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.
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?
- The Animal Foundation/ Donate – https://animalfoundation.com/ways-give
- The Animal Foundation/ Volunteers opportunities – https://animalfoundation.com/volunteer
- Paws 4 a Cure – http://www.paws4acure.org/
- Handicapped Pets Foundation – https://hpets.org/
- Diabetic Cats in Need – https://dcin.dreamhosters.com/