Thursday, February 25, 2010

Expensive vet bills 'forcing animal lovers to kill pets'

More than half of Britain’s vets were forced to kill a pet cat or dog over the past five years because owners could not afford treatment, it said. Almost 90 per cent of vets across the country admitted they had experienced cases of treatment for animals being rejected by owners because it was too expensive. Experts said vet fees were rising by more than 12 per cent every year, leaving animals being “needlessly put down”.

Among the diseases that could not be treated because of the rising costs included dental trauma, gastroenteritis, lameness and diabetes, the study from Sainsbury's Finance found. 'Advances in veterinary science mean that our pets can get the best treatment possible these days,” said Joanne Mallon, of Sainsbury’s.

“But these improvements, including everything from more sophisticated scans to cancer treatments, come at higher costs and the financial burden are being felt by pet owners. 'Despite this, the vast majority of our pets are not insured so their owners have no protection against large veterinary bills.”

She added: “Vet fees are increasing by around 12 per cent a year, and as a result of this we may see more animals needlessly being put down because their owners cannot afford it.” Fifty-one vets from all over Britain were interviewed for the study.


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