Author Topic: vet bills - humane v. economic decision  (Read 18802 times)

Kristin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Wilmington, DE
vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« on: November 27, 2013, 01:57:11 PM »
I know there has been a lot of discussion recently on if having pets at all is reasonable when trying to lead a mustachian life.
I married into 3 animals that I absolutely love.  We have large great dane/black lab mix and two cats.  They are all rescues and I don't regret having them one bit.  However, I was pet free before my marriage for financial reasons, so I try to keep pet expenses in check.

This week my wife took our one cat into the vet because we thought she had a UTI.  No UTI (just bad behavior), but they did find that she has a new loud heart murmur, and painful sores in her mouth (vet's opinion that she was trying to tell us through the bad behavior).  The vet recommended a dental, but also a consultation with a cardiologist to make sure her heart is ok and to clear her for the dental.

Now....I love my pets, but where do we draw the line?  When I was growing up, we always had cats and dogs, and none of them ever needed a dental.  They also never needed any type of consultation with a specialist.

A big part of my frustration is that the single vet visit plus blood work cost $250.  Now she needs this specialist appointment which will be another $78 and then a dental (maybe $400).  That is $728 for one cat and one issue.

We know that our dog needs a dental and a lump removed.  That total is going to cost us about $1,000 because he weighs 130 lbs.

The third cat has not even gone in to get checked out yet, and I am sure she will also at least need a dental.

I want to take care of my animals.  I understand that preventative measures are important for humans and four legged friends alike, however, spending thousands of dollars on vet bills seems crazy to me.

Is anyone else struggling with this concept?

rubybeth

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1350
  • Location: Midwest
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2013, 02:07:38 PM »
I personally don't have pets, but I can understand the issues. To me, a few hundred dollars to keep the beloved cat alive for a number of years (since cats usually live quite a while) doesn't seem exorbitant. By "a dental" I assume you mean a teeth cleaning/dental exam, most of which involve sedation since animals can't be soothed with music and pretty posters on the ceiling like we humans can. :) I think the money to have the animals' teeth cleaned will be worth it if you aren't able to do it yourself.

Now, if we were talking about a 10+ year old animal with a severe medical issue, I might say it's better to put the animal to rest.

It's tough when it's a young animal with a big issue, though. If that's the case with the cat, only you can decide what to do. My sister has a beloved 3 year old dachshund who threw out his back (like, dragging his back legs like he was a baby seal). She couldn't afford the invasive surgery her vet recommended, so he was on strict kennel rest for 2 months. He got a lot better during that time, and became a great candidate for a newer laser ablation procedure. It also cost about 1/3 of the invasive procedure, though he had to be brought from Minnesota to Oklahoma. Lucky we have family in Oklahoma. He's doing great, and I think the $1,300 was worth it to my sister and our family (he really is an amazing little dog, and quite young, relatively speaking, since dachshunds can live 12-15 years--this dog will let my sister groom him extensively and even brush his teeth regularly with zero fuss so she saves money by DIYing everything she can for him).

Is it "mustachian" to spend this kind of money on something somewhat superfluous? No, but sometimes you have say "screw it" and do what's right for you in your circumstances.

MoneyCat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1754
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2013, 02:14:47 PM »
Pets are part of the family so you do what is necessary for them.  Would you balk at a bill if it was for your grandmother or your child?  Some people don't understand this but pet parents do.

Koala0924

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2013, 02:22:02 PM »
We are not currently facing this, thank goodness. You have my sympathy. Our dog, who is spoiled rotten and very loved, is currently in good health and only goes to the vet for her yearly / multi year vaccinations. I've even started doing her heartworm prevention at home. I have recently added a line item in our budget and we are slowly building the amount to $1000. If an acute / emergency situation were to happen I'm pretty sure we wouldn't hesitate to spend $1000. More than that, or for a chronic life shortening disease, I'm not sure what we would do.

Emilyngh

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 892
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2013, 02:36:46 PM »
We had this type of decision with our dog this past summer.   He had some benign tumors on his eyelids that were affecting his vision and really needed a dental and is 14 yrs old, so he needed x-rays and an EKG to be cleared for surgery.    Total cost was $2000.   But, we decided to do it.   The tumors and dental issues could greatly hurt his quality of life.   

Also, I thought of it this way: he'd had no other major expenses his whole life.   Even if he lives only a yr or 2 more, they'll be much better years with this done,  and $2000 over 14 years is really not excessive.  Besides it comes back to the issue of being cheap vs frugal.   A big part of the reason we save money is to spend it on things that really matter, and this type of thing should qualify, imo.

earlybird

  • Guest
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2013, 02:47:34 PM »
I have had 2 Maine Coon cats since they were 8 wks old. I have no human children but these cats were great subs. I had to put one to sleep at age 14 because she developed 2 cancerous chest tumors and there was really nothing they could do. It was devastating to me and I still think of her a lot. My male cat is now 15 1/2 years old. I estimate that over those years, on average, I've spent a total of around $8-10K on him. Most of that has been dental. Cats develop resorptive lesions in their mouth. Basically their teeth rot from the inside out. Their gums get very red and painful. He would never let me clean his teeth, even as a kitten. I only knew something was wrong when he started losing weight and just laying around more than usual. The vet told me cats don't let on that they are in pain because that could make them prey for other animals. Mine are strictly indoor cats. Anyway, he now has only about 4 teeth left in his mouth. Recently I had to even have one of his upper canine teeth removed and then that required a bone graft. Expensive. But he's worth it to me. He and my other cat have brought so much love and joy into my life. I can't bear the thought of his teeth hurting. So I will keep on getting his teeth cleaned and for the last couple of years it's been every 6 months that he needed it! I think you will just have to decide if it's something you can afford. I'm very lucky that I can afford to do so. 

Kristin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Wilmington, DE
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2013, 02:49:32 PM »
Thanks everyone.  It helps to know that there are other people who understand the situation.

Our animals are definitely part of the family.  The cats are fairly young.  Not sure of their exact age as they were rescues once full grown, but I believe they each have another good 8-10 years in them.  Our dog is 8 and a very large mixed breed, so we think he has another 2-3 good years. 

My big thing is I don't want to go into debt over vet bills.  It really sucks that a few procedures might blow through a large chunk of savings, but if the cash is there then that's ok.  With chronic illnesses that will shorten their life, I'm not sure how far I'm willing to go.  I know some people do everything, surgery, meds, acupuncture, chemo, etc.  But on the one hand you can't explain to your pet why you are putting them through something like chemo or major surgery that requires a long recovery, and I don't even want to know how much money that would cost.
Yes, if it were my grandmother and that is what she wanted, then absolutely, we would go to the end of the earth for it.  But I think it is different with pets.  They can't make those decisions, and you also have to protect your financial future.  Hopefully that doesn't sound too harsh. 

mc6

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 243
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2013, 04:21:37 PM »
This is a timely subject, as my 13 year-old cat just had 12 teeth pulled on Monday at his dental appointment for $1200.  Definitely should improve his quality of life (and he has never smelled better since I adopted him)!  I grew up in a time and place where animals seldom went to the vet, so when I was signing the bill it was a"did we really just do this?" kinda moment.  Fortunately I can afford it.

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4672
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2013, 04:52:34 PM »
For me the only question has ever been whether I have the money, and lately (last decade or so) I've not had to make any hard financial calls. Treatment that can help, I purchase if I can.

Prolonging pain is a different issue, not a financial one, and it really helps to be able to separate the two in making those particular sorts of hard decisions. Now, personally, the only way I managed to successfully separate the two was by building up a big enough stash that the money wasn't a big deal. Until then, it was hard to be sure I was making decisions in the pet's best interest and not because of guilt or fear -- that's a terrible position to be in, and I understand it all too well.

As for your specifics, dental cleaning for a cat is fairly normal and will lead to a much higher quality of life. For the dog's lump, I might get a second opinion because fatty deposits are very common.

But, if you can provide needed treatment while still maintaining a home and food for humans and animals alike, well, I have always chosen to do it, and never been sorry. Not even when it meant dropping the human food to the level of ramen noodles for a week or two.


Tami1982

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 934
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2013, 05:01:13 PM »
The only reason animals need dental is because of kibble.  Feeding your pet a diet rich in meaty bones eliminates the need for a dental.  Doing that can be expensive, so I supplement.  Buy a bag of raw beef bones from your butcher for .99 a lb.  After two or three bones almost all tarter will be gone in your animals.  Cats might be a little reticent because of their being notoriously picky, but dogs acclimate pretty good.  Also, if you've never raw fed, go light on it at first because it can cause digestive upset.  I've been supplementing with raw feeding since my dog was a pup and at five years old he has no trace of tartar at all. 

As to why people didn't do it years ago - there didn't used to be commercial dog food in the past.  Arguably, dogs were healthier then.  A hunk of chicken, leftover potatoes and peas is healthier than a LOT of dog food out there which is loaded with sugar and processed corn. 

If you can work with your pets from a young age to brush their teeth, that will help too, but since I do raw bones I only do it a few times a year.  I get in there and pick off (with a dental pick) anything the bones didn't remove.  Easy peasy.

As for finances, I have pet insurance just for this reason.  No matter what the cost, I never have to worry about it affecting my financial bottom line.  It's a minimal investment to protect myself from never having to make the  money vs. pet decision.  Of course, if it's an issue of prolonging a poor quality of life, it's different. 

ShortInSeattle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 580
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2013, 05:14:31 PM »
Dental care is important for cats (not to mention people) because inflamed gums can lead to all sorts of cardiovascular problems later on. Dental care (if your pets need it) is life extending. A cardio consult is usually a few hundred bucks. Our elderly cat with a heart murmur went through a similar check prior to his dental.

Where do we draw the line? In our home our pets are family. That means they get annual-ish check ups, shots, and the care they need to stay healthy. If they are sick, we investigate why. Unless the suggested care is pointless, we provide it.

Here are the cases in which we'd decline care for our pets:
1. They are very old and sick, and the benefit of the care outweighs the pain they'd have to go through.
2. The procedure is expensive *and* the likelihood of success is very small.

The care your vet is suggesting sounds appropriate and necessary to me. Not to be cruel, but if you aren't willing to provide it I'd consider re-homing the animals.

Best of luck with your decision!






chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2513
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2013, 05:49:26 PM »
Kristin

First off, you've rescued the three animals, so whatever your decision is, know that you and your significant other have given then much better lives than the animals would have otherwise.

I have no issues with any vet expenses, but I explicitly trust my vet to do whatever she thinks is best for the animals (I'm married to her).   One of our cats gets a dental every 18 months or so (he's older and eats more), the other once every three years or less because he's awful to take to the clinic.  Its like preventive maintenance for a car, less costly than the more expensive teeth removal and wet food later in life.  Outside of that, we get blood work and updated vaccines on each of them and they're still healthy. 

Our pets are family too and we'll eventually have to draw the line, it'll be more about the animal's quality of life verses financial.

Good luck with your decision.

Roses

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 189
  • Location: Seattle
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2013, 06:13:30 PM »
I've had cats and dogs my whole life (as well as hamsters, guinea pigs, bunnies, etc) all have lived very long pain-free lives except one unfortunate outdoor cat who was hit by a car.  I have never-EVER had any pets teeth cleaned and I find the concept rather ludicrous.  Maybe I got lucky with my pets' teeth but I also make sure they have appropriate food (my vet says Science Diet Oral Care food pretty much eliminates the need for dental cleanings).  I also never do routine physicals but I do get the essential vaccines (rabies, etc) and if they go outdoors they get flea & worm medication.  If a pet is sick then I do take them to the vet but I have never agreed to any expensive procedure.  Twice I've been pressured to get surgery for pets and both times I went to another vet for a 2nd opinion and it turned out they didn't need it.  I consider myself an animal lover and animal advocate but I draw the line at pretty much anything that isn't strictly necessary.  I felt this way before I was a mustachian too.  To me, even though pets are part of the family they are not actually people.  If I'm ever faced with a situation where my pet needs $1000's of dollars of medical care I may just put them down and donate that same amount of money in their name to a person, maybe a child, who is seriously sick.  I live near a Ronald McDonald center for children with cancer and the amount of kids whose families can't afford the treatment is tragic.  People over pets.  But that's not really an answer for you.  I think you do what you're comfortable with and what your particular budget will allow.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2781
  • Age: 81
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Typical Ghoul Next Door
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2013, 06:32:33 PM »
I've had cats and dogs my whole life (as well as hamsters, guinea pigs, bunnies, etc) all have lived very long pain-free lives except one unfortunate outdoor cat who was hit by a car.  I have never-EVER had any pets teeth cleaned and I find the concept rather ludicrous.  Maybe I got lucky with my pets' teeth...

Yes, you got lucky. I've had cats that never had to have their teeth cleaned, but it's more often than not necessary every other year with most of my cats. I've had one that had just plain bad teeth and gums and had to have several teeth pulled over time. And they all had the same diet. It is the same as with humans - hereditary and environmental factors determine how good the teeth will be.

geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1790
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2013, 08:41:57 PM »
We've never carried pet insurance, but like regular insurance, you never know just how crappy it is until you need it.  I'd rather pay that money into savings.

We've paid $1100 for hyperthyroid cat treatment, not once, but twice (two different cats).  One lived to 19, the other was 18.5 when she died, so 10 is not old for a cat.

We're currently in the throes of treating a cat with a urinary tract problem (crystals in his urine causing stoppage - life threatening).  The initial visit was $320, and that was low because he actually allowed the vet to cath him with no sedation(!!!)

Our cats are our family, so we consider quality of life, period.  I wish we could do that for people, where quantity of life is deemed more important than quality.

hybrid

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1669
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2013, 08:46:37 PM »
Pets are part of the family so you do what is necessary for them.  Would you balk at a bill if it was for your grandmother or your child?  Some people don't understand this but pet parents do.

Sorry, no, your pet dog is not the same as your grandmother or your child.  Maybe your feelings are similar, but the objects of those affections are not. Everyone has a line with a pet.  Or, at least, they should have a line.

We have what I affectionately call the world's best cat.  She does all the stuff I like in cats (likes to be held, purrs, sits in your lap, "talks", likes people) and almost none of the bad stuff (doesn't scratch furniture, goes outside most of the time, rarely yacks, etc.).  A few years back she pulled a piece of furniture down onto her and needed surgery to repair her broken leg.  A simple but pricey fix, and afterwards she should be good as new.  She was less than ten years old at the time and the quote for the surgery was $2100.  I don't know what my line for a younger cat with a simple but expensive problem was, but it wasn't lower than $2100.  The world's best cat is doing just fine and comfortably retains her title to this day.

Compare to my brother-in-law with the Great Dane with severe back issues.  Great Danes have very short lifespans and my BIL's Dane was seven years old at the time the back issues developed.  My BIL was (and still is) in considerably worse financial shape than me.  The treatment was about $10,000, and the dog lived for only another few years.

See the difference?  It's easy to say you do whatever is necessary but it's harder to make the right financial decision for your family.  For most folks living on the financial edge, investing $10,000 in an old dog borders on lunacy.  For me, with a much younger cat and a much better financial position, $2100 wasn't a big deal in the grand scheme.

If you own a pet you should be prepared to do so much for a pet in certain situations and not let the emotional bond trip you into doing something you simply cannot afford to do.  I've owned and eventually put down several cats over the years, and you simply have to go into the relationship knowing that there will be an end of the line at some point, and you as the pet owner may have to make a tough call regarding where that line should be.  We don't euthanize relatives, we do euthanize pets.

With all due respect to MoneyCat, your position is badly flawed.  Yes, pets are part of the family.  Pets are not family.     
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 08:51:26 PM by hybrid »

Kristin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Wilmington, DE
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2013, 04:19:02 AM »
I have looked into pet insurance recently, and the most affordable plan would cost exactly $67.00/month for all 3 pets.
More than half of that would be for the dog, who is a very large breed and bordering old age.
This particular plan covers most treatment including maintenance visits, surgery, medications, etc.  However, it comes with an annual deductible of $200 for each pet, with 20% co-insurance. 
So for example, my dog's dental and fatty tumor removal will be one procedure and probably cost $1,000.  I would have to pay the first $200, then another $200 (20%), to be reimbursed $600.  This goes for every pet.
I have decided I would rather put that $67/month into savings.  That is $804/year which realistically should cover annual preventative care for all three of them.  We have been lucky for the past 3-4 years without needing any major treatment for them, and hopefully after we take care of dental cleanings and maybe some medication for the heart murmur, we should be good for a little while.

Thanks for all the feedback.

projekt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 282
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2013, 10:18:18 AM »
As a veterinarian, I deal with this question quite often. There is no general answer, it has to do with the individual patient and the client's values. For example, a cat needing a dental evaluation is likely quite painful, because cats frequently get tooth resorption, which is a painful disease. Dental X-rays are very important for diagnosing and treating appropriately, because some teeth that are being resorbed should be extracted ($$) and some can have their crowns amputated (<$). If the client cannot afford to treat, the patient should be monitored to make sure that it has a decent quality of life. Some cats live with pain well, others not so well. This is one of those areas where it is, in my opinion, worse to negotiate middle ground (dental cleaning without x-rays and no extractions) than it is to do nothing.

For mass removals, if the mass is benign, it may not need to be removed. If it is malignant, it should be removed as soon as possible. Some masses have an appearance that suggests they should be removed and sent for biopsy to diagnose them, they just look malignant. Other masses can be diagnosed with less invasive and cheaper means.

When we compare our pets today with our pets from yesteryear, it seems like health is going down the tubes. Our cats have kidney and thyroid disease, our dogs have gingivitis and dental infections, dogs have allergies and cats have diabetes. What is really happening is that veterinarians are able to detect disease that went unnoticed in the past, and they are willing to ask their clients if they want to treat the diseases instead of assuming that "it's just a dog". Our pets are healthier than they have ever been and they stay healthy longer. Cats are living well into their teens, and so everyone seems to have a cat whose kidneys have simply worn out. Young dogs aren't getting hit by cars as often so the gingivitis seems to be turning into periodontitis now. On the other hand, diabetes and allergies are increasing, for the same reasons they are increasing in the human population. The cause of increased diabetes in cats is probably obesity, but we're still not sure why humans and dogs suffer more allergies.

I've rarely seen a pet that needed to be euthanized because of dental disease that the owner couldn't afford to treat.
 
A good veterinarian will help you figure out where your values are. Personally, I don't think it's good to miss house payments because you had to pay for radiation therapy for a 15 year old cat. But that's not my choice to make for my client. I have to help them figure it out for themselves.

citrine

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 81
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2013, 11:02:50 AM »
I have had to make the decision to euthanize twice...both times when the quality of life would be affected for my cats.  I learned after my first one got sick that it is prudent to create a savings line for the Vet Fund.  If we use it great, if not then it just multiplies.  We have three cats now and we have enough in there to take care of them.  I would do whatever it took for them to have a happy, healthy life without loss of quality since I have made a commitment to take care of  them.

iwannaretire

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 41
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2013, 06:03:11 PM »
I am facing this problem now as my 6 year old dog was diagnosed with malignant melanoma.  There is treatment including radiation therapy and a vaccine that has had good results in extending the life of dogs with this disease.  Nevertheless, the vet oncologist quoted a price of around $9000.  Ouch!

I ended up deciding to go ahead with the treatment for several reasons.  First, as much as we like to say our animals are not people, when they live in the house with you, they become part of the family.  We were absolutely devastated when we heard of his cancer and it was hard not to give him that chance of additional years of life when it was available. 

Second, our dog adds value to our life.  He forces us to get up off our lazy butts and walk him every single day, several times a day --- no excuses.  If I had to pay $9000 to rid myself of the potential for diabetes, cancer and heart disease, I would do so.  The dog also is a security system as we all sleep better when he is around the house.  And, he is a playmate (third sibling) for the kids. 

Third, I was able to reduce the cost by about $3000 by going to a different radiation facility.  So, if your pet has problems, it is worth looking into other options than the first one presented to you.

Obviously, it is all a case by case basis.  If my dog was older or if the cancer was widespread, I may have made a different decision.  But unfortunately, as much as we believe we can draw the line, it is hard to do so when faced with difficult choices to allow a pet to die because treatment is to expensive. 

I have, however, decided that I will not pay for the treatment out of savings.  I have the ability to work harder at my job to earn more money and that is how the treatment is being paid for.  In a way, I find it easier to swallow that way.  I don't have to view the treatment as setting me back $6,000; it just took some free time away from my life for a while.

Anyway, this is a very individualized decision.  My recommendation is to have pets if you think they will enhance your life.  However, if I had to do it over again, I would definitely buy pet insurance with a cancer rider because I hear of far too many pets these days with cancer and other problems.

dodojojo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 514
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2013, 07:41:01 PM »
I tend to 'forget' how much I've spent on my two cats.  One panted soon after adoption.  The vet recommended a cardiology visit.  One exam at $500 and the cardiologist said my kitten's heart was the healthiest she has ever seen.  She  also said panting actually wasn't that unusual in kittens and my kitty would grow out of it.  Right on cue, my cat stopped panting.  I made a mental note to not see that vet again.

Right now my sister cats are in complete separation mode due to redirected aggression (outdoor cat visiting).  Oh how much have I spent on all manner of things to keep them calm and reconcile.  They are now on prozac.  My living situation is a wreck as it's a mare to keep two cats separated in a modest one bedroom apartment.  I think I'm ready for prozac.  And yes, I have thought about how a two bedroom apartment would give the cats more space and lessen the tension.  Higher rent--this one I'm definitely telling myself isn't prudent.  But it definitely crosses my mind every now and then.

In other words, I don't know the answer to the OP's question.  I don't think I'm ready to answer it.

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4306
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2013, 08:12:14 PM »
I think I'm that heartless bastard who has no interest in getting pets (save maybe fish) partially because of this.


jchung

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2013, 10:47:43 AM »
I adopted a young kitten about a year ago and in the past year, he's had a few asthma attacks (like he is trying to cough out a hairball but nothing comes out) that lasts about 20 seconds or so. Went to the vet and the vet says since its been infrequent (maybe 5 times throughout the year), then I don't need to worry about it yet. However, I started contributing a bit more each month to an emergency fund for my cat just in case his condition worsens as he grows older.

My cat also has smelly breath, and when I looked at his gums, they were quite red and his back teeth had tartar on them. I was very worried about having to take him for a dental appointment since those are like ($400+ each). I looked online and found that people recommended the Oratene dental maintenance gel and its gotten good reviews on amazon. I have been applying it to my cat's teeth almost everyday for about a month now and I do see an improvement where his gums aren't as red as before and seems like he has less tartar buildup. Hopefully his teeth will improve more and I can avoid a dental visit. I am more than happy to keep spending $15 on dental gel (its a pretty big tube btw - like normal toothpaste size) than a $400 dental visit each year.

In other words, I think that my cat really brings a great value to my life and I think we as pet owners should try to do as much every day maintenance as possible (feeding good food, dental care, etc) to avoid huge vet bills. As for those unexpected conditions, the best we can do is try to anticipate it and save up some type of emergency fund for them like we do for ourselves.

geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1790
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2013, 10:54:04 AM »
Emergency vet visit yesterday (don't they always go downhill nights, weekends, and holidays?)  I'm just hoping that he'll pull through (preferably without surgery).  At least I won't be shopping today.

dodojojo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 514
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2013, 11:01:12 AM »
I think I'm that heartless bastard who has no interest in getting pets (save maybe fish) partially because of this.

Better this than to acquire a pet without much consideration and then abandoning or neglecting it because you can't or won't deal with the responsibilities.  I volunteer with rescue dogs and cats--and some of the sad sack stories are infuriating.  Dumping a pet at the shelter because you don't want to pay for a pet-sitter while you're away on vacation?  Yep, it happens.

Sofa King

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2013, 05:09:36 PM »
Without a doubt some vets prey on peoples emotions when their elderly pet is sick.  Rather than tell them that their pet is very old and even with treatment it really wont prolong their lives in a meaningful way they first milk them for a few thousand $$$$ and only then will tell them there is nothing more they can do to help their elderly pets and suggest they be put down. My girlfriend works for a vet and sees this numerous times each week.     

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1022
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2013, 09:19:20 PM »
The only reason animals need dental is because of kibble.  ...

As to why people didn't do it years ago - there didn't used to be commercial dog food in the past.  Arguably, dogs were healthier then.  ...


I'm not so sure this is true.  In terms of my own experience, I think the dogs we had when I was a kid were healthier, but it is also true that most of them were hit and killed by cars at young(er) ages than my dogs live to now.  At the time we let our dogs run loose (as did everyone else) and this was just what happened.  Now we keep our dogs fenced/leashed, and it doesn't (touch wood).  They (generally) live longer, and die of medical problems (or are euthanized because of medical problems).

As for the OP, I've recently taken a dog in for a skin problem and had (as part of the checkup that resulted, not directly related!) a heart murmur detected, plus some fluid in his chest and ditto the recommendation on teeth.   Per my vet (whom I trust), the inflammation caused by tooth problems can be pervasive and cause weird problems, including heart and related issues that may resolve when the teeth are cleaned.  So we agreed that it made sense to get my dog's teeth cleaned (which I have done) and then wait a month (which has passed) and get the dog checked again.  I'm debating the merits of that as it's not 100% obvious what I'll do with the information, so not much help there, but it may be worth exploring whether getting your cat's teeth cleaned might help resolve or reduce the severity of the other issues.

Milehimama

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Location: Lone Star State
    • Milehimama
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2013, 09:34:28 PM »
I would really encourage you to shop around for the basic services such as dental.  We have a vet that we use for sick animals, etc. but we use a local "animal wellness" clinic for the shots.  Example- the vet, basic shot package was $100, wellness clinic, it's $50.  Dental- vet's office, $295.  Wellness clinic, $100 all inclusive (vet exam, anesthesia, treatment, etc.).  The wellness clinic is run by a local animal foundation.  They only do things like fix stray cats, low cost vax, etc- they won't take care of a sick or injured animal and we use the regular vet for that and for annual checkups.

I guess it's like getting your flu vaccine at Walgreens and skipping the time and expense of the doctor appointment.

Also shop around for a vet!  You can call and ask generally "what does a wellness exam cost, what is the base price for a sick animal exam" etc.  You'd be surprised at how much they vary.

Tami1982

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 934
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2013, 01:12:32 AM »
As for the OP, I've recently taken a dog in for a skin problem and had (as part of the checkup that resulted, not directly related!) a heart murmur detected, plus some fluid in his chest and ditto the recommendation on teeth.   Per my vet (whom I trust), the inflammation caused by tooth problems can be pervasive and cause weird problems, including heart and related issues that may resolve when the teeth are cleaned. 

Poor dentition is linked to heart problems for sure.  In pets and in people.  I used to work at a dental clinic and we'd see it all the time in the senior citizens who hadn't had dental work for 20 years.  Pervasive. 

As for the dental, I'm sure not going to do it on a dog with perfect teeth:)  Aside from that, I do checkups with my vet every six months and annual bloodwork/fecal - it's all covered by my pet insurance.  You may be right, my experience and my family's experience may be anecdotal regarding life expectancy and healthy years of pets.   

Shop around for vets, for sure, things like vaccines and stuff can be done by any vet or even administered yourself. (I dislike this because if the vax are old or have not been kept at the right temp they can be ineffective. I don't trust my local feed store that far.)   However, do have a vet that you trust for health issues and exams.  Any vet that recommends Science Diet is one I immediately check off my list.  Do some research and you'll find that the nutrition classes at many vet schools are taught by Science Diet employees.  Vets are heavily indoctrinated by the big "SD" in school. 

In addition, do some research on what vaccines you need.  Corporate vets (ie, Banfield) often over vaccinate and medicate.  My local Banfield vaccinates for illness that are not even in this region of the country.  In addition, studies are coming out demonstrating that the one year booster after the initial puppy vaccines often protect a dog for life.  There are some exceptions.  Certain breeds are very susceptible to parvo like the Rottweiler.

All you can do is do the research and make a decision based on that knowledge and what you believe to be best.  But trust no vet with carte blanch, just as you would research a physician or get a second opinion.  Find someone in line with your sensibilities.  I love my vet, but my neighbor grew up a farm girl and wants a vet who treats dogs like they did when she was a kid.  Basically, no advanced tech AT ALL.  So she found a farm vet who would, "tell her like it is" and not try to, "sell her on a bunch of new age crap."  But myself, I want a vet that will talk to me about chemo, water therapy or massage. 

Best wishes to you all, and I wish you a restful mind and clear heart with all the decisions made.  That's all we can ask for.

« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 01:14:44 AM by Tami1982 »

MooseOutFront

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 510
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Texas
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2013, 09:34:00 PM »
We put down one of our 2 dogs a year ago.  The situation was one where we were able to make the decision at only about $300 of cost.  Now here we are a year later and my wife is beating the drum louder and louder for us to adopt again.  This thread is great reinforcement for me to hold my ground and resist the luxury of new pet ownership for the foreseeable future.  The expense is huge.

dmdunca

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2013, 04:58:40 PM »

When we compare our pets today with our pets from yesteryear, it seems like health is going down the tubes. Our cats have kidney and thyroid disease, our dogs have gingivitis and dental infections, dogs have allergies and cats have diabetes. What is really happening is that veterinarians are able to detect disease that went unnoticed in the past, and they are willing to ask their clients if they want to treat the diseases instead of assuming that "it's just a dog". Our pets are healthier than they have ever been and they stay healthy longer. Cats are living well into their teens, and so everyone seems to have a cat whose kidneys have simply worn out. Young dogs aren't getting hit by cars as often so the gingivitis seems to be turning into periodontitis now. On the other hand, diabetes and allergies are increasing, for the same reasons they are increasing in the human population. The cause of increased diabetes in cats is probably obesity, but we're still not sure why humans and dogs suffer more allergies.

+1
When I was growing up, a dog's average lifespan was about 7 years.  I have a 16 year old and a 13 year old, both Golden Retrievers.  I attribute their old age to good quality food, good veterinary care and good genes.  The 16 year old is on a joint supplement and thyroid medication, but he enjoys a good quality of life in spite of his fragility.  He sleeps well, enjoys his walks and toys and still gets playful.   My vet and I have discussed his care and we won't do anything that is painful or invasive, but I will absolutely pay for treatment that can maintain his quality of life.

Having two large dogs is not inexpensive.  I budget $300/mo for food, toys, treats, grooming and regular medications and well visits.  In addition, I set aside a couple hundred dollars which goes into their "emergency vet fund".  The emergency fund gets depleted and refilled, but that's what it's for.   

shamelessHedon

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2013, 05:24:35 PM »
I am old school.  When they are in too poor of health to have a decent quality of life we take them out back, shoot, and bury them. My limit for medical visits per illness or injury is about $300. They are animals not people. Pets not family.

That said, my three dogs are approximately 12, 11, and 9. (not sure of the last because he is a.pound dog).  My cat is 3-4.  And I do love them.  But they aren't people.

Lil_Bit

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2013, 05:44:16 PM »
I am old school.  When they are in too poor of health to have a decent quality of life we take them out back, shoot, and bury them. My limit for medical visits per illness or injury is about $300. They are animals not people. Pets not family.

That said, my three dogs are approximately 12, 11, and 9. (not sure of the last because he is a.pound dog).  My cat is 3-4.  And I do love them.  But they aren't people.

Sorry you feel that way, and you definitely have a right to your opinion.  You're right, animals are not people, but to some of us -- they are family. 

Sofa King

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2013, 05:49:55 PM »
......and many people are animals. (of the worst kind)  To bad they just be taken out back and shot.....

_JT

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 229
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2013, 07:13:15 PM »
Having two large dogs is not inexpensive.  I budget $300/mo for food, toys, treats, grooming and regular medications and well visits.  In addition, I set aside a couple hundred dollars which goes into their "emergency vet fund".  The emergency fund gets depleted and refilled, but that's what it's for.

Sounds like your dogs have a pretty luxurious life! Great for them, and you, if you can afford it. My dog (who I'd call a medium sized, but if you think Goldens are 'large' you'd probably classify her that way as well) costs me about $60/month. I get a deal on her grain free food from Tractor Supply, groom myself (good bonding exercise), and gets her toys secondhand from my gf or parents. So far vet visits have been minimal, although if she makes it to year 13 I'm sure they'll go up.

annaraven

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 87
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2013, 11:15:00 PM »
Pets are part of the family so you do what is necessary for them.  Would you balk at a bill if it was for your grandmother or your child?  Some people don't understand this but pet parents do.

Sorry, no, your pet dog is not the same as your grandmother or your child.  Maybe your feelings are similar, but the objects of those affections are not. Everyone has a line with a pet.  Or, at least, they should have a line.
...
With all due respect to MoneyCat, your position is badly flawed.  Yes, pets are part of the family.  Pets are not family.     

I'd rather pay for my cat's medical bills than my (now-deceased a%%hole) grandfather's bills any day. My cats and dogs have been more "family" than most of my human relatives ever were.

SAHD

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
  • Location: Washington State
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2014, 07:16:01 PM »
I think I'm that heartless bastard who has no interest in getting pets (save maybe fish) partially because of this.
heartless no smart yes.  Coming from a house with 2 cat (kids are allergic, do not get me started) 1 -4 foot iguana 1 dog and 25 chickens.  If a chicken is sick we (she) spends any amount to get it well,  it is a chicken for goodness sake,  We ate one for dinner, but not these????

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2424
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2014, 08:08:39 PM »
I think I'm that heartless bastard who has no interest in getting pets (save maybe fish) partially because of this.

Better this than to acquire a pet without much consideration and then abandoning or neglecting it because you can't or won't deal with the responsibilities.  I volunteer with rescue dogs and cats--and some of the sad sack stories are infuriating.  Dumping a pet at the shelter because you don't want to pay for a pet-sitter while you're away on vacation?  Yep, it happens.

Well, if you get an animal as a stray or from a shelter I think you've discharged some responsibility just by doing that, by saving them.  If you hadn't taken them in, is it possible they would instead have been taken in by a family that would spend thousands on medical treatments?  Possible, but far more likely they would have simply starved or been euthanized in short order.

I'm not saying you're a hero for taking in a puppy or kitten and then getting rid of it once it's not cute any more.  But taking care of an animal for years until it develops a major medical issue and then putting it down so that it doesn't suffer strikes me as morally acceptable.

I would handle it like an ebay purchase.  You decide how much you're willing to spend.  Then you stick to it.  You can make it a little more complex and decide you're more willing to spend in the middle years than the later years or more willing to spend on continuing care rather than one-time things, etc., whatever you think is best.  The point is when the situation arises you know what the plan is. 

I don't think of animals as members of the family but I respect that that's what they are to some people.  In that case, following the Ebay Pet Plan (tm), they'd have a much higher number.

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2014, 09:42:47 PM »
I think I'm that heartless bastard who has no interest in getting pets (save maybe fish) partially because of this.

Not heartless in the least. At least you have the self-awareness to realize that pets aren't for you. Kudos for that!!


Pets are part of the family so you do what is necessary for them.  Would you balk at a bill if it was for your grandmother or your child?  Some people don't understand this but pet parents do.

Sorry, no, your pet dog is not the same as your grandmother or your child.  Maybe your feelings are similar, but the objects of those affections are not. Everyone has a line with a pet.  Or, at least, they should have a line.
[...]
We don't euthanize relatives, we do euthanize pets.

With all due respect to MoneyCat, your position is badly flawed.  Yes, pets are part of the family.  Pets are not family.     
I think that hybrid may have misspoke. I think that what they meant to say was this:
Yes, pets are part of the family.  Pets are not family "to me".
And here we get into discussion of the value each individual places on a particular life. It's not up to anybody on a forum (no matter how bad ass) to place a value on a life.

Personally, I wouldn't spend a dime on the majority of my relatives, but I haven't yet hit the limit on my pets. That is up to each person, and how much they value their pets, as well as the responsibility placed on them to ensure a good quality of life.


I think I'm that heartless bastard who has no interest in getting pets (save maybe fish) partially because of this.

Better this than to acquire a pet without much consideration and then abandoning or neglecting it because you can't or won't deal with the responsibilities.  I volunteer with rescue dogs and cats--and some of the sad sack stories are infuriating.  Dumping a pet at the shelter because you don't want to pay for a pet-sitter while you're away on vacation?  Yep, it happens.

Well, if you get an animal as a stray or from a shelter I think you've discharged some responsibility just by doing that, by saving them.  If you hadn't taken them in, is it possible they would instead have been taken in by a family that would spend thousands on medical treatments?  Possible, but far more likely they would have simply starved or been euthanized in short order.

I'm not saying you're a hero for taking in a puppy or kitten and then getting rid of it once it's not cute any more.  But taking care of an animal for years until it develops a major medical issue and then putting it down so that it doesn't suffer strikes me as morally acceptable.

I would handle it like an ebay purchase.  You decide how much you're willing to spend.  Then you stick to it.  You can make it a little more complex and decide you're more willing to spend in the middle years than the later years or more willing to spend on continuing care rather than one-time things, etc., whatever you think is best.  The point is when the situation arises you know what the plan is. 

I don't think of animals as members of the family but I respect that that's what they are to some people.  In that case, following the Ebay Pet Plan (tm), they'd have a much higher number.

This goes to my thoughts above...it makes perfect sense to take an approach like this from a purely financial perspective, but if you are looking at an animal from a purely financial perspective, my opinion is that you will never get the full benefit of having a real pet.

Just my $.02

Breaker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 200
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2014, 08:10:41 AM »
I make this decision based on the animal and that animal's prognosis.  If it is fairly young, in good health otherwise and if the problem is fixable, I spend the money.  All of my dogs give me enough pleasure, companionship and love to make this an easy decision.  Money is the last consideration. 

Jan

MrFancypants

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2014, 10:49:13 AM »
The answer to this seems simple to me.  If having pets brings joy and happiness to your life, you should absolutely have them in your life.  But that also means that you should plan to spend a certain amount to keep them healthy or deal with illnesses.

Even still, maintaining a limit and being sensitive to the point in which you're just throwing good money at a pet that's not likely to continue to live a happy life (if even continuing to live at all) is pretty important.

Kristin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Wilmington, DE
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2014, 12:36:58 PM »
I know there has been a lot of discussion recently on if having pets at all is reasonable when trying to lead a mustachian life.
I married into 3 animals that I absolutely love.  We have large great dane/black lab mix and two cats.  They are all rescues and I don't regret having them one bit.  However, I was pet free before my marriage for financial reasons, so I try to keep pet expenses in check.

This week my wife took our one cat into the vet because we thought she had a UTI.  No UTI (just bad behavior), but they did find that she has a new loud heart murmur, and painful sores in her mouth (vet's opinion that she was trying to tell us through the bad behavior).  The vet recommended a dental, but also a consultation with a cardiologist to make sure her heart is ok and to clear her for the dental.

Now....I love my pets, but where do we draw the line?  When I was growing up, we always had cats and dogs, and none of them ever needed a dental.  They also never needed any type of consultation with a specialist.

A big part of my frustration is that the single vet visit plus blood work cost $250.  Now she needs this specialist appointment which will be another $78 and then a dental (maybe $400).  That is $728 for one cat and one issue.

We know that our dog needs a dental and a lump removed.  That total is going to cost us about $1,000 because he weighs 130 lbs.

The third cat has not even gone in to get checked out yet, and I am sure she will also at least need a dental.

I want to take care of my animals.  I understand that preventative measures are important for humans and four legged friends alike, however, spending thousands of dollars on vet bills seems crazy to me.

Is anyone else struggling with this concept?

Hey guys, wanted to give you an update on our four legged family since I started this post.

Our dog had his dental, and the poor guy was under anesthesia for 3 hours while they extracted 5 teeth.  He definitely had a recovery period of eating rice and boiled chicken for a week while on pain meds, but I have to admit that he is doing much better after the dental.  He is not bleeding at all when he eats a dental treat, and he is having a much easier time eating his meals in general.
Total for his dental: $1,034

The cat with the heart murmur went to the cardiologist vet, they ran a ton of tests on her and gave her a RX for beta blockers, once a day.  No dental for her for another 30 days until she has it in her system, and she needs another follow up in 6 months with the cardiologist to see if the meds are working.
Total for cardio visit, tests, meds: $700 (the RX is super cheap, $12 for a 6 month supply)

The third cat had her checkup and she is in perfect health, except she needs to lose a few lbs.  I tell her all the time that she's the perfect cat!

So in total, we spent close to $2,000 in vet checkups and procedures, and we will need to spend another $700 in 6 months for the cardio vet.  Yes, this was a huge shock to our savings, but I can tell that they truly feel better.  We also switched them all to a much better diet (raw diet, Instinct) which should help prevent the need for future dentals and meds.  It's a whole lot of money, but they are worth it. 

dodojojo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 514
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2014, 01:38:28 PM »
Glad to hear the pet kids are doing better.  Your post reminds me I need to re-start brushing my cats' teeth. 

Last month I took the cats to the vet and signed off on $1,400 on procedures.  It was hard to sign but I was so anxious about their health.  Believe or not, the vet actually came in the room and talked me out of the procedures.  He recommended some remedies I could do from home and with some human meds (pediatric suppository...).  I left the office with a bill of $180.  The cats  conditions have improved markedly.

Miss Growing Green

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Tucson, AZ
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2014, 01:55:24 PM »
I have a pretty strong opinion on this:
America (and the world) has a pet problem. Millions of animals die every year because people can't/won't take care of them anymore.
I think owning a pet should be a much bigger commitment than most people consider it to be.  I personally feel that once you have an animal companion they should be a member of the family.  If you would not question the necessity of a doctor's visit for your child, then you shouldn't for your pets.

We carry catastrophic health insurance for our dog.  It's about $23 a month (locked for life), and has a $1,500 deductible.  It basically gives us peace of mind so we never have to worry about making the hard decisions on "what is too expensive" when it comes to medical bills.  Unlike human policies, this policy is a $1,500 deductible PER INCIDENT, not pet calendar year.  So if your dog gets cancer and battles it for 5 years, that's one deductible to be met, not 5.

It's a gamble if you opt not to do health insurance and just keep a savings account for the animal.  I wouldn't do that for myself, so I choose not to do it for our dog Zoe, either.  It might not be the most Mustachian thing in the world, but it can't always be *just* about the money.

RaveOregon

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 30
  • Location: NY
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2014, 02:25:53 PM »
We should really be worried about the 10's of millions that survive.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/science/that-cuddly-kitty-of-yours-is-a-killer.html

I feel like it is kind of twisted that people will spend thousands a year on food/healthcare to keep their pets alive when there are millions of people who die from lack of food and healthcare.

Miss Growing Green

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Tucson, AZ
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2014, 02:31:47 PM »
RaveOregon,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciesism

Animals, especially domesticated ones, are innocent and completely reliant in humans for their needs to be met.  Why should they take a lesser place at the table than humans?  Everyone, human, animal, etc. deserve food and healthcare.  Providing healthcare and food for anyone is not an injustice simply because there are others out there without.

dodojojo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 514
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2014, 02:33:22 PM »
My cats had a slew of health problems right after adoption--before I could get a health insurance plan in place.  With the pre-existing clauses and all, I figured it wasn't worth it.

I can save for feline medical emergencies.  High four to low five figure totals would definitely hurt--a lot.  But I can write a check to cover those figures.  I can't say the same for human medical costs which can easily run into the six or seven figures.  And that's why I do pay for my own health insurance.

dodojojo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 514
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2014, 02:40:50 PM »

I feel like it is kind of twisted that people will spend thousands a year on food/healthcare to keep their pets alive when there are millions of people who die from lack of food and healthcare.

I don't get this argument at all.  If the latter was the be all and end all of human sympathy, couldn't you make the same argument for almost everything we spend money on? 

I feel like it is kind of twisted that people will spend thousands a year on entertainment and sports when there are millions of people who die from lack of food and healthcare.

I feel like it is kind of twisted that people will spend thousands a year on their cars when there are millions of people who die from lack of food and healthcare.

I feel like it is kind of twisted that people will spend thousands a year on (insert hobby/passion/intereste here) when there are millions of people who die from lack of food and healthcare.

Basically, the only way we're not unsympathetic souls if we only spend on feeding ourselves and on our healthcare as millions of people die from lack of food and healthcare.

MrFancypants

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #48 on: February 17, 2014, 02:45:19 PM »
I feel like it is kind of twisted that people will spend thousands a year on food/healthcare to keep their pets alive when there are millions of people who die from lack of food and healthcare.

I feel like it is kind of twisted that people like you will spend time trolling the internet berating people like us instead of spending their time helping the millions of people who die from lack of food and healthcare.

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2014, 10:12:32 AM »
I feel like it is kind of twisted that people will spend thousands a year on food/healthcare to keep their pets alive when there are millions of people who die from lack of food and healthcare.

I feel like it is kind of twisted that people like you will spend time trolling the internet berating people like us instead of spending their time helping the millions of people who die from lack of food and healthcare.
ROFL...