My dog needed eye surgery. Twice
Location: Arlington, VA
Occupation: E*Trade employee
John Scott's Jack Russell Terrier is allergic to more than 50 types of grass. When the weather gets nice, he and his wife can't even open the windows because the dog, Scout, will scratch herself until she bleeds. "We come home to blood everywhere," says John, 35, who lives in Arlington, Va., where he works for E*Trade. "She's relentless."Two years ago, the vet discovered that Scout had scratched a hole in her cornea. The doctor referred Scout to a specialist, who recommended a corneal graft.Nuts? Maybe."You're driving your 10-plus-year-old Jack Russell to an ophthalmologist to get eye surgery done," John says. "And you're thinking, `This is crazy.'"
Worse, the first surgery didn't take, and John had to take the dog in for a second go-around. And even though the doctor cut him a break, the final bill totaled almost $3,000 — roughly equal to a month's worth of mortgage payments. In the midst of paying off credit card debt, Scott and his wife considered the expense a "debt payback setback." Says Scott: "It's an expensive surgery. If we ever get another dog, we'll probably get pet insurance." This time, they put the balance on a different credit card, one they'd reserved for their two dogs' expenses — easier to track, Scott says — and paid it off over the next few months.
But even with such a high price tag, Scott never considered not paying for the procedure. "There was absolutely no hesitation," Scott says. "We don't have kids, so we call our dogs our kids. We just said, `Let's get our dog better.'"
Have a money quandary? A success story? A cautionary tale? We'd love to hear from you. Send an email to email@example.com and include a photo.
Should we buy health insurance for our family pet?
What your pet really costs you
I shopped around for hernia surgery