How many people can actually afford advanced veterinary diagnositics, specialists and procedures?

My husband and I can. A big reason is pet insurance through Pet Plan (specifically them because my dog has a heart issue endemic in his breed and Pet Plan will continue to cover those costs – if the issue is diagnosed after you join – as long as we maintain coverage with them. The other options we looked at when we adopted him would either not cover breed-endemic health issues at all or would for the first year after it’s diagnosed – yearly renewals are/were treated as new policies and tada! now it’s a preexisting condition!).

So yes, my doggo sees a veterinary cardiologist twice a year, where he gets an echocardiogram, and has two daily prescriptions. Pet Plan is pretty damn prompt at reimbursement, which helps.

But even if we didn’t have pet insurance, we probably would still do all of it; it’d just be more of a financial hit. I grew up with a dog that needed multiple ACL surgeries, had gastroenteritis and a bunch of other things; my mom stressed over the cost of surgery/treatment but still got it. The overall sentiment my mom had was, “if you get a pet, you’re agreeing to take care of an animal that can’t take care of itself. So if it’s at all possible, you get it done.”