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What to Do If Your Pet is Sick and You Can't Afford it

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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What if your pet becomes sick or is critically injured and needs expensive care?What can you do?

This is a common problem that veterinarians often face. And trust me, it is not a problem that we enjoy. Veterinarians would rather work on making your pet better than deal with the cost of providing good pet care.

So, what can you do if your pet has a medical problem that you can't afford to treat? I'll give you some tips.

1. Credit cards and checks. If this is an option, ask the clinic if they accept checks and credit cards. This can help in some situations.

2. Care credit. Ask if the hospital accepts "care credit," which is a line of credit that you can apply for on an emergency basis. It can give you immediate access to a credit card with a credit line (often at a fairly reasonable rate).

3. Most vet hospitals will give you time to make calls to family and friends or to visit a bank machine to come up with the required resources or deposit.

4. Consider other options. It may be that you can cut corners in some manner now to get you to a local shelter or humane society that may provide less expensive treatment or offer billing for additional tests.

5. Finally, if unexpected expenses are a hardship for you, the very BEST thing you can do for your pet is to get pet insurance early, before your pet has a problem. Insure your pet when he is young and healthy, and the premiums are reasonable. Also, consider taking advantage of the preventative care options that some companies offer.

Yes, I frequently recommend to my readers that they should at least consider pet insurance. That's because I've seen the lives of many pets saved because their owners had the financial ability to do the best for their pet.

Today I encourage you to take a minute to educate yourself about pet insurance and learn how it can give you peace of mind knowing that you will be able to provide the best medical care for your dog.

I hope these suggestions help you.

Until next time,

Dr. Jon


P.S. Did you see the story that Sandy sent me about her experience with not having pet insurance?

Here is a short excerpt from Sandy's story:

I have been receiving your emails for many months. I wish I had gotten them sooner. I ran across your site when my Black Mouth Cur, Zoe, became ill. My story is probably one that may have already been told, but just in case I will tell it anyway. Two weeks after she was diagnosed with the cancer, she had a stroke. She was paralyzed on her right side and was bleeding from her rectum. We made her comfortable and spent about an hour of quality time with her just cleaning her up, laying with her and comforting her. We knew her time had come and we knew what we had to do for her. As much as you hate to do it we had to put her out of her misery) we picked her up (not easy at 75 lbs) and took her to the emergency room. Zoe passed away that Sunday.

The reason I am telling you and your readers this is because many people don't think about pet insurance

I wish I had gotten it. She had been ill from October 2007 until she passed away on June 29, 2008 she was 7 years old. Total bill for everyone and everything came to about $11,000.

In August of 2008 we decided to adopt 2 new puppies from a shelter. We now have them both insured. I hope that many people will listen to my story. It can happen to you anytime.


Note: This is Sandy's story in her own words. It was unsolicited. She simply wanted to share her experience so others could benefit from it.

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