Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dogs are Lovely ... and Come with a Price Tag

Remember way back when I talked about the joys of pet ownership? Well, that hasn't changed much. In fact, I would go ahead and say that it has gotten WAY WORSE.

A few month ago, Bing started crying whenever you would touch his face. At first we thought that maybe he had a pinched nerve (there were some funky things going on with his eyes at the same time) and so he went on some pain killers and anti-inflammatory medication. The pain went away, and I could tell because his personality changed. He had been hiding under furniture, not playing with Tim or my parent's dogs, very clingy - which is not how he acted when he first came home from the humane society in December of 2007. The change to this quieter, more clingy personality was so gradual that I hadn't noticed (now I know what to look for and as soon as his personality changes, I start to look for the reason).

So this past week I decided that it was time to figure out what the heck is going on once and for all, for the sake of my dog. Two x-ray's later we have determined that he has pinched disk space (which sounds to me like the very beginnings of arthritis) in his neck. Which explains his neck pain. The vet also noticed that his eyes are very irritated looking (something that I have also noticed in the past few weeks), but he couldn't find any clear reason for why they are so red and goopey.

All in all, my dog is on some pain killers (which make him feel SO GOOD - he runs all over the apartment chancing Tim these days, something that he hasn't done in a long, long time) and we are using some eye drops from another vet visit for his eyes, which will warrant another visit as well.

My total vet bill for ONE VISIT which included: two heartworm tests (for Tim and Bing), a physical exam for Bing, a tear test for Bing, two x-rays of Bing's neck, a month's worth of pain killers for Bing and 6 months of HeartGuard for each dog came to almost $500.


Let that sink in for a moment. Now, scream with me! (I did choke a little on my spit when the lady handed me the bill)

Thank God the office let me split it into two payments for an extra $5, which honestly, is cheaper than an overdraft fee so I'll pay it. But with rent due from my last paycheck as well as the first $250 for the animal clinic, I will have about $10 left over in my account until my next check on the 15th, which will be missing the last $250 from it.

But despite the fact that I had to put my groceries for the next two weeks on my credit card (because I had NO FOOD - no joke), I am pretty proud of myself for budgeting around this fairly unexpected bump in the road. Plus, the follow up visit is free if you go back within two weeks of your first visit, so that's a money saver as well.

Armini thinks that I am totally loony for spending so much on a pooch. My mom told me that she would never pay for prescription pain killers for a dog forever.

If you knew that you could do something for your dog if you just knew what was wrong, would have paid $500 to find out what was wrong? Would you pay for the pain killers for your dog (or cat, or whatever) if you knew that they would live a much happier life?

1 comment:

Taryn said...

Dogs are expensive. It is true. Thus- we don't have one- yet. I hope we can get one someday.

I think pain killers for animals is ok- it just depends on how long they have left to give, and other stuff like that. I would have to weigh the pros and cons. It is tough. The animals become so important in your life it is hard not to help them in any way possible.