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Euthanizations up due to rising pet costs

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Tyler (KYTX) -- It's a bind for many pet owners: when man's best friend gets sick, at what point is treatment just not affordable anymore? Some pet experts say rising costs are leading more people to choose the last resort to euthanize their companions.

 Lacey Hood has had her share of heartache, recalling an especially tough time with her cat, Kizzy.

"She was much older, almost 19, but she got diagnosed with cancer. It was looking at how long she was going to live and whether it was even worth the treatment for it," Hood said.

The animal lover was forced to do what no owner wants to do. "We ended up putting her down just because it was really affecting her quality of life in general," Hood said.


Some pet experts believe more people are choosing this unfavorable option-- because costs are rising. The director of a clinic in Ohio has cited costs 10 to 12 percent more than they used to be, and it doesn't sit well in a struggling economy.


 "A lot of times I tell people you have to guide me, and many times we work on a very limited budget," Dr. Laura Cauthen, with the Animal Medical Center of Tyler, said.

Cauthen says less than 20 percent of her owners decide for euthanasia, but it happens.

"I hate to do it when we have a treatable, curable medical disease but sometimes we have to for financial reasons," Cauthen said.

She explained while she injected heart worm medicine into a lab mix, that it comes with a hefty pricetag for them too.

 "Many of them are the same drugs we use in human medicine so the supplies and hard costs are pretty high," Cauthen said.
Veterinarians say the best thing you can do is have open communication with your vet. Get constant updates on how your pet is doing and establish a ceiling on what you're willing to pay. 

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