The (high) cost of being sick

Recently our darling Belle-the-collie-dog was a little off-weather.  She “leaked” in two places – once on the wood floor where she likes to sleep, and once on the sofa, where Paul likes to sit!  We were concerned enough to schedule a trip to the Vet for her to see if there might be some underlying problem causing this.

Let’s see if I can tell this short tale so it’s coherent.

She went for her visit and Paul took a sample of her pee.  She had blood drawn for the inevitable blood-work studies.  Once the results came back, Belle’s doctor called to report what they’d found.  Anaplasmosis, to be exact.  It’s a tick-borne illness.  She would need a course of antibiotics for this, and, according to Dr. M, this particular medication, Doxycycline Hyclate, is a rough one to take – makes the patient have an upset tummy and/or diarrhea.


Dr. M. said that if she had these side effects, she would prescribe Belle some pills to settle them down.

Paul went up to our local pharmacy near here to get the prescription for the Doxy.  When he got home he had a deer-in-the-headlights look about his face… he said that this was one expensive pee-leak!  I was to guess at the price… I guessed $59… Nope.  $75?  Nope, $150? (please no),  Nope.  Higher.  He gave me the bag with the price on it and I was stunned…

There are two spots for prices on these bags.  One is the “YOU PAY” price and the other is the “RETAIL PRICE.”

On this first go-round, the “You Pay” price was $234. and change.  I about lost all the marbles remaining in my head!  What?  TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY FOUR DOLLARS? For a 30 day supply of antibiotics?

What?  I shook my head a few times thinking my eyes were playing tricks on me.

I can’t remember the exact other figure under the RETAIL PRICE but it was a little more than the first price… say by about $25.

When I spoke with Dr. M next, I ranted and railed about this price!  That was when she told me that if we had gotten the pills at her place (Vet Clinic), it would have cost us $71.

SEVENTY ONE DOLLARS!  As opposed to the $234. that we paid at the pharmacy!

I was seeing RED!

To make a long story shorter, we decided that Paul would try to get a refund on them and he would go to the Vet Clinic and get them there.  Dr. M. called the Pharmacy and explained how outrageous their price was and she, in the end, convinced them to refund us most of it but we would just keep those pills.

OK.  Fine.  Paul had to go down and get the stomach upset tablets from Dr. M. anyway later that day.

So when he got back with the original bottle of pills, they were in a newly printed bag, and, now sit down.. this was the label on the new bag:

price 003

Can you see the prices?  We pay now – $89.90 (as opposed to the $71 the vet would have charged us) BUT the clincher is that the Retail Price jumped from somewhere around $275-give-or-take a few dollars before, to a whopping $553.29!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I realize that is not what we are paying, but why such a huge jump?

I must admit I am still in the dark, but I give up.

Belle is on the antibiotics now and the tummy upset pills and we shall see how she makes out.

When we had given them to her the first time, she threw up her whole breakfast.  Here’s hoping all stays put this time!



Bex & Co.

Below:  My latest pile of crocheted cat blankets I made to be donated to the Odd Cat Sanctuary for the kitties to sit/sleep on.

pileofmats 001.JPG

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8 Responses to The (high) cost of being sick

  1. WendyNC says:

    Wishing Miss Belle a complete recovery with a minimum of side effects. Good on you for making all those kitty blankets. What a great gift of your time and talents.


  2. blb1 says:

    Well Bex there is just no explaining. I just learned this year the price of a spay for a stray cat to be tnr would of been $300! It is no wonder people do not sterilize and vaccinate their animals.

    Hope Belle does fine.


  3. bobbie ingersoll says:

    These prices are criminal, plain and simple, and everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon. I know two people who moved to Mexico after retiring. They took one of their three or four dogs to the vet down there, then posted the receipt on fb: $18.00. A similar receipt later was posted for a dental visit for like, $25. I used to go to the vet across the street and down the alley (really convenient), but after retirement, his prices were impossible. I qualified for the non-profit Community Veterinary Ctr (awful part of town) which charges a fraction of the prices, but has qualified and value-driven veterinarians just the same. Hope Belle is better soon, as well as your pocketbook.


    • Bex says:

      Thanks Bobz. Yes, it’s a crap-shoot if you or your pets get sick these days. Paul needs thyroid replacement meds to just live… and now he pays a copay of $10 each month, which is fine, but what’s gonna happen with a new health care bill? Will he be paying hundreds every month for a pill that allows him to just live? We have no idea.


  4. Eric Mayer says:

    Hope the pills work. Health care pricing is absurd. It seems like there’s no set price. I depends on who you’re dealing with and who you are — patients, hospitals, pharmacies, insurance companies all get different prices. Basically its a big scam. Lat year I had to take some rather expensive meds. According to the bill Medicare covered a tiny fraction, and the insurance company covered another and the health provider, which is associated with the insurance company, incurred a fantastic loss — if one were to believe that the retail price of the drug was really the price stated. Well, you know there’s some sort of tax/accounting scheme going on with all the different prices and payments but what’s the point of trying to sort it out. The health care folks are all making money had over fist. Oh well. As long as the pills work.



    • Bex says:

      Well Hello Eric Mayer! Soooo good to see you here! How are you and Mary doing? Thanks for coming in and commenting. My journaling days have dwindled down to a precious few lately… I use The Book of Face these days for communicating daily… I don’t mind it as much as some others do, I just use it for my own purposes and ignore what I don’t like. But it’s easy and these days, with my 70th birthday coming up in a few months, I need “easy” every chance I can get! Happy Holidays to you and Mary, dear old friend!


  5. I hope Belle’s symptoms are not too troublesome! Drug lords, who knows what they will extract from concerned loved ones… Glad the vet stepped in for you! Love your kittie blankets!!!!


    • Bex says:

      Thanks Maggie – yes, apparently the pharmacies do not give refunds but when I spoke with Dr. M. this morning, she told me they’d “made a mistake” on the price. Sooooo,that means that if we hadn’t raised hell, we would have just paid it? I guess so! Hrmph! Thanks about the kitty mats.


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