General

How much do you love your pet?

JESS COLQUHOUN

A LUCKY escape for man’s best friend could cause a family more harm than joy.

Rusty, the beloved pet dog of the Murphy family of Lathlain, has recently undergone an expensive series of skin graph surgeries in an effort to correct a leg injury sustained on their Gingin property.

Rusty recoversAnne Murphy, the mother of the family, explained how the dog sustained the injury.

“We went to check the filters (reticulation) on the macadamia trees and Rusty, being Rusty, went haring off, taking a short cut and somehow managed to get caught on some wire and shredded his leg from his elbow to his paw.”

Mrs Murphy found the dog limping feebly around the property and immediately applied first aid, then rushed him to the nearest vet, where the reality of the situation truly set in.

“We paid $3,000 on the first day, and once we had started, I guess, we couldn’t stop. It was lucky we could afford it.”

Rusty is currently in the recovery stage, and so is the family because the veterinary bills have cost more than $12,000.

Mrs Murphy stated the process had been long and emotionally draining, but also said how hard it would have been to break the news to the kids if the dog had been put down.

“It was a very tough time; I don’t know how I would have broken it to the kids if we had to put him down, especially if it was because we couldn’t afford the surgery.”

According to the Australian Veterinary Association, the reasons for the high cost of vet bills is because there is no government support for pet’s health care and also because of the variety of services the veterinarian supplies.

“There is not government support for your pet’s health care; it might seem that you are paying more for your pet’s treatment. Human patients have Medicare, which pays most of the cost of our medical treatment.”

“It’s also important to remember that your veterinarian is not only your pet’s GP, but also their surgeon, radiologist, dermatologist, neurologist, oncologist and pharmacist as well.”

Pet insurance can be purchased and may save money for owners in the long run; however, in reality it may be cheaper for many people to cut their losses with an injured pet and start afresh. The real question is: could you?

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