How Far Would You Go For Your Pet?

Categories: Advice

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In the old, more heartless days, whenever a pet got sick, most people simply "put it out of its misery" or maybe just walked it into traffic.

But that was then.

Now you hear people who barely take care of their own medical problems saying stuff like, "I'm getting 14 rounds of kitty dialysis for my little Whiskers. If it doesn't work out, we might have to do a transplant."

Huh? For a creature that sheds, causes allergies, demands things all day, doesn't talk, and can barely return a hug?

Or "We're deciding if Roscoe should get radiation or chemo. Maybe both. We'll start with a lumpectomy and then proceed from there."

What? For a freakin' dog?????

Their devotion is touching, but part of me wants to say, "These procedures don't always even work on humans--and you're going to spend a fortune on them for a lowly, caca-for-brains glorified barnyard critter? It was so much easier when we realized their time was up and let it go!"

But there's something about the bond between an owner and a pet that I can't fully fathom--and have never been able to, ever since my pet turtle turned into mush before I could even consider any medical options.

For those in the throes of such devotion, there's no limit to the expense and trouble they'll rack up in the name of caring.

So what about you?

Would you go to the max for your critter?

Would you take them for treatments, get second opinions, and sit there rubbing salve into their surgery scars as they recuperate?

Would you even get them Botox treatments?

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18 comments
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nostradavid
nostradavid

It doesn't sound like a dog was your best friend when you were a kid.I grew up with dogs and cats that were great friends. You learn a lot about love with good buddies like that,and by bearing the responsibility for their care and health.I had a pack of small dogs (pug-minpin-chihuahua mix) until a few years ago, and they all lived healthy to very old age.My oldest girl was blind for the last year of her life, and it wasn't a problem.I carried her outside and back in, picked her up to get on the couch or into bed.She bumped into a few things, but she wasn't going fast enough to get hurt.I didn't take extraordinary measures to keep them going near the end. When their health was failing, it was my responsibility to do the right thing.They spent their final moments in my arms, knowing they were loved.I agree with Denise - quality of life is the deciding factor.I hope somebody loves me that much when my time comes.

Matthew Rettenmund
Matthew Rettenmund

I would spare no expense to save them, and the world would be a better place if more people felt the same about animals, and about other people as well. But PS: Cats steal your breath.

candy
candy

 I actually made the huge regrettable mistake of doing everything for my cats health. He was a pet that was given to me by my first boyfriend when i was a teen, lived into my 30s died at age 20.. Unfortunatly i couldnt see that the vet was taking advantage of my willingness to do everything for my pet--he is a top rated famous vet, put my trust in him,, he took advantage of me-- took thousand from me and my cat suffered a horrible death alone.... What I learned here is that a little animal shouldnt have to go through anything at all...Vets take advantage and lie to make money.... A sick animal is better being put down right away... :(

Melinda9
Melinda9

It's a dilemma. In general, I will spend as much as I can afford. My 3 previous dogs all developed cancer in their older years - I couldn't afford chemo or surgery then and they were all euthanized at some point. Pets depend on their owner to do what they can to keep them healthy - that's probably the most important thing. More important than expensive interventions after they're already sick. Animal medicine is less expensive than human, but it's still not cheap. I spent over $300 last week for my daughter's elderly rabbit that had complications from a cold.

Tiana
Tiana

i have had two animals and i took care of their medical bills to a certain point.....if it got to serious ....im sorry but it was the end of the road ,no point in spending thousands of dollars in chemo and cancer treatments and such things.

corrective_unconscious
corrective_unconscious

Since dogs and cats age about seven times or more as fast as humans, any cancer they get will progress seven times or more as fast, too. That means unless it's really early cancer detection that you just won't get much in terms of additional lifespan for all the money. Plus, there is the stress on the animals from all the visits and procedures, chemo in particular.

I am not crazy about some veterinary interventions I have seen on senior animals, but people get attached and will, actually, act selfishly while providing some vet with a lot of billables.

rolph
rolph

"Transgendered cat," lol. So cute.

Jonster
Jonster

Aww, I had to put my transgendered cat Columbus down on Tuesday.  (The vet was a little careless with the scalpel when I had him neutered.)  I had him 17 years, and he was the best dog I ever had (he knew I was a dog person and tried to act accordingly).  I would've done anything to keep him going, spent any amount of money, but he was ready to go.  Since then, I've been noticing dead mice by the front door.  I think the neighborhood cats are dropping off "casseroles." 

Bigs
Bigs

Doesn't a pet give unconditional love because you're the one who feeds them? They ned you to stay alive. If someone else fed them, THEY'D be the one getting the unconditional love.

corrective_unconscious
corrective_unconscious

I mistakenly "liked" your post. Dogs try to understand what their "job" is relative to the owner, and if the owner can't make that clear you begin to have the neurotic behaviors from the dog set in. These jobs can be menacing bodyguard, intruder alerter, finder of a biologically fertile opposite sex partner, same sex date magnet, social secretary/greeter, cheerleader/mood stabilizer or generic companion.

Cats generally understand that it is your job to wait on them. If the owner can't get this clear then the neurotic behaviors from the cat set in.

Statistics show that both dogs and cats, but particularly dogs, can increase health and longevity of owners in many different ways. One example would be better survival rates after a heart attack. Another would be by increasing oxytocin in your system.

Again, cats are different in that they can make you ill. I don't just mean in fully understood ways of normal zootropic disease transmission. I mean in mysterious ways, maybe by toxo in the litter or by behavior.

These relationships are highly symbiotic when healthy, not parasitic. Even if a pet would adapt to a new owner by finding a new job with that person it doesn't mean there isn't something more going on than just a con for food.

My last dog would have done anything for me, I believe, but he was crazy for a friend of mine who was calmer and more dominant than I am. There is a world of subtleties available in the interactions between humans and domesticated pets - companions - that should not so easily be reduced as you have done.

corine
corine

A pet gives unconditional love. I would do anything for my pet if I had the money to have one. I don't have the money for a dog walker three times a day or even more expensive doggie daycare. In NYC it is very expensive to have a dog. If you live in the Country with a doggie door you don't need to spend as much.

I don't have a pet because I would be the kind of dog mommie that buy my pet designer squeaky toys and if he was sick I would do whatever it took to make my baby better. Sadly as a writer with no large salary I can't afford a dog.

Natali
Natali

what I meant to say is that, "The ones at the ACC really someone to save them but it sounds like you want a dog. There is a dog-like breed called Ragdolls. My baby is a Ragdoll and she's beautiful and wonderful and many can be found on Petfinder.

Natali
Natali

You should consider getting a cat. The costs are far less, because there's no need for doggie clothes, day care, walkers, etc. The only thing I need to buy for my cat is her dry food, wet food, filters for her water fountain, litter, litter deodorizer, litter liners and toys. Of course you also need to get food bowls, a litter box and a carrier, those can be found for cheap at Petland Discounts. There are even (fairly) cheap vets.

I would suggest adopting one from the NYACC as every night, a list is posted of the ones on death row (the page is called Pets on Death Row) and every one of them needs  someone to save them but it sounds like you want a dog. There is a dog-like breed called Ragdolls. My baby is a Ragdoll and she's beautiful and wonderful. You can search Petfinder.com for one.

Denise LeBeau
Denise LeBeau

I would do what it takes within reason - quality of life is the deciding factor.

Natali
Natali

Michael, you need to meet my cat. She would make you change your mind about thinking treatment is "For a creature that sheds, causes allergies, demands things all day, doesn't talk, and can barely return a hug?" It's also for a creature that greets you, "speaks" to you, consoles you when you cry, and though not in a human way, hugs you in her own way.

The things people think about cats don't apply to mine because her breed makes her behavior more similar to a dog. But even if she wasn't like that, I'd still love her because I love cats. And yes, I would do everything in my power to help her if G-d forbid she fell ill.

Tybalt
Tybalt

I agree that some of the measures people take to keep their animals alive are absolutely absurd--the product of a capitalistic, entitled society full of false values.

Mercutio
Mercutio

And that is why people always liked me better than you, you twat. Dry up.

Skank
Skank

I would go to the max if I could but I can barely afford my own expenses.

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