Thursday, July 26, 2007
The Veterinarian’s Office Should Be Renamed “The Cleaners”
My dog is old. In dog years I think he’s around 248.
He’s been acting a little weird the last few months, coughing on occasion like the Marlboro Man, his barks sound more like Bea Arthur than a Beagle, his arthritis causes him to take longer standing up. I can see the warning signs - every morning when I check on him, I can’t help but to feel a little nervous.
My wife took him to the vet for a check-up and they pretty much told us what we expected – he's a senior citizen and now it’s time to find out why the vet drives a 7 series BMW.
Examination and blood work - $346. Pet prescription medication - $37/month (arthritis meds) $7/month (nutritional supplement) $27/month (prescription dietary food), X-rays/Ultrasound to find out what needs to be rebuilt... – “would you like to fill out a credit application and give us a tour of your house…?”
The timing is pretty ironic, just a few days ago my job had mailed me something called “Pet Insurance” listing all sorts of programs and fancy medical procedure coverage usually reserved for the likes of Michael Jackson's pet monkey. I laughed about how ridiculous it is to have $37/month taken out of my paycheck for something so odd. Now I’m actually considering digging through the recycling bin.
Maybe I've been living in a cave, but when did this all begin? When I was a kid - pet meds, pet chemotherapy, pet physical therapy, pet cancer treatments, or even prescription pet food was completely unheard of. And if you did hear/read about it, it was usually the old lady down the street who was leaving billions to her cat, or at the grocery checkout isle next to the “Batboy meet the president of France” article.
Now I’m in the position of trying to figure out what’s reasonable and what’s nonsensical without feeling like Cruella DeVille. And that's besides the fact that millions of people in other countries don't get this kind of medical care we're giving our pets - am I the only one a little bothered by that?
What does everybody else think? Has anybody been through this or are your pets on prescription drugs? Maybe had expensive treatments or surgeries? Or was my vet the “car salesman of the year” in a previous life?