Saturday, May 20, 2006

A Dog's Life

I am a little upset today. We took the dogs to the vet this morning for Rabies Shots. Boyd (our oldest dog, the beagle) has had some "back door" problems, that started when he had his glands cleaned in February as part of the vet's grooming process. The vet tech said that he has something "protruding" and that it looks to be a tumor of some sort, and that she can't tell how far in it goes or anything further. So we made an appointment with the vet this Thursday and they will put him under sedation, remove (if possible) the growth, and then send it away to be tested for cancer.

It's a tough decision to make. The expense in veterinary bills these days is outrageous. I have always had a hard enough time paying for rabies shots, heartworm, flea treatments, etc. Let aone if there is a real problem, like when Boyd had seizures or when they found the calcification of his lower spine that was causing him lots of pain and making him lame. Luckily those two things were both treatable, but after bloodwork, xrays, sedation, etc... It easily cost me $1000. They have estimated that Thursday's trip will be between $477 and $587, and that doesn't count any medications that they decide to send home with him.

My vet is Dr. Maxwell at the Animal Care Clinic in Princeton, Illinois. I like the people that work there. I like the care that we get, but of course I don't like the cost. In the past, I have always been able to do a "payment arrangement" for non-routine services. But today when I inquired about one, I was getting some conflicting answers, and basically it comes down to the office manager returning from vacation this week and deciding if I can have a payment arrangement. In the past they have divided my bill up into 3 or 4 payments and I write all the checks that day, post date them, and then they deposit them on the due date. I am hoping to do the same thing again.

Nothing is more frustrating than knowing that the only thing standing between your animal and a healthy life is your ability to produce $500 at the drop of a hat. And it makes me feel incredibly guilty to know that Boyd, who has been with me for 9 years, could have cancer and I won't treat it because of the cost. But I guess I have to look at the positives and say that he has already had a great life, and that the person who examined him was not a Vet, and that he acts healthy so even if he does have cancer he could have lots of time left. I really really hope that it isn't. Because I don't want to go through a scene again like Meredith saying goodbye to dog.

So send good Karma our way this week.
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Trish said...

I totally agree with you about the cost of vet care. My lab ate a sewing needle when he was 6 months old and it cost me 1500$! When I need meds/shots for them here, it's 25-50$ (Including the examination!).

Jackson said...

We lost our Rottweiler about 4 months ago to cancer. He developed cancer in his front leg and we had to make the agonizing decsions to have him put down. One of the hardest things to deal with. Our only other option was to amputate his front leg, but being that large of a dog it would not have been a very good life for him. It is tough to deal with that type of loss

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