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Good question, it all depends. My son's dog has incurred over $10,000 in vet bills in 6 months for treatment of Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia, and I don't know how much more his treatment will cost in the future. His maintenance meds are $200 month, his periodic transfusions are around $1000, however he is not in any pain, and his quality of life is good with treatment. They spent Christmas week with me, and I can't see stopping treatment as long as there is a chance he can recover. If he was in pain, or not enjoying life, it would be different. I had insurance on him, thank God, but that has been exhausted months ago, and now we pay as we go.
 

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I have no idea. I have an upper limit. I'm young, single, just bought a house, etc. I really can't spend tens of thousands on vet bills. I will readily spend thousands though and have this last year on Mia and Summer.

A lot depends on quality of life and age. Summer, for example, is having seizures. We could do an MRI to figure out what's going on but it is about $1500 and really all it would do would be to tell me yes or no on a brain tumor. And if it is a tumor then I would not put her through surgery and chemo/radiation. To me it is pretty pointless to spend the money on an MRI when I know I'm not going to treat her differently. We'd still be giving her meds to treat the symptoms and that's all.

Now on the other hand if it were a broken leg or something then yes of course I'd pay that same $1500 in a minute.

Mia has a collapsed trachea and the surgery can be around 5k. I still am not sure what we will do if it gets to that point primarily because I have researched and most my reading and first hand accounts have shown that the stint surgery doesn't last long and has so many complications... I'm not sure I'd put her through that for the sake of a few months.... I am hoping it never comes to that and if it does then she has lived a full life before it does. But it breaks my heart to think about. I do not want to make that kind of decision with Mia.
 

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It depends on prognosis and the experience for my pet as much as cost. I probably wouldn't spend $100 on a procedure with a 1% chance of success, especially if it were very invasive, painful, or had a long recovery or bad side effects. But I would drop a pretty substantial wad on treatments or procedures with a decent chance of a good outcome. I would go so far as to say I don't have a hard upper limit at this point in my life.

This Largely......

I do not have a limit per say... There are a ton of variables. Age of dog, prognosis, how much the dog will have to endure, chances for the dog to resume to a reasonable and pain free life.....

I am not into the idea of doing chemo on cancer, organ transplants, and other drastic measures.

I am also not into doing amputations on dogs with osteo sarcoma... I know this is anecdotal, but every dog I have known that had a leg removed due to bone cancer, the cancer came back.

It is a judgement call and really.... There are no right or wrong answers. I will not condemn someone for taking drastic measures. But I will also not condemn someone for not going as far as I might.


In the end.... Reality has to set in... Those of that say their is no limit.... There usually really is....Each of us in a different place in our lives and each of us have different financial means.

A thousand dollars is likely to be more difficult for a young person just starting out, than 20 or 30 grand for someone mid life or later.

All I can say is do the best you can for your dogs within your means (It is okay to stretch those means a bit but do not commit financial suicide) and use common sense....
 

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Good question, it all depends. My son's dog has incurred over $10,000 in vet bills in 6 months for treatment of Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia, and I don't know how much more his treatment will cost in the future. His maintenance meds are $200 month, his periodic transfusions are around $1000, however he is not in any pain, and his quality of life is good with treatment. They spent Christmas week with me, and I can't see stopping treatment as long as there is a chance he can recover. If he was in pain, or not enjoying life, it would be different. I had insurance on him, thank God, but that has been exhausted months ago, and now we pay as we go.
I also have high deductable and high limit insurance on my dogs....

I had been lucky mostly until 2007. One of my dogs came down with an auto immune disorder. He was fine on tuesday, a little off on Wednesday, Thursday Morning I took him to the vet. He was crashing. Long story short from Thursday to Sunday I spent in excess of $3800 bucks. He passed Sunday evening.... He was gone before we even got some of the bloodwork back.
 

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For me a lot of it is about probable outcomes and quality of life. I'm not going to put an elderly dog through anything stressful or invasive, so palliatives only there. For a younger dog, I can't really think of a super expensive procedure or treatment that doesn't also come with a lot of suffering and risk, either from the disorder/disease/injury, from the vetting, or both. If the pain is going to be prolonged or the prognosis is poor I am inclined to opt for euthanasia, and making the dog as comfortable as possible in its remaining time if the euthanasia is not immediately called for.

Something like managing a disease with meds can add up over time, but as long as the dog is doing well, that's fine. And if you have to go to an e-vet for something like a blockage or bloat that can get awfully spendy as well, but I don't have a problem paying that, since the recovery is generally quick, if the dog is going to recover.

Maybe I'd shell out for something orthopedic, I guess? I've been fortunate enough never to have a dog with joint problems beyond osteoarthritis, so I'm not really up on what's being done with that nowadays, or the costs and benefits involved.
This. So many things would factor in for me.

I mean, I spent $1300 on Jackson's teeth, because he was a young healthy 2 year old dog and he was in pain. Nothing excruciating of course, but he had a slight over-bite which was causing his bottom canine tooth (which was somewhat crooked) to poke into his upper palate. Found out it was causing a hole and going into where his nasal cavity was. I COULD have pulled the tooth for like $200 but I didn't want to do that... vet said since it was such an important tooth, and it likely would've started shifting around his other teeth, and possibly caused more issues in the future. So they did a vital pulpotomy (I guess kind of similar to a root canal). That was pretty much my whole bank account. I think I was 20 years old, didn't have much money (well, still really don't, LOL) but I just made it work because my dog was uncomfortable and I want the best for him.

Would I so easily drop $1500+ on an issue that was potentially life threatening or the prognosis wasn't good, etc, no probably not.

I will go to whatever means I have to to save my dog. But again, if it's the kinder thing to do to PTS (ugh can't even think about it), then I would hope that I could come to my senses and just know that.
 

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I spent $1500-2000 on my previous dog's allergies. He (Mickey) was 3 years old at the time. But my previous vet seemed to care more about money than anything and did all kinds of tests and things but nothing worked. And Mickey would get to the point where he scratched himself 24/7 until he bled. Anyways, 1 dose of Benadryl and it was all gone. I couldn't believe it.
 

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For me, it depends on the dog: the age & their health and what "saving" means. I have a 12 ish year old dog. I couldn't put her through brain suegery but I could, with Ginger as she is 4. Boone is almost 9 so I'd do it for him, too.
 

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due to the lack of quality vets I have to say no for anything that needed skills. I spent 4K for an elderly animal who went into surgery strong, was strong during surgery for them to do what they needed and then spend time examining the health of all her organs for her age, she came out of surgery fine, woke up went out to pee with me.. I left her in their care because of the snow storm thinking I wouldn't be able to get her back in 1 1/2 hours away , thought at least she would have a great start post surgery IV ward off any infections .. and they couldn't even recognize server side effects from rymadel 3 days twice a day given to her, she was paralyzed and in kidney failure un able to eat.... Her eyes were ruby red and bulging, like they were filled with blood... for me it would be best to let them go and not let them suffer further in the hands of others....
 

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Depends on the prognosis, if the odds are good and there is a strong chance of a good quality of life afterwards...

Savings, credit, any expendable income in the budget and anything that isn't nailed down that can be sold. The TV, game systems and luxury items are replaceable. My pets are not.

At that point, I would have to swallow my pride and ask friends and family for loans. But I'd rather never reach that point. And likely, anything requiring that probably would not have good odds or prognosis, so it likely wouldn't occur.

My chickens, I would not do this for. They'd end up in the freezer.
My goats, not that far either... Though I've already driven out of state and paid for a surgery to save my Wether (neutered male goat).

But my Dog & Cat... Yes. Fortunately, my Husband feels the same way.

I will have a bare bones house and empty pocket book before I'd have a dead dog or cat, so long as the outcome ensures a good quality of life and the animal is at an age and condition where it is reasonable to try.


If the prognosis is bad and the quality of life is expected to be poor or the odds significantly against them... Or they're very old already and surgery / treatment is more risky... Then I would have to make a rational decision rather than the emotional one and let them go.

(eta: There are certain conditions / treatments I would not make my pet undergo, however. Chemo is one of them. I have extensive personal reasons for this, but its one thing I will not put my pets through. And whatever it is, I'd have to really have faith in my vet.)
 

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A lot depends on quality of life and age. Summer, for example, is having seizures. We could do an MRI to figure out what's going on but it is about $1500 and really all it would do would be to tell me yes or no on a brain tumor. And if it is a tumor then I would not put her through surgery and chemo/radiation. To me it is pretty pointless to spend the money on an MRI when I know I'm not going to treat her differently. We'd still be giving her meds to treat the symptoms and that's all.
We had a similar situation with a cat. She had a low WBC count and our vet urged us to take her to the local vet school for additional testing. The vet wouldn't give us any ideas about the possible diagnoses and/or treatments (which I can understand). After some googling, I decided not to have the testing done as most of the outcomes were unfavorable or would have required a lifetime of treatment. A big part of my decision was the cat's temperament: The 20 min drive there would have been torture for her, the exam and testing would have been torture for her, any recommended treatment would have been torture for her. She lived until she was about 16 and never seemed to have a bad day until her last two weeks. Certainly I wish I could have had many more years with her, but not if those years came at the expense of her happiness.
 

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It depends on the possible outcomes.

We've shelled out thousands for our current cat because her liver nearly failed 3 times in 1 year.

She's older and healthier now and given her age then I would do it again. But if it were to happen now, we know that it be more humane to euth.

The last treatment involved 6 months of force feeding a pissed sick cat and the vet told us 1 more time and she'll need a new liver.

It's been 4 years since then and she's holding strong but I'm not going to do a liver transplant on a 6+ year old cat when the chance of failure, rejection and pain will be through the roof.
 

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All pets aren't equal. This may sound heartless, but I wouldn't bother to take a chicken to the vet, and I'd spend a lot more on a dog than a cat. Neither chickens nor cats pull on my heart strings.
 

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We are really lucky that we have awesome pet insurance coverage, so cost isn't really a factor for us. What is most important to us is the possible outcomes and the quality of life. If they both are poor, then I feel the kindest thing to do is to let the animal be at peace.
 

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I'd do my best to do what was right for my pet. Our 11yr old, indoor only, cat got ill last weekend. She looked fine, acted fine but we knew she was different. Took her to the vet & left her so they had time to examine her well. Vet initially didn't find anything, told them why we thought she was off & that she had stopped eating for 1.5 days. We did labs & xrays, turned out she had right side plural effusion (fluid all through her chest, in the chest cavity basically). Lacey was loving, sweet & purred like crazy, she doesn't purr much & never so you an hear it..another indicator we felt something was wrong.

Much testing, trying to get her to eat, some fluids as well as her drinking on her own, the vet did a tap to get some fluid for biopsy. Her chest was too opaque on xray due to fluids to see if there was a tumor or what was up. She stayed at vet overnight, next day the vet said she was sleeping more but again, didn't seem in distress. We could she was fading, just not herself. After 30hr at vet she had yet to pee even though she drank more. While waiting for the pathology on the chest fluid biopsy (pathology) to come back we made our decision. She was tired, she no longer was purring or meowing when talked to, she just seemed ready to go. But the whole time she wasn't in distress, seemed very content actually.

The pathology was inconclusive but all differential diagnosis were not good & was happy we did right by her. We tried to figure out what was wrong ($900 bill), we paid attention to her body language & her overall. My husband went to be with her while they put her down, he held her in her fave position (like a baby) & she was very content & let the sedative take effect. when time for the last med. my hubby & vet both said she went peacefully & really seemed ready. Had she seemed stronger & more like herself, we would have done even more if the prognosis seemed good but I was not about to let her final days/hours be painful & miserable. RIP Lacey.
 

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I have to agree about the comment about cats not pulling at heartstrings. I doubt very much I'd spend more than 500 on saving our cat. Probably much less than that. But he's a complete butt-hole of a cat. Nothing sweet or loving about him at all.
 

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I have to agree about the comment about cats not pulling at heartstrings. I doubt very much I'd spend more than 500 on saving our cat. Probably much less than that. But he's a complete butt-hole of a cat. Nothing sweet or loving about him at all.
A pet is a pet, if can't do the right thing by them then maybe its not the right pet for the household. We spent just under $900 on Lacey, would have spent more except it was clear it was a losing battle. Our old cat who was put down at 19yr old with cancer, we did 2 surgeries in her lifetime, both were expensive, $1200 & $1500 - ACL w rehab & bladder stones, the last surgery was when she was around 15yr old.

We spent quite a bit on the dogs. Chloe had an injury as a pup that was about $1900 total, she also had a virus that left her quite ill for about 10 days, that was also about $1900. Skyler had rear leg injury that required many vet visits to figure out what was wrong (Fracture fabella in each rear leg & gastronemious tears), after rehab vets with 3 trips a week to Portland (75min drive one way) it was about $3500 before fully healed. Thankfully for the dogs we have pet insurance that covered 80% of everything, but we have to pay out of pocket then submit claim. It is what it is, even without insurance we would have paid for it without hessitation. To own a pet you agree to do what is right for that animal.
 

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The insurance covers somewhere around 6300 usd/year, so that's a start. Right now I'm at uni and don't even have half of that saved, so I'm afraid anything too expensive would mean I'd have to euthanize. But otherwise I consider the dog's quality of life more than anything else. If there was a good prognosis I might borrow some money, or seek funds elsewhere since both my dogs are young.
 

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It's so heartbreaking to see people say they wouldn't even spend 1k on a cat. A pet is a life and a commitment to protect and care for them until their death regardless of species. I know people who have paid more than 500 on rats.
 

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I just spent---probably; I haven't added it all up yet, not sure I want to---over $1000 on an 11-year-old cat who died anyway. I suppose if they said from the beginning that it would cost that much with little chance of saving him, I wouldn't have gone that far, but honestly, he was my favorite and if I could have gotten him back to full health I would have spent All The Money (well, obviously I'd have to draw the line somewhere but it would be pretty high). Plus, it wasn't all at once---it just added up. And we still don't know exactly what went wrong inside of him.

BUT, I do have a few cats who I would not be able to treat like that. If whatever they had couldn't be cured with Convenia and Depomedrol, or something I could sneak into their food, I'd have to PTS because they just wouldn't tolerate force-feeding and/or daily meds. So I do understand that sometimes you can't go as far with cats. Some of them just won't cooperate. Well, I guess some dogs might be like that too.

But, yeah, in the end it mostly depends on long-term prognosis and quality of life.
 
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