Vet bills~and this probably won't be what you expect


I run with scissors
Apr 22, 2006
Long and Low Farms
I felt the need to post about a recent experience. As some of you know, on Tuesday night after a surgery and a long 24 hours at the critical care vet, we had to put Casey, my male doxie to sleep.
The total bill was $7300. And I paid, happily.

Yes. I have heard a number of people complain about vet bills. Does $7300 sound like a lot for 24 hours of intensive care and a surgery? Even thought Casey had to be put to sleep?

You decide. We took Casey to a place I consider to be a center of excellence. When we arrived there was a tech in the waiting room who immediatly took Casey to the back and took vitals, within 5 minutes they ran morphine so Casey was no longer in pain.
Vet examined him and within minutes told us what was wrong. Gave his recommendations.
So why am I not furious at the bill? Here are my reasons:

1. I want my vet to turn a profit, to stay in business
2. I want the clinic to be able to recruit the best and brightest
3. I want the clinic to be able to compensate the staff as well as they can, so that the staff remains there.
4. I want my clinic to engage in training and education for staff, techs, vets, everyone
5. I want to continue to have the option of taking my dogs to a place where I know I will get the best care, the best staff, the best facilities, the best and newest treatments.

So for that, I am willing to pay a premium. Because next time I go, I want to have my dog receive the excellent care we got this week.

Thanks for letting me rant.


Jan 19, 2006
Irishgal, I am so sorry about Casey. I agree with everything you just posted. I'm glad that you have such a good clinic available to you. I'm sure they did everything they could for Casey. Again, I'm very sorry for your loss.


Ma to the d@mn D-E-A
Jan 27, 2007
Phoenix, AZ
Oh wow Irish, I've been away and no time to lurk too much. I am SO, SO sorry about Casey. How horrible :cry: My thoughts are with you and your family.

To answer your question...I dont really have too much experience with costly vet bills except for the time that Princess what attacked. All together the cost ended up being almost $2k. It was $800.00 for the initial visit, then when we realized she had holes in her neck, it was 1k for the surgery and the night stay + post op care.

So to me, what you paid doesnt seem high, but in all honesty, I would be like you and not even really care about the cost.

With the care that your furbaby received, I wouldnt second guess the cost at all.

Again, Im so sorry about Casey, my heart goes out to you.


Dog Chauffeur
Jun 7, 2008
6600 Feet Above Sea Level
Again I am so sorry to hear about Casey :hugs:but I am curious about the costs. Was it mostly one thing that cost so much?? Or was it because something really rare was wrong with Casey?? I think pretty much everyone here would probably spend their last dime to save their pet and won't argue with paying that much even if Casey had to be let go.

In our recent trip to the "big city" with our cat I didn't really notice much of a difference in price vs. the vet we see in my small town. Granted down there they have a lot more equipment to help discover what's wrong with him but medicine wise and vet visit wise it didn't seem much different.


Aug 22, 2006
Oh no, I am so sorry for your loss! I do not think you are nuts for spending the money. You are NOT ranting. You are loving and generous.

The excellent ER nearby me is amazing - like a human hospital. honestly.

They are outrageously expensive.

I had an emergency situation with one of my dogs, very serious, and took him there at 4 AM one morning.

They hooked him up to tubes trach tube for oxygen, etc it looked like a human hospital.

The vet after they did that and ran some tests, told me the problem was very very very serious. It would take minimum of $6,000.00 and 'if' he survived, we were looking at $10,000-$20,000. They said I could sit with him as long as I wanted. But I couldn't stay long. Just couldn't. Had to drive home, couldn't go all hysterical.

I had to kiss him, tell him I loved him and I was sorry I had to let him down, and had to leave him to God.

He was there for one hour. $1000.00 and euthanized after that.

I don't think it was wrong of you at all to spend the money.

I knew DH would not let me. He was out of town and I couldn't reach him.

In retrospect, I would have put it on my CC (not connected with any of his) and paid off as I could, regardless of the outcome. No more purses and frivolous spending for years if that's what it took. DH would not have to know. I take care of all the bills(Sorry for those of you who think that might be wrong to do in a marriage, JMO)

I do not blame them for their prices just because I cannot afford them. They are state of the art, you get what you pay for, as you realize, Irish.

I just feel devastated that I will typically not be able to afford to save my dogs' lives there...

6-7 years ago at this facility, I could afford it and I did save one. Specialized and emergency Vet costs have skyrocketed, as with human medicine, the prices are 3X higher now, here.

Such is life.


May 26, 2008
I totally understand and would be happy to pay as well. We spent far more for our Bandit (orange tabby) and would do it again for any of our babies.
Jun 30, 2006
IrishGal - I'm so sorry about Casey.

I think a lot of times, it's about your own perceived value. For some people, $600 is a crazy amount to spend on a bag but for those on TPF, it's worth it. For some people $7k may be a lot to spend on your pet but it's really about the value and worth to you. As long as you feel safe going to the vet and that the people there took care of Casey in the absolute best way possible then I don't think you need to justify your $7k. As long as you have your peace of mind about the way things were handled and about Casey, I think it was worth it.

Sending hugs your way.
Sep 7, 2008
IrishGal, condolences again for your loss.
A few weeks ago, one of our cats cost us $4,500. Despite what some friends thought ("You payed that much for a sick cat?" etc.), like your Casey, we thought he was worth it too. I was impressed with the hospital he went to. The care was first class and the staff were fabulous. We even saw them sitting on the floor cuddling sick dogs. It was such a nice place and I wouldn't hesitate to take any of my pets there again, despite the cost.
Take care.
Jan 18, 2008
i am sorry for your loss.

I totally agree with all your points. My pug also got sick and eventually was put to sleep and not once have I ever hesitated over the cost of her care. My only regret is wondering if I didn't do enough for her as I would have gladly paid more if I knew her chances of recovery were better. My vet actually had to reason with me that spending more money wasn't going to make her better. It broke my heart to hear but not once have I doubted the care she recieved. And I can say I would do this for my other three pugs in a heart beat. The thought of selling off my handbag collection for the health of my dogs is something I would do in a second if that was needed. At the end of the day, material things really don't buy happiness as I have learned - my pugs, family and friends are the most important things to me.


May 4, 2009
I am so so sorry about your loss and my heart truly goes out to you and your family. I have my very first dog Belle and she has been sickly from day one. She is 3 and getting fitter and fitter but we have spent so much to keep her in great shape AND I won't change that for the world. I would beg , steal or borrow to make sure Belle is well looked after So...You did the right thing by Casey. Don't ever doubt that, and Once again I am truly sorry for your loss.


Mar 28, 2008
I'm sorry about Casey Irishgal:hugs:

I totally agree with everything you said, if you would break it down and compare to how much it would cost a human to have all that care done in a hospital it would probably end up to be 4x more if you didn't have insurance. People don't realize how much medical equipment cost, or how much overhead an office carries to keep it running.


College bad addict
Dec 29, 2005
DC/Moco and Boston
Thank you for sharing...I'm so sorry about Casey. Animals make our lives so much better.

My BF's passion is veterinary medicine and from his experiences I've learned that good vets are every bit as invested in their careers and the health of their patients as human doctors are. If you've ever seen a particularly nice emergency vet hospital or a university animal hospital, you'll agree that the level of care truly is comperable to the level of care at a human facility.


Aug 5, 2007
9,610 did the right thing by Casey. If Casey's death was meant to be, you did everything humanly possible to save his life. You will have no regrets. Peace of mind, when all's said and done, is worth every cent! I just had my 2 little rescues spayed. Could have done this procedure at the ASPCA but I prefered to pay more and have my own Vet, whom I love and trust, spay them. He has always given me the best advise, especially when it's time to put one of my animals down. I also find him very reasonable, considering the wonderful care my animals get.
I have a CC that I save just for this purpose, never use it...strictly for an animal emergency.
Last edited: