Monthly Archives: April 2013

An Ounce of Prevention…

****Reader discretion advised: gross details present

I recently read an interesting snippet in one of Dr. Sloan’s industry rags…. Uh, I mean veterinary magazines (the April 2013 edition of DVM 360 if you must know).  The article highlighted one of the largest US pet insurance companies (VPI), which did a study that compared the cost of treatment vs. the cost of prevention of various ailments.  For example, the average cost to TREAT dental disease (like abscessed teeth) was over $530, but the cost to PREVENT the dental disease/abscess in the first place was LESS THAN HALF that (around $170).  Keep in mind that this is the AVERAGE of many clinics across the USA, so you may find that vets in your area are above or below the average (hence why it’s an average!).  What the article didn’t discuss was the non-monetary costs associated with the diseases.  Let’s use the abscessed tooth as our example again.  Have you ever had an abscessed tooth?  Luckily, I have not, but I hear that it HURTS.  As in EXCRUCIATING pain.  Cats are stoic, but really, we can only take so much.  Also, there’s the “gross” factor; when an abscess gets too big, it ruptures, and bloody, stinky, viscous pus oozes out.  Do you really want that sleeping on your pillow?  Then there’s the fact that Fluffy almost always waits until late on a Saturday night, or holiday, to “tell” you there’s a problem (usually by rubbing the nasty pus on your arm when she jumps into your lap to watch TV).  Don’t forget that after the dental you may need to give Fluffy oral pain meds or antibiotics.  Won’t that be fun?

Here are some other examples of the cost of treatment vs. the cost of prevention, from Cat Care, PC of Rochester Hills, MI

Problem (examples)

Cost of Treatment

Cost of Prevention

Fleas/Flea bite allergies

Starting at $217 for the office visit, steroid injection for the allergic reaction, 3 months of preventative, and environmental treatment

As low as $8.75/month

Pyometra (life-threatening infection of the uterus)

Starting at $1100 for diagnostic x-rays & blood work; anesthesia and surgery; antibiotics and pain medication; IV fluids and hospitalization

Starting at $255 for a routine spay

Feline Leukemia Virus

Starting at $715 for diagnostic tests and eventual euthanasia and cremation

$26 for the annual FeLV vaccine

As you can see, an ounce of prevention saves a TON of money!!!  Feel free to contact the staff of Cat Care, PC with any questions (or for more examples!).