Recently a pet owner we know became overwhelmed by veterinary bills. She is the owner of 5 dogs, two of which required extensive medical care. In both cases, the medical care was after hours, at the emergency clinic. Anyone who has used this service knows how expensive it can be.
In the case of this owner, one of her dogs was attacked at night when it went outside to use the bathroom in the backyard. It was attacked by an owl, or a hawk, and it lost one eye. The other eye was badly damaged by the time they reached the after-hours clinic. The remaining eye was sewn shut and the dog was sent home with an Elizabethan collar around his neck.
Her bill for this visit was more than $1,000 and that was for just one dog. This dog required even more medical care when his stitches opened and she had to bring him in once again.
She agonized over a tough decision- she could either pay the bill, or euthanize her dog. As a dog lover, she was distraught but in the end, she chose to pay the bill. Her dogs are her children and she would do anything for them.
This makes one wonder what happens when the medical bills for our dogs become too much. What if you don’t have enough to pay the bill? Do you deny your dog the medical care it needs?
If this is the situation you face, first speak with the veterinarian to see if they carry a payment plan. From experience, most are willing to work with you to make sure your dog is taken care of. If that doesn’t work there are many organizations that will help with medical bills for dogs. Many are breed specific or they focus on animals with certain diseases. Dogtime.com has a listing of organizations that are willing to step in if you need help.
Many health insurance companies for humans also carry policies that cover pets. Nationwide has policies that start at just $18.00 for basic medical care. Claim your quote at PetInsurance.com. Pet insurance is something to consider in the beginning stages of dog ownership, it won’t help if you don’t have it once your dog becomes ill. One benefit of pet insurance—you won’t need to use your emergency fund.
If your dog is older, and the diagnosis is terminal, then the decision becomes a little easier to make. You won’t be able to prolong his life much longer, but you can enjoy the time you have left with him. Take him home and make sure he has what he needs to be comfortable. Spend as much time with him as possible before he crosses the rainbow bridge.
In the end, however, the decision is yours. It is up to you to decide how much to spend on the care of your dog. Most dog owners consider their dogs to be part of the family, so they treat them like family. We often take better care of our dogs than we do ourselves.
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