Monday, July 27, 2009

Medical treatment for pets: How much money is too much?

Los Angeles Times
July 25, 2009

As writer Emily Green notes, "[a]s pets live longer, illnesses get pricey. Deciding when to stop is painful." Read the rest of her column here...


Enia said...

I constantly hear people say this and to me, this is the absolutely wrong question. I know that majority of society would consider me crazy but here it goes.

It's never too much if it can restore the animal's health. Isn't that the statement that most people would agree with if asked about a loved one?

I think a far more important question becomes: will it help my animal or will it simply prolong a painful, debilitating illness?

Because while I would spare no expense to save my animals, I would certainly prefer that they never have to suffer through a long and painful recovery.

Louie's Mom said...
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Louie's Mom said...

This can be such a heartwrenching question to ask. Having recently been at this point myself with a chronically ill pet, I've learned that it is important for me to be able to say that I did all I was able to do.

Though we don't want these decisions to be financial, there can also come a time to stem the tide of needless expense by becoming more proactive and sensible about a pet's care. In our case, I had to decide between the expense of repeated tests and hospitalizations each time he'd have an episode of illness, or learning to trust my own instincts and observations about what was going on with him. Sometimes what the vets would like to do isn't the most practical thing, and with chronic illness it can become very important to learn how and when to advocate for and against various treatments. Sometimes you have to learn how to say, "We've seen this before. Can you just treat it, please?"

That being said, I think that in a case such as metastasized cancer, as in the article, it's clear that there does come a time when additional treatment is not in the best interest of the animal.

Some people keep terminally ill pets alive only because they cannot bear the thought of being parted from them. I think the important question to ask is whether the additional expense will result in reasonable quality of life for the pet. Sometimes it is time to let nature take its course and, when nature has reached a certain point, euthanasia is the right decision.

You can read about our experiences with Louie's chronic illness and healthcare at our blog, at

equineback inaction said...

animals treatment is costly suggest me the place where i can make my pet treatment.

A said...

Hi Equine Inaction - I wish I could, but without knowing where you live or what you need, it's just not possible. One good place to start might be with a rescue group for that type of animal; they are usually pretty knowledgeable about local options. Good luck!