Yesterday a site I follow on FB (not sure which one as I apparently have short-term memory issues but I think it was Pet’s Health Network) posed a question along the lines of: Would you considering putting your pet down if you couldn’t afford needed medical care? I believe they were talking about something such as surgery, something necessary.
Of course in my head I screamed a resounding “NO!”. The truth is, if I couldn’t afford something the dogs needed to save their life, I’m pretty sure I’d try to harvest my own kidney and attempt to sell it on the black market in order to pay for what they need.
This question was posed on a day when both dogs were at the vet. Melvin had grown a black spot on his belly (benign), had a red ear (yeast), anal glands (full, sorry gross I know) and in need a of a medical bath for his allergies. Jake, whose list managed to exceed Melvin’s, needed his cracked tooth looked at (being pulled next week), a lump on his leg checked (benign), checked for UTI (negative), a lip papilloma looked at (contagious), a check of his damaged nail (healing nicely), a consult on his red stomach (bacterial infection), a bath and a discussion about his breathing issues (nasal widening to occur next week when they take the tooth out). Both dogs had been to the vet just a month before (for fear you think I’d ever let these things go on without attention!).
That vet visit cost $800. Now, granted pet care in the DC area is likely higher than other areas (and I’m not sure if it’s lower than other places) but I was a tad shocked, especially since nothing ‘remarkable’ happened such as the question posed by the FB page that I can’t recall. Driving home I felt so blessed that I have a good job, that I have been able to put money aside for rainy days (those puddle makers are named Melvin and Jake) and that if worse came to worst, my family would help. Those knuckleheads are my kids, I want them to be around for as long as possible.
At the end of the day, insurance for dogs needs to be more readily available. Neither of my dogs even qualify — I knew Melvin was a crap shoot to even apply for but I thought we were in the clear for Jake. He got rejected because he tested positive for Ehrlichia, something that may never even affect him. Also, we need to be able to claim our pets on our tax return. I just wanted to throw that one out since I find it crazy that we can’t.
I’m done rambling, happy Thursday!
Ouch. Not sure if it would be worth investigating for you but we use PetPlan pet insurance. It is for illness/injury only – maybe you could get coverage for everything but the pre-existing condition?
Our Lab had me in the vet’s office every time I turned around but by the time pet insurance became a real thing, he was much to old to get coverage. We were smarter with Bella and signed up for it as soon as we got her. We have been happy having it since she’s been at the vet’s office over the last year more times than I can count.
But, like you, I would sell my own body parts before giving up on my dog. It’s got to be a hard decision for folks who have no alternatives.
Oh, great lead! I’m looking into this now!
for what it’s worth, I think a visit with two dogs for $800 is a steal. We regularly hit $500 for one dog when they’re healthy (once you add in regular meds like flea and heartworm preventatives for a year). We got really lucky when Nemo was sick because our vet comp’ed us a TON on the bill, and we still had high vet bills.
Thinking about it more, Mel also has a couple other daily meds that she gets that also add to the bill… us and our high-maintenance dogs! It’s a good thing they’re so cute…
Hahahahah! Melvin is a $500 a month dog and Jake is about $200 a month (at this point). So I guess my sticker shock was that this was on top of the usual. Every med we got was for new issues. I guess my biggest concern was when they announced the cost (knowing Jake was just in for $400 two weeks ago) they said –good luck, you have a frenchie now! .
I can totally relate to this as we have put over $10,000 into our dog Lainey since September. She has had 3 ACL surgeries, hospital stays, complications, therapy, medications, etc…..but, she is worth every dime. My pets are family and I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂
I do agree with the fact that we should be able to claim them on our taxes….wouldn’t that be nice 🙂
I’m going to organize a march, and by march i mean a happy hour so that we can all discuss this!
Ugh. I feel your pain. I feel like it is impossible to get out of the vet’s office for less than $200-300 on a good day. Insurance should definitely be more readily available and claiming them on our taxes? I’m so with you on that!
Agreed. And the Mr. and I never ask the rescues to pay medical bills for our fosters, so that adds up. Yesterday we took Sarge to the vet, and after an exam, fecal, nail trim, Heartguard and Vectra it was over $300! We did appreciate that we could claim fostering expenses this year, but perma-dogs should be able to be claimed too!
Good golly, that’s an awful lot of ailments. I do hope they both come out of it fine. I’m with you, though, I’d be harvesting my kidneys before putting any of my animals down.
I, like kate with a camera, also thought that $800 for two dogs was a great “deal”! I was actually pleasantly surprised by our trip to the vet on Monday which was only $179. I’m sure that after the diagnosis, it will add up so I shouldn’t be too happy yet! But…yes, they are all absolutely worth it! 🙂 Glad to hear that it was nothing too serious with the doggies though! We’ll keep our paws crossed for Jake’s surgery to go well!
I totally agree…pet insurance does need to be more easily accessible, especially for rescues of senior status…and also yes, on our taxes returns there should be a bark exemption!!!! I send all three of you a BIG hug…Melvin and Jake are two blessed dogs…you are a great mommy!!!! I’m hit by an extremely brutal migraine today (Im a chronic migraineur)…Send some good thoughts my way please!!!! Sometimes our dog’s eyes look like dollar signs, but their heart and being is just too priceless!!!!
It’s so crazy how much everything costs now! We have pet insurance for both of our dogs, but if there is a pre-existing condition, they just won’t cover that type of ailment for the condition. Maybe look into Trupanion…Mr. B has that and it still includes breed-specific ailments. Miss M has the ‘bad insurance’, but we were still pleasantly surprised to get our check in the mail covering 70% of her latest surgery. I understand some people might not be able to afford anything beyond basic, but I also think people of all socio-economic levels deserve to own pets. It’s just so hard.
Oh wow, that’s a lot to have to take the boys in for but I’m glad they’re OK. I hear ya about the insurance, it’s too late for me to do anything for Dottie and her back and elbow problems. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could claim them on our taxes?
Try a bill for two dog dentals on one day….
Stop on by for a visit
My human daddy jokes (kind of) that one pay check per month should be deposited directly to my vet! But my humans love me, and I know that they would do anything to keep me healthy and happy!
I like that dad of yours! He’s smart!
I feel super duper blessed that we see a wonderful, old school vet (recommended to us by the woman who did our home visit before we adopted Lily) who is EXTREMELY reasonable. I just took Lil in today to have her anal glands emptied, teeth cleaned (the vet does it without anesthesia for dogs who will put up with that, and fortunately Lily is really good about it), nails clipped, and a lump on her back leg checked (benign, yay!). Total cost: $52. I think we spend approx. $1k total on Lily annually, including vet, food, supplies, everything. I was actually thinking that was kinda high (it’s more than some people I know spend, and Lily has to see the vet more than some other dogs ’cause her anal glands don’t empty on their own so the vet has to do it regularly), but after reading this post and everyone’s comments I’m feeling crazy blessed!!
I completely agree about the insurance and the tax return! Already this year I have spent thousands, literally thousands, of dollars on my dogs. I don’t regret it, but I wish I at least could get a little tax break or something?!