Perhaps if people owned less animals, or actually took out insurance on their pets when they first got the new puppy or kitten, we could justify the treatments. Because of my own experience with Saff, I now have insurance on Poppy. It costs about $30 a month for mixed medical and surgical cover. I know it will be worth it.
The veterinary profession is facing an international crisis. There are not enough people able to pay enough money to support practices that can then pay to employ vets who have taken on so much debt to learn their profession.
Many tasks in a clinic have been passed to the veterinary nursing teams. Yes, they are still known as veterinary nurses here - a title we fight to keep for them. Overseas they are called technicians. But this poster is accurate.... wherever they work in any country, this is what they do. For many graduates, they struggle to pull in a wage to support themselves on. They may love their jobs, but eventually they get tired and burnt out and leave the profession.
Pet insurance on the rise
Most people have insurance for their car, house and contents, but only a small number of New Zealanders are covered for their closest pals - their pets.
Christchurch woman Joanne Hammond is one of the few Kiwis who has pet insurance. She learned the hard way a few years ago when her rough-coated collie, Sasha, contracted Crohn's Disease - which affects the stomach and intestines.
Treating her beloved dog cost her $11,000 in vet bills. After Sasha died, Miss Hammond wasn't going to take any chances. She made sure to get pet insurance for her next dog, golden retriever Storm.
It paid off.
Two months later, Storm swallowed a stone and had to have a $2500 operation to have it removed. Three months after that, Storm repeated the stunt and had undergo another costly surgery.
"I was extremely lucky. With the pet insurance I had picked I got 80 per cent back for any operations so it wasn't too bad. Without the insurance I wouldn't have been able to afford to pay the bills and Storm would have had to be put down."
At almost nine years old, Storm was now too old to be insured, but Miss Hammond made sure to also get her next dog, border collie Cody, included under her insurance policy.
And although Cody, 1, had lived an accident free life so far, Miss Hammond pays roughly $32.40 a month to ensure any future bills for Cody will be covered.
There are choices in New Zealand. Just google it - or check out
If you can pay the vet bills... then vets can do the treatment: your pet survives, and clinics can survive to offer it to the next pet. Perhaps an over simplistic answer to the problem, but a step in the right direction...