Congratulations to our winners: Quinn, Pamela J, Shelly, Elizabeth and the Lab Crew, and Oralia!
For going on a year now, I’ve been suspicious that Kekoa might have Cushing’s disease. Her symptoms have waxed and waned, certain bloodwork values have gone up and down, but I haven’t quite been able to pin it down.
Have I tested her? Oh yes, I have, over and over. And ACTH stimulation tests, if you haven’t had the pleasure, don’t come cheap- even to us vet types. The tests for Cushings continue to come up normal. So I wait, and a few months later test again. It adds up. Like Mulan, my “free” Golden who waited an entire year before blowing out her cruciate ligament and needing a several thousand dollar TPLO, no pet truly comes cheap, not even a free one.
It’s hard to convey that to the average owner, though. The true cost of pet ownership can be pretty significant, depending on what life and fate throws your way. Sure, $800 for a pug puppy sounds like a lot at the time, but just you wait until you have to throw in the soft palate resection, the cherry eye repair, and the cryptorchid neuter. When owners aren’t prepared for those unexpected expenses, everyone suffers- most of all the pet.
To that end, Veterinary Pet Insurance has a nifty Cost of Care planner that allows you to plug in your pet’s breed and age, and get back some estimated costs of care for common conditions.
OK, so Cushing’s wasn’t on there, but there were some other lovely medical conditions that popped up as common occurences. Please, Kekoa, don’t get a bladder tumor. Arthritis, fatty tumors, been there, done that. I played around with a few different breeds and conditions and found the overall estimates to consistent with the bills I have seen in my time. It’s not exactly a joy to see those numbers, but it’s a reality pet owners have to face every day.
Even if you aren’t sold on the idea of pet insurance, it’s worth a spin just to see what comes up. To entice you to give it a go, VPI has provided 5 First Aid kits with a collapsible water bowl for anyone who wants to try out the cost of care calculator and share your thoughts in the comments.
These are great for hiking and outdoorsy stuff- water to prevent heat stroke, and first aid in case you have a dog like Brody who loves ingesting bees, stepping on splinters, those sorts of shenanigans.
To enter, just give the cost of care calculator a try and comment below with your result. Anything surprising?
Contest open to US and Canada residents. Entries close July 29, 11:59 PST. 5 winners will be chosen using random.org. Good luck!