sickness http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3245/all en-US The High Cost of Catching a Cold or the Flu http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-catching-a-cold-or-the-flu <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-high-cost-of-catching-a-cold-or-the-flu" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-510574486.jpg" alt="getting the flu is expensive" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nobody wants to get a cold or the flu. It can be a miserable experience for you, your family, and your coworkers. Even worse, it can be a very costly affair, if you don't take preventive measures.</p> <h2>The Sickening Statistics</h2> <p>Each year, about <a href="http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-statistics" target="_blank">5%&ndash;20% of Americans</a> contract the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about <a href="http://www.cdcfoundation.org/businesspulse/flu-prevention-infographic" target="_blank">200,000 people are hospitalized</a> and between 3,000&ndash;49,000 deaths are associated with the flu each year.</p> <p>While a cold may not seem like a big deal at first, the treatment can be costly and it may just be a symptom of a flu that hasn't peaked yet. Along with a cold, the flu can also cause symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, headaches, body aches, and confusion. It can also just suck the fun out of life and make it difficult to work and function like normal.</p> <h2>The Cost of Treatment</h2> <p>The average person with health insurance will pay over $130 for flu treatment. The average person without insurance will pay more than $100 to see a physician and about $100 for prescription medication. Once you've made it to the doctor, you will also need to consider the cost of tests, medications, room fees, and physician services &mdash; which can quickly add up.</p> <h2>The Cost of Medicine</h2> <p>More than <a href="http://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2014/09/09-11-14_flu.cost.php" target="_blank">$10 billion is spent each year</a> on hospitalizations and outpatient doctor visits related to the flu and about one-third of flu sufferers <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1012/the-cost-of-getting-the-flu.aspx" target="_blank">spend $250&ndash;$1,000 on treatment</a>.</p> <p>If the flu is caught and treated within the first 48 hours, you may be prescribed antiviral medication like Tamiflu or Relenza, which costs over $100 for the 10-day dose for patients without insurance. For insured patients, you can expect to spend around $20 for prescription medicine.</p> <h2>The Cost of Over-the-Counter Medications</h2> <p>The average person also spends about $10 on <a href="https://www.quickenloans.com/blog/cost-catching-flu-infographic" target="_blank">over-the-counter cough and flu medicine</a> like Tylenol, DayQuil, and NyQuil. Tissues, Lozenges, Vicks, and cough drops are also essentials when you're sick.&nbsp;Of course, these costs will vary based on where you shop. There are also ways to save money on these medications, such as buying generics, avoiding duplicates, and looking for coupons or store circulars. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-ways-to-treat-the-common-cold?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Frugal Ways to Treat the Common Cold</a>)</p> <h2>Lost Earnings</h2> <p>The average person loses $92 of earnings each year thanks to sick days. However, in most cases, it takes three to seven days for a regular case of the flu to go away. You might still have a cough and fatigue for as long as three or four weeks, so you will need to consider this when calculating your potential lost wages, especially if you own your own business and don't get paid for taking sick days.</p> <h2>Treating Your Child</h2> <p>While treatment may be expensive for adults, it is usually even more drastic if your child contracts a cold or the flu. The CDC found that <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/childrens-flu-costly.htm" target="_blank">parents spend $300 to $4,000</a>, and miss between 11&ndash;73 hours of work, to help their child recover from the flu. If your child is treated in an emergency room, you can expect to spend an average of $3,990 in medical costs. If you have insurance, it may cover some of these costs, but you still need to account for co-payments, over-the-counter medication, lost earnings, and travel costs.</p> <h2>Preventive Measures</h2> <p>The best way to fight a cold or the flu is to prevent a problem in the first place by taking advantage of simple preventative measures. Some popular <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-prevent-infections" target="_blank">preventive measures</a> include:</p> <ul> <li>Avoid contact with people who have the flu;</li> <li>Wash your hands frequently;</li> <li>Eat healthy foods;</li> <li>Drink plenty of liquids;</li> <li>Exercise daily;</li> <li>Reduce stress and laugh more often;</li> <li>Get an adequate amount of sleep each night;</li> <li>Take a daily multivitamin;</li> <li>Increase your vitamin C intake;</li> <li>Take antiviral medications if you are exposed to the flu.</li> </ul> <p>Annual flu vaccinations offer protection from the most likely influenza virus strains. The flu immunization can also help reduce the rate of respiratory illnesses and the number of doctor visits each year. However, it is not a guarantee that you won't get the flu.</p> <p>Flu vaccines cost $35 per person, on average, which is covered by health insurance, as required by the Affordable Care Act. You can get the vaccine at a physician's office, senior center, free or low-cost clinics, or at certain drugstores. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-places-to-get-vaccinated-for-cheap-or-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Places to Get Vaccinated for Cheap or Free</a>)</p> <p>Many employers are also now offering free or reduced rate vaccinations onsite for their employees. When you consider that the average cost is over $130 for treatment (with insurance), it may be a good idea to take advantage of the vaccine as a precaution.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-catching-a-cold-or-the-flu">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/germs-dirt-bacteria-infection-immune-system-antibiotics-disease">Are we too clean for our own good?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-41-frugal-ways-to-battle-a-cold-or-flu">Flashback Friday: 41 Frugal Ways to Battle a Cold or Flu</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-important-reasons-to-always-call-in-sick-when-youre-sick">8 Important Reasons to Always Call In Sick When You&#039;re Sick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-ways-to-treat-the-common-cold">9 Frugal Ways to Treat the Common Cold</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Health and Beauty cold cold remedies common cold flu flu season germs high cost saving money sickness Wed, 18 Jan 2017 10:30:27 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1876055 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways the Ebola Outbreak Could Hurt the Economy — And Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-the-ebola-outbreak-could-hurt-the-economy-and-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-the-ebola-outbreak-could-hurt-the-economy-and-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-panic-186181532-small.jpg" alt="panicking businessman" title="panicking businessman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know that the Ebola virus probably is not a threat to our health &mdash; but what about our fiscal health? As this deadly global story comes to a boil, it's also taking its toll on our wallets. And while nothing could compare to the deadly effects of the disease, these financial concerns are worth keeping an eye on.</p> <h2>1. There Could Be a Global Financial Collapse</h2> <p>Analysts at Barclays are warning that the continued spread of the deadly Ebola virus beyond the confines of West Africa could have a <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/11148603/Ebola-Could-viruss-spread-cause-financial-market-turmoil.html">&quot;significant&quot; impact on the financial markets</a>. &quot;Ebola's likelihood of spreading to larger, more integrated economies has increased,&quot; Barclays' Marvin Barth told The Telegraph.</p> <p>Already the disease has sparked a sell-off of travel and airline stocks worldwide. &quot;If consumers and businesses retrench by <a href="http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/10/13/calculating-the-grim-costs-of-ebola/?_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;_r=0">reducing flights on airplanes</a>, changing vacation plans, or altering business connections in a globally interdependent world, G.D.P. growth rates will fall farther,&quot; wrote David R. Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer of Cumberland Advisors. &quot;We do not know how much, at what speed, or for how long.&quot;</p> <p>In terms of its potential to wreak havoc on the markets, experts are comparing Ebola to Asia's outbreak of the airborne SARS virus in 2003. Not only did SARS rattle regional tourism and China's stock exchange, it also instigated a pronounced slump in retail sales.</p> <h2>2. The Price of Chocolate Could Skyrocket</h2> <p>Hold on to your chocolate bars! The <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11145266/What-chocolate-prices-tell-us-about-the-spread-of-Ebola.html">price of cocoa beans spiked</a> more than 10% last month due to fears that Ebola could spread to the Ivory Coast, the world's largest producer of chocolate's main ingredient. Ivory Coast shares a border with Guinea and Liberia, two of the three countries (the third being Sierra Leone) that are most affected by the virus. Not only is this West African region ground zero for Ebola, but it's also home of 70% of the world's cocoa supply. With Halloween just around the corner and the holiday season soon to follow, Nestle's chief executive has said <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/nestle-on-high-alert-over-ebola-1413450717">the company is on &quot;high alert.&quot;</a></p> <h2>3. Airline Stocks Could Take a Plunge</h2> <p><a href="http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/oct/08/ebola-fears-create-entry-point-for-airline-stocks/?businessdiary">Airline stocks are already down</a> about 7% due to fears of a global health crisis. And on the heels of news earlier this month that a medical worker contracted Ebola in Spain, shares in IAG, which owns British Airways and Iberia, as well as the cruise operator Carnival, dropped nearly 9% in two days, largely due to concerns about the potential for future travel bans. Meanwhile, the World Travel and Tourism Council that represents airlines, hotels, and other travel companies is reporting <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/a8439bf4-4eb3-11e4-a1ef-00144feab7de.html">a 30% plunge in early bookings to Africa</a>, where the disease is deeply entrenched. But experts say the outlook for airline companies and their shareholders could likely get much, much worse.</p> <p>&quot;It certainly depends on how serious and how <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ebola-could-hurt-u-s&mdash;economy-171944171.html">widespread the situation becomes</a>,&quot; Michelle Girard, chief economist at RBS, told a reporter for Yahoo! Finance. &quot;Of course, people talk about, 'What if it becomes airborne?' And then you have a scenario where the borders are shut and people are afraid to travel, not just internationally, but perhaps domestically. If there are concerns about&hellip; being trapped on an airplane with the potential for somebody to be spreading the virus. Those are all the things that people are worried about, and you can understand that forward-looking investors are beginning to at least price in. [They] feel the need to price in some probability or some sort of risk of that [happening], albeit small.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Travel Insurance Could Become a Must</h2> <p>Global health and safety events are among the top reasons why nearly half of all jetsetting Americans <a href="http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/allianz-travel-insurance-vacation-confidence-index-shows-summer-vacation-spending-will-1923901.htm">consider purchasing travel insurance</a> for international trips, according to data from Allianz Global Assistance USA. After Sept. 11, for example, there was a 10% bump in spending by Americans on airline travel insurance. But right now only about a third of Americans flying to foreign destinations actually follow through and buy the insurance. Experts say that's likely to change. As the Ebola virus continues on its cross-continental course, infecting numerous persons who either caught the virus or transported it via airplane, it's likely that more Americans will begin to view spending on airline travel insurance as a necessity.</p> <h2>5. The Health Care System Could Be Taken for a Ride</h2> <p>Nobody has yet to calculate the fallout of the Ebola virus on the health care system &mdash; neither here in North America nor abroad. But what's clear is that the money being poured into the fight against the disease (training, testing, treatment, waste disposal) &mdash; not to mention the money lost as hospital beds sit unused in isolation areas &mdash; will certainly affect the industry.</p> <p>&quot;One of the things I fear about Ebola is that it could spread more widely in Africa,&quot; Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Thomas Frieden told a congressional hearing. &quot;If this were to happen, it could become a threat to our health system and the healthcare we give for a long time to come.&quot;</p> <p><em>How fearful are you about Ebola?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-the-ebola-outbreak-could-hurt-the-economy-and-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/afraid-of-spending-money-here-are-5-perks-of-your-phobia">Afraid of Spending Money? Here Are 5 Perks of Your Phobia</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-gettin-baptized-in-the-watahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-epiphany">The Gettin&#039;-Baptized-in-the-Watah Epiphany</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-donate-a-blood-sucking-timeshare">Why You Should Donate a Blood Sucking Timeshare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/on-choosing-temporary-freedom">On choosing temporary freedom</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living disasters and money ebola fear personal finance sickness Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:00:04 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1241738 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Frugal Ways to Treat the Common Cold http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-ways-to-treat-the-common-cold <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-frugal-ways-to-treat-the-common-cold" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/369210589_7e28e4eed3_z.jpg" alt="resting" title="resting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's winter again, and the common cold will be very, well, common. Fortunately, frugal ways to <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/symptom-relief.html" target="_blank">treat the common cold</a> are readily available so you don't have to spend a fortune on doctor visits and over-the-counter medication.</p> <p>Many frugal cold remedies are healthier than cold medicines that only cover up symptoms instead of actually curing your cold. Plus, many cold medications have unwelcome side effects, and they're rarely inexpensive.</p> <p>The next time a cold lays you low, try one or more of these nine frugal remedies to put you back on your feet again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a>)</p> <h2>1. Steam</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/common-cold-000038.htm">Steam</a> can ease sore throats and clear nasal congestion. Indoor heating systems frequently make indoor air too dry, which is probably a factor in spreading winter colds. Put a humidifier in your bedroom overnight or living room during the day. Or, if you don't want to spend money on a humidifier, sit in the bathroom with the door closed while running a hot shower or stand over a pot of boiling water.</p> <h2>2. Saline Nasal Drops and Sprays</h2> <p>Frequent drops or sprays of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cold-remedies/ID00036">saline solution</a> in the nose can help encourage decongestion. Saline drops are cheap and available over the counter, and they're different from medicated <a target="_blank" href="http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/nasal-sprays-cold-relief">nasal drops or sprays</a>, which can prompt cold symptoms to worsen if used more than several days. You can also make your own saline solution with a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda in a pint of warm water, and apply it with a child-size medicine dropper.</p> <h2>3. Salt Water Gargle</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/health/28real.html?_r=0">Gargle </a>with a quarter- to half-a-teaspoon of salt dissolved in an eight-ounce glass of warm water. Gargle for several seconds, then spit it out. It can soothe sore throats by drawing out excess fluid from inflamed tissue and loosening mucus. If you disdain salt water, you can gargle with warm water spiked with lemon and honey instead.</p> <h2>4. Rest</h2> <p>And plenty of it. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cold-remedies/ID00036">Resting </a>helps restore your energy and strengthens your body's immune defenses, helping avoid complications like bronchitis and pneumonia.</p> <h2>5. Drinking Liquids</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/cold-remedies">Drinking</a> water, juice, clear broth, or warm lemon water with honey helps loosen mucus and aids your immune defenses. Warm liquids, like broth or herbal teas, help soothe sore throats and loosen mucus, which eases congestion. Natural herbs can be added to hot water for teas.</p> <h2>6. Chicken Soup</h2> <p>Your grandmother was right. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cold-remedies/ID00036 ">Chicken soup</a> is easily digestible, and its warmth can help loosen mucus and relieve sore throats. It speeds up movement of mucus, possibly helps relieve congestion, and helps reduce inflammation.</p> <h2>7. Vitamin C</h2> <p>Many people swear by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/common-cold-000038.htm">vitamin C</a>, although scientific evidence has yet to prove that it cures colds; it's more likely that it can help you avoid catching colds. But if it works for you, placebo effect or not, reasonable doses won't hurt.</p> <h2>8. Healthy Diet</h2> <p>Fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C, such as sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli for vitamin A; and oranges, kiwi, and tomatoes for vitamin C, help improve your immune system, although a year-round <a href="http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/common-cold-000038.htm">healthy diet</a> is best before you catch a cold. Avoid caffeine and sugar.</p> <h2>9. Herbs</h2> <p>Elder (also called elderberry), eucalyptus, goldenseal, licorice, and marshmallow are some of the many plants used to treat colds, coughs, and sore throats. You can find these herbs in your local market or health food store; teas made from these herbs are also widely available. If you live in the right area you might be able to grow these herbs in your backyard or find them around your neighborhood.</p> <p>Cold sufferers should research which herbs to use, as the list of <a href="http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/2053/" target="_blank">possible herbal treatments is quite long</a>, and the best options vary by person, symptom, and stage of the cold. Keep in mind that scientific evidence on their effectiveness is inconclusive, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and people with health conditions should talk to a doctor before using herbal remedies.</p> <p>The best way to fight colds may be to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&amp;ContentID=4512">avoid them</a> in the first place. You've probably heard about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today">eating right, exercising, and washing your hands</a> especially after being out of the house and touching doorknobs, shopping cart handles, and shaking hands at parties. You might not have heard that reducing stress through <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-free-or-cheap-yoga-classes">yoga</a>, tai chi, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/time-to-get-down-with-your-inner-zen">meditation </a>can also help reduce chances of catching colds, too.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/michael-kling">Michael Kling</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-ways-to-treat-the-common-cold">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-catching-a-cold-or-the-flu">The High Cost of Catching a Cold or the Flu</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/low-cost-medical-clinics-that-can-help-boost-your-health">Low Cost Medical Clinics That Can Help Boost Your Health</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/health-care-reform-good-for-people-like-me">Health Care Reform: Good for People Like Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cost-comparison-emergency-rooms-vs-urgent-care">Cost Comparison: Emergency Rooms vs. Urgent Care Centers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-places-to-get-vaccinated-for-cheap-or-free">7 Places to Get Vaccinated for Cheap or Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty alternative medicine cold remedies healthcare sickness Fri, 04 Jan 2013 11:24:30 +0000 Michael Kling 958811 at http://www.wisebread.com Pet Peeves Part 3: Vet Visits http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-3-vet-visits <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/kitten.jpg" alt="http://www.morguefile.com/forum/profile.php?username=seabreeze&amp;MORGUEFILE=90pv7lqva2471egn0hve7sbbl0" title="by Simon Jackson" width="283" height="188" /></p> <p>My animals are a pricey bunch. Cute, and sweet, but medically challenged. Between facial fold issues, allergies to grass (seriously, what kind of dog is allergic to <em>grass</em>?), and a cat with apparent manic depression, we&#39;ve spent a lot of time at the vet&#39;s office, at a few hundred bucks a pop. </p> <p>The last thing that my dog managed to come down with was a grass seed between his toes. He never gave any sign of distress, and I only noticed it when the other dog started sniffing at the wound. Apparently this is common, and you probably won&#39;t see it until it swells up and starts bleeding.</p> <p>The thing is, most of my animals&#39; health issues are annoying and probably painful, but not deadly. And they always occur on a Saturday night, meaning that I have to wait until Monday morning to get them seen by a vet, unless I want to take the to the emergency hospital, which is twice the price of the regular vet.</p> <p>I&#39;ve stopped going to the emergency hospital because I&#39;ve learned to combat pet problems, at least the ones that send us to the emergency room, by being prepared.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Ounce of prevention, pound of cure </strong></p> <p>Here&#39;s a list of things that I keep on hand to keep my animals out of the vet&#39;s office:</p> <ul> <li>A solid pair of <strong>rubber gloves</strong>, especially if you have to peform some first aid on a cat. Cats don&#39;t like you trying to fix them. Actually, cats just don&#39;t like you. Nothing personal. They&#39;re cats.</li> <p> <li>A regular <strong>first aid kit</strong> can do wonders, if you don&#39;t want to go to the trouble of buying gauze and butterfly bandages separately.</li> <p> <li>Good pair of <strong>tweezers</strong>, for removing ticks, pulling out splinters, etc.</li> <p> <li>One of those <strong>head-cones</strong>. You never know when you&#39;re going to have to stop your dog from chewing on his butt or licking a wound. Yes, he will look stupid running around the house with one of those things on. Too damn bad.</li> <p> <li><strong>Baby wipes</strong>. I think anyone who is alive should keep these onhand, pets or no pets. They are incredibly handy.</li> <p> <li><strong>Neosporin</strong>, for small scrapes and scratches.</li> <p> <li><strong>Skin-cooling spray</strong> or cream. Hydrocortisone is good, or you can use something with soothing chamomile. Scalpicin works fine, too.</li> <p> <li><strong>Hydorgen peroxide</strong>, for cleaning small wounds, such as the ones caused by an exiting grass seed.</li> <p> <li>A damn good pair of <strong>electric clippers</strong>, for trimming the hair around a wounded area.</li> <p> <li><strong>Pepto-Bismol tablets</strong>, for diarrhea. I give two to each dog almost anytime they get runny. Also, egg yolks and yogurt, which are eaten by adventurers the world over to combat traveler&#39;s diarrhea, are a great way to plug up a pooch that has a slight stomach upset, as long as you feel that the source of the upset isn&#39;t dangerous. For instance, switching (non-contaminated) food brands. Don&#39;t get the idea that you can give your pets <a href="http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=0&amp;cat=2041&amp;articleid=3473">any kind of human medication</a>, because you can&#39;t. </li> <p> <li>Particularly flatulent mutts can be treated with <strong>sweet potatoes</strong>, according to <a href="http://www.itchmo.com/read/home-remedies-for-your-pets_20070330">this home remedy</a> from Itchmo.</li> <p> <li><strong>Flea shampoo</strong> and flea treatments. I don&#39;t use these as regularly as some people do, but I keep them around, just in case an infestation occurs. It&#39;s very rare for us, but good to be ready if it happens.</li> <p> <li><strong>Pet meds</strong>. If your pet regularly takes medication, don&#39;t fall behind in providing them. It can mean the difference between happy and healthy, and sitting at the pet hospital at 3AM and <a href="/canadians-try-to-kill-your-pets-pet-food-recall#comment-11224">getting angry at bloggers</a>. [Not that I&#39;m suggesting the Kirk wasn&#39;t giving his dog his meds or anything.]</li> <p> <li>My vet recommends <strong>Benadryl</strong> for the times when my shih tzu has a massive allergy attack. Most human meds aren&#39;t good for dogs, and you should obviously check with yours before giving anything to your dog. Benadryl seems to be widely accepted for allergy treatments, however.</li> <p> <li><strong>Treats</strong>. Dogs (and some cats) will forgive you for popping a huge cyst on their foot if a treat immediately follows.</li> <p> <li>Lots and lots of <strong>towels</strong>. You can never have too many towels.</li> </ul> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Pet Insurance</strong></p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/animal_kingdom_harmony.jpg" alt=" " width="299" height="197" /></p> <p>The discussion over pet insurance is a long and tedious one, and I can&#39;t crunch the numbers for anyone else. Since pet insurance doesn&#39;t cover any pre-existing conditions, I haven&#39;t seen any reason to buy it (for my two pups, it would cost me roughly $100 a month with zero coverage of their current problems). I know that very serious diseases can be a problem later on, but I&#39;ve already decided that I&#39;m not going to let me dogs suffer through harsh treatments for something like cancer. That&#39;s my personal decision, and I don&#39;t expect anyone to agree with it.</p> <p><em>Kitten picture by </em><a href="http://www.morguefile.com/forum/profile.php?username=seabreeze&amp;MORGUEFILE=90pv7lqva2471egn0hve7sbbl0"><em>Simon Jackson</em></a><em>.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-3-vet-visits">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-1-couture-critters-are-expensive">Pet Peeves Part 1: Couture Critters Are Expensive!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-your-dog-can-save-you-money">5 Surprising Ways Your Dog Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">7 Homemade Pet Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Allergies bladder canine cats common problems dogs feline hospital ill pets sick sickness vet veterinary Wed, 04 Apr 2007 17:36:18 +0000 Andrea Karim 450 at http://www.wisebread.com