(Closed) Disagree with FI about spending money on pet surgeries, etc

posted 8 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
2821 posts
Sugar bee

Hmmm….we’ve had pets all my life and the most expenisve thing we’ve ever had was last year was a middle of the night vet visit that was $300 because our dog was going paralyzed (he had lymes) so it was extra expensive since it was late at night.  But all our dogs have lived long happy healthy lives and no big vet bills, I mean there are some for shots and spaying and checkups once in awhile but nothing like 1500.  Maybe we just got lucky. 

Post # 4
5263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

We’re not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but we have 2 cats and a very expensive horse. Honestly, you make your pets your first priority. I think you’re being really smart in talking about this now, because too many people wait until they’ve put the animal in a bad situation, and do something unethical like not get it treatment. 

Preventative health care is a big thing with animals. We buy ours better food, and my horse is on 24/7 turnout (actually cheaper, but way healthier) but some of the things we do (buying only wet cat food) is definitely more expensive than most people would consider. 

I am of the mind that everyone does what they can, but way too many people buy pets without thinking through the consequences. Possibly this is because I work with cat and horse rescues where people “didn’t know” their pets would cost so much money, need so much attention, etc. Most of them just abandon them, or threaten the rescue that they will shoot the animal if they don’t come pick them up. 

We go much farther than most people will for their pets. I’d rather go into debt than see one of my animals be put down before its time. Likewise, we made the hard decision to euthanize our beloved cat this December even though there were treatments we could have tried, because he was in lots of pain and would have died suddenly and in great pain within the next year or two even with treatment. In instances like that, even money can’t help. 

So, all this rambling later… there’s no good answer, except that if it really makes you cringe, I’d wait til you’re more financially comfortable. Pets will get sick and hurt in ways you could never imagine. The first week I got my horse she had to have the vet out and get antibiotics because of a reaction to her vaccines. It’s definitely something you have to care way more about than money or your own comforts, which isn’t for everyone at every point in their life. (We were like this with a dog until just this year, and I’m really glad we waited.)

ETA: It is really something that a couple has to be on board with, too, or else it will cause a lot of stress. When you see it as throwing away money, your Fiance will probably see it as absolutely necessary. I know if R and I disagreed, and he even implied that it’d be throwing away money (he wouldn’t, he’s pre-vet, haha) I’d be furious. But we’re VERY animal oriented people; they’re our lives. 

Post # 5
1562 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

it’s hard and i agree that spending money on pets for SOME surgeries is a little rediculous…we have three animals – and many times we’ve had to “shell out” when something goes wrong – such as – 2 weekends ago both dogs had tapeworms 🙁 and i had to take them in immediately and spent $250 for the visit to get a shot and some meds.

my 9 year old cat, however, really does need “dental work”…she’s NOT in pain (well, doesn’t show physical pain) – and my thinking is, i can barely afford my OWN dental work, let alone a few hundred bucks for my cat.

i know a LOT of people will NOT agree with me – but really – i guess my hubby and i are the kind that both agree that spending THOUSANDS of dollars on a surgery for an animal IS just not in the cards for us. we love our animals more than anything – but no we just can’t do it.

again – i know a LOT of people would yell at me “then why own an animal???” but we do what we CAN do and again, when stuff like the worms came up, yes we paid – but we also really can’t say unless something (god forbid) were to really happen…

my cat, for instance – though – has “needed” the dental work for years and I’ve not had it done – and she doesn’t SEEM like she’s in pain at all – and i’ve switched her to wet food instead of dry…

sorry i’m not much help!

really – all you can do – if you get pets – just do what you can when it’s needed.

Post # 6
651 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

well luckily my dog has never required major surgery like that; however, I do have a pet insurance plan for her that will cover some of the costs in case something were to happen (it also covers her twice a year check ups, and a yearly dental cleaning, as well as a discount on flea and heartworm preventatives for $20/month premium).  If she ate a toy I probably would get the surgery for her, but if she was going blind I don’t think I’d get surgery.  It is probably cruel.  🙁

Post # 7
5494 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2011

I have a couple of thoughts on your post.  It really stuck me when you called it “throwing away money”.  I bet your Fiance and you Mother-In-Law don’t see it as throwing away money but as a necessary expense.  Would you call it throwing away money if you or your Fiance or you children needed to have medical procedures that cost that much money?  I bet not.  It all comes down to how you view the pets.  Some people see them as truly members of their family and will go to great lengths for them.  Last year my dog had cancer and we spent a pretty penny on her vet bills and then spent a LOT of energy and time to look after her and make sure she was comfortable in the last months of her life.  Loosing her was seriously the worst pain I’ve ever experienced.  But if you see a pet as just an animal that’s just for the amusement of the family, then yeah, you might have problems with spending that money.

Secondly, look into pet insurance.  Just like human health insurance but much much cheaper and can save you a lot of money if god forbid you pet ever has huge medical needs.

Post # 8
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

Few things…

1) If you are careful with your pets you significantly minimize the risk of expensive surgeries and such. Why was the cat ABLE to eat another toy is what I want to know?

2) This stuff is probably more rare than you realize. I had a total of 3 dogs, 2 cats, 3 rabbits, and other assorted animals growing up, and a dog and a cat as an adult. The most expensive thing that happened to any of them was when my cat got ill with feline luekemia (he was a pound kitty and they told me he didn’t have it but he did). I think it was around 700ish and we ended up putting him to sleep because he couldn’t be cured. 

3) You set some kind of limit in your head. I love my dog… like crazy love him. I can’t even think about the fact that he won’t even be with me… but the bottom line is that I don’t HAVE 10k for surgery for him if he needed it. And I don’t think that owning a pet means “sparing no expense.” Yes, you have to expect certain expenses and illnesses, but when we’re talking about thousands upon thousands of dollars… at some point you draw a line. That doesn’t mean letting the pet suffer, but if it is seriously ill and the only thing that will save it is a 10k surgery? You put the pet to sleep. 

4) I know a lot of people would prob disagree with #3 but if the only people who ever adopted pets could afford ANY possible expense… no one would adopt pets. 

Post # 9
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

talk about weird timing. i got a phone call around 8a this morning from my uncle who was watching my dad’s dog (my late mother’s dog to be exact) he’s a 13 year old chihauha and apparently had what appeared to be an abscess and swollen face up to his eye. 8 hours later, 3 pulled teeth i had to pay $800 to the vet (my dad is on a fixed income and definetly couldn’t swing the cost. does it suck, yes. but is is worth it, yes.  a pet’s a responsibility pure and simple. now don’t get me started on my cat lol. 

Post # 10
2765 posts
Sugar bee

Since the Fiance feels strongly about wanting to have pets, could he make sure and put money away every month for a “pet emergency fund”?

If he puts money into the account every month (maybe even auto-deposited from his savings account), that could finance a lot of pet care!  Plus if he knows he has to make regular savings deposits, maybe he’ll cut back elsewhere…

Post # 11
4765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas

Have you guys talked about getting pet insurance? My fiance and I are planning on doing this soon – it only costs about $40 a month, and they’ll cover most of the costs if something horrible were to happen. I know of someone who saved thousands by having pet insurance when her dog needed some surgery!

Post # 12
828 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

Having owned several different pets who have all had expensive health problems at one point or another, it’s just a sacrifice you make because you love them. I think of my pets as members of my family, and when a family member needs expensive surgery or pricey medicine, you pay for it. 

Not everyone shares my views, which is fine. I would look into getting pet insurance if you’re worried about not having enough money in case of an emergency. 

Post # 13
502 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I know my dogs are my my and my fiance’s life. We took 2,000 out of our wedding budget to get surgery done for our pug who had a mishap and swallowed a pair of my undies! We both did it with out evening considering the money. And we are so happy we did because he wouldn’t be with us anymore if we had waited it out. Everyone is different, but for us our pets are our children. 🙂 They have options now we had to take our something called CareCredit. It is a credit card used for things that insurance doesn’t usually cover. My vet offered this and we applied for $2,500 and they accepted. We paid it off at a later time in peices like you would any other credit card.

Post # 14
1757 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

First of all, major, MAJOR kudos to you and your fiance for even discussing this. Too many people adopt animals without considering the financial ramifications.

As a perhaps unsatisfactory answer to your question – I’m a veterinarian and have done quite a few emergency shifts. When it comes to spending money you don’t have, people have three choices: decline treatment or go with a cheaper treatment and just see what happens, go into debt, or euthanize their animal. If it’s truly an emergency, option #1 often does not end well. Option #3 sucks for everyone involved – no veterinarian wants to euthanize an animal because the owners can’t afford treatment, and obviously no owner wants to euthanize their pet who has a treatable problem. Option #2 is also awful, as no vet wants to see a client go into debt and I’ve yet to meet anyone who was thrilled about accruing credit card debt.

With that said – emergencies are not all that common. True, when it happens to you, your odds are 100%. But with all of the animals I’ve owned, I’ve only been an emergency room client once. Your best bet is to evaluate how much you are willing to spend, and if that number varies WIDELY between the two of you, try to figure out why. And either way, if you end up adopting an animal, I’d strongly consider either pet insurance or setting up an emergency fund and contributing to it monthly.

Oh, and kericita – cataract surgery isn’t cruel. I’ve seen quite a few animals restored to almost puppy/kitten behavior after their cataracts have been removed.  JuneBride_26June2010 – Be careful about assuming your cat isn’t in pain. They’re really good at hiding it when something hurts. And lilyfaith – based on your description, I’d guess your cat might have had an aortic thromboembolism (blood clot that basically paralyzes the back legs). If I’m right, it’s one of the few emergencies where I would, without any medical regret whatsoever, elect to euthanize my cat. The chance of recurrence is almost inevitable, and I would hate myself forever if I went away for a weekend, came home to find that she had died, and had to wonder how long she had suffered.

Post # 15
5263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

@redherring – spot on, and thank you for reaffirming our decision. It was a hard one, and so painful to make. He was 1 1/2, and it came on very suddenly on Christmas Eve of this year. His back legs were already paralyzed when we found him, and his tongue was blue from lack of oxygen. It was hands down my most heartbreaking pet experience to date. In that moment, I could have cared less about the money, but I knew no amount of it could have restored him to the happy go lucky kitten we knew. It still makes me cry just remembering the pain he was in, and I’m not a very outwardly emotional person.

Post # 16
393 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

i think if you really like pets and all that then yea, you’re willing to spend it. i never had pets, and i agree its insane, but there are people who’s animals are like their kids. To me kids and pets are two different things, but thats about as comparable as it gets. And in that  case, i’d pay whatever i needed to, shit lets just look at the 45k bill my 1 year old son just racked up at the hospital…..

But i think it depends on how you were raised and you view on pets. i’m just not sharing my opinion on animals, cause i’d get ripped a new one, lol.

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