treatment. Though honestly as a non medical person, sometimes itís hard to tell whatís truly necessary vs just good to know. I have to go too far for a rural vet to be practical, but I do go to an independent clinic that has to refer out for specialty tests and care, so they almost always offer an alternative that doesnít require it.

It was interesting to read the discussion and strong opinions about dentals. The dog that prompted my original post had his ďfinalĒ dental at age 11.5 yrs. We made the decision at that time that this would be his final trip under anesthesia due to a heart murmur that makes anesthesia risky. Honestly that decision has made many of the decisions in the past 2.5 yrs much easier - if it canít be done without anesthesia, it isnít an option.

I guess weíll keep doing what weíre doing and just look at the small areas where we can cut costs. The money isnít a problem, I just want to know that weíre not spending unnecessarily. Thanks!

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #66 on: September 29, 2022, 07:59:34 PM »
Malcat, Winky sounded like a awesome dog. Today I was reading posts on Nextdoor and someone was saying how much they love their vet and how reasonable they are. I then looked at reviews which were good. I am going to take Amy there for her checkup and then ask for a dental estimate. So maybe I have found a solution.

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #67 on: September 29, 2022, 08:05:29 PM »
Malcat, Winky sounded like a awesome dog. Today I was reading posts on Nextdoor and someone was saying how much they love their vet and how reasonable they are. I then looked at reviews which were good. I am going to take Amy there for her checkup and then ask for a dental estimate. So maybe I have found a solution.

Winky was the best. He only lasted a year, but he had an awesome retirement while it lasted.

Max is a teacup poodle I adopted when he was young. The only young rescue I've ever had, and he's a fucking asshole. I've had a lot of dogs, done a ton of training with him, and he's just a little fucking psychopath and getting worse as he gets older, blinder, and more deaf.

At least he's entertaining, but it's so my luck that all of my chill, easy, awesome dogs would be old and die after a year or two with me, and the one I have for a decade is a hostile little lunatic.

I love him to bits though. And he's stupid cute. Like grown women have cried at the sight of him cute.

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #68 on: September 29, 2022, 08:21:48 PM »
I had a tiny Maltese Cassie that I bought when she was 6 months. One of my first dogs as a adult before I got into rescue. She was one crazy dog. She would jump up and bite people on the butt or back of their legs, pee in your shoes, growl and tried to attack big dogs and boss everyone around. We called her bipolar Cassie. She adored me and was a one person dog. She died at 11 despite having a excellent pedigree. I was heartbroken when she died even though I had 3 other dogs.

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #69 on: September 29, 2022, 08:27:40 PM »
I had a tiny Maltese Cassie that I bought when she was 6 months. One of my first dogs as a adult before I got into rescue. She was one crazy dog. She would jump up and bite people on the butt or back of their legs, pee in your shoes, growl and tried to attack big dogs and boss everyone around. We called her bipolar Cassie. She adored me and was a one person dog. She died at 11 despite having a excellent pedigree. I was heartbroken when she died even though I had 3 other dogs.

Sometimes little psychopaths are incredibly lovable. Max is my best bud.

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #70 on: September 29, 2022, 08:30:04 PM »
Max sounds like a special baby:)).

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #71 on: October 05, 2022, 09:57:33 AM »
Just wanted to report the happy ending to my dental tale of woe:)). My vet only works 2 days a week so when she got to work she immediately lowered the estimates. I have been going to her for 18 years and followed her to the practice she is at now. When I got divorced I told her that my finances had changed. Anyway she charged me 849 for dental which includes blood work even though she pulled 2 teeth.

Luckily I noticed max had a ear infection before the dental so they took care of it while he was under. That was a additional 150 which is normal for here.  Sadly Maxís liver values were double so will redo blood work in 8 weeks. He is only 5 so hoping it resolves by itself. Really glad that I have the pet insurance because money wonít need to be a issue in treatment.

Cranky

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #72 on: October 06, 2022, 07:52:07 AM »
So, one of the cats from the other side of our house had a dental crisis this week - turns out she has a broken tooth. They had to call EIGHT vets to find one who could take it out before next month. Yikes.

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #73 on: October 06, 2022, 09:20:56 AM »
Cranky, my pet insurance would cover that type of situation. Supposed like we also have a vet shortage but it seems like we have plenty. I was talking to my sister in Chicago and she paid 210 for her dogís last dental.

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #74 on: October 06, 2022, 09:23:19 AM »
Cranky, my pet insurance would cover that type of situation. Supposed like we also have a vet shortage but it seems like we have plenty. I was talking to my sister in Chicago and she paid 210 for her dogís last dental.

HOW??? How would that even cover anesthesia??

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #75 on: October 06, 2022, 09:26:01 AM »
My friends in Texas and Kansas pay similar amounts which is why I am considering flying out to have it done on both. My dogs are so small they can fly under the seat in the same carrier.

SunnyDays

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #76 on: October 06, 2022, 10:21:29 AM »
Cranky, my pet insurance would cover that type of situation. Supposed like we also have a vet shortage but it seems like we have plenty. I was talking to my sister in Chicago and she paid 210 for her dogís last dental.

HOW??? How would that even cover anesthesia??

Maybe it wasn't given any?  Owwwwwww!

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #77 on: October 06, 2022, 11:18:20 AM »
Cranky, my pet insurance would cover that type of situation. Supposed like we also have a vet shortage but it seems like we have plenty. I was talking to my sister in Chicago and she paid 210 for her dogís last dental.

HOW??? How would that even cover anesthesia??

Yes her dog had anesthesia as do my friendís dogs in the other 2 states. All are very fussy about their babies.
Maybe it wasn't given any?  Owwwwwww!

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #78 on: October 06, 2022, 01:34:30 PM »
Cranky, my pet insurance would cover that type of situation. Supposed like we also have a vet shortage but it seems like we have plenty. I was talking to my sister in Chicago and she paid 210 for her dogís last dental.

HOW??? How would that even cover anesthesia??

Yes her dog had anesthesia as do my friendís dogs in the other 2 states. All are very fussy about their babies.
Maybe it wasn't given any?  Owwwwwww!

But how can a comic make any money off of doing anethesia, and cleaning, which is time consuming, and only charge $210??

I just can't wrap my mind around that being profitable.

Sibley

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #79 on: October 08, 2022, 06:05:38 PM »
Cranky, my pet insurance would cover that type of situation. Supposed like we also have a vet shortage but it seems like we have plenty. I was talking to my sister in Chicago and she paid 210 for her dogís last dental.

HOW??? How would that even cover anesthesia??

Yes her dog had anesthesia as do my friendís dogs in the other 2 states. All are very fussy about their babies.
Maybe it wasn't given any?  Owwwwwww!

But how can a comic make any money off of doing anethesia, and cleaning, which is time consuming, and only charge $210??

I just can't wrap my mind around that being profitable.

Low cost, subsidized clinics do exist.

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #80 on: October 08, 2022, 06:21:26 PM »
Low cost, subsidized clinics do exist.

Definitely not a thing here. Who pays then? Who is subsidizing?

I'm fascinated by this.

chasesfish

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #81 on: October 09, 2022, 08:18:26 AM »
Low cost, subsidized clinics do exist.

Definitely not a thing here. Who pays then? Who is subsidizing?

I'm fascinated by this.

Animal charities.  The majority of vet expenses are early life and end of life car.  Many of the not for profits setup vaccine and spay/neuter clinics.   It's both low cost because of subsidies and spay / neuters are pretty efficient if you can assembly line them for the veterinarian, my wife did this both in a vet school rotation and for some per-day work at one place we lived.   

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #82 on: October 09, 2022, 09:31:11 AM »
Low cost, subsidized clinics do exist.

Definitely not a thing here. Who pays then? Who is subsidizing?

I'm fascinated by this.

Animal charities.  The majority of vet expenses are early life and end of life car.  Many of the not for profits setup vaccine and spay/neuter clinics.   It's both low cost because of subsidies and spay / neuters are pretty efficient if you can assembly line them for the veterinarian, my wife did this both in a vet school rotation and for some per-day work at one place we lived.   

Yeah, I've seen some charities do limited free bet care, but I've never seen subsidized dental care. That's amazing if some places have that.

Villanelle

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #83 on: October 09, 2022, 10:36:18 AM »
Are small dogs really prone to more dental issues than large dogs?  I've only ever had/grown up with large dogs.  My current beasts are 50+ pound (smallest dogs I've ever had) lab/standard poodle mixes.  (I have the term labradoodle because I think it just encourages their popularity, which comes largely from irresponsible breeding).  With in 3 months of adopting them, I spent about $1000 per dog to on dentals, and that's without extractions.  (I live in a H/VH COL area.  I asked around and that was about the going rate, with many people paying more.)  Doctor feared they'd each need an extraction which would have pushed up the cost but thankfully when they got them under, neither teeth needed to be removed.  I adopted them at 10yo and they pretty clearly had had dental care in years.

My parents have a standard poodle.  (Former breeding dog.)  He too came to them with awful teeth.  Even though he gets regular cleanings, every year or two he needs another couple teeth removed.  I suspect that over time they've put at least a couple thousand $ into his mouth.

Is this just bad luck?  Clearly it's anecdotal.  Are smaller dogs mouths worse than big dogs'? 

chasesfish

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #84 on: October 09, 2022, 10:54:06 AM »
@Villanelle

Small dogs tend to live longer and dental issues show up later in life.   That's the only big correlation.   Most of the rest is diet:  Treats, human food, wet food, raw foods, breaks from giving dog bones ect, over a diet of basic dry kibble from the major manufacturers that's designed for pet health.   

Brushing the dog's teeth a few times a week helps as well

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #85 on: October 09, 2022, 11:15:34 AM »
Are small dogs really prone to more dental issues than large dogs?  I've only ever had/grown up with large dogs.  My current beasts are 50+ pound (smallest dogs I've ever had) lab/standard poodle mixes.  (I have the term labradoodle because I think it just encourages their popularity, which comes largely from irresponsible breeding).  With in 3 months of adopting them, I spent about $1000 per dog to on dentals, and that's without extractions.  (I live in a H/VH COL area.  I asked around and that was about the going rate, with many people paying more.)  Doctor feared they'd each need an extraction which would have pushed up the cost but thankfully when they got them under, neither teeth needed to be removed.  I adopted them at 10yo and they pretty clearly had had dental care in years.

My parents have a standard poodle.  (Former breeding dog.)  He too came to them with awful teeth.  Even though he gets regular cleanings, every year or two he needs another couple teeth removed.  I suspect that over time they've put at least a couple thousand $ into his mouth.

Is this just bad luck?  Clearly it's anecdotal.  Are smaller dogs mouths worse than big dogs'?

Yes, small dogs are definitely more prone to tooth problems because they have very little bone support for their teeth, so tooth loss is dramatically more likely. Many little dog teeth aren't anchored in bone at all and just floating in gum tissue. These are pretty much guaranteed to have problems eventually.

Another theory is that little dogs have more crowded teeth, which traps more bacteria. Certainly, all of my tiny dogs have had worse tartar buildup than my big dogs, and universally more crowded teeth.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2022, 11:17:43 AM by Malcat »

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #86 on: October 09, 2022, 11:33:15 AM »
From mine and my friendís experiences big dogs rarely need dentals. One of my Maltese that I got at 6 months had her first dental at 2 and by 7 was toothless. She was only 5lbs. My vet said in the small dogs it really doesnít matter if they eat dry or wet food because neither is on their teeth long. Also the smaller they are the riskier dental treats are even smaller ones made for their size. I quit giving them when one got stuck in her throat and almost killed her. It was a 1100 vet bill to retrieve it and this was 10 years ago.

Villanelle

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #87 on: October 09, 2022, 01:27:45 PM »
Super interesting.  Thanks, everyone.  I guess I just got "lucky".  We now do daily dental chews and add some powder to their food that is supposed to soften tartar, or something like that.  Hopefully next year at their annual exam their teeth are better.  I'll spend what I have to, but a $2000+ annual vet bill would be nice to avoid!

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #88 on: October 09, 2022, 09:23:43 PM »
I would definitely do the dental chews if I could. I also used the powder for a year and saw no difference. 18 years of little dogs and I think I have tried everything:)).

PoutineLover

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #89 on: October 09, 2022, 09:30:28 PM »
Speaking of pet dental care, I just found out that my 11 year old cat needs to have two teeth extracted and a cleaning. My vet quoted me $1243, which includes $160 for blood work and $250 for xrays. She said the blood work is to check for any issues that might make anaesthesia risky, and the xrays are to check for other hidden cavities. I'm inclined to decline those, since she's otherwise healthy and has gone under without blood work before (they just used a lighter dose to be safe, and the vet did say she'd still recommend the procedure even if blood work turned up something) and the xrays seem like an unnecessary extra, but is there anything I'm overlooking here? Would anyone more experienced with pet dental care recommend that I do either of those? I'm going to do the dental work, and I could pay for the whole thing if I had to, but if it's not necessary I'd rather save the money.

Sibley

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #90 on: October 09, 2022, 09:40:53 PM »
The majority of vet costs are beginning of life and end of life. Similar to people care too actually. But you can do things to mitigate the costs. I'm doing that right now in fact.

I posted above somewhere about Arwen going to the vet for grooming. Well, we also did the really complete bloodwork ($300) because not grooming is not normal, and it came back as nonspecific "something is wrong", with the something very possibly being cancer. And something is wrong. Arwen isn't eating well, her behavior is way off, she's dropping weight. I could take her into the vet, do a bunch more tests and try to treat this. It likely wouldn't work, whatever it is has been going for months and by the time they're starting to refuse food, you're pretty much done. And Arwen doesn't like the vet. She doesn't like taking meds. Her entire personality is one which prefers low intervention.

And that's what I'm doing. I do have a vet appointment scheduled, but honestly, that will likely turn into an euthanasia appointment. I'm doing what I can to encourage her to eat - I've got the meat baby food, I got a variety of kitty junk foods to try, etc. It's not enough to maintain her weight but she simply isn't willing to eat more. So I'm spending $$ on the pureed foods that she seems be eating best right now, rather than $$$$ on vet care that won't be successful and will make her miserable.

This isn't easy. It requires that you be emotionally strong enough to accept the inevitable. It requires the willingness to put the animal's needs above your own. I have practice - Arwen will be the 4th cat I've lost since 2019, but it doesn't really make it easier. Each one has declined differently, and she's the first that I knew with certainty more than a day or two before the last vet appointment (it's day 4 of certain knowledge for me right now). I am currently a highly functional mess. Because I know that the cat who is currently purring on my lap is dying. Its hard. I've had her for 14 years, she is the first cat I adopted as a kitten and raised myself. She has given me all her love, and I will repay that debt.

It's not a money decision. I have the money. It's a philosophy that I am responsible for the health and wellbeing of the animals I own, and that includes a good death. It just happens to save a lot of money sometimes.

chasesfish

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #91 on: October 10, 2022, 06:44:40 AM »
@PoutineLover - I think it'll depend on your veterinarian's comfort level.  There's a higher risk in putting a senior animal under anesthesia and balancing that risk with the quality of life issues around not doing dental care.   My wife had a ceiling on age for putting an otherwise okay animal under anesthesia for dental work.

@Sibley I wish you the best, such a painful quality of life decision.   Everything is about quality of life at that point.

Metalcat

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #92 on: October 10, 2022, 06:57:32 AM »
Speaking of pet dental care, I just found out that my 11 year old cat needs to have two teeth extracted and a cleaning. My vet quoted me $1243, which includes $160 for blood work and $250 for xrays. She said the blood work is to check for any issues that might make anaesthesia risky, and the xrays are to check for other hidden cavities. I'm inclined to decline those, since she's otherwise healthy and has gone under without blood work before (they just used a lighter dose to be safe, and the vet did say she'd still recommend the procedure even if blood work turned up something) and the xrays seem like an unnecessary extra, but is there anything I'm overlooking here? Would anyone more experienced with pet dental care recommend that I do either of those? I'm going to do the dental work, and I could pay for the whole thing if I had to, but if it's not necessary I'd rather save the money.

The x-rays can be the difference between causing major damage to the cat's skull and not causing major damage to the cat's skull. I personally wouldn't skip them. That a lot for x-rays though, are they proposing to x-ray all the teeth or just the teeth to be extracted?

I don't remember what let dental x-rays cost me, I would definitely ask though why they're so much more than human dental x-rays.

Cassie

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #93 on: October 10, 2022, 07:47:51 AM »
My vet wonít put a dog under without blood work but some vets will. My vet does the X-rays after they are knocked out.  The blood work once determined one of my dogs had liver issues and it was unsafe to knock them out. The age I quit doing dentals varies by health. Sisley, the greatest gift we give our precious babies is a easy death. I am so sorry about your kitty.

sonofsven

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #94 on: October 10, 2022, 08:31:28 AM »
In the small town nearest to me there was a vet who was considered one step below full sainthood. He was available any time in an emergency and often didn't charge his low income clients at all.
He retired but his clinic is still run by like minded folks and the prices are extremely low. Another quirk is they don't take reservations: first come, first served. There's a line every day at 7am.
Many of my friends don't use that clinic because they feel the standard of care is too low. Cost savings is one thing but most pet owners want our pets to live good lives as well. I did use the clinic, but my big Newfie mutt didn't need much care over his long (almost 14!) life. In fact one of the vets moonlights as "Dr Death" and will do a home visit euthanasia for $175. cash.
It was a beautiful thing to hold my boy out on our bluff, overlooking his territory, with the birds singing goodnight, and the sun setting over the river as he wagged his tail right up to the end (*sigh*).
I'm taking a little break from dog ownership, I've had a dog for fifty years (I'm 55). Actually five dogs over that span.
My friend rescues ex guide dogs (and others) and continually has at least four at one time, most near the end, and she spends a lot on them (she can afford it) and has lots of acres with trails and ponds and elk...dog retirement heaven.
One of my favorites was a guide dog that retired from an owner in Manhattan that lived in a high rise and retired to the country paradise. It took her a few years to lose the training and go wild in the country. Now you can't get her out of the pond, she doesn't mind at all anymore! From highly trained and keeping her owner safe in Manhattan to soaking wet running through the brambles barking at ghosts. Pretty awesome.

PoutineLover

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #95 on: October 10, 2022, 11:08:01 PM »
Speaking of pet dental care, I just found out that my 11 year old cat needs to have two teeth extracted and a cleaning. My vet quoted me $1243, which includes $160 for blood work and $250 for xrays. She said the blood work is to check for any issues that might make anaesthesia risky, and the xrays are to check for other hidden cavities. I'm inclined to decline those, since she's otherwise healthy and has gone under without blood work before (they just used a lighter dose to be safe, and the vet did say she'd still recommend the procedure even if blood work turned up something) and the xrays seem like an unnecessary extra, but is there anything I'm overlooking here? Would anyone more experienced with pet dental care recommend that I do either of those? I'm going to do the dental work, and I could pay for the whole thing if I had to, but if it's not necessary I'd rather save the money.

The x-rays can be the difference between causing major damage to the cat's skull and not causing major damage to the cat's skull. I personally wouldn't skip them. That a lot for x-rays though, are they proposing to x-ray all the teeth or just the teeth to be extracted?

I don't remember what let dental x-rays cost me, I would definitely ask though why they're so much more than human dental x-rays.
I think the proposal is to xray the whole mouth. She said there were two teeth with visible cavities and that the xrays would show if other teeth have them below the gum line I guess. I don't know the going rates for animal xrays, I was considering calling some other vets to get price comparisons, but I don't know if they can provide accurate info without an exam.

RainyDay

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #96 on: October 11, 2022, 10:23:34 AM »
Speaking of pet dental care, I just found out that my 11 year old cat needs to have two teeth extracted and a cleaning. My vet quoted me $1243, which includes $160 for blood work and $250 for xrays. She said the blood work is to check for any issues that might make anaesthesia risky, and the xrays are to check for other hidden cavities. I'm inclined to decline those, since she's otherwise healthy and has gone under without blood work before (they just used a lighter dose to be safe, and the vet did say she'd still recommend the procedure even if blood work turned up something) and the xrays seem like an unnecessary extra, but is there anything I'm overlooking here? Would anyone more experienced with pet dental care recommend that I do either of those? I'm going to do the dental work, and I could pay for the whole thing if I had to, but if it's not necessary I'd rather save the money.

My vet won't do a dental without bloodwork within the past 30 days.  In their defense, particularly for an older animal, for some issues they can use different anesthesia (or maybe a different combo of drugs) that makes recovery easier and presents fewer risks to the animal.  But I do think they go overboard sometimes... bloodwork within the past few months ought to be sufficient, or if you have a younger animal in good health, it may not be strictly necessary. (I'm sure the vets would disagree with me!)

startingsmall

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #97 on: October 12, 2022, 12:40:20 PM »
The stories from @RainyDay and @Malcat about tests being offered for pets that needed euthanasia make me so sad and mad!

Males me thankful for my vet. It's in the city in a wealthy area, and while all around the vets are suggesting expensive tests, they keep it to what's needed. I wonder sometimes if it would be different if I had pet insurance but I don't think so. It was even just a locum there who said to me a few months before my last dog was pts "I think we are at end of life care now". I had no idea, he was just trucking on as usual but she suspected he had something that would end him I think.  I'm so grateful she said that because it put the seed in my mind and meant things didn't get dragged out later.

I just want to share the other side of this...

My wife always wanted to be a veterinarian.    It was life's goal.   Graduated near the top of her class in high school, undergraduate, and was valedictorian of her Veterinary class.   Graduation year 2007.   

We moved to Atlanta, ground zero of the housing bust.   Not because prices declined the worse there, but because such a large percentage of the population was employed related to new home construction or in the manufacturing of building supplies.   The majority of her career was spent wrestling with economic euthanasia, having to put down pets with fixable ailments because the owners could not pay.   It was the opposite of her dreams, being the doctor of death for animals that could be helped....but there was no money.   She accumulated six figures of debt to earn $45,000 to $70,000 while working for struggling business owners.   Veterinarians were near the top of the list for suicide, with a lot of this driven by the difference between expectations and reality.

We were fortunate - I earned great money and she was incredible on the expense side and FI was our way out.   We were CoastFI and she scaled back to relief work in 2014 then stopped all together shortly thereafter.   Most veterinarians don't get that escape ramp.

https://www.nomv.org/about/mission/

Thanks for listening to the rant, I just struggled with all of the "greedy veterinarian" talk.   I can promise you that not a single veterinarian goes into this "for the money".   They may change after getting into the profession and/or get jaded over time, but if you are a college student and have any focus whatsoever on making money, veterinary medicine will not be your choice.

As a veterinarian myself (who also managed to escape practice, though we aren't FIRE yet), thank you for sharing this story!

startingsmall

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #98 on: October 12, 2022, 12:53:38 PM »
As a veterinarian myself (granted, one who left practice 2.5 years ago), I'd say that over-the-top veterinary recommendations are far more motivated by fear of lawsuits than by a desire for profit. As veterinarians, we are trained/expected to always offer Plan A first. If the client declines, then we can offer Plan B. If they decline that, we can offer Plan C... and so on. But each of those recommendations needs to be explicitly declined (and documented in the medical record) before a "lower" level of care can be offered.

I worked with an old-school vet who told the owner of every sick older dog that their dog was dying of cancer and needed to be euthanized. Clients loved him because they believed him and their visits were cheap, but it was completely unethical. Granted, the guy also gave a lot of unindicated/contraindicated injections, so he was sketchy in multiple ways. But he was cheap, so clients preferred him to us younger associates who actually recommended diagnostics and appropriate treatments. 

When it comes to things like pre-anesthetic bloodwork, some veterinarians are comfortable making that optional and some are not. Even if they client declines it, there's still a liability risk if the pet experiences an anesthetic complication... not to mention the personal guilt that you would feel over that outcome. It's hard for me to envision a situation in which I'd be willing to perform a dental on a senior pet without recent bloodwork.

BlueHouse

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Re: Vet Expenses
« Reply #99 on: October 12, 2022, 01:08:37 PM »
The only advice I have (and Iím not sure Iíll take it myself when the time comes) is to tell yourself and your pet every single day what a great life theyíve had. Reinforce for yourself that you e given your pet so much love over the past x years and be grateful for the time youíve had together. Change your mindset so you can rejoice in the life youíve shared together rather than focusing on death and whether youíre making a decision ďtoo soonĒ. Every day you had was a gift. So if you pull the plug a week or a month earlier than absolutely necessary , so what?  Your pet knows it was loved and thatís the most important thing.

Good luck

 

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