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October 17, 2005


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I would be willing to invest $0.00. (I don't own any pets) I'm sure that makes me fairly unpopular with everyone, including my veterinarian family member.

I would spend every last cent I have to help my children though.

That's a tough one. I never had a dog growing up, but as soon as I was on my own I adopted one and couldn't be happier. I never would have imagined how much happiness my big boy has brought to our family. With that being said, I'm also realistic about what I would spend to cure any ailments. I have heard horror stories from other pet owners about spending thousands on care. Even though my dog has several years (hopefully) before this begins to be a concern, I have given some thought on a dollar amount. At this point I think I would cap it at $3k. Even that seems high to me, but not sure what I would really do if I was in that situation.

oh boy. tough call.

If you have a pet and you love 'em.. placing monetary value on anything (and living thing for that matter) that you love is a tough cookie.

I dont have a pet, but I do spend enough time with my girlfriend's dog that I'll help financially if the dog gets sick.

I think $2,000 or $3,000 would be the ball park for me. Doesn't seem right to put a figure to it though. I know a friend who spent thousands trying to save her dog. It didnt end so well too... and this was a time when my friend was cash strapped too.

I love pets, but the major reason I don't have one right now is that I don't feel I'm financially secure enough to pay for anything that could happen to one.

I don't think it's right to buy or adopt a pet, and not have enough money available to help it if it got sick or hurt.

There is a limit to how much I would spend, but I would guess that would depend very much on my financial situation at the time. I would say $2000 would probably be an upper limit for me, and I would take that amount out of my emergency fund in a heartbeat if I needed to. It would probably be higher if I felt more financially stable.

Tough one too... My wife and I own horses. We had a 12 year old arab mare that was very sweet. She was just off a breeding lease (unsuccessful) and her previous owner had finally gotten her financial house in order and was about to start paying us to buy her back. 10 days after the insurance policy attached to the breeding lease lapsed she colic'd. The vet came out and tool a look at her, gave her some meds and was off. My wife and the girl who was buying her took turns walking her around for 1/2 the day. In the afternoon when she was no better, they called the vet who said she should immediately be taken to Michigan State. They loaded her up and took off on the 2 hour drive.

Once there, they opened her up and found that her intestine had wrapped around a fist sized fatty tumor and died. They removed about 5 ft of intestine, cleaned her up best they could and sewed her up. She survived the surgery ok but ended up with laminitis (infection in her feet). We supported her for a week and a half but she wasn't recovering and her prospects were not good (< 25% chance). So we decided to put her down.

Total cost: $5000 for a horse we originally paid $2500 for... At least she made a nice baby for us... :)

That's something that I think about every other day. I have an 18 yr old cat. So far, I've been able to get away with the basics that promote his health - he's been fixed, has his shots, fed well, watered, clean litter box, treat any scratches and abcesses that come up. I've been lucky but I've been observant with him and know his habits. We've had a couple of scares every three years or so, but nothing that cost more than $500.

Since he has lasted for a long time, I'm not interested in heroic measures to save his life, but only procedures that would keep him comfortable. I've been told by other cat owners that when an old cat starts to really go, he'll go fast.

Bottom line, I've budgeted about $2500 for him. It should provide for some primo-medicinal grade catnip.

I look at pets almost at the same level as a having a child. If you don't want to do everything you can for an animal that is essentially a full member of the family for a good portion of your life, than you shouldn't have one. My last dog lived to be 12, and the last 3 years of his life were full of constant medical problems. Pneumonia, Hip problems, Addisons disease, a non-cancerous tumor that had to be surgically removed, 4 full days spent in the intensive care unit of a hospital, and in the end, a non-stop nose bleed/sinus problem that lead to him no longer being able to comfortably breathe. I did everything I possibly could for him and brought him to multiple doctors and specialists. In the end I would guess that just in the medical problems over the last 3 or 4 years of his life I spent in the range of $15,000.
Which is the exact reason I havn't gotten a new dog after he passed away. I just can't afford it at the moment, and don't feel its right to get a dog and then just put him/her to sleep at the first sign of a problem. Of course this is a more extreme example, but I still think the $15,000 was worth the 12 years of happiness he gave me. I havn't gotten that kind of return out of anything else you can put a dollar figure on....

I would spend whatever it took to save my pets. But unfortunatley we don't have the money to save our kitten Rolly who was just diagnosed with Hydracephulitis. It will cost thousands of dollars to save him. My children are trying to raise money to save him right now. I would do anything for my children, and I want them to learn compassion. They love this little kitten and I can't just let him die. When you take on the responsibility of a pet, you make them part of your family. How much would I spend? If I had it I would spend whatever it took. you can't put a price on life. God loves all of his creatures. Rolly was not born just so I could have him put to death!!!! If I had a million dollars, I would spend it to save him!

I would spend whatever it took to save my pets. But unfortunatley we don't have the money to save our kitten Rolly who was just diagnosed with Hydracephulitis. It will cost thousands of dollars to save him. My children are trying to raise money to save him right now. I would do anything for my children, and I want them to learn compassion. They love this little kitten and I can't just let him die. When you take on the responsibility of a pet, you make them part of your family. How much would I spend? If I had it I would spend whatever it took. you can't put a price on life. God loves all of his creatures. Rolly was not born just so I could have him put to death!!!! If I had a million dollars, I would spend it to save him!

I don't have a pet yet but will be bringing home my puppy in a couple months. I am already planning to spend $1500 just to bring him home and that is just the cost to the breeder. Then there is at least another $500-$1000 in initial vet shots and all the items he will need to make my home his as well. It is hard to say how much I would be willing to spend if heaven forbid something happen to him but I know I wouldn't just turn my back on him.


I'm not rich but for my dogs i would spend up to about 15,000. I dont have kids so my dogs are my babies and its no tough call when it comes to their well being.

I am grappeling this this very issue. My rescue dog and I have only been together for 6 months when he recently came down with a mysterious illness. The tests alone are running $1400 with a potential remedy of another $1500. I think I'm at my limit. Thanks for the comments from other animal lovers who love their pets but are understand there are limits.

I am grappeling this this very issue. My rescue dog and I have only been together for 6 months when he recently came down with a mysterious illness. The tests alone are running $1400 with a potential remedy of another $1500. I think I'm at my limit. Thanks for the comments from other animal lovers who love their pets but are understand there are limits.

My family is dealing with a situation right now that is teaching me a lot about Michigan law. My dog, who is a bubbly, friendly, happy 8 yr. old lab mix. About three weeks ago, he was brutally attacked (while he lay in his own yard, minding his own business) and mauled by my neighbors dog. He has about a 10" X 10" hole in his body where the tissue died and fell off. Yet he continues to wag his tail constantly and give kisses to whoever will let him. My 2 children witnessed the entire attack and are still horrified. As of now we have spent about $2500.00 and projections say it could be up to $8000.00 by the time we are done (with the possibility of skin grafting later on, to put him back together). It's amazing that insurance companies are only required to pay what they think our pet (who is a member of our family)is worth (how do you put a value on a member of your family?) So I guess we will pay whatever it takes and try to help work toward changing these crazy laws (wondering why the dog who did the crime never suffered any consequences for her actions)! Our pets are not our property, they are our companions.

I adopted the runt of a litter for my daughter. From the moment my daughter saw here, they were inseperable. They were together from the moment she got home from school until she left again the next morning. My daughter slept on the floor next to her crate until she was trained enough to sleep in my daughter's bed. So, when she (Slinky our wonder dachshund) came down with pnemonia 2 days later and pancreaitis immediately after that, all I could think about what how devestating it would be to my daughter, an only child, to lose her companion so fast. That first month and a half cost nearly $8,000 in vet bills. Since then, she has averaged about $1,000 a year in vet bill, money I consider well spent as she is now just one of them family.

A limit? I guess my limit would be going far enough into debt as to be dangerous to my daughters future life or education. If I had to put a dollar amount on it, I could probably go about $20K/year and would if needed.

I don't think I'd go over $1000 for a pet, and faced with a one-shot charge over $500 I'd have to think about it. I'm not a "pet is one of the family" type who thinks of a pet like a child, though. My parents recently spent about that much to mend an open wound on a rather old cat, who probably has another few years to live, and if it were me I would have probably put the cat down instead of incurring that kind of expense.

I do have pets (1 cat and 2 bearded dragons at present), and I do consider the cost for setup and annual care before I decide to add another. My wife and kids want a new kitten soon which we'll probably get. My wife thinks we'll probably get a dog someday, and having grown up with 1-2 dogs for most of my childhood, I'm hoping to avoid that one from both a cost and labor perspective.

My husband and I ended up spending $10,000.00 trying to save our beloved Akita Max. My husband hit Max with his new tractor on Christmas Day. We rushed him to Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Murrieta. They performed surgery, but Max developed pneumonia from inhaling his own vomit. Max was not friendly to strangers and the hospital said they couldn't handle Max, we asked them why it took them 5 days to determine this? They kept Max so doped up on numerous pain medications so they wouldn't have to interact with him, that he was never able to stand up after the surgery. We ended up putting our Max down after 10 days of pure hell in that awful hospital. On several occasions we asked the doctors what their opinion was, whether Max was going to make it or not, and they evaded our question by saying his condition was guarded. When we asked what they meant by "guarded" they said he could go either way. Well, anyone of us can go either way!!! Once the tramic ordeal was over, we requested copies of Max's records, (hind sight is great) a number of issues came up. I requested a meeting with the owner and this took numerous phone calls until finally 3 weeks later they agreed to meet with us. We asked a number of questions and all they did was contradict themselves on a number of the issues. I requested a partial refund and brought these contradictions to their attention, but I never received a reply to my last letter I wrote to them. In order to have Dr. Jean Dobbs review Maxs' file to determine if he was over medicated, it would cost $400.00 an hour, of which I don't have after spending the $10,000.00.When we initially took Max into the hospital, we were told by one doctor that the injury was fairly common, and it would heal without surgery in 2 - 3 months, with surgery it would heal in 2 weeks. Then another doctor told us the injury was quite substancial and equivelent to a person being in a body cast for 6 months. I brought this to the attention of the owner, asking how 2 doctors from the same hospital could come up with two so completely different answers. I was told it was just their opinions. I could go on and on listing the times we were lied to. It just isn't right!!! These veterinarians play on ones sympathy and they take advantage of you.

Last night I took my dog Teddy to an animal hospital about an hour from my home. He had been hit by a car and I knew by looking at him that his right eye needed to be removed. After getting him there I learned he also had broken his pelvic bone in six places. I saw the money adding up without them telling me. To me this dog is a member of the family, everyone, especially my kids adore him. I had to have the operation to remove his eye regardless to keep infection from setting in. When I saw the total for just that I almost fainted, felt sick to my stomach and even asked myself was an animal worth all that money. Then I broke down at the thought of having him put down for lack of funds to treat him. I cried my eyes out in the hospital...the money I had saved to buy a car went to pay his bill. Over $1,700 worth of a bill. I'm still sadened about the fact a vet bill is so high. All the low income people such as myself can't afford to pay that, especially when it's something sudden like what happened to Teddy. People can judge a person's love for their pet all they want to, I know I did the right thing for him. When you love a pet like that it's mixed feelings on money issues. I know I'll recover from the loss of the money...I may not have ever gotten over losing Teddy. My son who is only four years old asked me when I got back from the hospital if Teddy was ok, I told him that the vet would have to take his eye out and my son burst into tears. He cried but that will hurt him, I then explained that he would be asleep when it happened. My son then said what about when he wakes's going to hurt him then. It took me a while to calm my son down and told him Teddy would have pain medication so he wouldn't be in any pain. The love my son has for this dog is the greatest in the's unconditional, forgiving and pure. How could I have looked my son in the eye if I had told the vet to put him down? Life throws things at you when you least expect it, you just have to suck it up and deal with it when it happens. As far as money is concerned, now that I look back on that doesn't matter, even though I only expected a few hundred dollars to help him. The look on my son's face when Teddy comes back home on monday will be payment enough. You just can't take a best friend from a little boy. I don't think the question would be how much would I spend to help my pet, I think it should be how much would I spend to see my son happy.

A loving parent and devoted pet owner in Georgia,


As long as my pets had a decent chance of recovery and of a worthwhile existence free from pain, there is very little that I wouldn't do for them.

I have a dilemma with this. Binx, our cat who adopted us about two years has somehow had a fractured and displaced lower jaw, possibly by a car hitting him, the vet isn't sure. Anyway we have paid for him to undergo quite major surgury with aftercare costs, totalling £450 GBP Sterling (we are in the UK). However he appears to have dislocated his jaw again and the skin has rotted away and he is in quite bad shape because he won't feed himself, nor will he take us suringing food into his mouth. The vet has said he will probably have to undergo more surgery and of course there will be more aftercare costs, so the total bill is going to exceed £1,000. We simply do not have this kind of money available. It looks as though the only option left to us is putting him to sleep and my heart is torn in two.
Up until two years ago I really didn't like cats very much, but Binx, whilst he has his moments, is special. He chose us to be fitting to care for him. He entrusted his life into our care, but at the most needy time of his life it looks as though we can't afford it, and the emotional and christian trauma this is putting us through is awful. I hate myself for even considering putting him to sleep. I think what I am trying to say to many of those people who have posted a response to this who do not have a pet to care for really have no comprehension. Until you are actually in the situation of putting a price on an animals head. God forgive me but the price for Binx has been capped at £550. I'm so sorry.

I had a 4 year old Peekignese who one night developed severe pain when she moved. I called the vet and was told to keep her calm but bring her to the hospital first thing in the morning. The next morning I was told that she had ruptured a disc in her back and 170 dollars later she was given a cortisone injection and instructions to keep her calm and it should resolve. I was also told that it might get worse before it got better. That night she was fully paralyzed but I had hope that she would get better. The next morning she had no control over her bladder so I called the vet again and was told to get her to a good vet hospital. I drove her 2 hours to an emergency hospital where I was told that she needed surgery or she would not recover. The surgery was expected to cost 4000 dollars but I was told that for the surgery to had good odds to work it had to be performed within 24 hours of her "going down". It had already been 27 hours and so I had to decide right away if she was to recover. I restled with the decision for 20 minutes but in the end I went for the surgery. She underwent a mylogram and a spinal laminectomy. She spent three days in the hospital. I was given the option of leaving her there in their rehabilitative hospital but opted to bring her home where she required total care to clean her and help her eliminate. One week later she had regained control of her bladder and 2 weeks later she was "walking" (although a little drunk looking) again. I was so very happy. Sadly 6 months later she ruptured another disk and so I made the decision that I would get her the cortisone shot (for $200) and wait and see what happened. Two days later I had her put to sleep. I do not regret the surgery as it gave me six more months with her and it made the decision to put her down easier though still very painful.

It is a hard thing to put a price on a dog. I am not wealthy but it wasn't the difference between me eating or not. Sadly while I spent time waiting in the emergency hospital I watched other families grapple with the same decision and for many of them it might have meant the difference. I think if all the money in the world would have saved my dog and provented her from rupturing another disc I would have tried to find a way. I can understand why people cannot make that decision. It is easy to look at the cost/benefit analysis and say I will only pay this much to save my dog but that rationality is hard to comeby at 4:00am in an emergency hospital while your beloved pet is looking at you with helpless eyes. There is no price you can put on love and the sense of responsibility you feel by deciding to be a pet parent.

I have 3 guinea pigs who are a part of the family. They enrich our lives with their companionship. In the past, I've spent $1200-1500 on one of my guinea pigs, including $400 to bring him back to Canada from Japan. I would spend whatever is necessary as long as the treatment or medication improves their quality of life significantly, or eases their discomfort at the end. They trust me to care for them and that was the responsibility I undertook when I adopted them. I'm not rich by a long shot, but it's money well spent; a small price to pay for the enjoyment of having them.

I would spend as much as i can afford !!

i spend 5 thousand this year on my chichi and 3 grand perviously on a surgery !!
and 3 grand for MRI scans and hospitalization for my cavalier ( My dogs had a rough year this year ) ! some people thinks i am insane. ( this includes my mom) at one point the vet thought the vet bill for my chi chi could easily have gone up to 10,000- to 20,000 ( i got an estimation of 7 grand and it was going to go up.. i prayed night after night and suddenly he healed :) !! ) .. I would stop trying if living is painful for them but i would never stop on saving them because i can't afford. I have a saving fund for my dogs and personally i feel if you can;t afford the medical fees dont take on the responsibility of owning a pet, he could have been with another family who would be willing to save him at all cost.. :'( * i personally hate people who says " oh, it cost too much, i can;t take him to the vet" -if u want a pet then please be responsible, u can't just toss responsibility away when it cost u money... it is inhumane ! ! my friends thought i was insane +___+

Exactly, Lindsay. I too feel that when you take on a responsibility of a life you have to do whatever is best for the pet, no matter the cost. I have two guinea pigs, a dog, and a pigeon. I would spend however much they needed. Just this past spring, I spend around $1500 for diagnostics for one of my piggies.

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