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selfe's avatar

Has your pet received specialty veterinary care (radiology, internal medicine and so forth)?

Asked by selfe (271 points ) January 11th, 2012

How often have you had the feeling that a vet gives up too soon on an old pet? How many of you have requested specialty veterinary care (radiology, internal medicine and so forth) for a senior pet? How many of you have had success with that? How expensive is it to bring a pet to a specialist in the USA? How much do ultrasounds, x-rays and other non-invasive procedures cost for pets? What about giving IV fluids and other procedures? Does pet insurance cover these?

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11 Answers

SuperMouse's avatar

I have a friend whose husky fell off his doghouse and sustained a spinal cord injury. She paid out of pocket for all kinds of specialized treatment for him including radiology, surgery, and acupuncture. None of it was covered by any kind of pet insurance. On the upside about four months out the dog is up and walking and on the mend! I have another friend who paid for ACL surgery for her dog, this dog also recovered.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

My dogs had excellent vets.Surgeries six times, thyroid removal, arthritis meds. They lived at least two years longer than the max expectations.

YARNLADY's avatar

We are getting ready to spend $600 on our pet to have his teeth and gums taken care of. He has two tumors in his mouth, and several broken teeth. It includes removal and biopsy, dental extraction of loose tooth, and complete dental cleaning.

I once spent over a thousand dollars to have a dog’s eyes operated on. It wasn’t all at once, but over a six month period, $300, $200, $250, and finally $250.

rooeytoo's avatar

Years ago, late 80’s I think, I had an akita pup fall halfway down inside carpeted stairs. She shattered parts of her one back leg. Vet said it looked like the worst skiing accident he had ever seen. I took her to Penn and the orthopedic guys. It cost me almost 5 grand to have her put back together with assorted pins and screws. Despite my best efforts at rehabilitation she never came quite right and at a young age arthritis set in so she had to be on meds. Upon later reflection I came to the conclusion that the vets and baby vets used her for a demo animal. I feel if they had any ethics at all they would have advised me to put the animal down instead of condemning her to a short life of pain and suffering. However I must also say that I used vets at Penn for eye consults and it was a more satisfactory result. I guess the bottom line is you can’t judge all by the actions and ethics of some.

Regarding older pets, or as you can see by my answer above, younger as well, I am not in favor of keeping them alive at a less quality level just for the sake of keeping them alive. So I have never gone to extremes for a senior. I put them down when their quality of life is not what I think it should be.

DrBill's avatar

Dusty had and was treated for heart-worms, cured
Megan had cancer, had to have a leg amputated, cured
Max had a broken leg, dislocated hip, three fractured ribs and suffered extreme malnutrition, cured

they are not just pets, they’re family

selfe's avatar

@DrBill Thank you for sharing your experience and great job with your pets! I totally agree with you when you say they are family members. Was it your regular vet to amputate or did you have to go to a specialist? What about with Max and the orthopedic issues? Your regular vet? In your experience do regular vets try to do it all themselves maybe due to the availability and cost of specialty veterinary care?

Thank you all for your insight!

DrBill's avatar

@selfe Dusty was lucky enough to get in on a research study testing new meds, and she got the real thing and was cured, then lived another 6 years heart-worm free.

Megan was diagnosed by the local vet, but had to go to a specialist for the amputation, then her regular vet did the post op care. she lived another four years with three legs

Max had the broken leg set by our vet, had to go to a vet school at university is Illinois to rebuild the hip joint, the ribs healed by themselves, and I took care of feeding him back to a healthy weight. That was 5 years ago, and he is still going strong.

selfe's avatar

@DrBill Great job getting Dusty better! How did you hear about the research?

Thank you for clarifying and great to hear that Max is doing well! Would Max happen to be the huge cat in your picture?? :)

DrBill's avatar

@selfe No Max is a black lab, i thought telling about my 6 cat would make the post too long. The giant cat is named Catgut, and yes he comes to the name.

selfe's avatar

@DrBill I would love to hear about all six cats too! (I’m a cat person). Have they received specialty veterinary care? Was that successful? Expensive?

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences!

DrBill's avatar

@selfe
Catgut was a rescue, if you look close he has three legs, lost one when he was hit by a car.
Boo, is just a lazy cat how likes to lay in the high traffic areas and pretend to be a speed bump.
Wally and Socks were rescued feral cats, born in my garage and abandoned, then hand raised by hand and bottle fed, they are both 9 months old and very healthy.
Dark Matter was one of the litter, but I found a home for him
Mary is a rescue from the streets, her family moved and left her to fin for herself, so I took her in and she has appointed herself queen of the cats.
Kathy or Kat for short, and Spare were rescued from a farmer who planed to shoot them if someone would not take them.

all the cat play with Max. If you have not figured it out yet, I rescue a lot of animals. these are only the ones I have currently. There are numerous ones that come and go.

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