Consumer Watch: Medical expenses for our four-legged friends

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 26 at 5:21 PM

(WHAS11) -- Pet lovers often face the difficult question of how much they would pay to save their pet. Veterinarian care can be extremely expensive if your dog faces a major health crisis.

It's not the primary vet care that breaks the bank, it's often the specialty veterinary care when a problem arises.  As evidenced by Dan and Kay Millar, some folks will spare no expense.
 
The Millar's German Shepherd Tiberius, like a lot of big dogs, has hip problems. And the Millar's spare no expense in getting him treated from a daily under water treadmill to laser treatments. They have even paid to get Tiberius a hip transplant after his fifth birthday.

“He's doing fine until of course last couple of years, as we all age, and we all know arthritis creeps up on us and so he's had joint pain and he's been on medication," said Kay Millar.
 
According to a nationwide Angie's List poll, 47 percent of respondents say they've sought veterinary specialty care outside of the primary vet.  Over half of those folks spent over $2,500 dollars for a fix. Angie Hicks says those are expenses you have to plan for.

“When going to a specialized veterinarian, you need to plan ahead for the costs. Talk to your general veterinarian about how much it's going to cost so you are not surprised," said Angie Hicks.
 
Once reserved for human health care specialties like cardiology, oncology, neurology and internal medicine are now available for pets. But that special care comes at a premium cost. Obviously not everyone has that kind of money to spend on pet care. If you're in that group do your homework, know you limits and manage your expectations.
 
If you have a consumer issue you’d like us to look into send an e-mail to consumerwatch@whas11.com.
 

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