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.