Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Paying the Bill

The last time I took the dog to the vet, there was a young man with a very sick pit bull who was concluding his visit while I waited. The vet gave him detailed instructions and said she wanted to see the dog again in few days to see how the dog was getting on. And then the discussion turned to how he was going to pay the bill. He wanted to arrange to make payments, and as part of that process, they asked him for his driver’s license.

Well, there was a problem: he couldn’t give them his driver’s license because the police had confiscated it. He promised to bring the money when he came for the follow-up visit.

Somehow, I was not very surprised when he got behind the wheel of the SUV parked next to my car and drove off… so in addition to whatever he had done to lose his license, he was now “driving while revoked.”

Taking a sick pet to the vet can get very expensive very quickly:

My husband’s sister spent $15,000 or more on her dog.

My niece spent $5,000 on her cat. 

So the $156 it cost us to treat Mollywog that day and the $300 vet bill we just paid when my husband took the Squeaker in a few days ago don't seem quite that bad.

It is not hard to imagine the emotional turmoil people who are poor or who are living on a fixed income must go through when their beloved pet is sick and they have to figure out how to pay for it, or simply not take the pet in for treatment and hope it gets better.

We began taking Squeaker to that vet 16 years ago, and she was probably already 2 years old when our son gave her to us in trade for the miserable cat I had rescued from the vet, who hated us but loved him.

So she is old, and she is declining, and we don’t think she will live very much longer. So why bother? Why not let nature take its course?

Well, we have never forgiven ourselves for neglecting to properly take care of our first dog—we failed to get his teeth cleaned, an infection developed in a tooth, which made an abscess that formed a fistula into his nasal cavity, and infection spread throughout his body and caused his organs to start failing and we had to put him down—so we have to make sure for our own conscience that anything that is wrong with her that can be reasonably treated is taken care of.

So we now we know she does not have diabetes and she does not have a thyroid condition, and other things that can plague a cat are being treated.

She may indeed drop dead tomorrow, but at least we have done what we could.


Far Side of Fifty said...

Some people don't realize how much a cute kitten or puppy will cost. Our kids spent mega bucks on a dog surgery in Chicago and she died anyway. I told them just to let her go..I probably should have shut up.
Too many pets out there receive no vet care :(

Leilani Lee said...

Yes. One wonders how may pets in rural areas are simply taken out to the "back 40" and shot.