Veterinary Costs

squirrelheavenSeptember 22, 2008

Hi everyone, I'm not a regular poster here. I'm interested in what other people's experiences are with their veterinarians. I have cats. I'm wondering about how much a year you spend in veterinary care, for what (just the routine vacs & physical exam, or other), and how many animals you have and what their ages are. Do you ever have non-routine needs for doctor visits and what is your experience there?

Thanks : )

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I currently have one cat who is about 9. I take her in for a yearly checkup with bloodwork (CBC/Chem) and that costs me about $70-$100 depending on whether or not I elect vaccines. (she is strictly indoors, so I try to push off vaccines to about every 2-3 years)

When she got an URI and required an overnight stay for fluids and antibiotics they only charged me around a $100 for that as well. This vet is extremely reasonable in cost, but I also feel he is a little "old school" in certain aspects. If she ever comes down with something serious I would probably take her elsewhere and pay much more for more high tech care. It's not that I don't think this vet is good, he just doesn't utilize a lot of the technology that is out there now like other vets do.

In comparison, my male who I lost to kidney failure cost a lot more. In the last year and a half of his life I guesstimate I spent close to $2500 on his care. That includes fluids, special diet, frequent bloodwork, and a 4 day stay at a 24 hour hospital when his kidneys attempted to shut down completely.

Just for reference I am in the northeastern US. I think vet costs vary depending on location.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 7:09PM
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My three kitties cost about $100/year each in regular medical care, but then if we average in the broken leg ($800) and recent renal failure ($6000) I came up with $409/year each.

Frank is 10, no problems ever. Lily is 9, she is the one who had renal failure (doing wonderful now, but her new diet has added to general cost) and she had several ultrasounds, overnight stays at a high-tech hospital and much bloodwork and rechecks. Cali is 3, she broke her leg when she was 1 year old. 4 weeks in a cast and she was as good as new. I live in Phoenix.

I say start a savings account for your cats; put whatever you can into it every payday, that way when an emergency happens you will have cash on hand.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 5:35AM
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It depends on if the cat is indoor or outdoor, outdoor cats are more $$ to keep in the long run,require more shots/flea medications ect. Indoor cats require only the shots required by law, such as rabies, as well as a flea check very now and then. Spend your money on better food.

We forget that for thousands of years vets didn't exist. IMO I think regaular dry grainy diet/ supermarket brand foods/declawing and plan neglect are far worse on a cats health, then feeding them freshly frozen dead animals you would give a reptile or snake, never getting them any shots and never fixing them- at least their bodies are designed by nature to deal with the heat cycles/hormones, they are NOT made to deal with a slow death from a garage diet or de clawing and the resulting muscle weaking/mental damage/ect.

Note I'm all for fixing cats the populations of unwanted pets are CRAZY and the shots are a good idea, though in excess can be harmful, I'm just saying nature has plans for things and they don't include kibble/ the health related issues of reg cat food or de clawing..

A good vet is hard to find

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 9:06AM
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I pay $185 for vet visit and full blood panel. That's pretty typical of costs in my area, however my vet may be a little more expensive than others, but they are also more conservative in their approach, so I think in the long run they probably save us a lot of money.

My female kitty has some chronic health conditions, so she needs blood work of one sort or another every 3 months. Since she is an ever returning patient, we are charged a follow-up office visit fee instead of a vet visit, so her blood work every 3 months is ~ $150. So at least $600/year in vet visits for her. This doesn't include RX supplies bought elsewhere, that adds up to another $400 or so.

They can sure get expensive as they get older too. This year has been a humdinger for us. Boy cat has cost $800 in care just since July- starting with a broken tooth and then a subsequent illness shortly after. Thanks goodness he seems to be okay for now.

I am at the point where I think my girl kitty should have most of her teeth pulled. She is weak from her other illnesses, so I am very wary to do it, but feel we are getting to the point where there isn't much other choice. That should be rather expensive, and we are praying it doesn't kill her.

Nowadays, if our vet costs come in under $1200/year, we think we are doing pretty well! Next time I get a kitten, I will set up a MMA with at least $5000 that will be solely for the cat's future medical bills, and we'll add at least a small amount to it monthly. I may also look into pet insurance more seriously next time, though I think we are still ahead of the game at this point, even with girl kitty.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 9:51AM
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We have an young, indoor kitty who goes in once a year for an annual check and shots. That runs around $170-180. We also elect to keep the vaccines to a minimum as he is strictly indoors.

A consult with our vet is $70-100. If we just go in for shots and see the tech or assistant, then we only pay for the shot, which is a great bonus to being a regular customer. They have the same policy for our dog as well, which is wonderful when he just needs a booster so he can go to day camp. :)

We also set up a savings account for the future vet emergencies. Pet heath insurance didn't add up to a reasonable option. Both are pets are young and healthy at the moment.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 4:31PM
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My cats are seniors (about 13 years old), and we take them in for bloodwork and an exam twice a year, which ends up being about $125 per cat (so ultimately $500 a year). Beyond the bout with fatty liver disease a couple of years ago with one of them (which cost us about $4k), we haven't had any other major issues, thank goodness.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 6:12PM
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i have one big horse, 2 mini horses, 2 welsh corgis, 1 senior great dane (newly rescued). i've never really kept track of my vet costs. when i need him, i need him. throughout the year, i probably have one or two emergency calls for suspected colic with my big horse.

i'm fortunate in that am able to keep a separate savings account strictly for vet care and i don't get into it unless i have an emergency that requires more $$$ than i can write a check for at the moment.

if i added up what i spend in a year, i'd probably have a stroke!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 7:13AM
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Not to say its good, not fixing, horrible idea in todays world but if you MUST have a problem nature related issues are healthier then man related issues, rental failure/ kidney failure,teeth and dental disease /low health and vigor from todays supermarket pet foods are IMO worse on a cat then even the instinctual and hormonal issues of not having them fixed. The shots- most cats in domesticated households will never run into the diseases to begin with so unless your breeding cats/ have them indoor/outdoor/outdoor/ or shot is required by law most of them are just another thing to empty your wallet. If you keep you cat indoors you are saving money on most issues, unless fleas get in the house, which is why you should check them with a flea comb every now and then for them. Dogs are different,with a dog, flea tick- heart worm treatments are a MUST because you cannot own a dog and never take him/her outside without subjecting it to mistreatment, dogs need the outdoors unlike cats.

PS,( for both cat AND dog) if you fed a meat in bones diet with organ meat, raw never cooked you would also never have to get teeth estracted,cleaned and teeth brushing would not be nesscary.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 9:43AM
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