Saturday, March 22, 2014

The numbers are in - cost of chronic illness in a pet

The poodle princess had her first monthly injection since she was diagnosed with Addison's disease. The frequency of her treatments may change as we get more experience with how she processes the corticoid steroid, but right now it is every 30 days at $60 per shot.

She also gets Prednisone when she is under stress or much more active than usual. So when she is boarding at her former foster family while we go to Key West (yeah!) she will get a small dose each morning since she is much more active there with her doggie and cat friends available for playtime. I have some Prednisone left from the initial treatment when she was so sick a month ago and I have no idea how quickly she will go through this medicine in the future. She will also require a special blood test once a year to make sure she is not getting too much medicine which could affect her sodium levels.

Too much information? That is just the start as we have to monitor her symptoms in case she needs treatment more or less frequently.

I am aware that this is nothing compared to dealing with a chronic or progressive human illness, but we have talked before in this blog about the cost and benefits of pet ownership. We adore this dog and will take great care of her. However, if you just looked at the numbers though here it is. She is 5 years old in July. She could live past 15. So that is over $7,200 of additional expenses for her care. She can still develop other illnesses or problems of aging and she still needs her annual checkup and shots, monthly preventative medications for fleas, etc. and has to be groomed routinely as well as fed and provided with squeaky toy squirrels LOL.

So if you or a loved one is considering a pet in retirement make sure you are committed to the potential costs of their care. If you love pets please also consider supporting rescue groups and those that provide assistance to low income pet owners.

In the meantime please excuse me as I have to go throw the tennis ball for a happy and energetic once again little dog!

6 comments:

  1. It's true that owning a pet costs money. And good for you for reminding us of our responsibilities as pet owners. But if a pet is your "hobby" -- why it's cheaper than owning a boat or a ski house!

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    1. So true! We think she is worth every penny but we are lucky to have enough pennies.

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  2. You could easily fritter away the $700 or so dollars a year she'll cost on things that bring you much less happiness. Now you have something that you love and that motivates you to get outside and take a walk.

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    1. So true on all counts! We do love this little dog very much and have had her for a little over 3 years. She was recovering from abuse when we adopted her and now she is a very happy and fun pet.

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  3. So glad your little dog is doing so much better! Anything we can do to make our pets comfortable and living longer is well worth the money spent!

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    1. I so agree. We were certainly lucky that she was diagnosed before her system totally collapsed.

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