Catabetes

Advances in veterinary treatments for household pets have raised an ethical question for their owners: how much are you willing to spend to keep your dog or cat healthy?

I went to the vet’s office recently to learn how to give my cat insulin shots. Like Wilford Brimley, Maeve’s got the dye-a-beet-iss — and it looks like she’ll be getting two shots a day, every day, for the rest of her life. This is not as complicated as it sounds. I had images of her wailing in pain and avoiding us like the plague for the rest of her days, coming out only when we were away from the house.

On the contrary, she barely notices when you stick her. It’s not expensive, either. One store gave us a huge box of syringes for free, and at Walmart the insulin cost a third of what CVS charges.

So that’s the new normal, and doing shots has taken on a new meaning. There was a time, not very long ago, that your pet with diabetes would just continue to have diabetes without any treatment. They would start having the side effects that come with the disease, and the downward spiral would begin.

Today pets get orthopedic surgery, cancer treatments, dental work — all sorts of fixes and therapies once reserved for humans. But like everything there is a price, and a decision to make about value, and the stark reality that some pets are blessed with deep pocketed owners, and others are not.

Honestly, I don’t know what my budget is for the pets. Is is the same for the dogs and the cats? There are no easy choices.

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