I've had a dog since I was in 4th grade. Charcoal is now about 15 years old, half blind, mostly deaf, seems to have arthritis, and gets bad skin allergies. The last problem means several visits to the vet each summer. The summer after Stacey and I were married, we decided to get a pet, and decided on getting a cat. Along comes Dora (pictured). Then this past summer, Stacey called with a pitiful plea. In a home visit (she's a social worker) she found a stray kitten that was rubbing all against her legs, and would probably die if someone didn't take it in. We now have our third pet, Buster. Poor little Buster has had a hard life. The morning after taking him in, we found him near death in the bathroom he was in for the night. He couldn't stand up, wouldn't open his eyes, and was hardly breathing. We had to take him to a vet other than our usual one, because he was closed. Buster had to go back to the vet a couple weeks later because he was constipated. We've now had both cat's declawed due to getting new furniture. So we've spent about $300 on Buster...and still have to get him fixed.
Along with adopting Buster we received hundreds of extra pets....fleas. We tried everything. Flea collars, flea shampoo baths, carpet treatments, the liquid stuff from Wal-Mart that goes on their backs, etc. Finally, on my most recent trip to the vet, we purchased some flea medication from him. I would have gone to him first, but I was trying to save some money by not buying the prescription medication. In all, we've probably spent nearly $50 at this point on flea medication things...the treatment from the vet was $9 per tube that treats them for one month. We gave it to them, and within days saw an immediate difference.
The frugality moral of this whole ramble is twofold. 1) Call around to different vets. Our normal vet charges much less for seeing animals than the vet we went to in an emergency, which is why we have spent so much on Buster. And we don't care for him as much even! All vets do NOT charge the same! and 2) If your pet has fleas or needs some kind of treatment...you can probably save money in the long run by taking them to the vet immediately.
That's life with pets in the Dalton home!