Pins, Plates, and Screws

I haven’t blogged an update about Lucy, the super lab, for a few days because I wasn’t with her so I had no update.  We were all booked for this weekend long before the center of all attention decided to blow her ligament, so with a bit of relief, Bill hauled her black butt back to the vet’s office.  Why the relief?  Someone else could take a turn dealing with her needs while we had a breather.  They had agreed to board her for a nice little fee of only $25 a night during these first few weeks of recovery.  This was perfect, because although we have friends who volunteered to watch her for us, the watching of her right now is so involved that we wouldn’t want to burden anyone other than a professional.  The vet tech who helped with her surgery took care of her all weekend, so she was in good hands, and we didn’t have to worry about losing a friend when we got home.  The $25 is great – her charge for her level 1 hospitalization was $43.50 per night. 

I want to share a few details of the surgery billing.  When I read the detailed list, it became very clear that I should have made a quick run to MAC’s hardware ahead of time to save a little money.  The fee for the actual surgery was $1500.  It is all the little things listed after that entertain my brain.  Lucy has a 3.5 mm thick large plate in her leg at a cost of $200.  She has 3 Cortical screws 3.5 X 22 mm at a cost of $39 each, (1) 3.5 X 34 mm screw at $13, and (2) 3.5 X 40 mm screws at $26 each.  Really?  I could have picked those up for just under a buck, I bet.   They also list 3 pins.  I don’t know what they are.  One of them is listed as I.M Pin T/C 1/8” X 9” for $15.90.  Hmmmmm…pins.

Her meds totaled about $150 once we add in the sedatives.  Not too bad for a whole bunch of health and happy in 5 bottles.

To X-ray her, we paid $112. 

Our most favorite charge is the $20 we paid them to express her anal glands while she was sedated.  Yep, the best $20 ever spent, can I get an AMEN???

After adding in all the items such as IV fluids, anesthesia, lidocaine, suture, syringes, etc., the total bill for the surgical part of this journey was $2525.56.  But that also included a cone, which we already owned, so take about $20 bucks off the total.  She goes in Thursday for her first official follow up to see if she is where they want her to be in the healing process and then if she is not, we talk about rehab. 

To me, that is a huge amount of money to spend on a dog, but at the same time, it is nothing compared to the quality of life she will experience when the healing is over.  If I sit and think about the amount, I sit waiting for a feeling of shock or guilt or even giddiness at the stupid thing we just did, but all I actually feel is the same thing I felt when I had JP laying on my lap after oral surgery, or Crazy Man sprawled out on the couch after his surgery.  A feeling of knowing we did the right thing.  It was something we needed to do as part of being a responsible pet owner.  I wonder how often this happens to a pet who’s owner cant come up with the money.  I wonder what the choice is in that situation.   


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