Photo Credit: © Kathie Meier
We’re all familiar with the Ben Franklin adage, “An ounce of prevention is with a pound of cure.” But how does this actually translate into dollars and cents when it comes to the health of our pets? Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) has answered this question.
Presented below is VPI’s analysis comparing 2012 costs for prevention and treatment of some common canine and feline maladies. Keep in mind, these numbers represent averages. Depending on where you live, expenses may be considerably higher or lower.
Infectious diseases (canine parvovirus, feline leukemia virus)
Average treatment cost: $678.24
Average prevention cost: $85.14 (dogs) and $73.52 (cats)
Intestinal parasites (roundworms, tapeworms, giardia)
Average treatment cost: $179.93
Average prevention cost: $29.51
Diseases caused by nonintestinal parasites (heartworm disease, tick borne disease, flea allergy dermatitis)
Average treatment cost: $180.67
Average prevention cost: $84.89
Reproductive organ disease (pyometra, prostatitis)
Average treatment cost: $531.98
Average prevention cost: $260.69
Dental diseases (cavities, tooth infections, periodontal disease)
Average treatment cost: $531.71
Average prevention cost $171.82
I’ll be honest with you- I’m not altogether sure how VPI calculated these numbers. The cost for treatment of intestinal parasites seems rather exorbitant and I cannot imagine effectively treating a pup sick with parvovirus disease for under $700.00. Nonetheless, I appreciate what this data is conveying- preventive care for our four-legged family members makes good financial sense. More importantly, and what is not presented in VPI’s analysis, I think we can all agree that preventive care makes good sense purely from the perspective of avoidance of illness and suffering. Discussion of preventive care with your veterinarian should be a top priority at every annual health visit.
Have you ever paid a hefty amount to treat a disease that could have been easily prevented?
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at www.speakingforspot.com, Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.