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Pet care - ya know what the problem is??

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I live in a lower-income neighborhood in town here (Fremont, CA). The area's not trashy or anything, but it's the cheaper-housing part of town, and many of the people here live on pretty modest incomes; few new, expensive cars, fancy stereos or any of that stuff. Pets of all kinds are VERY popular, but cats and dogs tend to run free.

One of the problems with caring for pets is that vets are almost prohibitively expensive anymore!! It's almost as bad as human doctors, and insurance doesn't cover it. When we adopted Yoda last summer, after finding him sitting in the sun with pus coming out of his closed eyes, all the directly-related medical expenses to get him healthy ran nearly $2000 !! If we hadn't done all of that, he would have at minimum been blind, but more likely would have just died.

Even bringing home a healthy kitten costs $100-$200 for initial treatments; if our neighbors with the elderly cat wanted to take her in and see what's going on with her, and then treat her rather than put her to sleep, would likely run hundreds of dollars. They have a weed-grown yard and drive decade-old cars; they clearly don't have that kind of disposable income, even were they so inclined.

Unlike us, most people really *don't* consider their pets to be on the same scale of importance as their human family members, and these kinds of costs are just out of the question for many of them... with the result that the companion animals end up just not getting the care that they need...

Yeah, so what's your point, derelict?? I'm not sure, maybe I just needed to rant some... it's not like I expect vets to work for free or anything, Pet Doctors Sans Frontiers or any such... but it's hard to blame other families that don't take their pets to the vet regularly, and yet that is sooo important to their healthy lives...

hmmmph... rant rant rant... sorry everyone...
post #2 of 19
I totally understand, it IS expensive to go to the vet. I finally decided that getting pet insurance was the best way to go.
post #3 of 19
If cats are eating HEALTHY FOOD, there is no need for a vet. Also, cats don't need to get vacinated once a year.

http://cats.kenanderson.net/html/comparisons.html

http://cats.kenanderson.net/html/vaccinations.html
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcats View Post
If cats are eating HEALTHY FOOD, there is no need for a vet.
Uh, that's a bit of an extreme statement.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by catcaregiver View Post
Uh, that's a bit of an extreme statement.

Yes it is! If people are going to own a cat, they should not let it roam around without taking care of it. They should give it love, attention, good food. Some people who own cats don't treat their beloved pets properly.

I should have said, if the cat eats healthy food and is taken care of properly, a vet's attention would not be required on a regular basis.
post #6 of 19
I agree with healthy food requiring less vet care BUT NOT none.... that chart is lousy for picking oneIMHO...

you can get decent food without a big price tag at most stores

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...ht=grocery+dry

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...ht=grocery+dry

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...=grocery+foods

these links may help you see if you are feeding what many of us deem a healthy food
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Besides which, when things DO go wrong (or you don't know whether they've gone wrong), the price of answering questions is painfully high. The thin, elderly cat that I've been recently discussing her is a case in point (besides being the catalyst for this train of though/discussion as well)...

Clearly, the owners cannot afford to take him to the vet (at least, not *our* vet, who is excellent but is NOT inexpensive), so the only option they are considering is "should we have him put down or not??", and I'm sure even that is a cost consideration for them. When I had Brainy put to sleep after he was diagnosed with cancer last year (may he rest in eternal peace and sunlight), it was over $100, not counting having him cremated and returned to us in a little cask, which the neighbors probably won't do, and don't need to.

In the meantime, if the cost wasn't so significant, we wouldn't hesitate to just take over care of the old man from them, but we're filled up with our existing brood and can't afford another. It just really frustrates me...
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcats View Post
If cats are eating HEALTHY FOOD, there is no need for a vet. Also, cats don't need to get vacinated once a year.
That's a bit insulting to those of us who feed the best food and give the best possible care and have still ended up with vet bills, perhaps a little more tact in the phrasing would have been a nice idea?

Healthy food does not mean that a cat will never get a bacterial infection or a virus, it doesn't prevent a missed landing from a jump tearing a tendon or ligament, it won't stop a scratch gained through over-enthusiastic play with a companion from requiring vet treatment, nor will it prevent a cat from getting old and its organs becoming less efficient. Vet care will always be necessary at some point.
post #9 of 19
[quote=Epona;1999063]That's a bit insulting to those of us who feed the best food and give the best possible care and have still ended up with vet bills, perhaps a little more tact in the phrasing would have been a nice idea? QUOTE]


Sorry, did not mean to insult those who do feed healthy foods and end up with unhealthy pets or pets with some sort of ailment. I was insulting the neighbor who allows his cat to roam around, skinny and possibly wormy.

I will pray for more tact.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcats View Post
Sorry, did not mean to insult those who do feed healthy foods and end up with unhealthy pets or pets with some sort of ailment. I was insulting the neighbor who allows his cat to roam around, skinny and possibly wormy.

I will pray for more tact.
Ahhhhhh that makes sense, sorry for jumping to conclusions
post #11 of 19
Hi, half the problem goes back (a long time!) to the fact people don't neuter their pets, and then the babies end up who knows where (whether on purpose or otherwise) making new babies, and they're all over looking for attention, SO people take them in, but then can't always pay for unexpected care, or neutering, etc., and the beat goes on. Most people do care, but the cycle is so entrenched it's hard to break. Children bug their parents for pets, so the parents give in, go to the SPCA, but then can't afford follow up care (even if neutering's been done), and ... and.. and.. Something radical certainly needs to be done, but it'll take a long time. Join and support a group catching (humanely) strays, getting them neutered at a reduced rate, then allowing them back to wherever they came from (it's better than putting them down a lot of the time). Don't take in animals if you can't support them decently (like.. don't have kids if you can't really take proper care of them) - mean as that sounds - because you're just going to make things worse.
post #12 of 19
I do agree that vets overcharge, at least in my experience. I have 4 cats and just recently one of them got a sore throat. I took him to the vet and it cost $80 for a quick look at his throat and his meds.

I don't have a problem with that, but then my next cat got the exact same symptoms, the swallowing, unproductive retching- EXACTLY what the first cat had. The vet made me bring that cat in too- another $80 for the exact same treatment.

Then 2 of my foster kitties started having the same symptoms. You guessed it- they made me bring those guys in to get the meds. I get a reduced fee for them but it was fairly ridiculous for them to charge me, and if these were children I don't think the pediatrician would make me bring each child in for a visit.

On the shots thing, I would agree except you need to be careful about illnesses coming into your house in the form of other pets or in my case, foster kitties, or kitties who hiss through the screen door.
post #13 of 19
BarbB...at least your vet gave you a reduced fee! ;-)

I am still blown away by this whole cultural slant towards disposable pet syndrome...but that's off topic...sorry.

More on topic would be a quick jaunt back to a comment about cats, presumably indoor cats, not requiring yearly vaccinations.

My vet sends me or rather my cats endless mailers telling them they're overdue for their shots... $99/yr for shots not including the visit & the trauma of loading them up and carting them off to the scary vet place.
post #14 of 19
Oh, the reduced fee is only for the foster cats that is an arrangement worked out between the shelter and the vet. No such thing for my own cats, mind you!

And it isn't much of a reduction. Let's just say the group I work with began doing their own shots and meds to be able to keep at water level.

I get those reminders too and they drive me crazy. I think they should give bulk discounts! People with many cats should get a discount!
post #15 of 19
As people are becoming smarter via Internet regarding their pets, veterinarians are probably aware of this and raise their prices to make up for how uninformed pet owners were 15-20 years ago regarding food, vaccinatons, etc.

Without the Internet, who would know about over-vaccination? Or, certain kinds of cat food might cause problems? Certain kinds of cat food+vaccinations=$$
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcats View Post


Sorry, did not mean to insult those who do feed healthy foods and end up with unhealthy pets or pets with some sort of ailment. I was insulting the neighbor who allows his cat to roam around, skinny and possibly wormy.

I will pray for more tact.

So, really the problem isn't that the neighbor isn't feeding healthy food, it sounds like he's just not caring for the cat at all. Yes healthy food may help keep a cat healthy, but you made it sound like a miracle cure for any of your cats ailments. Your simplifying it way too much. You'd be naive to beleive that just feeding your cat healthy food would completely eliminate ones frequency that they have to take their cat to the vet.
post #17 of 19
Vet charges are what they are due to overhead. Including ... malpractice insurance ... attorney fees ... consultant fees to prevent malpractice suits ... security systems ... you name it. So they must pay for things that do not benefit you or your pet directly.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaLou View Post
So, really the problem isn't that the neighbor isn't feeding healthy food, it sounds like he's just not caring for the cat at all. Yes healthy food may help keep a cat healthy, but you made it sound like a miracle cure for any of your cats ailments. Your simplifying it way too much. You'd be naive to beleive that just feeding your cat healthy food would completely eliminate ones frequency that they have to take their cat to the vet.
Yes, healthy food was a miracle cure for MY cat's alopecia, and her whiskers, her shedding, and her personality. She was miserable during the 9 years I was feeding her garbage.

Garbage in, garbage out.
post #19 of 19
I also forgot to add that MY (don't know about any other cats) cat, Mittens, doesn't have an ugly, hanging, swinging, pouchy stomach, which almost hung to the floor after I started feeding her quality food. (I noticed her stomach disappeared this month)

My dk's used to ask me what and why was her stomach doing that? I did not know at the time, I always thought because she was 9 years old.
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