Vet Bills

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Nov 5, 2007
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Dallas, TX
We've got two dogs. One of them, Rainy fell about 15 feet a couple years ago. We were on vacation, and it was from a walk-over at the beach. She fell into sand and some brush, but still it was about 15 feet or so. We took her to the vet right away and nothing was broken. They did some x-rays and found she might have arthritis. She got a shot, and eventually got better. Lots of walks etc., in the past couple years. But she always had a funny sort of walk, just fat dog syndrome more than anything.

Fast forward to a month ago or so. She started limping from one front leg. Finally it got bad enough, my wife took her to the vet last Saturday. She doesn't have hereditary arthritis. They took some x-rays and saw her bones aren't fused together. Today she just went back to the vet for a blood test. They are going to test for Lyme disease, Rocky Mtn, Spotted Fever, and some various Canine Auto Immune diseases. Whatever it is, she now limps from both front legs, so it's not getting any better.

Hopefully they can find out what's wrong with her. I talked to the vet yesterday, if the blood tests don't show anything, they have to go in and get some joint fluid to test that. And that requires being sedated.

Man, like everything else, vet bills are sky high. If you've been to the doctor lately, you can only imagine what the bills are. She is like a little kid without insurance.

The dog in question, who is vitally important to my wife. Here, Rainy is trying so hard to get the cat to be friends. Berry the Cat puts up with her, and my wife and I think, likes Rainy more than she lets on.
RainyANDBerry.jpeg
 

Cholo

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They're worth it!

In '81 I had a 5 year old Golden Retriever who was a frisbee catching fool :) He was simply amazing! I kept him in shape in my yard but took him to big fields to really have fun. We walked out onto my back porch to go down the stairs, but he couldn't wait and jumped. It completely tore all the ligaments in his right elbow and the entire bottom of his leg was flopping around.

Our Vet said he needed to go to UTK (Knoxville) to their medical clinic where they tried to wire his leg back together. Within 1 minute of the cast coming off 6 weeks later the wires broke. Back to UTK to have the joint fused.

Total medical bills only? $800--in 1981. It was a lot of $ to us with our first daughter on the way. Worth it? Every penny! My last dog cost me more than that, considering inflation, in the last 2 years of her life. Again, it was worth it.

I hope they find out what's wrong with Rainy!
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
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Dec 16, 2005
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On the beach and in the hills
It seems folks don’t know about pet medical insurance. Like life insurance for people it’s cheaper when they are younger. But it’s something you might look into.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
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Mar 10, 2002
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Redlands CA USA
Hi,

I first heard about pet medical insurance from folks who had three golden retrievers. I thought it might be some kind of yuppie thing. When I found out what their annual vet bills were, it started looking like a pretty good deal. Like a client's dachshund who broke his back sliding down some freshly tiled stairs that had always been carpeted until that day. $10,000 by the time they got him up and going again.

Rick C
 
Joined
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Dallas, TX
We knew about medical insurance, when we got Blizzard, our first dog, almost 8 years ago. At the time, it just didn't seem like such a great deal, i.e. the pet insurance company priced their insurance so they came out on top. If we had paid each year, honestly, it would have been more expensive with the insurance. So far, the two tests have been $1,100. If it goes on and on, then yes, it would have been better to get the insurance. Plus, the insurance we saw, didn't cover routine things like dental. We get our dog's teeth cleaned each year. It's about $400 per dog per year. Their annual wellness checkup, which also would not be covered by insurance, is around $500 per dog. This is all their shots etc. Flea, tick, and heartworm medicine just went up. It's now $25 per month per dog. This also would not be covered by insurance as it's routine.
 

Taterman

Buckeye
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Jan 2, 2013
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Chicago suburbs
We just found out our dog has invasive lipoma in her right hip. The hip is twice the size of the other one. Basically, it's fat that has fused into the muscle and can't be removed. She doesn't seem to be in pain (yet) and it doesn't interfere with her walking, but the vet said it will have to be amputated. She said she's seen it take up to two years before it's that bad, but it grew very fast already. I dread that day, our pooch LOVES to run.
We already spent $600 for tests and a ultrasound, but we do have insurance through Healthy Paws.
 

eveled

Hunter
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Apr 3, 2012
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I’m not judging anyone here. Or anyone’s situation with their pets. Just my observations.

People become too attached to their pets, and forget they are pets. The vets take advantage of this. Yes they are a part of the family, I get it. I really do. But spending crazy money to keep a pet alive just a little longer is foolish. If the credit card debt outlives the animal its a problem.

The human members of the family are more important than the pets are. I’ve seen people blow through their kids meager college fund on dog surgeries, on a dog that died anyway.

Even if money is truly not an issue sometimes keeping an animal suffering longer is inhumane.

Life decisions like this are hard, but these tough decisions go along with being a pet owner. As a pet owner you need to look at cost vs benefit (factor in the animals expected quality of life) and know when to euthanize.
 
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Joined
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eveled:
Believe me, I totally understand what you are saying. Every now and then you see a news story about someone who made a cart for their dog, because their back legs don't work. In my opinion, that is taking it too far. If Rainy looses the use of her front legs, then its time to put her to sleep. Two months ago, she was walking 2 and 3 miles a day, these days, around the block is enough. But, she is one happy dog. A few non-invasive tests and some bloodwork is a small price to pay for the joy she brings the house.
 
Joined
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Alexandria, LA USA
Value your pets while you have them. They are part of the family and depend on you for their upkeeping and friendship. If you can't do what's reasonable to care for your pet, your shouldn't have one. Just go outside and watch the birds and the squirrels, they can get along without you.
I just lost my lapdog a couple of weeks ago and yep I have vet bills I paid, gladly pay them twice if he was still here.
 

vito

Hunter
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Jan 2, 2005
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Northern Illinois
There are lots of things in life that can be costly if they occur to you. Having insurance for many or all of these things might sound reasonable to some people, but if you are not careful you can become "insurance poor". We have health insurance, insurance on our cars, motorcycles, etc, on our home, and that's about it. Insurance is a significant cost to us, especially as a retired couple on a fixed income. With two dogs I looked into pet insurance, even though most of the cost to us for vet visits and meds would not be covered. But it came to over $100 a month and essentially would only cover serious illnesses or injuries. So we decided to forego the pet insurance and just take our chances. Thinking back over the many dogs that we have owned in our married life (56 years so far), I don't think that insurance would have covered care that cost even a small fraction of the premiums we would have paid during those years.
 
Joined
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Richmond Texas USA
Well, we were pretty lucky with our Cocker, Dusty that we had for 16 wonderful years.
He never went to the vet for 15 years and never even received a rabies or other shots. He developed a recurring cancerous tumor on the side of his mouth at 15 YO which the vet removed twice at about $100.00 a pop. When the cancer got so bad that he wouldn't eat ice-cream we knew it was time to call his vet to come to our house and put him to sleep AT NO CHARGE. Our vet REALLY cared for Dusty Dog.
After having such a wonderful dog and going thru the pain of his death we decided never to have another dog that would never live up to Dusty Dog's standard or go thru that kind of pain again of losing one.
Dusty Dog died in 1999 and I still tear up while writing this.
 

Ride1949

Blackhawk
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Dec 4, 2021
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Oregon
Jim:
We lost our oldest two a little over a year apart. They were both 13 yrs old. Both had chronic health problems since they were pups. I have no regrets for the vet bills. It's been over ten years and I still miss them every day.
I've posted this before, but it holds a special place in my heart.
ADOGSWILL.jpg
 
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