We got our "new" rescue dog about a month and a half ago and she has been great. She fits right into our little family and gets along great with our other dog. They even insist on sleeping on the same bed even though they both have their own.
One thing that has been interesting is how expensive our new addition has been since we picked her up.
We wouldn't have rescued her if we couldn't afford it. We knew she had some health issues when we got her and we were prepared to take care of her. We still think she's worth it and I'm not even complaining, but there have been a series of incidents that I thought I might share, as some of them have been preventable and maybe you can avoid this with your own pets.
Mange and Fleas
When we first got our new dog, her foster family told us that she was severely neglected for a large chunk of her life. She had such a severe case of fleas that her coat had developed mange. When we picked her up, her coat was recovering but not perfect yet. We weren't concerned. The foster family had given her a flea treatment before we took her home.
When we took her home she was okay for a few weeks. Then, we noticed that she was scratching a lot and at first we wrote it off to the mange and her hair growing back. But it became evident after a few days that something was wrong.
I took her to the vet who told me that she still had fleas. I was pretty shocked since she had a flea treatment less than a month before. He said it must not have been effective for longer than that and gave me a powerful flea medication for both F and T (since if one had them, the other one would likely have them too) and sent me on my way.
That vet visit cost me $169.12. Some of this was for the medication, and a portion for the checkup.
I took the treatment home and gave it to both of our dogs. It's extremely powerful and was therefore $80 just for the pills but I didn't want fleas on my dogs or in my house so we thought it was worth it. Even after the treatment, the itching continued. Our new dog was still scratching all the time, and the other wasn't, so I knew it wasn't fleas.
She had been scratching so much that her skin started to get scabby where she was scratching and it was really bothering me knowing that my pet was that uncomfortable. I called the vet and told him that she was still scratching so it must not have been fleas. He said she may have an allergy and suggested I eliminate things from her diet that were in her food to see if it helped.
We bought some hypoallergenic food, which used fish protein instead of animal protein. It didn't work at all, and our new friend kept scratching. The other one was still fine. That food was around $20/bag more than their regular food, and it didn't really work.
Next, I decided to try her on a different hypoallergenic food that eliminated wheat. With that, to allow her some relief and allow her skin and fur to repair itself, the vet gave me a medication. The food with the pills came to $86.
This combination seems to be working.
The Tail Incident
In early August, we came home from work to get ready quickly before running out the door to a friend's engagement party. J went to go take the dogs out. He was reading the newspapers that are dropped off at the apartment's main doors while they did their business, and wasn't watching the new dog or the door. The big, heavy, apartment door with the security features closed on her poor tail.
Her tail started to bleed a LOT, and she was in a lot of pain. Any other door would have been fine, but this one is so heavy and it has those metal plates that stick out that cut deeply into her tail. We rushed her to the emergency vet who stapled her tail together and bandaged it up, giving us some medication for her to prevent infection and pain.
This cost us about $380, which was expensive but, of course, necessary. The vet had originally thought we might have to amputate, but thankfully, her tail ended up healing and it's fine (if a little pathetic looking).
So far, in health and veterinary costs, our new pet has cost $655. She's been worth it, and, of course, some of it was our fault (the tail incident), but it's definitely been a rough road with her so far. We feel terrible for her, because I can only imagine how uncomfortable it would be to be that itchy all the time.
Have you ever rescued a dog? Was it expensive?