First of all, and I just want to make sure this is clear up front, I love Philip.
Everyone loves Philip. He’s very easy to love, after all. He’s charming, affectionate, fearless. He is also very, very, very expensive. Matt and I used to joke that Philip was worth is weight in gold. Literally. As he’s gotten older, though, and the total expenditure has skyrocketed up, well, I think gold is undervaluing him. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a brief summary of Philip’s medical history:
- Worms. Weeks and weeks and weeks of worms.
- A dermatologist. Months of dog food roulette. Years of IVD Rabbit and Potato.
- Foot surgery (twice)
- Back surgery
And now, Philip is adding to his lifetime totals with:
- Old man stuff
Philip, lest we forget, is eleven. He doesn’t act like it, but he is, and he’s slowed down noticeably in the last few years. Oh, he still barks at squirrels and demands walks, but he sleeps a lot more, is much lower key, and gets tired a lot faster. Also, he has arthritis.
At its worst, the arthritis got to the point where Philip could no longer jump on the bed. Matt and I discussed various remedies (get a ramp — no room; get a lower bed — sigh) and took him to the vet. Philip went on twice-daily NSAIDs, which helped, but even then, he was reluctant to jump on the bed. Matt was lifting him up every night, and lifting a 75-pound dog up onto the bed multiple times a day gets really old (or so I hear). Matt’s colleague Carole recommended we try acupuncture; she thought her senior dog really benefited from it. So off went Matt and Philip to the Center for Integrative Animal Medicine.
At around $150 a visit, it’s not cheap. But it does seem to be helping; Philip is now back to living on the bed, having gotten there under his own steam. Of course, to start out, treatments have been weekly, though now we’re able to spread them out a bit more (every 2-3 weeks), and we’ll be able to go down to once a month eventually. In the meantime, though, ouch.
And that’s not including the NSAIDs ($80 for a 30-day supply), or the blood tests we have to get to check liver function ($150 every 3-4 months) to ensure Philip is healthy enough to take them. Nor does it include incidentals, like the biopsy on one of the random skin tags that pop up every so often ($50) or the visit to the opthamologist to biopsy the frankly disturbing growth in Philip’s eye that had been there forever but then got red and inflammed (don’t ask).
But I’m pretty sure if we totaled it up, he’s worth his weight in platinum.