Originally Posted by Pugga
We broke down and got pet insurance so it doesn't come down to that. My dog tore is ACL when he was 6 months old (he's a lab) and the cheapest surgery option was 2,500, without it, he couldn't go faster than a brisk walk. The insurance covered the majority of it so it's almost paid for itself for his entire life with just that incident. There were more expensive options, upwards of $4,000 and the insurance gave us the ability to evaluate all the procedures without really taking the cost into consideration. We ended up choosing the cheaper procedure because it was done locally and not at a specialist but it was nice to not be forced into making the dog suffer because we couldn't afford the surgery or going into debt trying to pay for the cheapest surgery option because it was the only one we could afford.
When it comes to more serious issues, I draw the line at not keeping the pet alive just because I'd feel bad putting them down. If they are suffering, the humane thing to do is have them put to sleep in my opinion.
Is your pet insurance vet-billable or is it out of pocket up front then reimbursed later by insurance co? The insurances I've seen so far have all been reimburse type so I'd still have to have the coin up front for a major procedure.
To the OP's original question- With basic maintenance plus ongoing treatments for a back injury suffered last summer, my dog runs me $350/mo on average. I don't know where exactly I'd draw the line on a major incident, but it would probably depend on how much 'free' money I had at the time. I would spend as much as it took, so long as I had it and there was a good chance it would make a difference to him.