Pet Medical Care Guide in 2021

The United States is also world-renowned for its love of pets of all kinds. On average, every third family owns at least one dog, and nearly 70 percent of households consider their dogs to be part of the family. Therefore, the U.S. has a complete and complicated medical system for pets, and in some aspects it is even more detailed than for people. Therefore, it is convenient to have a pet in the United States in terms of medical care and daily needs. But pets, like people, will inevitably get sick or have an accident, so it’s time for know some essential American pet medical knowledge! Today we have put together this superb guide to pet medical care in the United States, which contains detailed information on first aid for dogs and cats, emergency care for pets, fees for pet hospitals and recommendations for pet hospitals.

Under what circumstances does a pet need medical attention?

1. Cough
Whenever your pet starts coughing and it doesn’t go away for several days, then it’s time to see a veterinarian. This could be a symptom of a lung infection or lower respiratory tract disease.
2. Difficulty moving
Difficulty moving is also among the common diseases of pets. Sometimes you will find that your cat or dog, without knowing how, suddenly begins to limp. You may not care at first, but you will certainly see it in the long run. If you find that your pet has not wanted to move for several hours, or has suddenly limped for several hours, it is best to seek immediate medical attention to prevent any possible complications.
3. Vomiting
Vomiting can be a very common thing for pets, so many owners will think that it is suddenly vomiting just because the food is not digested and regurgitated, but vomiting in pets is a cause for concern. Check your pet’s vomit for foreign objects or blood, and you can also keep track of how many times it vomits throughout the day, how often it vomits, and what it vomits. If you have vomited more than three times a day, you should take it to the vet in time.
4、Low urination
Some data show that dogs urinate 3-5 times a day, and cats urinate 2-4 times a day. However, this is only a reference data, not the actual number of times. Certain factors can affect the frequency and volume of dogs and cats urinate. However in the case of illness, it may not urinate. If you find that your pet is urinating, but nothing is coming out, then promptly take it to the vet for a diagnosis.
5. Refusing to eat
Sometimes your pet may seem to have a particular lack of appetite, which is normal. But if your pet refuses food and water, looks weak and sluggish and uncomfortable, and won’t eat even if you feed it by hand, you should consider whether it is uncomfortable. Usually, most refusal of food and water is a sign of an existing illness or infection, and you need to take them to the vet as soon as possible and find out what is wrong with them.

How do I choose a pet hospital in the United States?

1、Appointment system and Walkin system

General veterinary hospitals (non-emergency) are broadly divided into two queuing systems, the appointment system and the Walkin system. The specific differences between the two are as follows.
Appointment system: The appointment system is generally used for annual checkups or routine problems such as vaccinations, deworming, spaying and neutering. Appointments are generally made during a 2-3 day waiting period and are suitable for owners who do not have any health needs that require immediate medical attention. Just remember which day your pet needs vaccinations or deworming, and make an appointment by telephone three or four days in advance.
Walkin system: Suitable for non-serious but immediate problems such as diarrhea, fever, vomiting, anorexia, trauma, etc. The waiting time usually varies from about half an hour to three hours. Such as broken bones, swallowed foreign bodies can also go to this type of veterinary hospital, and the doctor will advise whether it is necessary to go to the emergency room.
Opening hours: Both types of veterinary hospitals are generally open from 8am-6/8pm, 5-7 days a week. Simple surgery or treatment can be done, such as infusion, injection, cast (not open surgery), de-sexing, wound treatment, dental cleaning.
Fee reference (based on the cat’s visit)
Outpatient fee ranges from:$35-85
Infusion:$15-30
Vaccines:$10-30
De-sexing non-cryptorchid male cats US$80-200 (including anesthesia, painkillers, testers)
Cryptorchid male cat de-sexing US$150-500 (before 6 months of age, if the eggs do not fall out, the same open abdominal surgery as female cats will be performed.
Female cat spaying $150-500 (including anesthesia, pain medication, monitor. Minimally invasive surgery price is higher than internal suture surgery than external suture surgery)
General ultrasound: $50-$100
X-Ray: $ 80-150
Stool test:$ 25-150 (stool float is a general stool test, pcr stool test is an advanced stool test. pcr can detect bacterial infections and more parasites)
Dental cleaning:$100-250
Blood test:$ 50-150 (general blood test and complete blood count)

2、Advanced Specialty Outpatient Veterinary Hospital

The advanced outpatient veterinary hospital has the facilities of an emergency veterinary hospital. There are two types of general outpatient veterinary hospitals that do not have as much equipment as emergency hospitals, such as the appointment system and the Walkin system, so many major surgeries and complex conditions require referral to specialty hospitals for emergency care. This advanced veterinary hospital has a cooperative imaging teacher, cardiac ultrasound and other items that require strong expertise will be very convenient to do in this hospital. You can also get an appointment at this specialized hospital for heart and eye surgery.
Hours of operation: After the general outpatient clinic closes, there is no staff in the veterinary hospital, so sick pets will not stay overnight. Senior outpatient veterinary hospital business hours are generally 8 a.m.-6 p.m. After closing the door, doctors and nurses will go home but they are always on call. The hospital has nurses to look after sick pets staying overnight. If there is any situation, they will immediately notify the doctor to rush to the hospital for treatment.
The charges are generally more expensive than those of general outpatient hospitals, about 30-100 per item. However, compared to emergency hospitalization, it is still cheaper. Sick favor hospitalization fee is about 100-300 dollars or so.

3.Pet Emergencies

U.S. emergency pet clinics are generally open 24/7 for any emergencies such as severe fractures (which can cause life-threatening blood clots), coma, serious injuries or conditions that cannot be delayed until the next day or the third day of outpatient visits. However, the rating of the emergency clinic is not too high, because some of the pets that go to the emergency clinic do not survive due to serious conditions, and the pet owners’ feelings are understandable.
Opening hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Fee reference: The emergency fee is about twice as much as the outpatient fee. Waiting time ranges from half an hour to five hours.

Follow up on your pet’s visit
If your pet is sick, the veterinarian will prescribe medication according to the severity of her condition; however, it is possible that your pet will require long-term medication, and the veterinarian will give you a prescription list (very important! Please keep it safe! ) After that, you will have to buy the medication with the prescription slip!

When must a pet be taken to the emergency room?

1. Respiratory distress
Oxygen is essential for animals, so cases of respiratory distress must be seen immediately. Severe respiratory and cardiovascular diseases can lead to respiratory distress.
Common symptoms: breathing through the abdomen, coughing continuously for a long time, accelerated breathing for a long time, cats will open their mouths to breathe, and the oral mucosa turns blue due to lack of oxygen.
2、Injury
Whether it is bitten by other animals, hit by a car or fall, it is necessary to immediately. Sometimes although there is no obvious external injuries, their internal injuries may also be fatal.
Common symptoms: bleeding, mobility problems, lack of appetite, lack of energy, fever, difficulty breathing.
3、Too much blood loss
If you lose too much blood in a short period of time, it is likely to be life-threatening.
Common symptoms: bleeding, white gums, difficulty in breathing, lack of energy, blood spots on the skin or gums, swelling of the abdomen due to internal bleeding.
4、Poisoning
The body of dogs and cats is very different from people, so some foods, plants, or human drugs are toxic to them. For example: gong, grapes, macadamia nuts, apricots, popcorn, onions, xylitol, lilies (cats), detergents, pesticides, rat poison, etc. If you suspect that your baby has eaten these things, – must be sent to the emergency room.
Common symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, bad spirits, different symptoms of the same poison (such as neurological symptoms, coagulation deficiency, urinary symptoms, etc.).
5、Nervous system disorders
Nerve cells are difficult to regenerate, so damage to the nervous system is often irreparable. The discovery of neurological disorders, – must be immediately. Immediately send to the doctor to reduce more damage.
Common symptoms: convulsions, uncoordinated movements, loss of balance, head tilted to the – side, walking crooked to the – side, coma, unconsciousness.
6、Foreign body in the digestive tract
If you see your dog eating socks, silver coins, or even fish hooks, you must go to the doctor quickly. The penny produced after 1982 contains a high level of zinc and is easily absorbed, leading to severe anemia. If it is a fish hook, do not try to pull it out. Because the hook has a barb, and will only lead to more damage.
Common symptoms: vomiting, abdominal pain, mental discomfort.
7、Urethral obstruction
Urethral obstruction occurs mostly in male cats and dogs, and if not treated quickly, it can damage the kidney function and lead to toxic materials that cannot be excreted from the body.
Common symptoms: frequent urination but sometimes can not urinate, abdominal pain, hematuria. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

U.S. pet hospital charging reference

In the United States pet partners should know that the United States pet sickness cost a lot, but the specific medical items cost how much may not be very clear, the following data are based on the United States to see the dog for example, the charges by the AKC audit, for reference.

1、Respiratory surgery
Treatment cost: $1,500~5,500
Laryngeal surgery: Laryngeal tissue and vocal cords are an important part of the respiratory tract. Sometimes the laryngeal tissue can enter the trachea and cause breathing difficulties and airway obstruction.
Soft palate surgery: Many bulls are born with a long soft palate, which is also known as the “ceiling”. A long soft palate interferes with the air intake into the trachea and reduces the amount of oxygen available to the dog, and many bulls cannot exercise normally because their soft palate is too long.
2、Elbow dysplasia
Treatment cost: $3,000 per elbow
Elbow dysplasia: Large dogs are prone to this genetic disease, when the heads of the elbow joints are incorrectly brought together, this is elbow dysplasia, usually, both elbows are affected, and one side is very serious
3、Eye polyp
Treatment cost: $300~$1,000 per eye
Eye polyps: The most common disease in English and French malamutes and large dogs. When the glands in the inner eyelids protrude and become blocked, cherry eyes appear, usually in pit bulls under two years old, even in both eyes.
4、Hip dysplasia
Treatment cost: $4000 per hip
Hip dysplasia is affecting 75% of English cattle and 60% of French cattle in the world. These two breeds have the highest incidence of hip dysplasia in the world, and misalignment of hip structures can lead to hip deformity, which is also called hip dysplasia.
5、Idiopathic head spasm
Diagnosis cost: $3,000~$5,000
This disease is affecting 38% of pit bulls worldwide, especially small and medium sized pit bulls. There is no specific factor for the onset of the disease, and it can strike at any time.
6、Interfinger cyst
Diagnosis cost: $150 ~ $1500
This disease is very common, usually allergies, bacterial infections, fend blockage|, for less serious, can be treated with medicated bath or white vinegar soak.
7、Tail infection
Treatment cost: $600 ~ $1400
Many short-tailed dogs have deep tail skin filled with folds, which is a breeding ground for bacteria. The symptoms of tail infection are frequent tail rubbing and increased odor in the tail area; for those dogs with deep tail folds and aggravated conditions, surgical tail amputation is required.

Pet-raising Guide

1. Vaccination
The quickest and clearest way to get your pet’s vaccinations is to contact your vet, who will work out a vaccination schedule based on your pet’s condition.
Tips: All vaccination certificates must be kept, because if you want to take your pet to the pet store for a haircut or to boarding, etc., you will need to show proof of vaccination. If the pet is adopted, you can ask the animal adoption agency to get information about the pet’s health and vaccines.
2. Deworming
Intestinal parasitic infections in dogs are very common and can lead to wasting, slow growth, diarrhea, and even death. Under normal circumstances, it is reasonable to take your dog to the vet for a fecal examination every six months. If parasites are found, the veterinarian will administer specific medication based on the type of worm and the dog’s own condition. The main intestinal parasites that dogs are susceptible to are roundworms, trichomonads, hookworms, striped worms and whipworms. Over-the-counter wormers are also available at PetSmart and PetCo, but the dosage must be determined by the dog’s weight and the veterinarian’s recommendations before use.
3. Spay/neuter surgery
Although spaying and neutering is entirely a personal choice of the owners, from the standpoint of caring for the pet, the results of spaying and neutering are definitely more beneficial than detrimental, not only to make the pet more docile and extend its life, but also to reduce the risk of the pet due to childbirth. For example, the best time to have your dog spayed or neutered is when it is 6 to 8 months old, and you need to make an appointment with your veterinarian in advance for the surgery. The cost for female dogs is generally higher than that for male dogs, with spay/neuter surgeries ranging from $100 to $400. Don’t forget to ask the vet for a protective collar for your dog after the surgery to prevent them from licking their wounds.
4. Pet Insurance
In the United States, it costs a lot of money when your pet gets sick, so buying some pet insurance is something that many people consider. Similar to human insurance, pet insurance is also divided into basic insurance + additional insurance. However, unlike the human health insurance system, the price of pet insurance varies, depending on the type of pet (cats, dogs, or large animals such as donkeys, horses, etc.), the pet breed (purebred dogs and cats are relatively expensive), the age of the pet (the older the cost, the higher the cost), and the health status of the pet. Specific U.S. pet insurance purchase process and pet insurance recommendations can be found in the following guide.
5. Daily care
Cat food dog food, etc. is the largest part of daily expenses. Different pet food in many pet stores and supermarkets have a variety of brands available for purchase. When buying remember to look clearly on the packaging tape indicated, the specific feeding frequency and portion size, generally on the bag with detailed instructions. The price of a large bag of dog food or cat food generally ranges from a dozen to eighty dollars.

How to save money in the U.S. pet hospital?

1. Vaccines
Petco- Vetco
Affordable. No Office visit fee. Vaccine unit price is also cheaper than the veterinary hospital. Microchip deworming medicine heartworm check and all are very comprehensive. The doctor will also do a simple examination of the dog, and will answer your questions.
It’s best to leave your offical name and print off your handwritten signature. Because their doctors are all rotating, it’s hard to change the paperwork at the end. So it’s best to be thorough to avoid trouble later.

Petsmart – Banfield
Buy their wellness package, once and for all: if you go to the veterinary hospital for vaccinations, each time there is an Office visit fee, is to weigh, the doctor to look at the ears of the pet to see the teeth, a brief examination, to answer your questions. Each Office visit fee Boston price ranges from 60-100 dollars.

2. Neutering
It is highly recommended to find a local Shelter agency for spay/neuter, you can search the website of the nearby Shelter, if they can spay/neuter service will be written.
Advantages: clinical surgery experience than a lot of veterinary hospitals, the price is almost half of the veterinary hospital.
Cons: Sometimes there are restrictions on the size of the dog, such as over 65 pounds they don’t do. But you can find a few more, there will always be.

3. Visiting the doctor
There is no way to save money on medical care, but insurance is highly recommended to buy. If there are only some minor problems, you can also buy your own pet medication, which is more cost-effective than going to the hospital! The premise is that you clearly know the symptoms and which drugs to eat.

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