If you surrendered to a loved one who wanted a pet for Christmas it’s not too late to supplement your gift. Yep – I’m talking money. When animals break or get sick they need to be repaired unlike other gifts which can be returned or trashed.
Animals are for life – or that’s the idea – although I do know of two dogs and a cat that went to new homes when their owners couldn’t cope.
Over the years, some of our pets have notched up big veterinary bills.
Lilac had hyperthyroidism (she went to heaven in May). The symptoms were odd – she stopped hissing at the dogs, was no longer hostile to the cats. When picked up, she’d unfailingly slump, purring, on anyone’s shoulder. She’d always thrown up hair balls, but not food, and her fur seemed sticky, like she’d been in paspalum.
The clever vet’s guess was confirmed by a blood test. Lilac gobbled tablets for the rest of her days – we chose not to shell out $600 for radiation treatment – but regular blood tests meant regular outgoings.
Tara the cat’s decaying teeth made her breath smell like a Chernobyl drain – until a vet did dental work. Dot the cat is allergic to fleas – and perhaps something else, still undefined – while miniscule mites gnaw Floss’s skin (dogs are even more costly than cats) unless I use a special flea and mite killer.
The ills of the farmer’s dog Mo (now deceased) sent her to four-figure vet bill class. She had a growth removed from a mammary gland and snapped something in her leg that required surgery. Kate still suffers occasional pain following a hip op after she got run over, while Floss got skittled as a puppy, had an infected foot and scoffed too much chocolate cake. Chocolate can kill dogs, and the cocoa in cakes delivers a vicious punch. The loss of the cake paled in comparison to the cost of the Sunday treatment to make Floss puke.
So if you gave a pet for Christmas perhaps you could add a savings account. And if you got given an animal, it might be wise to drop hints about its running costs.
Happy 2014 and a big, warm thank you for reading my blog.