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Our Cat Didn’t Die! Our Cat Didn’t Die!

by J. Money on Monday, September 19, 2011

Mr. Bob CatFor anyone following me on Twitter, you’ll know our 13 y/o cat – Bob – was barely hanging on to life this weekend.

Thankfully he survived (this round, at least), but it’s always scary when your pets keep getting older & sicker, and you end up visiting the vets office more than you do Starbucks ;)

You don’t wanna think about the impact it has on your wallet throughout the whole ordeal — how can you put a price on your loved one?? — but at the same time, deep down there’s always some sort of limit as to just how far you’ll go into debt for the fur ball. At least there is for me (I don’t have a number in my head, but I’ll know it when I see it ;)).

For the Mrs., however, I think it’s a totally different story. I haven’t flat out asked her about it yet – even though we should seriously talk about it soon – but I’m fairly certain she’d take out a 3rd mortgage on our house if it were needed ;) (And possible) But it brings up an interesting dilemma here: At what point do you just have to let the little guy go? When the bills hit $1,000? $10,000? When he’s totally hocked up on pain killers and is no longer leading a comfortable life? (That’s a big flag for me. Cost aside, if there’s no more turning back the “good life” clock anymore, it’s time to consider the inevitable).

This last stint ended up running us only $700 (ONLY!), but when the words “let’s take a deeper look” and “open-stomach surgery” are uttered at the same time, my wallet just about faints every time. Thankfully Mr. Bob has been pretty good at magically getting better before the big decision ever comes into play :)  And I’m sure he does it on purpose just to be feisty, haha… takes after his dad!

One day, though, we’ll have to make this decision and it’s not going to be an easy one.  As the years go by, it’s getting harder and harder to tell when something’s small and just takes a day or two to get over, or when it’s life threatening like this weekend’s events (it turned out he had kidney problems on top of severe dehydration, and if it weren’t for Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy catching it in time, this post might have been about funeral costs instead :(  Which we did skim on actually, and agreed that we’d like to bury him somewhere in the sunlight when it comes time (he loves sun!). I thought it would be cool to put him in our back yard, but she thought it would be too freaky… and that our neighbors/H.O.A. probably wouldn’t appreciate that ;) Hmm… )

What we realized more than anything, though, was that it’s time to REALLY appreciate him as much as we can now before that fateful day comes. An hour before we joyously picked him up, a different family wasn’t as fortunate :( They lost their family dog to cancer yesterday, and watching her kennel get cleaned out was a huge reminder to be thankful for all those around us. Pets, friends, FAMILY – everyone!  It’s cliche as all get out, but there’s a reason it keeps popping up  throughout our lives:  None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. We can go at anytime, and no amounts of money will (usually) be able to stop that.

As for Mr. Bob’s future?  Well, for now we keep on loving him.  The doctor doesn’t know how much longer he’s got, but whether it’s 3 months or 3 years, we’re gonna appreciate the hell out of that cat as long as we possibly can :)  I don’t know how many more $700 bills that’ll mean going forward, but all we can do is take it one step at a time and do our best to make the appropriate decisions when needed. No one said taking care of pets was easy! (or cheap!)

How are your pets doing?  Anyone going through something similar? Have you ever had to go in debt in order to save their life?

————-
PS: Thanks to all those who kept us in their thoughts this weekend!  Your prayers worked! :)
PPS: Remember that pet insurance I researched a while back? Kinda wondering if it would have been worth it now…


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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alexa September 19, 2011 at 8:37 am

My husband and I faced a similar situation last year when found out that our 1 yr old bulldog had a heart murmur (fun fact we also paid 1200 for her, they are an expensive breed and we spend minimum $75 on her a month). I was willing to do anything to save my baby; my husband however was looking at it from a different perspective – the money perspective. After many tests costing about $1000 we found out that she would be okay for now and we have to have her tested again (for a cost of $500) a year later to make sure things didn’t get worse. If they don’t get worse and have stayed the same over the course of a year then she will be fine and will not have to have any sort of surgery or take meds. The 1 yr make is Nov. 2011 so fingers crossed that she gets a clean bill of health and will live many more years!

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2 Heather September 19, 2011 at 8:54 am

Actually woke up to this post this morning in the midst of a similar crisis… our 6 month old pit mix got hit by a truck yesterday evening and we’re looking at a pelvic and femur fracture on opposite sides. It seems if it won’t affect her quality of life long-term we’re willing to shell it out (looking at $4k at the moment, set to see an orthopedic surgeon this a.m.). For my family, our pets are our kids and I can’t imagine putting our baby to sleep over a measly dollar amount…. hopefully the years we’ll have with her after this will be priceless.

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3 Nicole September 19, 2011 at 9:19 am

I had to put Rosie down a few years ago. She was a 7 year old border collie. Sweet dog, but she got cancer. I paid about $1200 for surgery to remove the tumor. We were hoping it wouldnt come back. But it did. We then paid for meds to keep her comfortable as long as possible. When even double the pain meds werent working, we talked to the doctor about chemo. He said that we would pay thousands and it wasnt even guaranteed to work. So, I held her while he put her down. It was sad because she was so young, but I didnt want her to live a life of pain. If I had been guaranteed chemo or surgery would work, I would have shelled out a few more thousand because she was young.
Put Bucky down several years ago. He was the dog we grew up with. He was 17. That was a little easier to swallow in some ways because he was so old. He was half his normal weight and the vet said we should have put him down years earlier. It all boils down to quality of life and the life they have already lived.

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4 Darla September 19, 2011 at 9:23 am

When my long-term relationship ended, my ex got a girlfriend and I got a dog. (I traded UP..BTW) I’d always wanted a Great Dane and had raised large dogs all of my life – so it was perfect timing. I was prepared for the increased responsibility and with all things considered – Tiny (Yes, a Great Dane named Tiny) has been the best thing that has happened to me since the birth of my now adult son. What I was not prepared for was the incidental and extremely expensive vet bills that come with a dog that weighs 138 pounds. Right now we are treating the second double ear infection this year. Back in February he had a tumor on his backside that blocked and subsequently caused his anal glands to get infected. March or April was the first set of ear infections. August he somehow injured his shoulder because he favored his leg so much the muscles were atrophied and we treated him with pain meds for two weeks – all of these issues to the tune of Oh…My…Gawd money. Like wipe out your emergency savings kind of money! You feel me?
Now, make no mistake about it. Tiny is the sweetest and best thing that has come in to my life in a very long time. I will do whatever it takes to keep him healthy. However, when the day comes that he is no longer with me, I will think LONG and hard before I undertake such a huge financial liability again.
For now, you will find me wrestling him down twice a day to squirt three different liquids (all equally hated by him) inside his ears – then shoving giant antibiotics down him until he is healed. It took my vet having his assistant lay on Tiny to do this in his office…so as you can imagine – for one person (ME) it is like herding cats.
Speaking of cats, I hope yours is on the mend and stays healthy for a long time.

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5 Melissa September 19, 2011 at 9:58 am

I’m so glad your cat is hanging in there, J. Money! Thankfully I haven’t had to deal with this yet since my cat (and first pet) is not quite three, so she’s (hopefully!) got a good many years left in her, but it’s definitely something I worry about, because I can’t even imagine NOT doing whatever I can to take care o f her!

For me, I think the limit would have a lot more to do with quality of life than with the cost. If my kitteh, say, broke a bone or something, and the cost to fix it was high, but she’d be back to normal afterwards, then I wouldn’t even blink. I’d spend it. Hands down. But if she got cancer, and no matter what she probably wasn’t going to live much longer, and the treatment would be painful and expensive, I might choose differently, but based on her own comfort, not my wallet.

That said, I hope it’s a good while before I (and you and your wife!) have to actually make that call.

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6 graduate.living September 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

When I was younger, we had a dog that had really funny smelling breath. We took her to the vet, and it turned out she had cancer that had spread to her gums. The biopsy was $1,000 and the suggested chemo would have been $6,000 – with about a 50% chance survival rate. But how do you explain to a dog that it feels crappy and sick all the time from chemo, but really its getting better.

It wasn’t just a financial decision for us – it never is. It’s also about quality of life. We also had a dog (different dog) lose an eye to glaucoma. She was fine with one (I called her my one eyed, one horned fly purple people eater) but when she lost her other eye, she was too scared to move. She didn’t know what was going on, and she was miserable.

I hope nothing this drastic happens to your cat, and that he has many years left in him. I also sympathize with the people who say they would do anything to keep their pets around, but I really believe sometimes the best thing is just letting go before the situation becomes too painful for both you AND, more importantly, the pet.

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7 LB September 19, 2011 at 11:32 am

My black cat is doing much better after starting him on Thyroid medicine this last week. He gave us a scare when he seemed to have a stroke and was weak in his back legs. My awesome dog alerted us to him when he first fell over and we were able to take him to the vet immediately.

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8 LB September 19, 2011 at 11:38 am

*continued
I wouldn’t spend everything on my fuzzies, but would instead weigh the benefits and treament to their pain management and long life, then decide. It’s never easy, but logic seems to help me.

Glad your fuzzy is doing good J. Money! I would have the talk with the wife in a few after your fuzzy gets better, so the topic doesn’t have to come up when tragic strikes and emotions are high.

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9 Yana September 19, 2011 at 11:42 am

Our 16-year-old dog, Maggie, took ill in March (she turned 16 in June). She fell over sideways, could barely walk and quit eating her main food or drinking water. We thought it was the end for her, but didn’t feel at any point that a vet would help. We did prepare the car in case she did have to go. We gave her alternative foods, soft-cooked broccoli to get water in her, scrambled eggs in the morning, and lots of attention. My research suggests that she had Vestibular Syndrome/disease. She recovered in under two weeks; however, she had a recurrence last week. I didn’t think she could go through that again, as old as she is. This time she didn’t quit eating or drinking, but I still have given her eggs and broccoli – and she recovered even faster. She’s a little unbalanced, but the dreaded head tilt from being unable to lift her head is gone.

Taking Maggie to the vet would have degraded her quality of life, and might have worsened her condition. We don’t use vets without a reason. I can only hope that she lives and dies at home, naturally. It would be a blessing not to have to put her down, ever.

I hope Bob the cat is okay and enjoys his life as long as possible.

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10 F September 19, 2011 at 11:54 am

Fortunately, my wife is vetinary nurse and we get 1500$ a year in free care.

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11 OverMyHead September 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I’ve put 2 dogs through cancer treatments in the last 4 years- the first didn’t have a good outcome. He was treated with radiation and the tumor came back in about a year. He also had developed several other difficult to manage ailments and eventually lost use of his back legs 14 months after treatment. My current dog is about 14 and finished chemo (MUCH cheaper than radiation) early this year – he’s doing GREAT! You’d never know he was 14 – he’s a total pistol! Also spent $7500 on 5 year old cat with kidney disease several years ago. Was told there was no reason the KD couldn’t be managed for several years….3 months and she was gone….
It’s all a crap shoot…. A good chunk of my debt is from the vet bills. Do I regret the expense – sure, I do, on the treatments that didn’t work!
As for pet insurance…I think the best bet is to invest the money one would spend on pet insurance into a dedicated account for pet expenses. Something I hope to do when I eliminate the existing debt!

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12 Money Beagle September 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I have two older cats that both have health issues that require special diet and medicine. My wife and I have discussed this and are of the opinion that we can handle minor adjustments if need be, but anything more major than that probably will require us to take the ‘tough path’ given their age, previous issues, and likelihood of the treatments not resulting in any length of meaningful time.

At a certain point, you just have to ask whether the treatment is to benefit their life or your life. Our one cat has slowly failing kidneys. To give her treatment in the form of additional liquid injections improves her life by slowing the failure process. To consider dialysis or kidney transplants? At the age of nearly 16? That would not be for her benefit yet those are the things the vet has discussed and I’m sure that many would consider.

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13 Emily September 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I want to go hug my dog now….

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14 Tiffany September 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm

My husband and I have a 4 yrs terrier that thinks she is our human daughter. I would say I would probably be like your wife and try to do everything possible to keep her going. My husband would look at it from a financial standpoint and probably say enough is enough long before I would. The sad part is that dog loves him more the life itself yet I would be the one fighting to spend whatever the cost.

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15 L.G. September 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I would spend the money to save my animals, easily even if I had to go into debt. The one thing I regret about not doing with my cat who died in January(she was 16, and died at home naturally) was not getting radiation to get rid of the non-cancerous tumor on her thyroid. I choose medication instead, and she had initially gained weight, but she was always a small cat(when she was pregnant she got up to 12 pounds and then went back to 6 pounds), and I feel now that it would have allowed her to keep the weight on, because she wouldn’t take all of her medication. She still had a lot of energy, but she hated the meds. But I didn’t like the idea of poisoning her to fix her, especially since I couldn’t ask her! Then when she did die, I found it would cost $1000 to bury her with my dog(in the same plot) who had died when I was 13, and they were best friends, it was weird because my parents had bought the plot already, and it only cost them $150 10 years earlier. I hope your cat lives a lot longer, it’s so sad when pets die.

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16 Jade September 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Sorry to hear about your cat. It’s very sad, I just lost my dog a few months ago to cancer. It was so sudden and now my other dog has cushings disease. Vet bills are very expensive.

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17 Stephanie September 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm

For me, I’d have no problem laying out money for my feline overlord, unless he wasn’t going to have his quality of life. In my head, I’d love to say that I’d cap it at $5K, but I know I’d have a hard time putting a limit on the amount, provided he would be happy and pain free.

BTW – his quality of life includes scaling one of his scratching posts and “owling”. It’s all the rage, and the cool kids are doing it!

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18 Brandy September 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Ive had 3 pups and 2 kitties pass since 2006. Three had to be put to sleep (2 pups and a cat) and 2 died naturally (pup and cat). They all had good lifes and fairly long lives (2 pups were 19 and one over 20). The vet kinda made my decisions, prolonging a blind 19 yr old pups life wasnt good for him and he had 19 years and one cat had crf stage 4 and we could keep him alive but at what cost to him.

Funny story, I took the CRFs sister and litter mate in to check her for crf too. The vet said she was CRF free but has FIV. I was thrilled and the vet was like “why are you so happy” and I explained that if she had CRF too, thats a death sentence basically, no coming back, but with her just being FIV+ she can have more good years to come. Vet thought I was crazzzy.

My cats are getting older now and I watch all them for any signs of slowing down. I worry about them all but they have had great lives. Ive had my babies cremated. We couldnt bury them if we wanted to since we have such little dirt on bedrock. Its hard for us to plant bushes or flowers so no real digging.

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19 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager September 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm

My brother and I had to put down our childhood dog last October. It was really rough, but money wasn’t the deciding factor. The quality of life was. She was this super energetic lab for the longest time (she lived for 13 years) and had stopped eating, coming to the door when people came home and walking. She was just too old and too sick to spend large amounts of money on to keep her around for our sake for a couple more days, weeks or months.

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20 USAA September 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm

We’re a team full of animal lovers here at USAA, so we’re glad to hear Bob is doing well! We’ll keep the positive vibes coming. Have a great week! -Analisa

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21 Chrysilla September 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Aww, poor kitteh. One of my family’s cats got sick a few years ago with lymphoma. While you can treat it in cats in the same way that you treat it in humans, when they factored in her age and life expectancy, my parents decided to just keep her comfortable with pain killers until she was ready to go.

Long term, tho, both their cats had problems with their kidneys and bladders due to dehydration, b/c (they are sweet but dumb and) they don’t realize water is for drinking. My dad started mixing lots of extra water into their wet food every morning and evening, so they got hydrated and the kidney problems went away. He also squeezes a vitamin e capsule onto their wet food, which seemed to do pretty well for them. While one passed away, the other is a healthy (but now somewhat lazy) 16 year old with very plush fur.

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22 Natalie @ Mango September 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Hi J Money. I’m happy to hear the good news about your cat! But I’m sorry that you guys are in the situation at all.I’ve had to pay some ridiculous vet bills for my dog, but I am okay with it, of course, because he still has a good quality of life, which is what I think it comes down to, more than finances. Your mention of animal insurance reminded me of this post, though, from Mint that breaks down the cost of owning an animal. Looks like a lot more small dog owners have insurance than others. Anyway, it’s a really interesting breakdown and if you’re looking to own a pet of any kind, you should always educate yourself on the costs first! http://www.mint.com/blog/how-to/considering-pet-ownership-heres-how-much-to-budget-082011/?display=wide

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23 Jen @ Master the Art of Saving September 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I’m so happy that Bob is okay. :-) I don’t know what our limit would be for Roxy (our puppy) and it’s kinda hard to set one. We should probably look into pet insurance so that we (hopefully) won’t have to ever set one.

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24 retirebyforty September 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm

One of our cat is about 15 years old. She lost quite a bit of weight earlier this year and we were a bit worried, but she seems okay lately. I don’t know…. If she can’t enjoy her life anymore, then it’s probably time to let her go…

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25 cashflowmantra September 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Fortunately, we haven’t had to deal with an older sick pet, but our 7 yr old cockapoo jumped out of the car into oncoming traffic last year. He was killed instantly, but my wife scooped him up and brought him to the vet in case he wasn’t really gone (I was at work). Turns out he was and nothing could be done. Our other pets are healthy. Three cats, two more cockapoos, and 4 cockapoo puppies (if anyone wants one).

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26 gloria-victoria September 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm

We have had to face the situation and it is not easy. My vet said that ‘we will know when’ and we did. He was 21 and my DH’s ‘cat-son.’

I learned how to give shots & pills, give IV Fluids, coax him into eating, dealt with constipation (Pumpkin puree mixed with wet cat food) and test his blood sugar/dispense insulin (10 years!). His last 6 months were the worst and very similar to a human’s rapid decline late in life. I think that going through his illness and death made me more aware of the changes in my Mother during her last few months.

We now have a savings account just to cover the vet bills for the 16, 11 and 2 year olds still with us.

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27 ShoeGal September 20, 2011 at 1:49 am

I am glad to hear that he is okay. And really I do not know how much I would do to save my cat but I do not think the financial aspect would be a factor…he’s family. A close friend of mine didn’t go on vacation last summer because their 12 year old cat (who they had just adopted earlier in the year) got sick. I think that once I get my own pet I would start an EFund just for that purpose.

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28 Nathan McDonald September 20, 2011 at 5:46 am

This blog nearly made me cry!! I’ve got 6 cats (all still young mind) but the thought of any of them getting old it really upsetting, god forbid if anything were to happen to them! ><

a couple of them have used their lives already, one fell in an icy canal and was hit by a car (two separate incidents) Luckily he got better, but I don't know how I'd cope with the old age bit :-(

You've sort of sold the pet insurance side of things to me now though, it's bloody costly to help them over in England should anything happen to their cute furyness! I'd be devastated!!

Thanks for the information, I'm gonna go have a little look around the rest of your blog :-)

Nathan

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29 Stephanie September 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm

So glad your cat is ok!!!

For me, the decision is almost entirely about the animal’s well-being and quality of life.

When my husband and I had our first set of rats (2 females) I spent $300 per rat for each of them to have tumors removed and to have them spayed while they were under (removing their lady-parts reduces their estrogen levels, which in turn reduces the likelihood of future mammary tumors). My parents thought I was crazy, but they were both barely over a year old at the time. Ultimately, both girls had to be put down, but they were nearly 3 (typical life expectancy for a rat) when the time came. And yes, I cried like a baby both times.

Right now we have 2 boys, both about 2 1/2. If one of them got a tumor, I’d probably opt to keep them comfortable as long as possible and put them down if or when it interfers with their quality of life. It just doesn’t seem fair to put a geriatric rat through the stress of surgery when, quite frankly, either of them could just as easily pass away from old age in a matter of months, or even weeks. We actually did have a scare recently, I thought one of them had an ulcerated tumor on his side, but as it turns out it was just a ruptured sebaceous cyst which had drained on its own and is healing up quite nicely. *phew!*

As for our dog, he’s only 5 and apart from occasional ear infections he’s healthy as a horse. But I couldn’t put a price on keeping him healthy. As far as I’m concerned, it’s all about what is most humane for him. If something were to happen to him, the question would be whether treatment would actually improve his quality of life or just extent his life while keeping him in pain. It’s a difficult decision, but too often pet owners force their little ones to cling to life because they are the ones who don’t want to say goodbye.

Our degus are also doing well, they’ll be 4 next month and typical captive degu life expectancy is 5-8 years. But they’re such unusual pets (we life in northwest NJ, my husband had to drive to Yonkers, NY just to find them!) that I’m not entirely sure even an exotics vet would have significant expertise with these little guys should they get sick. So fingers crossed they live long, heathly lives and die peacefully in their sleep of old age. ;-)

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30 J. Money September 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Thanks for all the stories and tips everyone – really helps out :) I think the wifey’s enjoying even more than me since she can relate to them all better. You gusy rock.

@Alexa – YES! Fingers crossed indeed :) I hope she stays the same! That money talk is always the worst :(
@Heather – Oh no, I’m sorry to hear! Will you keep us updated on how it all goes? That is sad :(
@Nicole – I agree with you. If they’re in tons of pain, and no treatment is guaranteed to work, then I think we’d be in the same boats as well. Though it’s always so sad living through it. I hope your next pets live long and healthy lives! :)
@Darla – Haha, your first line there cracked me up ;) Traded up! Haha… that’s awesome. And also crazy about all those vet bills, I can’t even imagine. Okay, well actually I can since we have to give our cat like 5 medicines a day (bleh!) but you’re right in that it’s a major financial responsibility! I know I’d be okay for a while living with only our other little cat down the road, but the wifey just adores them and I’m sure we’ll be getting a new one not too far after Mr. Bob eventually passes… whatever makes her happy though :)
@Melissa – Agreed! Let’s hope it’s years before any of our next problematic vet visit :) Glad yours has been healthy so far!
@graduate.living – Oh wow, that’s a lot of trouble :( Sorry to hear. I agree one-eyed animals are still just as loveable and awesome as their 2-eyed counterparts :) As long as they’re still happy and movin’ around smoothly, it wouldn’t bother me a bit either! (one of my old roomates used to have a 1-eyed cat and she was one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen).
@LB – Haha.. I love that you call them fuzzies! That is awesome, I might have to start doing that ;)
@Yana – How interesting. Didn’t know dogs even *liked* eggs and broccoli? Or that it was even safe/healthy for them? that’s awesome :) you’re smart over there!
@F – Wowwwwwww that IS great!!! She doesn’t live in the DC/MD area by chance does she? ;)
@OverMyHead – Oh man, that must have been hard, I’m sorry :( I’d be pretty upset if the surgeries/treatment didn’t work out after spending all that money too. Boy… good idea on putting money aside vs. getting insurance, we might have to start doing that soon.
@Money Beagle – Yeah, our cat is in the same boat w/ those kidneys – we give him like 3-4 shots a day just to stablize it all :( Don’t think we’d be up for the surgery either down the road, and neither would he! Bob’s getting feisty in his old age ;)
@Emily – Awww do it! Hug him/her every day and always love the little guy!
@Tiffany – Us guys can be that way sometimes ;) But luckily you wives are good at putting things in perspective for us!
@L.G. – Oh man, that’s a hard decision to begin with though – not knowing which treatment would work :( At least you did the best you could w/ the knowledge you had back then! Who knows if the other one would have even made it worse? We haven’t researched pet burials yet, but we’ll probably just find a place in the forest somewhere and then do it ourselves… sad to think about either way.
@Jade – Oh no! Sorry to hear about your animals too :(
@Stephanie – Haha, that’s cute :) You should film him doing it so that you can alway watch him!! :)
@Brandy – Sad!!!! I can’t even imagine that :(
@Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – Yeah, at least it’s an easy call sometimes. That’s what we’re hoping for once that fateful day comes.
@USAA – Thanks USAA & Team! Appreciate you stopping by :)
@Chrysilla – Ooooh that’s an interesting idea… we have to change his diet a little here too, but i like the mixing of water into it all – and the vitaman e too, maybe we’ll try it?
@Natalie @ Mango – Oh cool, thanks :) Will check it out.
@Jen @ Master the Art of Saving – I hope Roxy lives to be an old and happy pup!
@retirebyforty – Yeah, you can tell when they give up too I feel like… def. don’t want them to be miserable and sad that whole time :(
@cashflowmantra – Oh man, that is crazy!! That’s my wife’s fear that our animals would do that too! :( Sad… glad your others are relatively healthy! :)
@gloria-victoria – Oh jeez, that sounds hard :( Interesting that it helped w/ your Mother’s health though? That’s kinda cool. Thanks for sharing :)
@ShoeGal – Yeah, it’s def. true they become family after a while… though I sometimes need a good reminder once the money starts becoming a major factor ;)
@Nathan McDonald – Oh no! Your one cat is a trouble maker! haha… glad he came out of it okay, he’s got some crazy strength :)
@Stephanie – Degus? Had to google that one! Haha… they’re so cute! (and tiny!) That’s cool y’all love those kinds of pets so much, most people would be freaked by rats and their counterparts. My ex actually had a couple for school and testing stuff, but then got attached to them and kept ‘em as pets :) It was cute. But you’re right, they don’t last that long unfortunately. Hope your Degus keep going strong!

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31 Stephanie September 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm

J.Money – They really are adorable. Like someone crossed a squirrel and a chinchilla and miniaturized it. They like to climb inside my shirt and take naps and it kind of makes my heart melt.

I’ve always loved rodents. My parents got a couple of hamsters for me when I was about 3 years old to teach me responsibility, I don’t think they realized what they were getting themselves into. I’ve had hamsters, a hedgehog, rats, degus, and at one point I had a total of 14 gerbils!

And Yana’s right, my dog goes NUTS for scrambed eggs. And they’re actually quite good for dogs, they’re a great source of protein and help keep their coats shiny and healthy. My dog’s a very active English pointer and we have trouble keeping weight on him even with high-protein dog food, so he gets plenty of eggs and peanut butter to supplement the kibble.

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32 Yana September 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm

I’d expect that most dogs like scrambled eggs, but I don’t really know if that goes for broccoli. The point of the broccoli was to get water in Maggie, since it is very watery when cooked soft, and we only give her a couple of florets. She happens to love broccoli. I also tried the canned pumpkin that I’d heard recommended by a friend whose vet suggested it, but I did not really like the results of that – although had Maggie been eating more and constipated, maybe it would have been a good thing ;) Putting the eggs on top of her regular dog food encouraged her to continue eating past the eggs, and we salted the eggs lightly so that she’d want water. Also, if I haven’t mentioned this before, I highly recommend Fresh Pet Select chicken and vegetable refrigerated dog food/roll. Maggie has been dancing for that for years now. True love :D

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33 Stephanie September 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm

@Yana, thanks for the dog food recommendation! I’m always looking for new ways to spoil my pup. ;-) And actually, Elvis does like broccoli, too. And cooked spinach (but not raw, he’ll chew on it a bit and spit it out), or just about any cooked veggie, really. He also looooves crunching on raw carrots. And his passionate love affair with peanut butter extends to peanut butter on apple slices (one of my favorite snacks, he always begs for me to share), to the point that he’ll eat plain apples because he’s come to associate them with peanut butter. He’s such a weirdo. ;-)

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34 Yana September 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Stephanie – I use the Fresh Pet Select as a daily treat. I originally got it to bribe Maggie into letting me trim her toenails – what it turned into is a daily diced slice of treat at 4:30 pm :) She always has a bowl of dry dog food as her regular food.

I cracked up at your story about Elvis eating the plain apples from the peanut butter association! Maggie is supplemented with the best of what we eat, as I don’t consider some things we eat to be good enough for her.

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35 Molly September 21, 2011 at 9:19 am

When I called my vet about the health of my chicken she wanted me to take her in for an x-ray to see if there was an egg stuck. Sorry to the animal lovers out there but I did not take her in for an x-ray. She did recover (I put her in a hot bath and got the egg out myself!).
Growing up my Mom would only buy cat food for all the animals (she’s a natural streamliner) and their cats and dogs would live to be an average of of 17 years old! As an adult when I got my first dog she made fun of me for getting the ‘fancy’ kind of food (and species specific).

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36 J. Money September 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm

@Stephanie – Hah! They go up your shirt?? There’s a lot of jokes I can make right there but I’ll stop ;) Glad you found some pets you adore though, that’s awesome. I didn’t even know owning a hedgehog was legal???
@Yana – You guys are making me hungry!!! Haha… I could use some scrambled eggs (and cheese) like woah up in here.
@Molly – A chicken x-ray?!!! Hahaa.. you don’t hear that every day, that’s for sure ;) Smart move trying it out yourself though – never thought about eggs getting stuck? Poor chickens! (and again – y’all are making me hungry!)

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37 Sarah Smith September 22, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I’m a bit biased, because I am studying veterinary technology after all, but I would pay pretty much anything to keep my kitties healthy. I think the most you’ll pay (avg) for a procedure is $3,000, but it’s how many of those you’ll need that gets most people scared. And most pets don’t require that kind of care. It’s one of those things you need to take into account when you agree to adopt a pet, and when you decide what type of food to feed him/her. If you want to buy cheap, dry food, you’re sacrificing your pet’s health and will likely wind up paying for your choice later on (literally). Folks also don’t realize this, but a cat, dog, rabbit, or any other animal, needs a check up just like we do. Vets recommend a physical exam & diagnostic (fecal, blood, urine) tests once every 6mos – year, especially for a senior animal. A lot of the time it’s the only way you will catch something before it is too late.

And let us not forget the importance of pet insurance. I just bought policies for my fur kids on gopetplan.com, who have great customer service & rates, even for older animals.

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38 Sarah Smith September 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm

P.S. I’m glad Mr. Bob is doing better!!! He is a cutie!

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39 Briana @ 20 and Engaged September 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm

That happened to us a couple years back. Our Rotweiler Buster had a huge tumor and it was going to cost too much for non-guaranteed results. We had to let him go :( Same with his big brother, our German Shepard King. He had some health issues too that were going to cost a few thousand dollars to fix, and he was already up in age. It hurts when you lose a pet, but cherish the time you have together. I now have a 5 month old Jack Russell Terrier / Chihuahua mix, Frankie, and he’s a fur ball of fun. Like you said, you know the number when it comes up.

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40 J. Money September 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm

@Sarah Smith – Oh cool!!! I didn’t know that’s what you were studying :) Thanks for the tips! I learned real quick about the checkins a couple times a year, and good food and all that, but man – just the routine stuff adds up over time… and while Bob didn’t pass this time around, he’s already acting up again :( We’re literally giving him IV fluids at home now, each day, in hopes of leveling him off. I know my wife def. wants to keep doing it and I’m totally fine with that, but we’re not too sure how his quality of life will actually be if we keep it up. Only 1 week down, but keep sending happy thoughts! :) Glad your little guys are safe and sound. (And good luck in school! I saw a recent tweet about getting an A in something? Woohoo!)

@Briana @ 20 and Engaged – Awwww, well glad you guys appreciated them while you could :) We’re def. in the “he can go any day” phase so every morning and night (and day) we’re loving up on him thinking it could be our last. So glad we have that option now though, cuz the dying out of nowhere route is the worst :(

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