Thursday, May 18, 2017

How much is a healthy pet worth?


A couple of weeks ago I had to take my Gertie to the vet. She got a blood test, two x-rays, a shot, and some antibiotics.

The whole thing cost almost $500.

FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! For some basic vet care!!!

I walked away wishing I had asked how much things were going to cost before getting them done. Were all those tests really necessary? Maybe I could have shaved it back a little bit.

Most pet owners know that at some point they're going to have to face a decision that pits money against the life of their furry family member. It's just a part of the deal. Unless you are super rich or your pet gets hit by a car five years in, one day you're going to be adding up the costs of meds or surgery and weighing them against the value of their life.

"Well, she's old and she's really sick," we say, "I could spend thousands of dollars on a surgery to keep her alive, or I could pay $50 to have her put down. She only has a few years left anyways and then I know she won't suffer."

Not that it's a light decision - it's heart-wrenching to balance your bank account, your pet's comfort, and their life, but it must be done.

The first time I went to the vet as an adult who paid her own bills, I was SHOCKED at how much it cost! Indignant, even! I couldn't believe that I had to pay so much for PET care, when MY OWN health care didn't cost nearly as much! How could care for animals be so much more expensive than care for HUMANS???

Then I remembered... Oh yeah. I live in a country where we don't want to watch people die just because they're poor, so I don't have to pay my human medical bills. They get split up by everyone.

Without making further political statements, I'm just going to point out that I'm really glad I won't have to make the same decisions about my grandma or sister as I do about my cat.


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