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How much should a vet fund for 2 guinea pigs be?

onlychildandhamster

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I have a hamster and the suggested amount is £200. I think that is a bit low as I am in London and a consultation alone is £40. But ideally, it should probably sort out a lot of problems.

Just curious, how much do you all suggest having in a vet fund?
 

Bradshaw Piggies

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For guinea pigs?.......... unlimited? 😂

On average it's around £40-£60 for my consultations (depending on which vet I need to see) but this can vary massively if someone needs a vet off-peak or in holiday times and it's an emergency. Plus there are medicines and any additional diagnostic tests to think of. I suppose, the larger the emergency fund, the better?
 

onlychildandhamster

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@Bradshaw Piggies I separate vet fund from my regular savings- we have £24k buffer to cover a year of mortgage payments and bills and we are trying to do a £1k per month mortgage overpayment (so in effect £2k in mortgage per month) so my vet fund has to come out of savings other than that. As interest rates are so low, I am trying to use my savings to clear debt rather than sit in the bank. But at the same time, i don't want any animal of mine to go without the treatment it needs.

I guess I want to know the size a sensible vet fund that is earmarked specifically for vet costs for 2 pigs, with the understanding that there is still additional savings to be drawn upon if there was a very extreme case.
 

Bradshaw Piggies

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@Bradshaw Piggies I separate vet fund from my regular savings- we have £24k buffer to cover a year of mortgage payments and bills and we are trying to do a £1k per month mortgage overpayment (so in effect £2k in mortgage per month) so my vet fund has to come out of savings other than that. As interest rates are so low, I am trying to use my savings to clear debt rather than sit in the bank. But at the same time, i don't want any animal of mine to go without the treatment it needs.

I guess I want to know the size a sensible vet fund that is earmarked specifically for vet costs for 2 pigs, with the understanding that there is still additional savings to be drawn upon if there was a very extreme case.
You sound very sensible with your money. I couldn't tell you an exact figure, as I guess I just add to my fund but I'm prepared to pay the extra should those additional costs arise. I'll be interested to hear if any of our more experienced owners on the forum have a ball park figure.
 

onlychildandhamster

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@Bradshaw Piggies thank you. I posted before asking about cost of piggies vs cost of 1 hamster... and the overwhelming consensus was that the main difference is in the vet bills. a lot of posters posted about their piggies' vet bills in the thousands... I am just interested in how common is it or are those isolated cases. I mean, on hamster forums, there were people talking about £1000 vet bill for their hamster too...

I was going to completely discount piggies as a possible future pet, but then i don't know whether I should make my decision on that basis. I mean, one should budget based on the average, not for the freak cases.. If I am very unlucky, its not like there are no other savings to draw upon and also there are the piggies' welfare to consider as well. But of course, if every piggy is practically guaranteed to get sick and get £1000 of medical bills each, then that is a different story.
 

onlychildandhamster

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@Bradshaw Piggies also how common is it for 2 piggies to get sick at once or quite close together. thats the part that would be difficult. I am ok with paying £600 for my hamster but with piggies, if they get sick together, its effectively doubled. Most people usually talk about taking 1 piggie to the vet...
 

Bradshaw Piggies

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@Bradshaw Piggies thank you. I posted before asking about cost of piggies vs cost of 1 hamster... and the overwhelming consensus was that the main difference is in the vet bills. a lot of posters posted about their piggies' vet bills in the thousands... I am just interested in how common is it or are those isolated cases. I mean, on hamster forums, there were people talking about £1000 vet bill for their hamster too...

I was going to completely discount piggies as a possible future pet, but then i don't know whether I should make my decision on that basis. I mean, one should budget based on the average, not for the freak cases.. If I am very unlucky, its not like there are no other savings to draw upon and also there are the piggies' welfare to consider as well. But of course, if every piggy is practically guaranteed to get sick and get £1000 of medical bills each, then that is a different story.
It is difficult to actually quantify a specific amount based on individual cases as they are so varied. I have had a piggie cost me in excess of £7000 and others cost no where near £1000 in their lifetime. It's the same with my horses and dogs. There is strong correlation between health problems and environmental and management factors. Guinea pigs kept on the optimum diet and managed well, seemingly have proven to reduce incidence of the need for veterinary intervention; but that is not a guarantee. We have lots of excellent guides on here in our 'Guinea pig guides' section in relation to housing, nutrition and management to help maximise life span (again no guarantees).

As a result of the sheer amount of inbreeding that occurs in piggies due to pet shop and breeder negligence, there are unfortunately commonly occurring problems and I strongly feel that my guinea pig with several health problems was most likely a product of careless breeding. But that is not to say that some conditions still occur in well bred piggies. There is limited veterinary literature in relation to common problems in guinea pigs and these issues are still very much under researched in comparisons to recurring health problems in other species.

But it is not all bad and I do not want to paint piggies in a bad light! All piggies deserve caring and knowledgeable homes, that I no doubt you could provide as you are already doing your research prior to acquiring pigs. We do recommend adopting pigs (we have an adoption section on here) from local rescues rather than purchasing. Again not a guarantee, but you will know that those pigs have been health check, treated and quarantined as appropriate before you acquire them.

I hope this helps and I hope you wont be put off piggies!
 

Sweet Potato

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I have £2,000 In a vet fund. Currently we have other savings we could use but that's the deposit for a house and a wedding so I would really have to think twice before spending it all on my fur babies without being sure it will prolong their life considerably. We have dealt with hay poke twice and a chipped tooth once haven't used our vet fund yet as our budget means not needing to use this fund on vet treatments under £150 (just less treat ourselves money for a while).

I know I may get some hate for this but as me and my fiance are both on minimum wage we would really not be able to just throw whatever it takes amount of money at doing whatever we can to spend a few more days with our precious piggies and having this £2000 buffer before it's tough decision time will hopefully allow us to be able to not be ruled by our emotions or purse strings and make the right decision for our future aswell as our piggies. But I am aware that if you are not prepared to say "sorry I can't that's too expensive" in a life or death situation £2000 might not be enough.
 

Betsy

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With my first 2 piggies Lenny & Gizmo I had them for 5 years and only Lenny went to the vets once and never got haypoke (where hay gets in their eyes). My current piggies have cost so much more in terms of vets fees. I adopted a piggie in September and she has cost me over £400 in vets fees since then. Its difficult to say how much is a ballpark figure. A vet fund is def required. I would save what you can afford to miss each month.
 

onlychildandhamster

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Thank you all, i appreciate your ballpark figures!

While its hard to give a figure, I appreciate any insight as this would help me make a decision.

I don't want to be the pet owner who is torn between money and her pet's life. I am not the 'spend whatever it takes to keep my darling alive' brigade but yet i think it would be very hard to say no when I know I have the money (but actually that money is for a rainy day and not for pets). All pets require vet treatment but I am trying to find a balance. I know for example, the 20k over 15 years for a dog is definitely too much for me to spend on a pet, hence I have never considered a dog. but there are very few resources out there that actually accurately calculate the true financial cost of 2 piggies including vet treatment. Admittedly, there are no resources for hamsters either but so far, my research hasn't drawn up as many warning flags that it could potentially be more than I am willing to pay.
 

Merab's Slave

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You sound very sensible. Sadly too many people get piggies thinking they’re cheap pets and the first vet trip is a nasty shock.
Personally I have about £1000 set aside now. It took a beating a few years ago when I used most of it on a succession of vet trips but is rebuilt.
 

Kellykels

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I have an emergency vet fund. The more you can save the better. I'm going to be insuring my guineas shortly for 2k so I have a safety net as well. That's between them per year. When Stripe was ill with his stones it was around £700 from September to November when he was helped along to the rainbow bridge.
 

Bill & Ted

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I have about £900, I have a standing order that takes money out of my small pension every month. It’s incredibly difficult the dilemma between how much to spend and when it’s time to say enough is enough. Vets are offering more and more tests and procedures nowadays which makes you feel inclined to carry on. I think quality of life and prognosis has to be weighed up quite seriously sometimes, it can be heartbreaking
 

Sweet Potato

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I think no matter where you draw the line there is always the feeling that the next pound you spend could be the one that will save them which makes it so hard to set a budget and make any sort of hard and fast rule but is also why it helps to think about what you can afford before it's time to make these horrible decisions.
 
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