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Thread: The High Cost of Keeping our Pets Healthy...........

  1. #1
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    The High Cost of Keeping our Pets Healthy...........

    It's really hard to NOT consent to get medications that your pet needs. Unfortunately, our 14 year old dog needs some pretty expensive meds. Twice now, over the past 2 years, her liver enzymes have skyrocketed. Apparently she has a bile salts problem. After giving her a very expensive human drug (ursodiol), her liver enzymes come down to normal. Now the vet says to keep her on it forever. Also, she's developed bad arthritis and we're going to start injections on her that are supposed to even reverse the joint damage. Plus, she's on thyroid medication for being hypothyroid. Then there's the flea and tick med and the heartworm med.

    We love her and we just can't say no to these things. But geez.........sooooo expensive.

    The vet recommended using a Canadian pharmacy or Good Rx company. I guess I'll check that out.

    I do have mixed feelings though, about spending so much money. I guess it's a First World problem...............

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    So sorry, Cathy. I am a pet lover and I would also would find a way to squeeze expensive medications into the budget. They are such loving, loyal companions. Our last dog was clearly dying of organ failure, but we asked the vet to perform surgery just in case it would help. He died a few days later and we had a pretty large bill, but I'd do it again. It is so hard to deny a furry friend the same medical advantages we humans have.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    I have an 8 yr pup who keeps struggling with his hind end. First it was supposedly an ACL tear on the left leg, then that healed over and it's a tear on the other leg and he probably needs surgery. But the thing is I really think it's arthritis because he gets put on vetprophen (which they swear is not ibu-prophen, hmm) he gets better, can run, lift either leg to urinate, get up and down stairs, he seems good. I don't see the point of surgery when on vetprophen, he's not even limping. We go back in two weeks, I really hope surgery is off the table. I adore him but I am on a very limited income. I took him in from an old lady who couldn't keep him anymore back when I was still working and could afford big vet bills. I want to be a responsible owner and I will do the surgery if I have to but it will be very hard on me financially. Once one of my dog passes, I'll just have one dog because that's all I can afford.

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    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    The reason we no longer have pets. We volunteer at the no kill local shelter and that gives us our fix. Funny how we all gripe about health care costs and yet shell out a huge amount for pet medical care. Our last pet was so expensive at the end it did not make sense in our situation.

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    There is a lot of times it won't make fiscal sense, especially with a time cost benefit, but emotion overrules logic. For those times there are some pharmacies that are better for no insurance coverage (ones like Costco, according to one boss, going through Chemo for a dog that is within 2 years of average lifespan for that breed).
    I wish years ago, I had put mine down after he had his first stroke. When I let him out to go poddy, we figure he had another stroke, by how a person described him acting as he had run off into a vacant lot, elsewhere, and died that night, before we found him. It is a hard choice to make.

  6. #6
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    freshstart.............I love our new vet. The other one was in a small town and was awful. This one is about 24 miles away and is expensive, but he's sooooo good and smart. He put our dog on a tablet called Derrmaxx to see if she responded to it......which she did. Since it's a dog NSAID, they don't like to leave them on it, or at least find the lowest dose possible that gives them relief. Now that she's responded to that, he wanted us to go to a glucosamine/condroitin/MSM tablet, which I guess really helps restore their cartilage. But he said there is an even better product, but it has to be injected (Adequan). DH and I feel very comfortable with injections, so we're going that route. Unfortunately, you start out at twice a week for a month, then slowly go down a bit, to eventually once a month. But at my dog's weight, each injection is about $12 each. So......I think there are other options for your dog, rather than a higher dose of an NSAID. Be sure your dog isn't having side-effects from that......like vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding.

    The med for the gallbladder sludge my dog keeps making (which raises her liver enzymes) is something like $4-6/tablet and he wants her on it forever....every day. It's a human med. Hmmm.....maybe we could get our doc to write us a script for it and it would be partially covered by insurance. (Just kidding!).

    Yes........our pets are family members and it's hard not to do everything possible for them to ease their pain and give more quality to their lives.................but man, it can be expensive.

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    Had to spend $500 recently to have my cat's butt shaved and sewn up after a neighbor's cat got him. He had to wear a collar for two weeks for which I was charged $30. The thing I've noticed is that a lot of vet offices now must have huge overhead costs with state of the art clinics and large staff. A new emergency vet specialty "hospital" is going up nearby; it is very large and is being built on high dollar real estate (next to a Costco). Another thing I've found, at least here, is that many of the vets will only see you if you have signed up prior (are you a member?), shown proof of vaccinations and have pet insurance. I had to search quite a bit to find one that operated in the old-fashioned way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerseverywhere View Post
    The reason we no longer have pets.
    Ditto. There are some stray cats we give water and treats to.

    14 x 7 = 98 in dog years. What do you think the expected life expectancy of your pet is, and if you were at that stage of life yourself to what extent would you want measures taken, on a scale from ordinary to heroic, to keep you alive?

    When my grandfather, an active farmer his whole life, was confined to a wheelchair, in the end stages of Alzheimers, unable to feed himself or to speak, wearing diapers, my aunt said, "If he knew what was going on he would say, 'Take me out behind the barn and shoot me.' But of course we can't."

    With their dairy cows they could. But it seems that more and more animals are being treated as humans and their lives extended many times.
    Last edited by Yppej; 8-30-17 at 5:11am.

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    I felt I got railroaded on this costly pet care ride in life. I have had dogs all my life, I love these wonderful mutts no more than all the ones that came before them. However the last 10 years I have seen a change in my trips to the vet or should I say the bills. Everything is offered from pills to surgery, to treatments, therapy and X-ray . Surely I must be a bad owner if I do not do all these things???

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikingLady View Post
    I felt I got railroaded on this costly pet care ride in life. I have had dogs all my life, I love these wonderful mutts no more than all the ones that came before them. However the last 10 years I have seen a change in my trips to the vet or should I say the bills. Everything is offered from pills to surgery, to treatments, therapy and X-ray . Surely I must be a bad owner if I do not do all these things???
    My experience is the same. My dog, as with all the previous dogs, gets his annual check and all the shots necessary each year, quality food, daily 1 1/2 hour walks and lots of attention. My vet knows that basics will apply to my health as well as my pet so no extras are offered or requested. I have rarely required extra visits.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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