Paws for Thought | Complete pet care means be prepared

I GOT YOU: Caring for our pets means providing for all of their needs.
I GOT YOU: Caring for our pets means providing for all of their needs.

Being a responsible pet owner means more than giving your pet a kennel and feeding them. You have to be ready for any kind of emergency.

For vets and nurses working at a vet clinic one of those most upsetting things to deal with is a pet in pain and suffering.

Fortunately we are well trained and have the skills and equipment to make these animals comfortable and then plan on how we will make them better.

Common situations we encounter on a weekly basis are traumatic injuries and also sudden and/or long-standing medical conditions. This week we have treated:

  • Dogs with broken bones from road traffic accidents
  • A small dog who had been attacked by a larger dog requiring open chest surgery.
  • Cats with liver disease who won’t eat
  • A dog with large skin wounds from running in the bush
  • A dog with internal bleeding requiring blood transfusion
  • A cat with complicated diabetes
  • A dog with pancreatitis causing vomiting and pain
  • Dogs with spinal paralysis

With our surgical and medical knowledge we are able to repair the fractures, place skin grafts, monitor and relieve pain and treat the underlying disease. This is all part of a day’s work, seven days a week, as well as being on call every night.

One of the hardest things we encounter has nothing to do with looking after the injured or sick pet; it is working out what to do when the owners are unable to pay for our work and who become aggressive.

The above cases involved hours of difficult work (either in the surgical room or monitoring and treatment in the hospital wards while recovering). It is not unusual for some of these complicated cases to have bills that will reach $2000 or $3000.

Unfortunately there is no Medicare for animals and no ‘bulk billing’ and payment plans don’t help pay the team who fixed the injured pet.  

Please consider how you would pay a $3000 bill to save your pet’s life.

Pet insurance has become a popular way of ensuring that if there was a terrible accident or disease, the majority of the costs would be covered by the insurance company. Alternatively having a savings jar for pet emergencies is another clever way of looking after your pet when they need it.