Cost and End of Life Decisions

Sadly, there is a time in every pet parent’s life when that most dreaded decision has to be made. While deciding to put a pet to sleep is never easy, there are times when the decision point is “clearer.” Yet there are many times when the decision is made for “non-medical” reasons.  Here at Pet Camp we’ve heard for a long time that the leading reason a dog is euthanized is due to behavior issues.  According to DVM Newsmagazine that continues to be the case, but another leading reason is the cost of medical treatment.

Since 1997, DVM Magazine has been tracking the total dollar amount when most pet parents refuse or stop treatment. In 1997 that amount was $576; in 2012 that amount was $1,704. I guess I’m not sure how to interpret these numbers. One the one hand, it’s great that the number has increased nearly 300% in 15 years (thank goodness inflation hasn’t been running like that).  But on the other hand, at least in San Francisco, $1,704 doesn’t get you a whole lot of veterinary care.

What do you think? Is there really a dollar value at which you would say “no more?” Is seems way more complicated than just that: The actual medical issue? The age of the pet? The likelihood of success? How do any of these factors impact the cost factor or conversely, how does the cost factor impact any of these variables?

Thanks for reading!