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WASHINGTON (WUSA) --Years ago, if your pet got sick then your options were limited. Nowadays, there are cancer treatments and transplants, and ways to help you afford all of that care. But how much are you willing to pay to make your pet feel better?

Jessica Anderson's beagle mix rescue Bailey started having seizures in the spring. Her vet, fearing a possble brain tumor, recommended an MRI and spinal tap. Bailey didn't have a tumor. Instead he was diagnoised with epilepsy and is doing great today on his medication.

The bills added up fast. So far, Anderson has spent about $3,000 on this medical problem. She has gotten about $700 back from the pet insurance she carries for Bailey.

If you are thinking about getting pet insurance, Anderson recommends doing your homework. In 1997, there was just one company that offered pet insurance. Today there are 11 and plans' benefits and costsdiffer widely.

Pets and their care are big business. Americans spent $51 billion on their fuzzy friends last year, more than we spend on child care as a nation. Veterinary bills accounted for a quarter of all those costs

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