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 Is it your blood relatives, mixed with a few close friends and a furry animal or two? Is it the c-workers that you work side by side with everyday? No matter how you define your family, chances are you are spending this holiday season with them, celebrating life, traditions and ringing in the new year!

This year our co-owner and medical director, Dr. William Griffin is thankful to have his entire family home for the holidays. Two weeks ago, Dr. Griffin brought his five year old cat, Bo to RegionalVet for vomiting. The medical team discovered that Bo was vomiting from toxins that were building up in his body. He had gone into kidney failure. "I think it was an opportunity for the staff to see me in an emotional and vulnerable position; one that they do not usually see," said Dr. Griffin.

Bo has a condition where his body is producing stones in his kidneys and they are becoming lodged in his urethra, obstructing urine flow to his bladder. This is a difficult condition to treat and prevent . . . and can be fatal. At RegionalVet, we have the capacity and expertise to diagnose and medically treat Bo's condition; however, we do not have the capacity to surgically manage this condition. If the medical management failed, then we would have had to transfer him to another facility.

"It is very difficult to provide and direct medical care for your own family member. I was part of the care team from a diagnostic point of view, but thanks to our excellent team of doctors and nurses I did not need to tell them how or what to do. I was able to step aside and allowed our team to shine," said Dr. Griffin.

Once the kidney failure was managed, the team restarted his function with aggressive IV fluid therapy and IV medications. For Dr. Griffin, this experience confirmed what we already knew . . . all pet owners need pet insurance. The cost of Bo's care was over $12,000.00. As pet owners, we must take responsibility to provide our pets with the appropriate care they need, and not allow finances to affect our decision. The option for euthanasia should be a medical decision when all else is lost, not an option due to cost or convenience.

As the holiday season comes to a close and your credit card bills slowly make their way to you, the reality of how much you actually spent over the last few months will start to sink in. Did you stick to your budget or go way overboard? Now ask yourself this . . . . do you have a budget for your health? How about your pet's health? Dr. Griffin wouldn't allow price to be an issue for the care of his furry family member. But if you don't have pet insurance you might not have that option. This year plan ahead - enroll in a pet insurance! Because the love you have for your pet doesn't have a limit, so why should his medical care?