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Old 09-15-2011, 11:04 PM
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,661,739 times
Reputation: 35449


Originally Posted by GLS View Post
Not sure if it is applicable to your situation, but medical insurance policies for pets are becoming popular. You might research this option.
Like people, the older the pet is and the more illness it has, the higer the insurance premiums if it can be eligible for insurance at all.

My kitty would not be insurable due to her age and pre-existing conditions.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:09 PM
Location: Las Vegas
13,888 posts, read 25,319,935 times
Reputation: 26382
Shop for services! I can get regular shots and exams at greatly discounted prices. Usually there are ads on craigslist for discounted vet services/shots. I took my dog to a spay/neuter clinic to be fixed and it cost less than $100. Most 'regular' vets wanted to charge me a couple hundred more.

I've read a little about health insurance for pets. Anyone have this and does it work?
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:05 AM
Location: Central Maine
4,687 posts, read 5,535,843 times
Reputation: 4966
I can't imagine life - in retirement or not - without a pet.

We have a dog and a cat. The cat is getting up there in years, and when he goes, I'm not sure if we'll get another. But unless neither of us is physically able to care for a dog, we'll always have a dog.

That said, there are limits as to how much we'll spend on our pets' health. Routine checks, shots, etc., are all reasonably priced at our vet. However, we won't put ourselves at financial risk in order to pay for extensive medical care for a pet.

We have a number of pets over the course of our marriage, and we've always firmly believed that people come first, and then pets. We love our pets dearly and we'll care for them as they age, but if they develop serious medical conditions that would require a significant amount of money to treat, we just won't do it.
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:28 AM
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,971,705 times
Reputation: 15649
Originally Posted by thatdurncat13 View Post
I'm also on a fixed income. With 14 cats and 2 dogs there will come a day when I have to decide what to do in case of illness or what have you. I've been very lucky so far, just some URI's. I took one cat to the vet and told her I had 6 more at home with it. I got the meds for all of them, cost $60 total. That was 60 I could have used elsewhere, but these are my babies.
A senior discount would be great. Not that I'm complaining about the $60. But what happens when something more costly arises? It's something that I have thought about. For now, I just take it one day at a time.
I have read in more than one source that URI's are often caused by the stuff they put into kitty litter. Perhaps you could find a brand that only has baking soda and none of the chemical crap. With 14 cats you certainly can't take many chances!

How about we seniors lobby the National Veterinarian Assn for a 25% discount???
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:59 AM
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,409 posts, read 2,354,415 times
Reputation: 1159
I'm on my last pet, at least perhaps until I get somewhat elderly and living in one place. Our condo in Florida doesn't allow pets, so my cat is being house-sat, this year, by our son, who just happened to want to move to a new apartment, plus he loves the cat.

Yes, pets are expensive--he had his teeth cleaned last year and they had to do an extraction, and that was $350. Exams are usually about $200. He was diabetic, and all that testing costed quite a bit (he's in remission now, after changing his diet.)

He's almost 12 now, and starting to act like an old man (but still acts like a manic kid sometimes.) If and when he deteriorates, as much as I love him, I will put him down--I'm not going to nurse him through serious illness or decline.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:00 AM
Status: "0-0-2 Game On!" (set 12 hours ago)
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,295 posts, read 15,347,934 times
Reputation: 9468
Our 7 year old dog has discoid lupus erythematosus (often called "Collie nose" in dogs) which means about $500 in exams and medicine every year. Our pet medical expenses are judged by quality of life for the dog - as long as we stay on top of the meds (an immune suppressant and a topical cream) and keep her indoors in the high UV hours of the day, she's healthy and happy. Since I know this is a recurring expense I budget for it, but I think I'd either get a part-time job or sell something than let it go. If she was 12 or 14 it would be a little different.

On the other hand, both dogs have a form of displaysia, either in the hip joint or where the hip connects to the back. For that they take a supplement, but I can see, down the road, that this could be a serious issue for them. I doubt I would go for any type of surgery (pretty much based on my own experiences - I've had 3 surgeries in my life and none of them have been as minor or routine as they were "supposed" to be).

I've often thought, though, that these two dogs (and 5 chickens) will be the last animals I have for a bit. It certainly makes traveling difficult and expensive, as we hire a housesitter when we leave for anything other than a camping vacation. A cat would be easier to manage, but I am allergic to them (red weepy eyes and itching).
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:19 AM
Location: Talmadge, San Diego, CA
13,324 posts, read 25,293,022 times
Reputation: 8117
You can get a free exam at any Banfield Pet Hospital in Petsmart. The coupons are on the internet. I did this with my cat, and just said "no" to everything that they tried to sell me. The exam is $45 (I think), and I didn't pay a dime. I do have a vet lined up in case he has a problem, though.
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:29 PM
701 posts, read 1,531,246 times
Reputation: 792
Thanks for the suggestions about the Petsmart pet hospitals. We just paid almost $300 vet bill for our two recently rescued dogs for heartworm prevention medication and eardrops for yeast infection. Can't imagine what it would be for anything serious.

But I can certainly understand their charges. The vet needs to pay off her college loans, then there's the vet tech and the person upfront handling the payment and charts, then the building and utilities...

No doubt, pet beds, dog food and leashes help to subsidize Petsmart's pet hospitals.

Though I love having dogs underfoot, they do cost money, make it difficult to travel, and are a pain to clean up after.

And not to be too gruesome about it, but we're getting to the age where I worry about who will care for them when we can no longer do it. Nobody rescues old dogs.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:27 PM
4,481 posts, read 4,741,265 times
Reputation: 9940
My vet charges 70.50 for an office visit. Totally nuts!!! I now get med for my 2 older cats at Walgreens on the family plan and I save over 50% of what the crazy vet prices are.

This topic came up months ago. I spent thousands on 2 of my favorite kitties just t have them die soon after. Never again. If any of my pets get to a certain older age and need excessive care, over the top stuff, I will keep them comfortable and happy until the time comes to send them off to pet heaven. No more crazy vet bills and putting them through test after test.

My vet knows to not even bring up annual shots. My pets are indoors and have not had any shots since they were kittens.

All that being said, I can't imagine my life without an animal or two. I get so much from them in so many ways that it is worth what money I do pay.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:32 PM
12,671 posts, read 21,054,320 times
Reputation: 2625
Some Cat travelled 1600 miles from CO to NY, it took 5 years.
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