If your pet was ill... - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What is the maximum amount (lump sum) you could pay if your middle aged pet needed medical treatment
$100-500 46 25.27%
$500-1000 34 18.68%
$1000-2000 31 17.03%
$2000-3000 16 8.79%
$3000-4000 6 3.30%
$4000-5000 4 2.20%
$5000-6000 1 0.55%
$6000 and above 23 12.64%
Other 21 11.54%
Voters: 182. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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what is the maximum amount of money (lump sum) you would be able to spend on the treatment assuming it was a condition that was treatable and that they were a middle aged pet?

(spinning this off from another thread which talked about pet emergencies)

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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#2 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 11:39 AM
 
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We would likely only be able to afford $2,000 before it seriously destroyed us. It would have to go on our cc and would take us a long time to pay it off. After Tigg's crystal block we're working on saving up a pet medical fund. We don't want to be caught off guard again. He's also going to need periodic check ups to keep an eye on his urine so our fund will cover that too.

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#3 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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There isn't a maximum. If there was a course of treatment that had reasonable odds of working and wouldn't be horrible for the pet, I'd run up credit cards or take out a loan or whatever I needed to do.
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#4 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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...just added the poll...

I don't believe my DH would expect me to spend more than a few thousand total on any one incident. I do keep indoor cats at least, which have a lower risk of issues at least. I believe the most I've spent on any individual issue at this point was $1000.

I wrote middle age in there too because I know if something major happened to a geriatric pet a lot of people would be more likely to opt for euthanasia.

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#5 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 12:21 PM
 
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I voted 500- 1000 but you can't really know until the day comes, ya know? We have the money to spend a lot more, but I don't know if we would... On the one hand, pets are really like a part of the family, but on the other hand, I do think you have to consider the financial well being of the human members of your family first. It would be a hard decision, but I don't think I could go broke to save the life of one of my pets.
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#6 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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I said 2 to 3 thousand. I would love to say unlimited, but I just couldn't see that being financially responsible for us. That is the biggest reason that our only pets at the moment are our fish.

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#7 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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I voted 500- 1000 but you can't really know until the day comes, ya know? We have the money to spend a lot more, but I don't know if we would... On the one hand, pets are really like a part of the family, but on the other hand, I do think you have to consider the financial well being of the human members of your family first. It would be a hard decision, but I don't think I could go broke to save the life of one of my pets.
This.
I voted 100-500 dollars because we wouldn't be able to afford anything else lump sum. Lucky for us, nothing like this has ever happened.
I love my dog but I don't think I'd take out loans or run up cc's to pay for thousands of dollars in treatment.

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#8 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 12:28 PM
 
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For me, the physical well-being of the non-human members of my family is more important than the financial well-being of the human members. Period.
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#9 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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For us, it isn't a certain amount of money, but would depend on the circumstance and diagnosis. I would not spend thousands of dollars on chemo and radiation, for example, if the oncologist told us (with pathological backing) that the odds weren't great. I've seen too much of that to do it to my pets and I feel very strongly about quality of life vs. number of days lived.

For surgery that had good odds, I'd put it on a CC, regardless of the amount, and hope for the best. Same with any other illness that we had a reasonable chance of curing. Luckily I have some inside knowledge and several friends who are vets in various specialties; the extra info and assistance makes a difference sometimes in type of care and also in how frank they are about probable outcomes.

Basically, we go into pet ownership knowing that it's going to be ungodly expensive. They cost what they cost. They depend on us to care for them. And it's our responsibility to do that.

Sad story ahead.....

On Saturday, a client who we haven't seen in about 3 years called- her 16yo cat wasn't doing well and she wanted him euthanized. This woman used to go to church with my boss and he gives all of the people that attend his church regularly free services. For people who used to attend, they get a discount. She brought Meowser in, and I gave her the prices for euthanasia and the different cremation options (we are not allowed to dispose of bodies in the landfill- the owner can take posession of the body, or we can arrange private or communal cremation). She started crying and yelling at me that she could not afford the $88 that it would cost. (The regular price would have been $160 plus tax for euth and communal cremation, but he gave her a discount). She did look like someone who really struggled financially. I told her that she could go to animal control and they would do the euth for free, and it was her choice. She wound up staying and using our services, but cried and ranted the whole time about how she was poor and could not afford what we were charging. It's hard; you feel badly for people who are struggling, but on the same hand, if you don't have $88 for a very discounted vet bill, you really can't afford a pet in this day and age with the cost of vet care and animal care in general.

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#10 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 12:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KayleeZoo View Post
Basically, we go into pet ownership knowing that it's going to be ungodly expensive. They cost what they cost. They depend on us to care for them. And it's our responsibility to do that.
I agree 100% with this.
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#11 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 12:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DisplacedYooper View Post
I voted 500- 1000 but you can't really know until the day comes, ya know? We have the money to spend a lot more, but I don't know if we would... On the one hand, pets are really like a part of the family, but on the other hand, I do think you have to consider the financial well being of the human members of your family first. It would be a hard decision, but I don't think I could go broke to save the life of one of my pets.
we're in a position to be able to spend a few thousand (cash) if need be, but I agree with the sentiment of this post. I would not put pet care on a credit card or otherwise go into debt that might jeopardize my family's well-being in the future. I adore my cat to pieces, but I love my children more and I won't risk their financial safety.
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#12 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to justify a lot for our dogs. We have three.

If it was something like a broken leg - a simple procedure, localized... that's one thing. But if one of our dogs got hit by a car, got a terminal illness, that sort of stuff... they'd be put down. We have a big 'farm' mentality here... Most of the medical work for our animals is either done by us or, well, not done.

And i'm in school to be a vet tech, so this isn't a "I hate animals" type thing. It's just how our family works. I can't justify going into debt or paying savings-account money for an animal, when the next day DH/DD/D? might break a leg and have to be cared for.

As harsh as it might sound, animals can be replaced. There are plenty of shelter and rescue animals who can benefit from having a family... and your "middle-aged dog" has already had a great life.
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#13 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 12:46 PM
 
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I put $5 - 6 thousand. We'd go higher if necessary, but I worked at a vet, and I'm not sure I ever saw a small animal bill above this. I think if a treatment were going to cost much more than that and assuming the chances of a good outcome with a high quality of life were high, I'd seriously start shopping around. Not all vets are created equal. The other consideration I'd have is that very expensive treatments tend to be very involved and often unpleasant for the animal. Sometimes we have to decide if it is fair for the animal to be put through significant discomfort, fear or pain for a few more years of life, even if we can afford it. Are we doing it for our pet or for ourselves?

I do agree with the people who said we have the responsibility to take care of our pets. I don't necessarily think that everyone has to be able to afford expensive treatments in order to have pets, but you should at least be able to afford to have them humanely euthanized.

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#14 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 12:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by phatchristy View Post
what is the maximum amount of money (lump sum) you would be able to spend on the treatment assuming it was a condition that was treatable and that they were a middle aged pet?

(spinning this off from another thread which talked about pet emergencies)
We have recently paid about $2k for our 4yo boy, although $1500 of that was reimbursed by his pet insurance ($88 annual premium - so net $600 outlay for the year).

We could cover a fair bit more comfortably although it would be eating into savings for other things and I don't know that we *would* do it. We would have to consult with a vet and determine what is really in the best interest of the pet.

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#15 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 12:54 PM
 
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Interesting.

Our cat is not well, and the vet I took him to charged us $213 for a diagnosis of either he's scared, or maybe we are getting ready to have an earthquake. He is losing mobility, and can longer move his tail and walks sideways now.

What a quack... I am so mad. We have some money, but I really don't want to spend it this way. I honestly don't know what to do. He's 7 and a big part of my family, but in all honesty, I would rather have him put to sleep than get surgery or have him suffer. I suppose I should look for another vet, but this one was supposed to have a good reputation. And I really don't want to have to pay another office fee like that. I am not heartless, only practical.

For now he seems not to be suffering too much, but hides much of the day. I have check his hind legs and tail thoroughly, no wounds and doesn't really seem tender. I think it's neurological. When I told my vet this he agreed and suggested sending him to rehab type center. That is just not a possibility. I cannot spend that much money.

I'm mad at myself for wasting the $213 on the quack vet.

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#16 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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I wouldn't spend more than about $10 on pet health care, but then again I only have a hamster.

Vet bills are part of the reason I won't get a cat or a dog or a larger rodent that could actually benefit from vetinary care, thus making it irresponsible not to use it. Thre's not much a vet can do for a sick hamster, so if I saw him getting ill I'd self-treat at home.

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#17 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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The amount I voted that I "could" pay is pretty large. It's not that I have the funds to pay that amount in cash (believe me, I don't!). I would in a heartbeat put up to that much on credit, though. Then again, I am really devoted to my dog -- he was literally the only thing I had for comfort when I was going through a serious health crisis several years ago, and I feel like I owe him the respect for the 10 years he's been loyal to me. I would not pay a large sum of money for treatment that might only marginally prolong his life in a terminal situation, though.
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#18 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 01:38 PM
 
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I once spent $2000 on my cat that had a urinary blockage from crystals. He was healthy otherwise and only 2 years old. If we didn't spend the money, he would have died quickly from kidney failure.
He lived 4 more years and ended up dying from other causes. He was a great cat and extremely loving and gentle. To me that 4 years was well worth $2000.

But dh and I were both working then, and ds was not born yet. We could not afford it now. It's a tough call.
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#19 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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We paid 5000 for one of our dogs surgery and related health care to save his life.
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#20 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 01:40 PM
 
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It would really depend on efficacy, quality of life, etc before I could make a dollar amount.

We spent 2500 on tests, treatment, etc when our cat got mammary cancer. It only gave us a few extra months, so I don't know if I would do it again.

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#21 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 01:43 PM
 
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I voted 500-1000. We could afford more without ruining ourselves financially, but honestly, the dog is just a dog. He has had a good life so far, and I don't want him to suffer, but our family has much higher financial priorities than spending over 1000$ on the dog. And I don't think the physical wellness of our pet comes above the financial wellness of the family. I know some people will think I am cruel and heartless.

Frankly, if you eat meat, I don't know how you can say it is cruel to put a dog down. To me eating a free range chicken is worse than putting down a sick dog, and a factory farm chicken is loads worse than that. (ducks before flaming begins)

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#22 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 01:46 PM
 
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I voted 500-1000. We could afford more without ruining ourselves financially, but honestly, the dog is just a dog. He has had a good life so far, and I don't want him to suffer, but our family has much higher financial priorities than spending over 1000$ on the dog. And I don't think the physical wellness of our pet comes above the financial wellness of the family. I know some people will think I am cruel and heartless.
Yeah. I have a huge, huge problem with that. I wish people who think they want would not get domestic pets.
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#23 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 01:48 PM
 
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For us, it isn't a certain amount of money, but would depend on the circumstance and diagnosis.
That's the way I feel. We just opted out of a $1000 knee operation for one of our cats. The issue wasn't the money (thank goodness,) but rather that the vet didn't convince me that immediate surgery was the best course of treatment.

Right now, we pay around $2/day for the medications and supplements that keep our 14yo dog Abigail comfortable, happy, and (reasonably) active. Every month or two we also spend a couple of hundred dollars on bloodwork and such to make sure that the meds aren't messing up any of her organs. It's a lot of money, but I don't begrudge her a penny of it.

She's a member of the family; she needs the medicine; and we can put together the money. That's the bottom line for me.
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#24 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 01:50 PM
 
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This.
I voted 100-500 dollars because we wouldn't be able to afford anything else lump sum. Lucky for us, nothing like this has ever happened.
I love my dog but I don't think I'd take out loans or run up cc's to pay for thousands of dollars in treatment.
ITA. I could pay 500-600, but it would hurt. A lot.
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#25 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 01:53 PM
 
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I think before Tigger's emergency I would have said somewhere under $500. But things are so much different when you are actually faced with that decision. I feel like I've taken the responsibility for his care when adopting him - just like you do when you adopt a child. A life is a life no matter how small IMO. I'm the type that would charge it at the time then figure out how to pay it off later. I've manged to sell a lot of stuff since Tigg's block last week and have raised a little over $200 towards his ER bill. I know I will manage the rest somehow. I don't think I'd ever be able to live with myself knowing I allowed him to be killed over an easily curable affliction. I'm lucky that I have a cc with a high-ish limit and I know many others do not. I honestly don't think I could ever give the ok to euthanize him. Probably only if he had something terminal and was suffering.

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#26 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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Can I ask a slightly OT question - do any of you have pet insurance? I'm looking at plans for my (8 year old recently adopted) dog that would cost about $30-40/month and would cover up to $5000 per accident or illness per year. Since a quick trip to the vet the other day that should have cost $50 turned into $280, I'm realizing that I MUST get coverage right away.
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#27 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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I said $2000-$3000. I have a few thousand dollars saved up, but I wouldn't blow it all immediately - perhaps 2 grand, then I would put some on credit and borrow some from my boyfriend or my mom.

For me it totally depends on the problem and the prognosis. If the prognosis wasn't good - cancer that had spread, or a very serious accident - I would put them to sleep.

I would spend money on surgury to remove localized tumors, joint surgury or an artificial joint that would improve their quality of life, varied injuries from a car accident, digestive or bladder issues, etc.

I love my animals dearly, but I'm not ever willing to spend outside my means or go into major debt for anything, except my own life or my (hypothetical) child's.
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#28 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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To me, my pets are really, really important. They are members of my family. It's why I brought them into my home. It's not that I would starve my children for them, but to be frank, I think I would pay whatever I could. They aren't just animals to me. If they were, I wouldn't have them at all. Who wants an animal with no manners and only bathes by force running around the house? Squirrels aren't welcome in my home, neither are raccoons. My little friends are far more than animals, to me.
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#29 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 01:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loitering View Post
Can I ask a slightly OT question - do any of you have pet insurance? I'm looking at plans for my (8 year old recently adopted) dog that would cost about $30-40/month and would cover up to $5000 per accident or illness per year. Since a quick trip to the vet the other day that should have cost $50 turned into $280, I'm realizing that I MUST get coverage right away.
We have VPI pet ins. It's not the best but it's reasonable. Their coverage caps are really low compared to costs of vet care in my area. BUT it has paid for itself over and over with our boy who is prone to urinary blockages. I can't speak to preexisting conditions though as we have had it from the start. We pay between $80-100 in premiums (more for the older one, less for the younger) and this past year paid an extra $60 in premium to upgrade to a higher level of cover for our older boy that will cover part of his tooth cleaning later this year.

I do NOT find their "routine care supplement" to be worth it in general though - as we have indoor cats, the extra $100 premium is NOT made back in savings; their coverage limits mean we would get back about $50 toward their annual visits/shots/etc.

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#30 of 133 Old 10-13-2008, 01:59 PM
 
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I voted 500-1000. We could afford more without ruining ourselves financially, but honestly, the dog is just a dog.
I'd understand more if you could not afford it, but if you can and just don't feel like it - that doesn't make sense to me. I guess you've put a price on the value of your dog's life. I hope he never gets sick. I know animals can be replaced just like children, and husbands, and wives, but they are all living, breathing, beings who deserve a chance at life. I'm sorry, I'm not trying to attack you, your post just made me really, really sad.

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