This week my lovely cat Princess, who is now a senior cat, had to go to the vet. For some reason she had some serious problems with her digestive system and her intestines. In other words, she was puking and having difficulties pooping, not very sexy medical problems. Today vets have the talk with you before they even begin to treat your pet. They assess the situation and then send in a tech with a cost breakdown. The vet felt that the problem Princess was having with her bowels probably stemmed from a kidney disorder. She told me how she would treat the symptoms to make my cat more comfortable and she ordered a blood test to see about the kidney function. The estimate for all this care: $600. Ouch!
Caring for our animals has become so expensive that many of us will not be able to afford to have pets. I can see that this $600 is just the beginning of a huge outpouring of bucks which I do not have. It is clear that if this is true I may have to say good-bye to my sweet pet. Do we really have to treat our pets like people? Just because we can give them CT scans and MRI’s should it be the absolute standard of care? If it becomes a moral judgment that we must give pets all care available then owning a pet will become the privilege of a few and the family pet will disappear from many of our families.
Of course, vets are almost as well trained as medical doctors these days and their very expensive and intense training insures that our pets will receive the very best of care. It also insures that vets will have to charge top dollars for their services. There is pet insurance, but I understand it is somewhat costly and does not cover a large percentage of the costs of treatment. Obviously the days of the $40 vet visit are gone forever, but I believe we can expect to see more and more domestic pets abandoned, abused, or living their lives in shelters. Isn’t there some way to get a tiered treatment system so that low income families can still afford to enjoy a pet without feeling guilty of pet abuse? Meanwhile I’m waiting to hear the results of my cat’s blood tests. I hope her kidneys are fine or we’re screwed.