Odie, a 2 year-old runt of a mutt, is our youngest of three dogs. Earlier this week, he began to refuse food and not hold it down when he did manage to eat a bit. Tuesday’s trip to the vet resulted in a few prescriptions, but not any diagnosis of the problem.
Yesterday, with Odie still rarely eating, and having dropped about 5 of his 33 pounds, we took a 2nd trip to the vet. Bloodwork was done that eliminated pancreatitis. Then, after two x-rays, they found an obstruction in his intestine. The vet said it was probably a hard piece of plastic, or possibly a piece of metal. Odie had swallowed the object, it had traveled through the stomach, but was lodged in the intestine on the way out. The only way to retrieve the obstruction was to perform a surgery called a gastrotomy.
Odie’s gastrotomy surgery was yesterday afternoon. The vet said it went well. Oh, and the obstruction blocking his intestine? A SOCK. Not a hard plastic, not a piece of metal, a SOCK; apparently one that’s 12-18 inches long too! I guess our lovable mutt skipped over the smaller ankle socks and went straight for the quality threads.
Odie is staying the night at the vet, resting comfortably, and we hope he makes a speedy recovery without any complications.
All this stress with Odie reminds me that life happens, and we can’t control when we will have emergencies. Kids break arms, cars break down, and funerals happen three states away.
While we can’t prevent emergencies, we can do our part to plan for them. WHEN (not IF) emergencies will happen, we need to be prepared. An adequate Emergency Fund has 3 to 6 month’s worth of your household expenses. We all know this is a down economy and we’re battling through a recession. But even if you don’t yet have an adequately-funded Emergency Fund, anything is better than nothing! It’s never too late to start — do what you can to put aside some money to help WHEN the bad times strike. This will help you avoid credit card debt or medical bills, which drag you down with monthly payments.
Diversifying our Emergency Portfolio
Luckily in our situation, we have a few options to help cover the costs of Odie’s sock surgery:
- Any extra money remaining at the end of the month that would have been applied to our debt snowball.
- A line-item in our monthly budget for our dogs’ medical care. Any remaining balance each month carries over to the next (kind of like cell phone “rollover” minutes), which helps us build a dog medical fund for annual check-ups and emergencies like this one.
- Stopping our debt snowball payment for a month and applying it to our vet bill.
- A $1,000 “baby” Emergency Fund.
Do you have a crazy pet story?
What options do you use to prevent debt accumulation when emergencies happen?