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Fido's health bad for bank balance

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/06/2016

Do you have big bucks to shell out on your furry friend if it needs brain surgery or chemotherapy?

Pet owners are increasingly forking out more for vet treatments that have been traditionally associated with humans, a new survey has revealed.

The Southern Cross Pet Insurance survey of about 2000 pet owners found many underestimated how much it would cost to look after a pet.

Almost 25 per cent of owners expected to pay less than $1000 for health-related costs during their pet's life.

However spokesman Anthony McPhail said many Kiwis were paying thousands to keep their beloved best friend alive.

"It's not uncommon for people to pay more than $10,000 during their pet's life on healthcare."

If an animal was diabetic or had another chronic condition, the costs could start off small, but add up over time, he said.

"Last year our largest standalone claim was for nearly $15,000 for an 11-year-old boxer with a brain tumour, and this year we've already paid a claim for $9000 for a seven-year-old miniature schnauzer with pancreatitis."

Cats owners were also happy to cough up, with one owner paying $17,000 for the surgical removal of lymphoma plus chemotherapy, and another paying $6900 for renal failure.

"We often don't think about budgeting when looking at getting a pet," Mr McPhail said.

"But when you tally up all the basic costs related to owning a cat or dog, you realise it's quite significant."

In other claims, $6300 was paid to treat a cat's broken leg, $8600 to remove a gall stone from a bull terrier, and $5900 to remove a cat's front leg after a dog attack.


* 22 per cent of pet owners expect to pay $1000 over their pet's life

* 18 per cent will pay $500 before considering euthanasia

* 18 per cent say there's no limit to what they'd pay before considering euthanasia

* 26 per cent of dog owners pay up to $1000 a year on their pet's health

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