Thursday, April 23, 2009

Busy week and random thoughts

I can't believe I haven't posted anything in a week. Bad blogger! In my defense, I have been very busy. Isn't that ironic -- I don't have time to write when I have tons of things to write about!

All of the lambs are doing great. The day after my last post, another ewe lambed. She had two white rams. Since we can't really support more than about 20 sheep year-round, my husband is getting excited about all the lamb in the freezer next year. Did I mention we served leg of lamb for Easter? It was a huge hit. We used this recipe. We will definitely be doing it again!

Yesterday, I took Cicada the goat (yes, she's named after a bug) to the vet. She's been limping and not putting any weight on her right, front leg, so I was thinking it's probably broken. The x-ray looked completely normal, so $90 later, we left the vet with a bottle of anti-inflammatory meds to keep her comfortable while whatever soft tissue injury heals.

While sitting in the office, I overheard the receptionist tell someone on the phone that the cost to spay a cat is $250. The person immediately hung up. No wonder people don't get animals spayed. Is that standard? My little country vet is charging $95 to spay Sam the barn cat, which seems reasonable. A few months ago I found a site that showed the median income for people in various towns, and I was surprised to learn that it's about $15-20K in the towns around here. So, spaying a cat would be 1-2% of their annual income.

So, this reminded me of the c-section article I read a couple months ago where the people took their goat to the vet and were told that it would be $800 for a c-section. Before leaving, I asked what a c-section would cost, and they said $400. So, if a goat ever needs a c-section, I am definitely taking it to U of I. They said between $150 and $250.

Tomorrow, Sam the barn cat will be spayed. She had her kittens earlier this month, but she was obviously so freaked out by the whole experience that she had no idea what to do. She gave birth in the middle of the night when no one was out there, and she got blood all over the barn office. It looks like she kept moving from one place to another, even after she started having kittens. Although their noses looked clean, they were not at all fluffy, so she didn't clean them off. The unfinished wood floor is obviously stained for life. I'm not sure about the futon, but at least it can be covered. She did eventually figure out what the box was for and had the last two kittens in there.

Today, we're going to do some barn cleaning. The cheesemaking class Saturday morning starts out in the barn, so it needs to look somewhat presentable -- as presentable as a barn can ever look when animals live in it. I just love those barn brochures we get in the mail where they have a picture of a brand new barn, sparkling clean, with a single happy horse looking at you. I hope no one is expecting that when they come here!


The Eleven Eleven Company said...

Hi Deborah,

That is an outrageous price for spaying. In the city of Ottawa, there is a spay clinic run by the municipality that charges only $100 per cat. They even throw in a nail trimming. The only thing is that it's sort of like an assembly line- a long table, and the animals aren't separated. One of our cats hated us for two months after we got her spayed. Still, better than $450 (no error there) that our regular vet was going to charge for laser surgery. Yikes.


melanie said...

A few years back I got soft-hearted and took a local stray in to the vet to have a large wound treated. They tested for feline leukemia, and since it was positive, they convinced me to euthanize the kitty. For being a good samaritan, it cost almost $200.

And they wonder why people don't utilize the vets more often...

Deborah said...

Traci, I'm so glad you said "no error" after the $450, because I immediately thought it was a typo! Funny that you're near Ottawa, Canada. I'm near Ottawa, Illinois!

Melanie, that's terrible. Why didn't they just turn over the cat to animal control? or give you a big discount? You'd think they realize that they're discouraging people from being good samaritans when they do that sort of thing. When we first moved out here,there were 15 cats in the barn. Silly city girl that I was, I wanted to get them all vaccinated and spayed and figured a vet somewhere would give me a discount. Nope.

SkippyMom said...

Where we live [highest median income in the US, I kid you not] the cost to spay our female dachshund was $365, plus boarding, kennel cough vaccine and whatever else they could tack on. It eventually totalled $500 plus.

We changed vets pronto - I get so tired of it. I know they have costs and stuff isn't cheap, but you aren't kidding about why people don't do it. It is ridiculous...and our county and the surrounding counties don't offer low cost spay/nueter. And we can't go where they do because we aren't a resident. sigh.

Still, we wouldn't dream of not being able to afford our pups - they are our responsibility and we wouldn't have adopted them if we couldn't.

Mom L said...

Everyone else has already said what I would about the cost of spaying - thank heavens my Emma was spayed by the great people who rescued her before I adopted her. Your post, though, reminds me of when I was 16 and our cat had her first kittens. It was the first time I'd been alone in that situation - Mom was teaching and not home yet. The cat had kittens everywhere, dropping one then moving to another spot. I called one of Mom's friends in desperation! Finally gathered them all in one place where Mama cat commenced to clean them.


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