They say that you shouldn’t have a pet if you can’t afford one. Something I hear from people who work in vet clinics often. While I tend to agree with the message, do people forget that people fall on hard times? Do they also ignore the fact that, veterinary medicine can be extremely expensive? Now I don’t want to talk shit about vets, I really don’t, but I also call bullshit when I see it.
Both of my dogs came to me sick. I nursed them both back to health. My dogs are approximately 6 years apart. Ozzy, my oldest, has lived in several locations across the state and had many vets over the years and let me tell you, depending where you live determines how helpful and affordable vet clinics are.
Now, we live in a very well to do area of the state and the veterinary rates are high. We’ve come on some lean times (I won’t say hard because the bills are paid and there is food on the table, things could definitely be worse), and both dogs were due for their yearly vaccinations. If you’re lucky, you can get approved for a Care Credit card which many vets now accept. It saved my ass when Samus went into the emergency vet with a fever that moved onto a grand mal seizure. That was roughly $700. A few weeks later at her regular vet, her updated shots were $150 with some new vitamins to help calm her as she’s a fearful dog. (Note: those vitamins didn’t work and they were $35.) So that card is maxed.
I absolutely could not squeeze in another $150 for Ozzy’s updated vaccinations. Once upon a time (I’ve had dogs my whole life) you paid $35 for a rabies/distemper combo shot that lasted 3 years and you didn’t have to pay an office visit fee if you were just updating vaccines. Both his current vets quoted me another $150 to update everything, plus an office fee and to do his bi-annual heartworm testing.
When I, being a responsibly owner, asked my vet how much it was going to cost me to spay Samus, I was told $800. I have never once paid that much to have a dog spayed/neutered. In fact, I paid $50 to have Ozzy neutered. As a friend pointed out, that is quite irresponsible of a vet to deter people from altering their animal by quoting an outrageous price like that. They did tell me that if money was a problem that the local Humane Society did it for much cheaper. On principle alone, I would never pay that much to spay or neuter, because I know it’s done at a much more reasonable rate everywhere else. The Humane Society did it for $175. More than reasonable.
Armed with such information, I searched for low cost clinics in my area and found one that stops at a tractor company once a month. Ozzy had all his shots updated, heartworm tested and nails trimmed for $83.
That is a $67 difference. So please, don’t tell me that some vets are not absolutely out of control. And let’s have a special thanks to all the vets that care enough to help people keep their animals healthy and understand that people go through hard times.
Ozzy’s first CCL repair. $900. One month into his recovery he tore his other CCL which cost another $946.
He was not spoiled during his recovery, whatsoever.
Fatty tumor removed from his rib cage. $400 and a year long contract with a vet that cost $35 per month.
Samus recovering from her spay surgery.
I have literally lost count of how much money I have spent in vet care over the years and that is not including food and the groomers. So why should you make someone feel bad about worrying over the cost of vet care? It’s not like vets offer payment plans and probably for very good reasons but no one should expect everyone to have an extra $500-$1000 sitting around for a vet emergency or to just not have an animal because they don’t. There are too many homeless animals in the world for that shit.