Private Dogcare

If you have a pet, you will already be aware of the spiralling costs of making sure it is healthy and free of pain.

In the UK, with the benefit of our NHS, we are sometimes reminded of the cost of private healthcare in countries like America. If you have a pet, especially a dog with various ongoing medical conditions, the reality of how much that costs can be sobering indeed.

Ollie has to have a painkiller every day, because of arthritis in his front leg joints. If he doesn't have the tablet, you will soon notice him walking stiff-legged, and reluctant to walk at all on any hard surfaces, like pavements. Then when he wakes up the next morning, it takes some time for him to 'get going'.

So we pay for the tablets. Of course we do.

For some time now, the cost of a 30day supply has been £38. That works out to £456 a year, close to £8.80 a week. I have just been to Swaffham to collect his repeat prescription, only to find that the tablet has now 'increased in dose to make it more effective'. Along with that increase in efficacy has come an increase in price.

A 30-day supply now costs just over £46, an £8 increase in just one month. That's an extra £96 a year we have to find, without warning, and with no viable altenative to a painkiller that we know works well for Ollie, and makes him comfortable in his old age. An annual cost now of £552, or £10.62 a week. That is without the possibility of Ollie needing treatment for ear or skin infections, dental treatment, or anything else that may befall our beloved dog in his twilight years.

Naturally, we will pay. But what about people who cannot afford it? These constantly increasing Vet fees will only have one outcome. More pets will be left in pain, and other pets will be abandoned, or given up to rescue centres.

42 thoughts on “Private Dogcare

  1. I know that owning a dog when I was growing up was much less expensive. We didn’t have all those prevention drugs and most skin conditions and other issues went untreated. I don’t think we were uncaring, I just remember that we didn’t think of dogs as needing a lot of care. Now it really is a financial decision to take a dog in. I know we thought about it before getting Emmy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I often think about those who cannot pay. Hubby has macular degeneration, and his once-a-month eyeball injection (I know…creepy) would cost over $5,000 without insurance. Without the injection, he would go blind. We are on Medicare, but have a supplement plan. Everyone does. That plan is nearly $500 a month, which is terrible. Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The prospect of private medicine here is terrifying to English people. My wife has T2 Diabetes, and all of her treatment and drugs are free. If that changed, she might be expected to pay up to $400 a month for tablets alone, which we would struggle to find as things stand.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I just got a reminder for 4 of our 11 cats (mostly “leftover” from my foster home…no way I was going to re-abandon them when life changed). I cringe, make the appointments and hope no expensive dramas crop up. Three of the cats have daily meds, not to mention my own that are only partly covered. It’s absolutely wicked. Was just thinking about all the cats I found homes for, years ago. Probably mostly gone by now and I ask what difference did it make, ultimately? But it makes me feel better knowing that perhaps I saved a few creatures from unnecessary suffering. Hugs to Ollie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It can amount to quite a lot, can’t it? We’re spending a lot just now on one of our kitties, Mr. Pickwick. So far, since he was diagnosed with glaucoma plus an infection leat last year, it’s been very close to $2000 for vets’ exmas, blood work, and (ongoing) medication. But then, if you have an animal, you take good care of it, don’t you? Like you do with Ollie.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The one attempt to solve America’s health care issues was a disaster for the working class. The employer was supposed to pay for full-time workers, so they fired everyone who worked over twenty hours. I know people who were let go for complaints that were vague and four years old. That meant they had to hold down two part-time jobs that often had conflicting hours. Plus, they had to pay the outrageous cost of health care or be in violation of the law. America will not ever have a reasonable answer to healthcare because of the insurance and drug companies. I have one medication that costs $225.00 dollars a month. it went down this year but will rise by year’s end because of some sort of bubble. It’s all a vicious circle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know many American bloggers who have to pay huge amounts for Diabetes drugs. In the UK, Diabetes is termed a ‘lifelong illness’, so the drugs are free of all charges. At least for now, untl Boris gets his way to bring in ‘means-testing’.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I heard that some people drive to Canada to buy Diabetes drugs much cheaper there. I suppose that depends on where you live in the US to make it practical.
          My wife has T2 Diabetes, and her drugs are free for life. (So far)


  6. You are right, Pete. We often watch a programme about vets here (an American vet, well, he is Dutch but has lived and worked in the US for many years, Dr Pol), and although they don’t do much high tech stuff in his surgery, and are always keen to try to find a cheap option if possible, they mentioned that some of the farmers who usually had them check their herds and flocks once a year, to prevent illnesses, now felt they couldn’t afford it. And those are people who do it for commercial purposes and get a return from it, so yes, with treatments getting more and more sophisticated for pets, the price is increasing. I know some people use pet insurance, but I am sure the issues will be similar to those with human health insurance: some conditions will not be covered, and the fee will increase every year and with age, so…
    There are animal and vet charities, but this does not solve the bigger problem.
    I hope Ollie’s pain is better controlled with the new dose of medication.
    Take care.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We had pet insurance until Ollie was 8 years old. Then the company cancelled the policy because they had spent too much on all his care and numerous operations. By that time, it was already costing us £96 a month in premiums, so now we save that money into a separate account. The painkillers now use up almost half of what we put by though.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  7. Ollie needs to help out by getting a part-time job as muntjac deer observer, as there is a need to assess the health of the barking population. He could also work for animal toy retailers by rating stuffed animals on a scale of one to five tail wags.

    Liked by 1 person

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