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My Pug’s Bi-Annual Vet Visit

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It’s been a while since I’ve given all of you an update on my dogs.  In case you weren’t around here last year, my husband and I live with two dogs – Miss Doxie, the 13 year old Dachshund, and Mr. Pug, the 8 year old Pug.  They were both rescues – Miss Doxie was from the Houston SPCA in 2005 and Mr. Pug was from Pughearts in 2009. 

Mr. Pug

Long story short, Mr. Pug developed major food and environmental allergies last year and was slowly deteriorating.  It cost about $2000 altogether last year to get him back on a healthy track and will run us about $500 a year from here on out to maintain him.  Yep, he’s an expensive pet. 

In fact, he is the reason that I pretty much tell everyone that if they aren’t ready to put in $1000 a year on a dog, don’t risk it by getting one and definitely stay away from Pugs.  They are inbred and have a lot of natural health issues, but they have the sweetest personalities ever.  We got very lucky that Miss Doxie hasn’t had any major problems and we know it.

Anyway, the end result for Mr. Pug last year is that he is officially allergic to meat, dairy, soy, wheat, and corn.  Yep, he is a vegan dog that can’t eat soy, wheat, or corn.  His food is sweet potato and rice based and his favorite treats are frozen green beans and pieces of melon. 

Vet Lab Work

He is also going to be on steroids for the rest of his life, but the vet requires he gets lab work done every 6 months to make sure the steroids aren’t killing him too quickly.  We know they will probably shave a year or two off of his overall life span, but if they hurt his liver before then, the vet would want to try something else.

The Vet Bill

His visit a couple of weeks ago was for his first bi-annual lab work.  $275 later, he was pronounced to be in good overall health with a slight skin infection that they gave him an antibiotic injection for.  Here’s the breakdown of the bill:

  • Recheck Exam (fee to walk in the door, yay *heavy sarcasm*) – $65.00
  • Hazardous Waste Disposal (seriously, they threw away a needle or something) – $6.00
  • Pre-Op Chemistry Screen (actual lab work) – $68.75
  • Urinalysis (actual lab work) – $42.75
  • Skin Cytology (actual lab work) – $36.00
  • Convenia Injection (way overpriced 0 I saw it online for $20) – $57.80
  • GRAND TOTAL:  $276.30

OUCH!  Stupid skin infection cost us $100.  He  is a crafty little dog that sometimes gets into things he shouldn’t like Miss Doxie’s food or the pantry when we are throwing something away.  That leads to allergic reactions and possible skin infections.  I swear he is suicidal when it comes to food…

In short, my poor dog is expensive and I just wanted to share that with you today.  🙁

Do you have pets?  Are they pretty expensive too or did you get lucky?



FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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14 thoughts on “My Pug’s Bi-Annual Vet Visit

  1. How do you get a dog allergic to meat? Crazy. We have many pets. Three cats and three dogs. I think all the hamsters have passed. They stay in the kids’ rooms and the kids care for them. My son has an aquarium and who knows how many fish are in there. Fortunately, they don’t have health issues but shear volume leads to greater expense.

  2. We have a Japanese Chin Mix we got from an animal shelter. She was initially a little pricey ($300 adoption fee, but it is a no-kill shelter so they have to pay for the care somehow). When we first got her she had developed kennel cough, so that was a little pricey. But since then it has been yearly shots and holistic food (chins are typically allergic to corn, and she is no exception) but the holistic food isn’t that much more expensive.

    She is total worth it and one of the cutest dogs I have ever seen (I think it is because she is a little wall-eyed).

  3. Your poor little Pug. I have cats and normally they aren’t very expensive. However, last year I switched out their food without thinking about the effects and ended up with a $400 vet bill due to constipation. Needless to say I wasn’t happy. Everything is now running smoothly (forgive the pun) since I’ve gone back to their regular food. I just need to keep an eye on my little guy for any irregularities. At least I now know how to treat it – mineral oil or laxatone and wet food.

  4. @cashflowmantra, apparently there are several breeds that are known for meat allergies…poor dogs. I could see a bunch of fish as becoming expensive, good luck!

    @Brian, one of my closest friends has a Japanese Chin rescue that is absolutely adorable. “Wall-eyed” is a good description and that Beta-like underbite is funny…you picked well!

    @Little House, sheesh…I didn’t know constipation could lead to such a big bill! I have to get some more $50 eye drops for Mr. Pug today so his crazy eyes don’t dry out…

  5. Oh, I feel your pain! I just took our TWO pugs (both rescues) to the vet earlier this week for their bi-annual check-up and paid a total of $429.55 plus I had to order a $40 prescription for one’s eyes from a local compounder (medication is no longer commercially available). YIKES! The other dog has mild skin allergies (to who knows what).

    But you’re right, they’re the sweetest dogs in the world and we love our girls so much. I wanted a pug for more than 25 years, and ended up with two of them. But that itch has been scratched – I had no idea that they would be so high maintenance!

  6. Pets can be incredibly expensive! When I add up the cost of good food (not a special diet, but not the cheap stuff with lots of fillers), preventative care (annual vaccinations, heartworm tests and preventative meds, and flea/tick protection), and dog walking for days I’m at the office it averages about $250 a month for my single remaining dog.

    Then there are “incidental” costs. I adopted Hannah when she was 10 months old and within the first year she destroyed a new pair of shoes worth about $100, a new hardcover book ($25), and a down duvet ($150). Over the years she’s chewed holes in two more duvets, destroyed two flat sheets, and chewed pieces out of a wool blanket and a quilt. Yeah, she’s been expensive.

    On the other hand, my late, lamented dog Sadie had a few stress-caused health issues when I first adopted her but seemed incredibly healthy until the day she suddenly passed due to heart failure at the young age of 8. I had to rush her to the emergency clinic on a Sunday morning when I found her blue and cool just hours after breakfast and an otherwise normal morning routine. She died of cardiac arrest a few hours later and so I got a can of ashes and a $1500 bill. I don’t begrudge the bill, I just wish there had been a way to save her.

  7. We’ve got lots of animals. We’ve been lucky over the last few years and have spent very little on vet bills. Yesterday we took our 7 year old Terrier mix in to have his teeth cleaned. He ended up needing two tooth extractions. All in all it came to over $350. Not bad but still pricey!

  8. Yikes! Oh man, I can’t even imagine. I have one cat. She’s just two and she’s all kinds of awesome, and luckily she’s also pretty cheap. (I actually write a blog post about her costs recently.) All I really have to pay is her food and litter, and like, $100 a year for a check up, which includes her shots. I can definitely handle it, but I totally fear the day when she gets older and might nee more expensive care! Because of course I know I’ll pay whatever it is because, like I said, she’s totally awesome. But man…

    Oh, and Linda is right about the “incidental” costs. So far my cat has destroyed a lamp, all my blinds, an external hard drive AND she dropped my iPhone into her water dish (luckily the Geniuses gave me a new one).

  9. @Laura, “But that itch has been scratched – I had no idea that they would be so high maintenance!” I KNOW!!! I love my Mr. Pug, but he will be the last full-bred Pug in my house…

    @Jenna, awwwww…that is a CUTE puppy! Are you getting her?

    @Linda, oh, don’t remind me about the incidentals…I have no idea how much my dogs have cost me when you look at it like that…oh well. I would have totally begrudged the $1500 bill after death! It isn’t logical, I know, but that is just sucky.

    @Molly, I remember when Miss Doxie had her teeth cleaned for $150-ish, then Mr. Pug went in right after we adopted him and had to have 6 rotting teeth removed! It was $450! I wanted to find his previous owner and slap ’em.

    @Melissa, cats scare me a little since I never know when they’ll go from awww-I-love-playing-with-you to ack-I-must-attack-you-now…

    Congrats on having a healthy one though! Sorry about the blinds – dogs do that too…

  10. My new puppy has already cost me a few hundred bucks and it’s only day 10. He has his second round of shots next week, and I’m hoping to keep him nice and healthy.

  11. Hi, I stumbled upon your blog, and I love it! I also wanted to comment on my menagerie: I have a Great Dane, two cats and a foster dog, and boy are they expensive! The Great Dane eats like a horse (at least 8 cups per day — and that’s when she’s not hungry!), and the cats are relatively cheap. But my foster dog is allergic to something in the summer months. Right now I have to give her allergy pills, a skin supplement, and skin/coat food. Thankfully I get reimbursed for her costs!

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