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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, we had an eventful week.

I have often recieved very harsh reactions from people when I tell them how much I will be paying for my well bred poodle. With them often saying why would you do that when you can get one from the shelter for the fraction of the price?

However, for me the initial price of the dog was never a factor when choosing where to get my dog from. I feel that the starter cost of a pet always ends up paling by comparison to the expenses of keeping a pet anyway. Regardless of whether you initially paid a 100 euros or 2000 euros for the animal itself.

Well yesterday my wallet certainly agreed with me. :oops:

George the gerbil, my mischievious problem child that I got for free this spring took a big bite out of my budget.

On tuesday he wasn't interested in his sunflower seed, seemed to be having trouble chewing. So knowing that small prey animals like him really hide any kind of medical problems super well often until its too late we decided to get him to the vets ASAP.

Well, I don't trust regular vets with my tiny little gerbils. They often don't have the right expertise and equipment. I hadn't gotten them in for a checkup yet because I couldnt find a vet that I liked. I was super happy to find that an NAC (exotic) vet office had literally just opened this month in my city. We call and get an appointment the same day.

Well it turns out that my silly little crazy boy has completely broken his upper front teeth! like clean off, not even a stump! The good news is that I am fairly certain that the accident happened on friday evening. He really did not show any pain or change in behaviour until I tried to give him a treat 4 days later. They really hide it so well because in the wild if you show weakness you become a tempting snack for a predator.

So he had already lost 15 gr and is underweight but he is not lethargic he is otherwise in very good condition and no infection or other trauma, no broken bones. I know that because he got the whole shebang, he was put under and examined thoroughly and got Xrays. His brother Fred came also for moral support and a general checkup. He is indeed just a small gerbil, not underweight at all.

My little George now gets fed a special nutritious liquid that I make from a powder according to some precise instructions. I have to do this 3 times a day and then he also gets antibiotics 2 times a day. The roots of the teeth look good, the vet is optimistic that they will grow back in a month. So I will be handfeeding him 3 times a day until then.

and thats how a 'free gerbil' ended up costing me 170 euro 馃檭馃槄

He will probably cost me more still, as he cant chew the lower teeth are likely to overgrow and we will have to bring him back for a teeth trim.
 

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My neighbors had a standard poodle they got from a rescue organization, who turned out to have numerous medical issues. They loved her dearly, but she cost them many thousands of dollars in vet costs. I figure you can pay a breeder now, or you can pay the vets later and live with the problems. A good breeder who does proper health checks is not a guarantee, but it's a pretty good safeguard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My neighbors had a standard poodle they got from a rescue organization, who turned out to have numerous medical issues. They loved her dearly, but she cost them many thousands of dollars in vet costs. I figure you can pay a breeder now, or you can pay the vets later and live with the problems. A good breeder who does proper health checks is not a guarantee, but it's a pretty good safeguard.
True but a pedigree doesn't save you from a car accident. Once you have the animal in your possession there is always the possibility of them needing expensive services, whether it be medical or otherwise, regardless of what you paid to get them.

Unfortunately I think that with animals that you can get very cheap, especially rodents, people mistake that initial low price tag for a cheap pet and then they end up abandoned or even dying due to lack of or incorrect care.

If we hadn't had the funds to take him to the vet yesterday he would have died just from a broken tooth. :cry:
 

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True but a pedigree doesn't save you from a car accident. Once you have the animal in your possession there is always the possibility of them needing expensive services, whether it be medical or otherwise, regardless of what you paid to get them.
Absolutely. I was just giving a reply to your neighbor who asked "why would you do that when you can get one from the shelter for the fraction of the price"
 

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I agree. An adoption fee is just a small park of the cost. You also need to buy supplies, vet bills, spay and neuter and the list goes on and on.
 

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When I was a kid I got a "free" cat. My parents let me get him knowing he had an ear infection. Multiple rounds of medication later he ended up needing surgery on his ear to treat polyps. Great cat, but racked up huge bills within the first two months he lived with us, and that was before the special food because of his allergies.

In general I don't tell people what I pay for my dogs. If they're considering a dog and ask me about my breeder I may warn them that well bred dogs aren't cheap, but generally I find it's better if other people live in ignorance of the amount of money I spend on dogs (and not just acquiring them, but gear, grooming, training, entry fees, etc)
 

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Poor little George! Glad you are such an observant and caring owner with sufficient Euro鈥檚 for an exotic pet veterinarian. Pet insurance is worth considering, while you save enough to be self-insured. A PF member鈥檚 poodle broke its leg and the price tag was $3K!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good news! Little George is destructive!!!!

Not something that a dog owner likes to see but very good thing for a rodent owner. This means that his upper teeth have grown back.
He can eat on his own now and is steadily increasing in weight. It happened even sooner than what the vet expected.

He stayed infection free and he was a very good boy when we had to syringe feed him. Not an easy task with gerbils.

For those not familiar with the species, gerbils are often described as like hamsters but more. They are more energetic, harder chewers, intensely social (should be kept in pairs or more), need more space, bigger supplies and deeper stronger enclosures. They are very wiggly little things with hard bites. Many gerbil owners struggle with giving medication.

I dont like to pat myself on the back but the last 6 months of taming really paid off in the last couple of weeks. We have been able to scoop him up 3 times a day, hold him in our hand and feed him liquid food and antibiotics. We didnt even have to hold him tightly, he just sat still in my SO palm and licked the food from the syringe.

I know that it looks like he is squeezing him on the picture but he is holding him very lightly. George was very skinny.

When we first got them they would bite if we put our hand in their enclosure.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I also got their christmas present early today. I got them a new house. A two story wood house. You cant see it because its buried underneath the bedding.

I like to give mine around 50cm deep bedding in the deep end. Underneath the bedding are tunnels and 2 houses. The wheel is 27cm, its the absolute minimum and we need to upgrade to 30cm. A correct size wheel is very important for their health (same for hamsters). Its on a platform with a house and bedding underneath so they can go from one side of the enclosure to the other without coming to the surface.

It might seem counterintuative. But the more opportunities that I give them to hide and get away from me. The friendlier they have become. I think its because it lowers their stress levels.

I think that sometimes people forget that feeling safe is one of our most basic needs, just like having access to water and food is.
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