KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Keeping your four-legged family members healthy can be a challenge and costly but preventing some common health issues could save your family money and keep your pets well.
Pet insurance provider Nationwide recently released a list of six common and preventable ailments.
Dr. Christina Belew from Union Hill Animal Hospital said annual exams are key. "We typically look nose to tip of tail," she said. "These guys don't talk to us, so I have to use all the clues I can."
Pinpointing prices can be tough. Belew explained prices can widely vary between veterinarians because of many factors including level of care or equipment used.
She gave us possible price ranges and estimates for treatment and prevention, adding that waiting for treatment can cost so much more than prevention and can cost more than just money.
"When we talk about treating, most of the time we are talking about having to do hospitalization, major medications, major diagnostics, and those get very pricey very quickly," she said.
1. Dental problems - Professional dental cleanings can cost around $300. Belew said they are typically needed each year but suggested asking your veterinarian. Treatment like pulling teeth and more can run between $500 and $1000.
Belew also added there are things you can do to help at home between professional cleanings including tooth brushing, food additives, water additives, and dental chews.
2. External Parasites - Flea and tick prevention can cost $100 to $200 per year. She said treatment could cost anywhere from $250 to even $1000 if a blood borne illness develops, for example. That cost doesn't include money to clean the home.
3. Internal Parasites - Belew said a prescription for medicine to prevent heartworm can run about $100 per year. Treating it, if caught in time, can cost about $800. "Left untreated, it can kill them," said Belew.
4. Reproductive Organ Issues - Belew said the cost to spay or neuter a pet could be about $100 to $300. It is sometimes covered in the adopting process. Waiting to treat some issues, like removing an infected uterus for example, could cost more than $1000.
5&6. Infectious and Respiratory Diseases - From Kennel Cough to Parvovirus or Feline Leukemia, many diseases are preventable with vaccines. Belew said a full wellness visit each year including vaccines could cost around $250. She said different animals may need different vaccinations so talk to your veterinarian. Treating some illnesses, she said, could cost from $250 to easily more than $800, if not deadly.