- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Help my Dog

August 2nd, 2006, 11:52 AM
We are a family that lives in Edmonton. Last year, everybody in Alberta got a $400 tax return from the Alberta Government. We decided to use the money to buy two dogs. My kids, one is 13 years and one is 9 years old never have a dog in their life before and were so excited.

Unforturnately, I found that my 8 months old Yorkie - Chile's left back leg is limping on July 15. I took him to the Vet on July 17 to see what's wrong with him. The Vet said that the pain was come from his muscle. He just gave him a five minute examination and a needle to release his pain and a bill of $75.00 dollars. He said that Chile will take 3 weeks to recover and a x-ray will needed if he don't heal after 3 weeks. Actually, I don't feel comfortable with the Vet because he just spent five minutes on my dog. Within this 2 weeks, I find that my dog is getting worse. I decided to take him to another Vet and have a x-ray to find out what's the problem is. After a 30 minute examination by the Vet, he told me there were 3 possibilities that are most likely :
1. Legg Calve Perthes disease - he was most suspicious of this. It is death of the neck of the femur.
2. Fracture
3. Arthritis - least likely in a doy of this age.
He suggested to send the x-ray in to a radiologist for interpretation in Saskatchewan and I need to pay for a fee over $100.00. He said that a surgery will be needed to fix this problem. The surgery fee is around $2500.00 - $3500.00 depends on what kind of surgery is needed.

I felt so shocked about it because I never thought this kind of disease will happen on my dog and I don't have insurance for my dogs. I'd been crying for the whole night and feel so guilty because my financial situation can't support the surgery fee. I had thought of several ways to solve this problem:

1. I sent an e-mail to the SPCA to see if I can give him away to a person whose willing to take care of his medical expenses. But my kids don't want me to because Chile is their first dog and they spent a wonderful time together even though it was just only 5 months. Actually, I have the same feeling as them because Chile is so bonding to me. I know that this is my responsibility to take care of him whenever he is healthy or ill. I can't hold my tear when I think of this situation.

2. Ask my veterinarian if he will let me work out a payment plan. But we can't support the monthly payment though.

3. To have a fundraiser around the neighbourhood. I don't know if this is against the law to have a fundraising for yourself or not. Also, I don't know if people will be willing to help. In China, it is embarrasing to ask for money and most people think that this is your own business. So many dogs and cats are abandon and stray when their owner can't afford to take care of them or lost interest on them.

3, Alert family and friends and ask them each for a $25 loan. This is a very good way for me, I know that I can pay $100 per month for the loan. But I'm an immigrant and lived in Canada for only 6 years, I don't think I have enough friends to support my plan. I don't have many friends here and my family are not living here in Canada and I know that they won't concern my dog.

Can anyone help me with this situation ? I truly advise everyone of you to have an insurance plan for your pet to reduce this bad situation. I know that if I have had insurance, I won't have to face this problem. Don't trust on your luck !


August 2nd, 2006, 12:08 PM
You need to start with another opinion. You have two vets saying two completely different things.

Get in touch with some rescue groups in the area. They should know the vets in the area that are in business to help animals and not their bank accounts. In other words, one that might be willing to help you out by donating their time and only charging you for equipment needed and stuff like that and might be willing to work with you on the bill.

If, and don't take this the wrong way, but if you can't find someone to help you out talk to the rescue group about having them adopt your pup out. It is going to be very difficult to find someone to adopt such a young puppy with such a serious issue.

August 2nd, 2006, 12:33 PM
He suggested to send the x-ray in to a radiologist for interpretation in Saskatchewan and I need to pay for a fee over $100.00. He said that a surgery will be needed to fix this problem. The surgery fee is around $2500.00 - $3500.00 depends on what kind of surgery is needed.

I am presuming that the radiologist is at he vet university in Saskatoon and the fee of $2500 - $3500 is what the vet you saw will chage you. Why don't you get him to just refer you to the vet university as their fees are alot cheaper? I'm not sure if the university will take appointments without a referral. :dog:

August 2nd, 2006, 12:49 PM
I agree with you that the radiologist is at he vet university in Saskachewan. I live in Edmonton and it seem quite far away from my home. I need to pay for the hotel fee there. The $2500-$3500 is the surgery fee the vet will charge me to do the surgery in Edmonton.

He said that he had done the surgery twice before. One is the very common case of bone injury and he charged for $2500. According to Chile's x-ray, if it it Leg Calve Perthes disease, this will be a more complicated surgery compaired to the one he did before, so he proberly charge me for $3500.


August 2nd, 2006, 01:13 PM
It would still be cheaper to go to the vet university even with your motel bill. We once drove from Kitimat B.C. (northwest corner) to Saskatoon (2 day trip) and even with our motel bills it was cheaper than getting our vet to do the work we had to have done. :dog:

August 2nd, 2006, 02:22 PM
Sorry to hear about your pup having problem.
As many people here suggested - you can find other vet or clinic where the same kind of surgery will be cheaper. If your vet doesn't accept payment plan you can look for one who does.
I understand what you are going through. I went through this in March when my dog had $3000 knee surgery. And, beleave me, that was not the best time for our family.:sad: My husband lost his job two weeks after we scheduled surgey.
I applied for the carecredit and now making my mothly payments.
I didn't have relatives or friends who could help me with it, because I'm also immigrated to Canada 5 yeras ago.
But there is always solution! Don't give you dog to the SPCA!!!
What your kids would say!!!
My 8 years old son told that it's better not to buy any toy for him but pay for surgery instead.
Money will come back to you one day. Life is priceless
When I'm back home from work I will check my carecredit company and could PM you info.
I hope for your dog and family:fingerscr

August 2nd, 2006, 02:52 PM
I just send an email to Western College to see if they can take Chile and how much it will cost. I also talked to the Vet if he could offer me a payment plan. He said that he will consider my request.
I'm looking forward of your PM.
Thank you for your support. All of you really helps me a lot !

August 2nd, 2006, 05:44 PM
Even if your vet considers your request for a payment plan, it still would be much cheaper to go to the vet university in Saskatoon. :dog:

August 2nd, 2006, 06:18 PM
Littlebobdog, I can't PM you yet :sad:
but you can check this site : ( hope I'm allowed to post it here)
I have credit for my dog surgery with them.
Maybe you also can find another company like this - compare their terms and conditions.
Good luck!

August 2nd, 2006, 11:16 PM
I went to the Vet and told them not to send the x-ray to Saskatchewan and asked them if they have a payment plan. The Vet told me that he will consider my request but can't tell me right now.
When I came home, I spent the whole afternoon making phone calls to the animal hospitals here. Some don't want to give me a cost on the surgery. Luckily, two hospital gave me a call back and said that the surgery cost about $1000 to $1500. It really surprised me because of the huge price difference! I wondered that is there a guides on the cost? One of the hospitals were booked up until August 15. I don't want Chile to suffer the pain for 2 more weeks. I decided to go to the other hospital which can do the surgery on tomorrow. The cost is $1200 - $1500 and I can pay by my credit card. I hope that Chile will have a successful surgery and recover soon.
Thanks for Meri who gave me the web site and cheered me up !
Thanks for all of you who gave me many useful suggestions !
Hope everyone of you and your pet have a wonderful life !!!

August 2nd, 2006, 11:28 PM
You gotta come back and offer updates! I want a picture!

So far as I know there's no cost guidelines for vets. To get one of my cat's neutered it will cost me 200 bucks (at its cheapest) and some places do it for much less. My vet also doesn't want me to neuter them at the end of August (its easier for me to go back and forth) because they would be "too young" (at just over four months instead of five or six) but I'm standing my ground with that and having it done then anyway. The other vets I"d phoned around at cost me about the same if not more (so they can see the cat beforehand to make sure everything is ok).

Hope the surgery goes well.


August 3rd, 2006, 02:28 AM
I am very sorry to hear of your dog's pain and medical issues.

Have you considered applying to one of the groups who provides financial assistance to animals in distress and requiring medical aid? The one I know of the most - and that has been around long enough to have attained credibility and a good reputation is You would have to be approved and show them how you have already maxed out your own financial resources but they have helped many pets and thus their people. By extension, they also provide emotional support to people - sometimes, one individual or group will "adopt" a pet and help to pay for medical help.You are reqired to provide updates and pictures if possible and your vet and cinic must be willing to work with them. (They have volunteer case managers).

I have donated to them only because they have when asked and have the resources will help animals in Canada. (The founder lives in the southern US and began the group after the death from of one of her beloved cats.)

I like your idea of fund raising on your own as well - you might get others involved (co workers, family, friends??) Imom usually is completely booked since there is such a need out there but I think it is worthwhile to check it out.

Good luck!! I am somewhat amazed at the discrepency in prices - unlike docs, I guess vets do not have a scale they have to adhere to. (Tho neither do pets have universal health care.) I would absolutely check out the university vet school - they often have better prices and the care is typically good - vet students and their profs are up to date on all the latest procedures. (Granted, many vets in rural Canada are some of the best in the biz, dare I term it that!!_

My thoughts are with you!!!