||When you have a seriously ill pet or a pet that has
chronic health conditions, vet bills and costs for medicine and special supplies can
rapidly mount up. Here are some ideas to help you figure out how to handle these expenses.
to your vet. Explain that the amount of money you can spend on
your pet is limited. Ask if you can arrange a payment plan. If you've been with your
vet for a while, the vet may agree to letting you make monthly payments on your
bill. Ask your vet to try to keep costs to a minimum. You don't want to sacrifice
your pet's health, but if the vet knows that funds are limited, he or she may be able to
order a specific blood test versus a complete blood panel, or may decide that a less
expensive diagnostic test will be sufficient to determine your pet's health care needs.
Maybe there is a generic prescription drug that is cheaper than a "name
brand" drug. Many owners who have pets with chronic health problems learn to
take care of many of their pet's needs at home. Many owners do home blood glucose
testing. It may be a good option for both medical and financial reasons. Talk
to your vet and see if there are some things you can learn to do yourself.
your budget. There are probably some things you can do without, and the small
amounts of money that you save can really add up. Instead of buying lunch every
day, bring a bag lunch to work. A $5 lunch every work-day adds up to about $100 a
month. Maybe you pay for extra cable channels that you don't really need. Take a
good look at your spending habits and see if you can find some ways to save money.
You will be amazed at what you might find. Be creative - maybe a garage sale is
something you can do.
and coupons. Many supplies like blood glucose test meters often have
rebates or special offers. Keep your eyes open for these deals.
If your pharmacy doesn't have any rebate coupons, call the manufacturer and ask them for the rebate. Most
manufacturers have an 800 phone number printed on the product or box. In my
experience, they are more than happy to help you. Becton-Dickenson (B-D) syringe
manufacturer will often send you coupons on a box of syringes - call their customer
service number 1-888-232-2737 and ask if they have any coupons they can send to you. Even
smaller savings (like a $1 cat litter coupon) can add up.
supplies wisely. Many people have heard that you must discard any remaining insulin after a vial has been
used for 30 days. The only place I have obtained this information is by calling Eli
Lilly - and the reps will tell you that. But I have never seen that "rule"
printed on the package insert. Many people have no problems using a vial of insulin for
60-75 days. This is also discussed in the FAQ.
Some people choose to reuse insulin syringes, however this is not
recommended by the manufacturers. Becton-Dickinson recently published photos
of a new and re-used needle and you can see how the needle can
become damaged after just one or two uses. If you are looking for less
expensive syringes, try the Discount Insulin Syringes
available at Hocks pharmacy. They have 28 and 29 gauge
needles for both 1/2 and 1cc syringes (no 3/10 cc syringes) and they are about $12-13
per box of 100.
term loans. Some people have found short term loans at their bank or
credit union to be very useful. There are many factors that might make this a good
option for you: if your vet does not agree to a payment plan, if you do not have the ability to pay your entire bill, or if you do have the money, but you
don't want to deplete your savings all at once. If you have a very large vet bill, this may be an option
you want to consider.
Updated June 2003
Copyright. All rights reserved.
This site is for information purposes only. Please consult