Saturday, January 16, 2010

Let's Talk About Pets...

If you are on Facebook, then you know that yesterday I got one of the biggest shocks of my life...

Our Jack Russell Terrier - Casey - has been suffering with a congested nose for the past few months. At first, she was sneezing a bit more than usual. (like many breeds, JRTs use sneezing as a defense mechanism) She and Carson are always going at it, playfully, so sneezing is often heard when they do. Anyway, for the past two months Casey's sneezes have been accompanied by big globs of green slime. Gross, I know. I am always in her wake with tissues to clean up the mess.

I took Casey to the local vet about 6 weeks ago for her shots and mentioned the nose problem. The first doc took a 'wait and see' approach. I went back in last week specifically to address the nose issue. She was prescribed an antihistamine and an antibiotic. The new doctor stated that Casey should improve within a week. If she didn't I was to bring her back in.

Yesterday, I brought Casey back to the vet. The doctor told me exactly what was going to be done: She would sedate Casey for 10 minutes, get X-Rays, flush her sinuses, take cultures and get blood work. Silly me - still had the prices from our Virginia vet floating around in my head. I ball-parked the visit to be expensive... I was bracing myself for around a $300. visit. Like I said, silly me!

Josie and I arrived to pick-up Casey around noon. I was presented with a bill totaling $866. That's Eight hundred and sixty-six dollars!!!! I was floored.

When we got home, I was still in a state of disbelief. I got on the phone to our Virginia vet and talked with them. Drs Greg and Andy Lindamood are two of the most trusted vets in our old home town. They make housecalls; they come in on weekends or in the middle of the night if you have an emergency; they are also equine specialist who have their own farm with plenty of animals. They weren't cheap. We loved them. We went over the bill for Casey. They stated that they would have done the exact same thing... the only difference was the cost.

So, I'll throw a few questions out here to try and understand... Is it because rents are higher here? Is it because Vets pay higher insurance rates in California? Are there a lot of lawsuits against Vets in California? I just don't get how nearly every item on the bill was just about double the going rate that we were used to... even inoculations.

We love our dogs, but how much is too much to spend on treatments for them? Is there even an alternative besides pet health insurance? Does anyone have reputable pet insurance that they could recommend?

Casey's still sneezing and I'm worried about what the next step might be...

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh! That's crazy! I'm not even sure it would cost that much to have the same thing done on one of my kids! Yikes! Seems like there should be some sort of warning before they spring that kind of bill on you. Maybe I should look into pet health insurance too?

    Our blog: Double Happiness!