Pets Feeling Pain From The Pump

At Flint Veterinary Clinic, Dr.  Michael Dixon checks out "Sam the Yorkie" after surgery, but lately it's something he says he's been doing less and less of.

"They wait longer to come in, which can be disastrous for the pet," he explains.

He says he's noticing some customers just aren't bringing their pet in for the care it needs.

"Vaccinations, intestinal parasite checks, heartworm testing, the sort of thing that is normal routine work, they'll put that off," Dr. Dixon says.

He says they're having to choose between spending money on their gas tank - or on their cat.

"Of course when it costs $80 or a $100 dollars to fill up your truck, it's hard to fit those in."

But Dr. Dixon says in the end it's only going to hurt your pet.  In fact, already he's seen an increase in the deadly disease, Parvo.

"If you have a puppy who should be getting vaccinations every two to three weeks, folks are spreading that out to maybe six weeks and they get caught in the line of fire. They get caught with the illness," he says.

So the next time you fill up and feel the burn from pain at the pump, just remember: "Everybody feels the squeeze."

If you're having to cut down on your pet's costs, Dr. Dixon says you should talk with your veterinarian about ways to save money through things like generic medications. Or, consider adopting an animal from the Humane Society where procedures like spaying or neutering are included in the price.

Tracy Watler, Reporting tracy@kltv.com