Cost of veterinary care is sky rocketing and is really hurting many hard working Americans with limited income, especially the elderly. Most animal lovers love their animals and their animals are like their precious children. Animals are dependent on their owners and offer unconditional love and loyalty to their owners. Unfortunately, many folks do not consider the high cost of veterinary care when they first adopt their dogs or cats. Costs for general annual vaccines are reasonable and most families can afford the annual shots and heart worm medications. The cost of neutering or spaying a dog or cat can run a few hundred dollars and many animal owners can cough up the cost since it is a one time health care cost. But what happens when an animal gets old and develops cancer or other life threatening disease and needs long term expensive health care.
There are instances where animal owners need to take their animals to one of those 24 hour animal emergency clinics due to an emergency. For example, I had a toy poodle who swallowed tylenol tablets and needed to be rushed to animal emergency. Animal emergency wanted a $1,000 upfront deposit for them to ten to my 7 pound toy poodle. Fortunately, I was able to afford the upfront $1,000 deposit and went further with the treatment. My 7 pound toy poodle sustained eye damage due to his ingestion of the tylenol and we had to take him to an eye specialist. The animal emergency cost me $2,500. My toy poodle had to go for treatment to an eye specialist and the total cost over six months was over $5,000. What if I did not have the funds to treat my dog at animal emergency? What if I did not have the $5,000 to take my toy poodle to the eye specialist for eye treatment? Could my dog have died due to not being able to get him treated at animal emergency? Could my dog have gone blind for not seeing an eye specialist?
There are many people who purchase two or three or more dogs and cats so the animals can have company growing up. Nothing is wrong with that and any animal should have a playmate growing up. However, cats and dogs do get sick as they age and many develop diseases such as cancer or Cushing’s Disease. I had another toy poodle, who was my best friend and the coolest dog I have ever had. Her name was Missy and she went everywhere I went. When she was left home alone when I had to go somewhere where dogs were not allowed, she waited for me by the door until I got home. She always slept next to me and even followed me to the bathroom when I had to go. She was a daughter to me and never ever had a dog like her and I doubt I ever will have another dog like her in my lifetime. I had her since she was a little pup and we became best friends. We were always together and we communicated with each other via eye contact and body motion. I thanked God every day for giving me such a wonderful animal and there was not a day that went by that I did not tell her how beautiful and precious she was. She was born on October 14, 2002 and passed away in my arms on October 30, 2013. In 2009, my dear Missy developed Cushings Disease. She went from 7 pounds to 15 pounds due to her Cushing’s Disease. I took her to so many specialists and had x-rays, MRIs, and Cat Scans done. She was then on a new drug that came out at that time called trilestene which I think saved her life. I fell victim to the 2008 Real Estate and Credit Meltdown and lost my business and job. Missy got sick during the toughest financial time of my life where I was nearly penniless. What was I going to do? Let her die? I had to find funds to take her to vets and buy her medications. Every three months she needed to go to get her blood tested, and had to have an MRI where it was extremely expensive. She also needed to go to a specialist every three months to make sure that her Cushing’s Disease was under control. I have spent thousands of precious dollars but every penny was worth prolonging my dear Missy’s life. Moral of this blog article is that I have tons of respect for veterinarians and most vets become vets not for the money but because they are animal lovers. There is so much a young veterinarian can do to save an animal in need of veterinary care if the animal needs extended expensive care. Animal lovers should set aside reserve funds for their animal future health care and put it aside. Before you go and adopt the whole litter because they are cute, the high cost of veterinary care is life and you should really think about the potential enormous cost of veterinary care before adopting. The guilt of putting dow your best friend due to not being able to afford their health care is one guilt nobody should live with.