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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How Much Could You Spend?

I've often said that any pet owner needs to have at least $500 set aside for sudden animal health emergencies. When we removed the kidney from the cat last week, the owner's bill was around $1500, and they're looking at another thousand or two in chemotherapy. This morning we received a report from the local emergency clinic for a patient of ours that had never been spayed, and ended up with a serious uterine infection. Several days, numerous lab tests, emergency surgery, intense hospitalization, and $4000 later, the pet went home.

Last month I posted a poll asking how much you could spend right now if your pet had a serious illness or injury. Here are the results after 41 votes:
Less than $100--2%
Over $1000--50%

This isn't a scientific study, but the results surprised me. Sixty-four percent of the people taking the poll could spend over $500 on their pet. I wish these people were my clients!

Veterinary care isn't as expensive as human medical care, but it's not cheap if your pet becomes suddenly and seriously ill. A $4000 bill is far beyond what most people can pay, but it's still a fraction of the cost if the same thing had happened in a human.

Oh, and here's another plug for preventative care. That $4000 emergency clinic visit would have been completely and utterly avoided and the pet would never have been at this risk if they had spayed her when she was younger.