Date: 2001-06-01 19:12:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Digest Number 214
I think it's a great idea to plan ahead on ferret medical expenses for what you know you can afford, and that people should not own more ferrets than they can afford to treat medically, but the formula given would be a lowball estimate for my financial experience with my ferrets.
I owned my first ferret for 4 years, he passed away in January of this year. My medical costs for him averaged $750 per year, until this year. The month of January this year alone, medical bills were over $2,000 for him prior to his death January 20th.
I adopted 2 ferrets from a shelter the last week of January this year, the week after the first ferret died. Thus far, my medical expenses for these 2 ferrets have been over $2,500, one had adrenal surgery in March with ongoing complications, vet appts, labs, xrays, and medications even now, and the second will be having adrenal surgery this month, as soon as we recouperate financially enough to afford the surgery.
We anticipate our vet bills and expenses for that ferret to be in the $1,000 range for this surgery when all is said and done. I'm an RN and do all their enemas, sub-q and injectible meds myself,and they always come home with me at night, have never been boarded, so incredibly, this is actually a lower bill than they would have had if I were needing the vet's office to do everything.We have never owned more than 2 ferrets at any one time.
Our vet bills alone for this year thus far are $4500 and we have at least another $1,000 coming in the next few weeks. I love my ferrets dearly and do anything I can for them, but I have to say that we will probably never adopt ferrets again, because there's no way I can afford these kind of vet bills on an ongoing basis. Not too many private people have incomes that can comfortably afford $5500 in vet bills in a 6 month period. The ferret that had adrenal surgery in March may need another surgery soon to explore GI tract for chronic GI bleed since surgery that is unresponsive to treatment. That will be about another $500 minimum, bringing us up to $6,000 for this six month period.
My point is that no matter how much you preplan by limiting the number of ferrets you have, and putting money aside, there is always the possibility of catastrophic vet bills and untoward reactions. We have really struggled financially to try and meet these vet bills but we have a financial breaking point that we are rapidly approaching.
Sorry to be so pessimistic, but we have actually had to choose between base household necessities and vet care these past few months, and it's been a real struggle. We have a healthy household income, but not too many households can support bills like we've had. These bills don't include routine meds like flea treatments and food/litter.
So plan the best you can, but be prepared for unanticipated expenses.