We do not pay a "price" for a child at the child store, was my point. And yes, there are many people in the US who can't afford health care. You can also go to hospitals if you're desparate without payment. But I can guarantee you that if a parent did not seek health care and the child became seriously ill and/or died, the child would be taken away and/or the parents prosecuted.
It is unfortunate that people see vets that they. They operate as doctors, except that they can do the surgeries they're prescribing too. Spaying a cat? $300. Spaying a human? >$20,000. I feel bad for vets because they are making a pittiance compared to doctors, and yet people constantly complain about how expensive they are.
I'm sorry but this could get ugly fast. YIKES.
I agree people should take their pets to vets. However if the fees get too far out there, people won't. Yes, it's true that you are still paying for the vet's time, just as we pay of people doctor's time. Vets are also paid a bunch less than people doctors too. (They aren't hurting mind you as my neighbor who is a vet is living in a nearly $300K home) They know that when they get into the job. But they didn't go into for the money; they did it for the love of animals.
A vasectomy is an office visit and costs less than $1000. A tubal ligation is usually done right after a woman has given birth using an epidural. When I asked my ob about it a few years back, I think she charged like $1000. So whatever the extra cost of the epi, maybe another grand. It's no where near $20,000. I know you were just throwing out a number.
The deseperate people you mention go to the er when they are deathly ill and often don't recover. They put off going to the doc for what started as a simple infection because they can't afford an office visit. My sis doesn't have health insurance. She is now in the magic 40 crowd where you need to get mammograms yearly. Uh she can't cuz she can't afford them. So if she ever ends up with breast cancer (I hope not), it will likely not be discovered until it is much harder to cure. You may not like it, a lot of people may not like it, but people are valued more than animals. It's a fact. I love my ratlets. I value my children more. I value you more. So any parent found neglecting their child's medical needs should darn tooting be brought up on charges. There are laws regarding the treatment of animals too.
When my Oreo got a mammory tumor about 4mos ago, I took her to the vet. (we got her at 8mos old from a woman, who was a vet)Mammory tumors are not malignant, but they do keep growing and growing until eventually..... I discussed the options--the pros and cons of surgery-- with our rat vet (we go to a vet hospital with 17 vets--3 of whom treat exotics). I asked my vet what she would do if Oreo was hers. She said that considering her age and the risk of anesthesia, plus they reoccur, while they certainly could do the surgery, she would advise against it.
So again, my point is people shouldn't be compared to our pets. I see this time and again.
The O.P. didn't say she wouldn't take her rat to the vet if need be. She was asking if there were any other options.