For many pet owners, their dog or cat is a family member and a new report suggests that, more and more, they are willing to spend as much as they need to on their health care, just as they do for any other member of their family.

According to data submitted to Healthy Paws Pet Insurance for their “Cost of Pet Care 2016 report,” the most common accidents and illnesses for dogs were stomach issues, skin conditions, ear and eye infections, growths, and chronic allergies and pain.

Dr. Grace Anne Mengel, the head of primary care service at Penn School of Veterinary Medicine, Ryan Veterinary Hospital, noted: “A common emergent event is when a dog gets into chocolate. Someone comes home an hour later and sees that the Baker’s chocolate they left on the counter was eaten by the dog and they call the emergency clinic and they come in and we induce vomiting. It’s about $150 just walking in for the exam. Then there’s the medication to make the dog vomit, and activated charcoal to absorb the toxin, and the cost is up to $500.”

For cats, it was stomach and skin issues, urinary tract infections, cancer, kidney disease, eye and ear conditions, and heart and respiratory problems.

But in general, if your fur baby is sick, you can plan on costs looking something like the following:

  • Stomach ailments in pets can cost more than $6,000 to diagnose and treat.
  • Growths and lumps can tally upwards of $15,000.
  • Heart surgeries can run as high as $20,000.
  • Monthly medication bills can add up to more than $100.
  • Ear infections can cost up to $250 a visit.
  • Chiropractic or acupuncture session can cost about $80.

But, don’t we love them and just want them to be happy and healthy? Yes, but when you add on maintenance meds for cancer, pain, even insulin- it can really add up over time. And what happens if you can’t afford the bill? Sometimes there are clinics where costs might be a bit cheaper but other times opting out of surgery might be ok too.


Mengel says while it’s not a vet’s first choice to leave something be, some animals can still have a good quality of life and are able to manage. Always discuss that option with your vet.


Source: CBS News