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Expensive Vet Bills 'Forcing Animal Lovers to Kill Pets'

Offbeat  (tags: pet owners, british vets, studies, euthanisation, vet bills, expensive, finances )

- 3370 days ago -
More than half of Britain's vets were forced to kill a pet cat or dog over the past five years because owners could not afford treatment, it said. Almost 90 per cent of vets across the country admitted they had experienced cases of treatment for


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Shirley S (187)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 12:47 am
What a sorry predicament to be so poor that you can't afford Vet's fees.

Julie van Niekerk (230)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 3:02 am
Most Vets know how emotional pet owners are and they use this to load the bill. My Vet does it to me and all I can do is pay. I love my animals - what can I do?

. (0)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 3:31 am
I know this is horrific... I would rather go without food on my table, but have also got a lovely vet who lets us pay in instalments if the account gets to high.. maybe vets should look at this opportunity to.. putting the animals first

Dana H (229)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 4:17 am
How sad, I think when people have emotional support animals (especially for the mentally ill) that there should be a law or a cap on how much can be charged in vet bills.You are very lucky chaz to have a vet that works with you.Thanks Simone.

Simone D (1462)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 4:54 am
I am lucky that I can pay my vets bills off in instalments, like Chaz. Been lucky to have a vet that truely loves animals and undertands that. But I use to work for a vet exactly like the one Julie has, she abused the love that people had for their animals, if she knew they would pay anything to help their loved animals she would put the prices up high as possible.

Aimee M (91)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 5:05 am
What do you do? I don't have alot of money and I would not be able to afford large bills either. Let them suffer or put them to sleep? I have 5 cats I give them the best life I can. They were strays and they are spoiled now. But quality of life for my family is far more important. Where I live the vets are all about the $ and they want most of it up front!

Donna B (2)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 8:46 am
I have seen vets try to run up the highest bill possible. Even under the best of circumstances, vet bills are often too high. It's a heart breaking situation.

Anna S (0)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 8:49 am
Too bad there are so many greedy vets. One of my furbabies died from cancer. The vet performed many tests that I later found were unnecessary, just for the $$$. I now have a legit vet, but she's still very expensive.

Does anyone have pet insurance? After reading this article, I'm thinking about getting it... Would like to hear anyone's experiences. Thanks!

Kathleen C. (0)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 9:08 am
I have to wonder where anyone could possibly have gotten the idea that only approximately ten per cent of the population is able to afford the exorbitant fees charged by many veterinarians today.

Pet insurance is better than nothing for health maintenance, but it is worse than health insurance for people. Once you've paid the premiums (and they are not cheap) there are so many exclusions it hardly seems worthwhile.

Patricia Herrick (54)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 1:27 pm
This is so sad. I cannot imagine even considering doing away with a pet for financial reasons, but I can understand the predicament. My Vet gets a monthly payment right along with my utilities. Seems I just pay off one, and another pet needs help.

Catherine Turley (192)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 1:48 pm
part of the problem is that vets want to eliminate all disease possibilities as a way of honing in on the particular ailment. maybe for fear of liability; maybe because it's just easier to deal with a problem when you have a totally clear picture of what's going on. but it makes more sense to try standard treatment on anything that appears to be a common problem. i took my neighbor's cat to the vet once when it had a giant abscess on its jaw. the vet wanted to take samples and xrays because she said it didn't feel like an infection. i asked her what the harm would be in trying antibiotics first, and she agreed to write me a prescription. guess what... it was an infection. if the animal isn't suffering too much, take it slow. don't make a decision on the spot if you can help it. think it over. and don't leave an animal overnight. you can keep a better eye on your pet than they can (if anyone's even there overnight). also, for a small fee, you can run any dilemma by an online vet at

Alan S (0)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 2:04 pm
Why can't vets contact No Kill Shelters & give these pets a chance !!! Damn !

Tina D. (0)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 2:10 pm
Where I live Vets are all about over charging and not one will let you make payments. I do believe it is greed and I also believe in Karma

Tina D. (0)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 2:11 pm
there should be a certain responsobility for vets that do irresponsible tests

Sian A (2)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 2:42 pm
Horrific. Any vet who is vastly over charging people for treatment or giving unecessary treatments to make money, isn't fit to be a vet. People like them shouldn't be allowed to practice. I blame the education system for a lot of the horrible money grabbing vets around. If the cost of training to be a vet wasn't so high, we'd have more animal lovers in the profession, rather than greedy upper class people over charging to fund the lifestyle their accustomed to .

Isobella Merritts (4)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 3:17 pm
The idea that a vet would rather kill a person's pet than make out a payment plan or reduce the fee for people with lower incomes doesn't surprise me but always angers me. I've found that most vets are in the veterinary practice for the money and not really for animals. There have just too many times that I've experienced or have heard of someone else who has had vets tell them that a certain procedure cost a great deal and that it would be cheaper to just euthenize the animal instead of helping out and giving a reduced rate or make a payment plan that would make it easier to pay then a lump sum up front would be. Sometimes I wish I were a vet because then I would charge very little to nothing just so that I could help animals and their people.

Karen B (1)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 5:58 pm
So now pets are just for wealthy people. Once again, something that is beneficial for both animals and humans has come down to who has the money.

Matloob ul Hasan (81)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 7:43 pm
Noted, thanks.

Michelle Bafik-vehslage (12)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 9:23 pm
This is so sad and shows what a sorry state our world is in.

Heather E (32)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 9:26 pm
What a terrible situation. i understand that new technological advances can increase prices, but to euthanize a pet because the owner could not afford the treatment. I would think the vets could work out a payment plan or something.

Beth P (32)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 9:55 pm
Another show of $$$ being more important than lives. No compassion at all!

Cheryl Ulrich (110)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 10:10 pm
Thank God my vet will take payments ! Fortunetly I haven't had to resort to that very often !!

Mary D (64)
Wednesday February 24, 2010, 11:41 pm
Absolutely, Beth. And it's not limited to the UK either. I used to live in Studio City, CA, and I took my cats to a vet who charged $500 to treat a bladder infection! He also wanted to treat my cat who had a small tumor on her ear with chemotherapy. Luckily, I took her to an animal oncologist who reassured me that the tumor was nothing to worry about. Four years later, she's still healthy. As for my cat who had the bladder infection: I found another vet who only charged $132 to treat a bladder infection - and that included the medicine. There are vets out there who are dangerous. They play on the owner's fear for their pets, and charge fees that are triple what my doctor charges to treat me. My advice: Don't feel that you have to stay with the same vet. If he/she seems to be trying to convince you that your pet is at death's door, and needs tons of expensive treatments, get a second opinion. The Internet can be invaluable for this. Reading reviews for the second vet who treated the bladder infestion was what inspired me to go to her. Remember that!

Elaine R (132)
Thursday February 25, 2010, 1:12 am

sherrie e (147)
Thursday February 25, 2010, 1:27 am
We just switched vets.....the new isn't as expensive as the other one. It is a husband and wife team...they are really good. Very compassionate and give us breaks when we have a large ongoing bill. Very sad to have to have a pet put down for any reason but I just couldn't take it if I thought it was just a financial reason.

Jeff W (38)
Thursday February 25, 2010, 2:21 am
Most vets will give the owners time to pay or will inform those who are having difficulty, of a scheme that is usually linked to a charity,they do make allowances!... Especially now that so many people are having financial problems because of the ongoing world economy problems... It is also a good idea, to checkout more than one veterinary surgeon to find the cheapest rates for your pet's treatment. Most clinics have friendly caring staff who maybe willing to negotiate if you approach them explaining you cannot afford to pay all that's owing, and need time. Pet insurance is another option if you specify what you wish to pay for!...

E A (28)
Thursday February 25, 2010, 5:23 am
Although most of us are appreciative of our pets veterinarian,I think its safe to say we all agree their charges are absorbent.Location,location,location makes a big difference many a time.
Did they not become vets due to their love and dedication to animals? Safe to say its more a lucrative business then a one of compassion.Of course there are the exceptions to the rule.

Ronda Richardson (96)
Friday February 26, 2010, 11:35 am
I have a great vet who does put the animal first. She lets me run a bill if treatment is too expensive. She gets paid off and I'm always bringing her new clients. If something is unecessary she'll tell me. She's great with the animals and they all love her. She is one of the reasons I finally decided not to move. She is awesome!

Pam B. (0)
Wednesday March 10, 2010, 8:47 am
Today we are spending $1700 to have surgery to remove panties lodged in our family pets intestines, that is making him sick. This is the 2nd time we've done this surgery. He's 10 yr old, (lab/sheherd with 11-12 yr life expectancy) moans and groans when he moves around, gets up and down like a 80 yr old man, has a strange undiagnosed lump/cyst that popped up in the past couple wks growing very quickly. The dr. never once brought up the option of putting him to sleep, just said lets do surgery NOW to save his life. Worry about the lump later. Hhhhmmm. My husband took him in, and just said ok. I may have handled it differently, but our 2 young daughters are in the midst of FCAT testing this week, and it would be devistating to them, to put down their beloved bear. I do believe the vet was acting as an animal lover, and not greedy though. Let's all pray he'll make it thru today and his colan isn't necrosied, cuz then he'll have the poops (which he'll do on the carpent) for the rest of his life.

Mary D (64)
Wednesday March 10, 2010, 9:20 am
I will pray for your Bear, Pam, and I'm glad that you have a kind and understanding vet. You just might have bought him another couple of years to be with his family.
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