High vet bills push pet owners to perform DIY surgeries

High vet bills push pet owners to perform DIY surgeries | Insurance Business

High vet bills push pet owners to perform DIY surgeries

Getting professional help for ill or injured animals could be costly in New Zealand, so Kiwis have been performing DIY home surgeries or treatments – according to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

SPCA’s annual List of Shame, which was released last week, revealed the 12 most horrific cases of animal abuse in 2019 – with some involving “surgeries gone wrong.”

A dog named Spencer, for example, had his tail docked by his owner using bands when he was only four months old. However, the owner was not able to cut the tail cleanly, resulting in exposed flesh and tail bone.

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Another dog, named Bella, had a wound on her snout that nearly exposed her skull. Her owner took her to a vet but was not able to attend for follow-up treatments.

“I took Bella for urgent veterinary care. She had a surgery to clean and close the wound,” SPCA Inspector Sam said.

“Then, while Bella was recovering in [our] care, [we received a report] about a dog named Bruiser from the same owner. Bruiser was scarred, with fresh and healing wounds all over. The [owner] confirmed that Bruiser had been injured and he’d used a stapler on her wound – not seeking any vet care. So I seized her too.”

Andrea Midgen, chief executive officer of SPCA, told ODT.co.nz that some pet owners usually resort to DIY treatments when they can’t afford professional help.

Grant McCullough, president of the Veterinary Association, insisted that people think vet care is expensive because they haven’t realised that human healthcare is subsidised. He advised pet owners in New Zealand to take out pet insurance to protect their pets and help them with the costs.