June 2009 Weddings
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Poll: Pet owners

What is the maximum amount you would spend on a vet bill?  Lets say your pooch or kitty is really sick and an extremely expensive treatment would be necessary to save their life or make their quality of life manageable.

Explain how much you *think* you would spend if you have a limit to how much you'd spend (although who knows what would really happen if put in the situation).  Also, does age of your pet matter in this decision?

(I tried to make a clicky poll but it wouldn't work)

A. Would you spend ANY amount on your 4-legged friend

B. Would you spend any amount on a one-time emergency procedure, but not want to commit to long-term medical management (such as insulin shots)

C. Would you spend a limited amount on a one-time emergency procedure, but not want to commit to long-term medical management (such as insulin shots)

D. Would you commit to long-term medical management, but have a limit on how much you'd spend for a one-time emergency

E. Do you believe your animals should live the course of their life and when they become ill they should be allowed to pass or euthanized if in pain. Basically no measures taken other than regular check-ups and minor issues.

Re: Poll: Pet owners

  • I'll reply to my own post...

    Both of my cats are seniors now, so I'll base my answer off of if somethign happened to them.

    The answer for me would probably be C.  My limit for a medical procedure would probably be about $1000 (although my husband seems to think $500 is the cap - he loses that fight).  This is based on the experiences that I've had with emergencies with animals - usually of they are sick enough to require that much medical attention, their quality of life after the procedure isn't guaranteed.  My limit may be different if the procedure would be to fix a broken bone or something though, something that wouldn't have long-term consequences. 

  • That's very tough to answer.  I have spend thousands on my cat.  Every time I say I'm not going to do it, I end up doing it.  It currently costs me $80/month just on his food alone, and he probably goes to the e-room once every 6 months or so and that can cost $300+.  It's annoying and frustrating, but according the vets, he's fine otherwise and isn't in any pain.  The second he's suffering, he will be put to sleep.  I have declined a lot of the procedures they say are necessary, like cardiac ultrasounds because he has a heart murmur.  I mean, it's not like I would give him a heart transplant, so what's the point?
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  • It really all depends. My dog needed eye surgery when he was about 10 months old. The price: $1075. I didn't think anything of it.

    I think of the question you asked every day since I have a bulldog and commonly have tons, and tons of health problems. Their life expectancy is only about 8 years, 10 years if you're INCREDIBLY lucky. I don't think I could answer your question until the time actually came where I had to make the decision.

     I think if it was a quick medical procedure and I knew that once it was over he would be fine I would probably pay up to $3000 (a broken bone or something like that).

    If it was something that was wrong like cancer I don't think I would pay for all the treatment. I think I would let him go in peace as he wass meant to. I wouldn't want to drag him through the agony of treatment.

  • My pets are my children right now, so i would be between A and B depending on their age and the extent of the treatment in B. I would commit to pilling them or shots, but maybe not constant surgeries or something that would lead to a bad life.

     We spent thousands on our cat when she was a kitten because she was very very sickly (4 months and only 1 pound). We committed to another HUGE surgery for her to reroute an artery to her liver (thousands of dollars), but she ended up not needing it (thank god). But, she would have been fine after the surgery so we justified that way.

     DH and I would do what it took to keep our animals healthy I think if they would have a good quality of life afterward. 



  • A. Would you spend ANY amount on your 4-legged friend

    Absolutely.  I am of the opinion that when you adopt a pet, you take on all responsibilities and all medical bills.  I spent around $700 on my cat, Gracie, when she was a kitten because she had a bad reaction the anesthesia (when being spayed) and her lungs filled up with fluid...following that they advised a heart ultrasound to ensure she didn't have an enlarged heart...so I had to take her to a specialized vet to have him perform the ultrasound.

    My other cat, Ollie, who is my baby lives with my parents now (because my mom begged to keep him when I moved to Atlanta)...he has experienced two urinary blockages where my mom spent tons of money.  He was also bitten by what we think was a brown recluse spider....that led to all of the fur falling off the back of his legs and the skin being eaten away (disgusting I know)...my mom spent several thousand - including a surgery - to get him back to normal.  Then about a year ago he started having crazy elevated blood sugar and they were sure he was diabetic...my mom spent tons of money on giving him insulin shots, etc...but luckily his blood sugar has since gotten under control and the insulin shots are no longer necessary...Ollie is 10 years old.  Had my mom refused to pay for all of this, I would have absolutely paid for everything.


  • F- Special Snowflake

    I think this depends honestly. The night Molly died I would have given my kidney away if that meant saving her. Right now, we'd have to do some serious talking but would probably be inclined to spend more than most.  We dropped 2K in the blink of an eye on Molly the night before the wedding. She was only 2.5 years old and we just couldn't live with ourselves if we didn't think we had exhausted every option before deciding to euthanize. It probably had a lot to do with how emotional we were re: the wedding but we would have been willing to max a CC for her. We decided against a long term plan in her case because her quality of life would have been crappy and she would have inevitably had another serious emergency. If a long term management plan would have been available to us that could have provided an acceptable QOL for her, I would have done it.

  • Also...Cruella, I noticed you mentioned insulin shots several times.  Are one or both of your cats becoming diabetic?  If so, let me know, I have some recommendations for you.  As you can see in my prior post, Ollie was diabetic (severely for a while), but we were actually able to modify his diet and after a while he no longer has any issues with blood sugar and insulin shots are never used anymore.
  • image hopscotch.:

    Absolutely.  I am of the opinion that when you adopt a pet, you take on all responsibilities and all medical bills. 

    I do agree with the fact that when you adopt a pet you take on complete responsibility of your animal.   It is our responsibility as pet owners to make sure that our animals are happy and well-taken care of.  I don't think it is irresponsible though to not spend every last dime to save a pet from a serious life-impacting illness, or try to prolong their life.  Like I said in my previous post, if a treatment were to be a one-time thing that wouldn't affect quality of life, then I'd probably pass my "limit" (like a broken bone).  But if my cat were to get sick from something that would naturally result in death I don't think I'd shell out thousands of dollars to prolong their life.  For example, my family's cat had a sudden attack of some sort and the vet said that they could either put her down, or perform emergency surgery which may solve the problem, may not, or may result in her being in a kitty-wheelchair.  For me, this chance of my cat's quality of life wasn't worth it.  I think it would be the same for cancer treatments, or any sort of long-term treatment. I think a responsible pet owner would try and ensure their animal is comfortable and happy, not necessarily alive.  I would have taken care of the anesthesia issue you had, because i would have felt responsible for putting her in that situation (it wasn't a natural illness).

  • image hopscotch.:
    Also...Cruella, I noticed you mentioned insulin shots several times.  Are one or both of your cats becoming diabetic?  If so, let me know, I have some recommendations for you.  As you can see in my prior post, Ollie was diabetic (severely for a while), but we were actually able to modify his diet and after a while he no longer has any issues with blood sugar and insulin shots are never used anymore.

    No, thankfully they are both very healthy *knock on wood*  It was the only type of self-managed home-treatment I could think of as an example.  

  • i would spend as much as i had if i thought it would be a benefit to the animal. my cats are my babies. 


    Baby #1 EDD 11/13/13
  • I would pay whatever it takes to keep Oliver, (cat), happy.  I would never even question it.   It comes along with the territory; you want a pet, you need to be responsible for the pet.

  • I have a couple of horses and unfortunately with them, there are bigger bills.  A few years ago, one of my horses had to have surgery that cost me $6,000.. it sucked but I do agree with pp that when you take a pet, you are taking on all responsibilities.  My pets are basically my kids, and I could never put a cost limit to them.  I would find some way to pay off whatever I owed.

    But, that being said, I'm not going to spend thousands and thousands to keep them alive if their quality of life isn't great.  I would put a pet to sleep the minute they began suffering if there wasn't any way to make them better.

    This guy I work with has a cat that sounds like it needs to be put to sleep, but he just won't do it and it breaks my heart.  He talks about how she has such a hard time breathing and is always wheazing or gasping for breaths.  At that point, you need to do the humane thing and put them down.

  • I have pet insurance. It has saved me thousands of dollars because my dog had to have surgery to remove some struvite stones from her bladder when she was 3 and had to get treatment for eating snail bait in our neighbor's backyard and was very near death when she was 2. She's happy and healthy now, but even with the insurance I'd say I spent about $800 each on both procedures. I would probably spend any amount if she were sick now at almost 5 years old, but would be less willing to do this when she's older than 10. I say that now, but I would probably spend any amount then, too. Who am I kidding?
  • We just spent $4000 on my pup after she got bit by a rattle snake a month ago..... it was tough but we're managing and it was our responsibility- she's part of our family.

  • While I agree with hopscotch that you adopt a pet, you are responsible for their wellbeing and bills, I also see Cruella's point on the limitations.  I have 2 dogs, one cost us about $1000 the first year we got him in vet bills to get him neutered and because of intestinal/digestion problems. 

    The other one cost us almost nothing for 4 years and then started having problems and it took almost $1000 to find out she was diagnosed with epilepsy.  She's now on a daily medication (the cost is about $30 a month so pretty cheap).  As of now, her quality of life is normal.  The first medication we tried made her groggy, lose control of her bladder, etc.  We switched to another medication and she's been fine.  If it got to the point where she was having seizures frequently and wasnt herself, I would most likely make the decision to put her down.  I couldnt watch her suffer like that.  The seizures we went through with her were horrible, she loses her sense of hearing and vision and has no idea whats going on for about an hour after them.  Thankfully the meds are controlling it. 

    I also think there is a time when the return doesnt pay off - I know that sounds coldhearted but to spend thousands of dollars on a 14 year old dog doesnt make a lot of sense.  This is the decision my parents were faced with when our family pet needed a hip replacement surgery at 14.  The bill was well over $2000 and he was suffering.  He could barely walk and couldnt jump up on anything or get in and out of the car.  They took him home and thought about it for a week or 2 and decided it just wasnt worth it and we put him to sleep.  We also had a dog that was diagnosed with cancer after she gained 20 pounds which was determined to be tumors.  In that instance, the vet told us there was nothing we could even do, it would cost thousands and there were no guarantees that they could fix anything.  She was only 3.

    I think every situation is different and requires its own analysis, while I think I would be reasonable and not pay more than I can afford or max out a CC, I dont know what I would do if it came down to making the decision.  I think DH would sign up for more than I would, because I tend to think longer term than he does but I hope we never have to make the call.

  • A. Without a second thought. Chazzy is my child.

    If you told me today he needed a procedure that cost $20,000, I'd pay it in a heart beat if I knew he'd have a good quality of life. Of course, my pup is in perfect health, is only 6 months old, and has a long life ahead of him (us). If any of those factors were different, or if his quality of life would be other than great, I'd definitely have to give it some consideration.

  • It depends on the pet.  I have a dog, cat, chinchilla, and lizard.

    I would pay any amount on the dog and cat. The chilchilla has been sick so I've taken him to the vet a few times and purchase meds for him. I refuse to pay for him to get his blood drawn though as he is older and even with the results I wouldn't pay more for surgery or anything like that.  The lizard I would pay even less for. 

    If I see my animals suffering than I feel like it is my duty to bring them to a vet to find out what is going on.  When I took on my pets that meant taking care of them and making sure they remain healthy...no matter the cost.

  • that is a tough one. I would have to say C. I know that money is always tight for me and DH, we have a minimal amount in our savings account in case of emergency, but bills keep us pretty well strapped right now. If money were not the issue I would do anything to save my fur babies.
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  • I agree with what many of you have said, I do believe that it is your responsibility to care for your pets to the utmost of your ability, I would shell out thousands to have my pets taken care of, but I also agree that it would depend on quality of life after wards, I do not believe that you should keep them alive for your own benefit of not losing them... I did an internship at a vet for a few months where a man would bring his dog in every few days to have a paracentesis (needle in the abdomen to drain fluid) type procedure, the dog was in pitiful shape, and i would not put my pet through that. But that being said if the pet would still have a good quality of life.. I would shell it out as quickly as they needed it.. and also for and routine or maintenance type treatment
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