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The cost of Pet Care....wow!
Old 07-04-2020, 08:19 AM   #1
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The cost of Pet Care....wow!

Has anyone been surprised with the cost of pet care? Ive got 2 small yorkies and their care (food, kennel, groomer. etc.) is far more than I would have guessed. Now it's time for me to rant......DW loves these dogies and I'll do just about anything for them. But, a few days ago one got ahold of an ADVIL and it caused his small 7 lb body to nearly shut down. Yesterday we had one vet come to the house and administered an IV to pump him with fluids. We went to an emergency vet later in the day and had the same treatment. (Mind you I am up to almost a grand by this point and the worry was kidney failure). The last vet said to take the dog to the weekend emergency animal hospital to be observed for the next 36 hours. The plan is to monitor hourly fluid levels etc. They explained this like an intensive care unit for dogs. Then they came into our waiting area and explained the plan and said it was going to cost $3000 on the low end or $4000 on the high end for this care. Well....what do you say other than GASP and do what you can to fix our fur baby. I suspect the doctors know you can't just walk out and leave the dog and it was way too early to throw in the towel. So...I forked over the AMEX and said at least send him back home groomed and well fed! My point is how does one budget and handle this situation and what do people do that don't have the extra funds to handle these situations. From my observation their were a few other families lined up for the same financial surprise.....your stories welcome!!
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Old 07-04-2020, 08:29 AM   #2
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You can buy pet health insurance for your dog. No stories here, but we have a 5 year old terrier and probably will face some of this in the future.
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Old 07-04-2020, 08:39 AM   #3
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I recently paid $100 to find out my cat was dragging her butt bc she has a fat a$$. Her prescription diet good is $50 a bag. No advice, but I feel your feel
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Old 07-04-2020, 08:40 AM   #4
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I've advised many people to invest in a well bred dog because the cheapest part of owning one is the initial cost. It's all fine and dandy to pick up a stray at the pound, but just go in knowing that they all cost the same for their care and treatment past that initial outlay, so don't think you are getting off cheap somehow.

With that said, it's a cold heart that can walk away from pet care when they come ill or injured. Some vets won't tell you the practical side of the options though. They'll tell you the expensive or profitable options, but not alternatives. Here's an example; my dog got out of a fenced yard while we were away from home, hit by a car and the driver took him to an emergency vet and left a note for us. The vet told us the dog's front leg was shattered and it would take several operations to get it to heal. Cost was going to mount to over $7,000 before it was all said and done, plus all the convalesce care we would need to do while recovering. We both worked, so staying home for that wasn't practical. I had to think about this. After a few minutes, I asked the vet what it would cost to amputate the leg. He was aghast, but quoted me a price thousands less than restorative procedure. Plus the recovery time was next to nothing. So off the doggy's leg came. He was home the next day and by the end of the week, you'd never know he was hindered by only 3 legs other than he couldn't escape from the fenced yard any more.

The thing is; owners need to keep in mind that this is an animal and that treatment should be considered as such, not as a person. It would be unthinkable to lop off a limb of a person, but pooch didn't mind and I'm sure was in a lot less pain than pins, screws, plates, casts, etc.
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Old 07-04-2020, 08:50 AM   #5
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Time to keep the costs in check has passed. It's kind of a given that expensive dogs need specialized care. Mutt needs nothing extra, but designer dog has developed expensive dental problems.
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Old 07-04-2020, 08:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franklin View Post
My point is how does one budget and handle this situation and what do people do that don't have the extra funds to handle these situations. From my observation their were a few other families lined up for the same financial surprise.....your stories welcome!!
A lot of people in this situation have their pets put down. My DD works for a vet who hated this part of the job, so she decided to move to an upscale area and open up a practice that specializes in dental issues and surgeries. Now she has plenty of clients who can afford her services, euthanasia is rare, and she also gets a lot fewer emergency callouts at night and on weekends.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:01 AM   #7
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I have probably paid more in vet and care costs for my garden feral cats than the average person does for pets. I read a while back that for "most people" the cost between deciding to proceed with a treatment vs having their pet put down was about $500. That was before the prevalence of gofundme's so maybe that's gone up.

For us, today? Eh my personal threshold is about 73 times higher what DH would want me to say.

But I do think the age and illness is a factor. A 15 year old cat that gets cancer? I hope I'd be prepared to let them go before a year of pain and treatments. A 2 year old kitten breaks her leg? Take all my money.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by skipro33 View Post
I've advised many people to invest in a well bred dog because the cheapest part of owning one is the initial cost. It's all fine and dandy to pick up a stray at the pound, but just go in knowing that they all cost the same for their care and treatment past that initial outlay, so don't think you are getting off cheap somehow.

With that said, it's a cold heart that can walk away from pet care when they come ill or injured. Some vets won't tell you the practical side of the options though. They'll tell you the expensive or profitable options, but not alternatives. Here's an example; my dog got out of a fenced yard while we were away from home, hit by a car and the driver took him to an emergency vet and left a note for us. The vet told us the dog's front leg was shattered and it would take several operations to get it to heal. Cost was going to mount to over $7,000 before it was all said and done, plus all the convalesce care we would need to do while recovering. We both worked, so staying home for that wasn't practical. I had to think about this. After a few minutes, I asked the vet what it would cost to amputate the leg. He was aghast, but quoted me a price thousands less than restorative procedure. Plus the recovery time was next to nothing. So off the doggy's leg came. He was home the next day and by the end of the week, you'd never know he was hindered by only 3 legs other than he couldn't escape from the fenced yard any more.

The thing is; owners need to keep in mind that this is an animal and that treatment should be considered as such, not as a person. It would be unthinkable to lop off a limb of a person, but pooch didn't mind and I'm sure was in a lot less pain than pins, screws, plates, casts, etc.
Our Australian shepherd Lucy was diagnosed with lymphoma when she was about 10 years old. The vet advised me that they've done wonders with chemotherapy for dogs, and that with treatment she might live another 18 months. I did my research and talked with friends at my dog-training club. I concluded that she might live longer, but she'd still be sick despite the expensive care. We called a vet who does in-home euthanasia and put her down.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:05 AM   #9
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Pet care seems to just get more expensive, particularly any type of emergency care. I once dropped over $5k for a couple of days at a vet school for one of my labs and that was over 15 years ago.

I currently have a young lab but don't really budget for costs above normal maintenance/care. I just realize that there could be higher costs at some point (but maybe not). My last lab lived to be over 15 years old with no real health issues prior to his death so no major costs like the one before him.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:07 AM   #10
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One of the pricier treatments our dogs have gotten recently is teeth cleaning. I think the total was about $500 for each dog. The little dog's scaling also came with an extraction or two.

One of the vets told me that when dogs were bred down to smaller size, the breeders did not pay mind to the breed's dentition, so their teeth tend to be crowded. She recommended that I try to brush the dog's teeth once in awhile but the dog hides every time I break out the toothbrush. We'll probably have to suck it up and pay for another cleaning in another year or two.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:38 AM   #11
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When my dog went to Doggie Heaven last Nov I added up and averaged his annual expenses just to see how much he had cost me for 11 years. All Vet visits + routine food, leashes, tennis balls, treats, annual licenses, nail clippings at Petco, flea/tic protection.... just under $800 per year. Early on he had some back problems and I remember a few big vet bills but it wasn't an ongoing thing and the vet bills were mostly for diagnostics. He never had surgery or anything. The $800 bucks a year did surprise me. It never felt like he was costing me that much
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:54 AM   #12
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One of our cats developed Hodgkins-like lymphoma, which is apparently rare in cats, but has a good prognosis. The initial visit to the regular vet in February when we discovered the lump on her throat, subsequent visit to the oncologist, diagnostic tests and surgery to remove the affected lymph node ran about $5000 total. The chemotherapy and checkup by the oncologist runs $300 per month. She has had 4 treatments so far and likely 2 more to go. She is doing quite well.

Part of the deal when we get our cats is that we will take care of them for life. And that's why we saved all that money in the first place- so we can.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:43 AM   #13
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Vet care in Nevada is very expensive. My friends in Kansas and Texas pay a third of what we do. That’s one reason we now have 2 dogs instead of 4. We have paid up to 4K for surgery. It depends on the dogs age and health prognosis. Purebreds have cost as much as mutts. Dentals range from 300-1k depending on how long the dog is under anesthesia if they need teeth pulled. For years we rescued old dogs. Then I met a show breeder that was retiring and she gave me 2 dogs. One was 3 months old and one 5 years old. She convinced me to buy pet insurance from healthy paws as she is money ahead. It costs me 77/month for the 2 of them.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:51 AM   #14
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Reminds me of my DB's experience with his dachshund, "Quincy" several years ago. The little fella got into my brother's stash of "edibles". My brother, in a panic, insisted Quincy be seen at the emergency vet clinic on a Sunday afternoon - to the tune of $1500.

Vet told my brother that if it happened again, put Quincy in a quiet, dimly lit room, turn on some Pink Floyd and leave him a small bowl of Doritos while he sleeps it off.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:06 AM   #15
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We buy pet health insurance, through our vet. It helps significantly.
But, yes, vet care bills are pricey, but its a cost we are willing to take to have our fur baby.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:29 AM   #16
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Reminds me of my DB's experience with his dachshund, "Quincy" several years ago. The little fella got into my brother's stash of "edibles". My brother, in a panic, insisted Quincy be seen at the emergency vet clinic on a Sunday afternoon - to the tune of $1500.

Vet told my brother that if it happened again, put Quincy in a quiet, dimly lit room, turn on some Pink Floyd and leave him a small bowl of Doritos while he sleeps it off.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:45 AM   #17
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The dog got hold of an Advil you say...

That's code for someone put it in a place for the dog to consume.

It's not the dogs fault.

Be more careful in the future.
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Old 07-04-2020, 12:02 PM   #18
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The dog got hold of an Advil you say...

That's code for someone put it in a place for the dog to consume.

It's not the dogs fault.

Be more careful in the future.
It goes without saying that the dog is not at fault. OP never blamed the dog even implicitly. Yet you imply the OP "put" the pill in a place for the dog's consumption.

I take it you've never dropped a tablet on the floor without realizing it? All of us from time to time have been guilty of a small act of momentary carelessness. I'm sure that the OP, apart from the enormous vet bill, feels horrible about his pet's suffering.

Your scolding of the OP contributes zero to this discussion.
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:16 PM   #19
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I don't get the desire for pet insurance for this group. If you are FI, you only need to insurance against catastrophic costs, not $1000 vet bills.
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:41 PM   #20
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ANd now I know why I was able to ER- I don't own pets and never have!

A story from a friend- her doggie chewed up part of a rug and ended up with intestines full of strands of yarn. She started a GoFundMe to raise the $6,000 it took for surgery to get all the yarn out. This is a woman who once confided to me that she really needed new dentures (she's got a career as a professional speaker) but didn't have the money.

Priorities,I guess.
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