Veterinary Care is too Expensive

After 5 years of much love and joy, my beloved dog, Kevin, was in big trouble. This heartbreaking, long journey ultimately led to his death. Following four veterinary appointments and an MRI, my best friend was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease – his body was fighting his body cells. By the time we could a name to the disease that was lurking in the dark, waiting to come out, his back legs were already paralysed and walking was a challenge. I can certainly say that this was the hardest obstacle I had to face in my sixteen years on Earth. He was not only a pet, he was a part of the family, my best friend; the one who taught me how to love unconditionally. The one thing that still brings me peace mind was that my family and I did everything in our power to take care of him and we were able to provide him with the best medical assistance in our city.

With all the hospitalizations and treatments, it was an incredibly expensive journey, but one we did not hold back a cent. During these painful months, one thought kept crossing my mind – What about all those people that have best friends just like me but cannot pay the expensive costs of veterinary care? I even remember asking one of the doctors if that were to happen. She could barely look me in the eyes, but she answered “people who can’t afford the treatments and medicine can take their pets home and wait for them to go”. I never thought of something that heartless, imagine having to watch your pet suffer and die because you cannot afford medical care.

I was distraught even though we were paying for all the expense and giving his the best medical treatment ever. The thought of those who couldn’t provide the same for their pets haunted me. Even with insure, rare diseases and treatments such as chemotherapy are rarely included. According to the article “Vets are too expensive, and it is putting pets at risk”, approximately 80 percent of pets have never seen a veterinary in their lives. There are also cases where veterinarians take advantage of pet owners. On some occasions, animals are hospitalized when they do not need to.

According to the Washington Post, when owners are unable to pay, clinics offer payment plans, but they come at a high price. Consumer Reports show that it is possible to get pet health insurance, nevertheless, it is ‘rarely worth the price’. My family was not offered this option as we are not American citizens. Henceforth, if someone in the same situation as we were, is unable to pay for the expensive treatments there is nothing that could be done about that.

In conclusion, that are many families with pets that suffer from rare diseases and unable to afford their treatments. If that’s you, there are some alternatives to help give your pet the best medical care there is. Everyone should be given a fighting chance, including our pets.

A picture of Kevin when he came home after his first hospitalization.

More resources regarding the expensive veterinary care:

Where to go go if you can’t afford veterinary care?

  • The Animal Foundation – Get Pet Help

The Animal Foundation lists organizations that help owners cover expensive veterinary care. There are a variety of organizations, each focused on different types of pets and illnesses.

How and where to donate and/or volunteer?

5 thoughts on “Veterinary Care is too Expensive

  1. It’s really saddening to think that, when it comes to provide the best to our furry/feathery beloved ones, not always we are able to do that! 🙁 But, even if we are — or if we are willing to make any sacrifice to the point of bending over backwards — not always the results are the expected ones…A lot is debatable about how far we can go, how far we should go when it comes to giving our furry/feathery companions what they need, what is the right option for them. Having such a decision in our hands is not an easy task. However, the whole point is about their welfare… and then it is when our love for them comes in the way… or comes to give them the peace their deserve!

  2. I have a dog named Dilan and we discovered that he has a tumor so now we go to the veterinarian every week until we take it off and thank god it is a benign tumor. My grandmother and I went with him to the veterinarian and I was shocked by the price of the consultation, the exams, and the surgery to remove the tumor, these days I have been really sad because some people can’t pay these treatments to their dogs, thank god my family can pay the exams but I’m feeling really bad because some people can’t afford a veterinarian and treatments. Like you have asked the veterinarian and she said “people who can’t afford the treatments and medicine can take their pets home and wait for them to go” and it breaks my heart knowing that this happens with some people that they see their pet, their best friends suffering and they can’t do nothing to help. Dilan (my dog) makes me happy when I think that nothing more matters and I know that a some people feel the same so if they can not pay for their treatments they feel worse, and for me the worst thing is that I can not do nothing to change it I want to help but I dont have money to pay for others dog treatments.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that! I know how hard it is! Thank you so much for sharing your own experiences. It is exceedingly helpful to hear different stories about veterinary care. Many animals are not adopted due to how expensive the care is, which shows the importance of these organizations dedicated to helping families take care of their pets.

  3. Unfortunately, this issue regarding expensive medical care happens a lot, not only in the US but also in many other countries. In Brazil (the country I live in), for example, it is not easy to find free veterinarians available – only a few professionals and / or medical clinics who embrace the animal cause and offer accessible prices to the population. I myself have always wanted to follow a career path that had to do with marketing or advertisement, but when I stop and see the awful situations various pets and animals in general are exposed to, my heart tends to switch its mind and go for vet instead. I dream about living in a world where all animals are treated the way they deserve (and I’m not even getting started on the vegetarianism topic lol). To make a difference and help those who need it by offering a low price would be very gratifying… A dream job I would say!
    Many families are exposed to this delicate condition where they are unable to save their loved ones because of money. This is the main reason my parents have agreed on not having another dog / pet. When I was 11 years old, my dear dog Kiara died from cancer. She was a schnauzer, and unfortunately this breed tends to have many problems – especially with their pancreas. Before having cancer itself, she suffered from pancreatitis and fortunately she survived. Just like the author of the blog, we were privileged enough to afford all of Kiara’s treatment, in both her diseases… But the costs were absurd. Of course we were willing to do anything to keep our best friend safe and healthy, but many times this is not the case.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your personal experiences! I believe a lot of people are unable to adopt animals due to how expensive veterinary is. Hopefully, this situation will change in the future!

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