My first post here guys. I raise and hunt blueticks and have for years. All this sounds pretty standard to me. It's good advice.

One thing that hasn't been touched on is having a "country" veterinarian that you do business with. I've found that there are basically two types of veterinarians in the world, "country vets", and "poodle doctors".

When I lived and hunted in the Ozarks I had a country vet that I used all the time. I'd sometimes have to wait while he filed the teeth on a mule or something, but he would sew up a damaged hound for $25 and send you home with a bottle of penicillin for another $5. The veterinarian in town, the poodle doctor, would want to charge $200 for sewing up the dog and then keep it for 2 days observation, do some blood work, and take x-rays for another $800.

Wherever I set up housekeeping, one of the first orders of business is finding a country veterinarian for my dogs. The guy I'm using now also does large animals and owns his own ranch. A typical emergency visit is maybe $150, versus $300 to $500 most other places. The country vet doesn't mind you doing your own vaccinations and things, whereas the poodle doctor won't sell you the shots or equipment and insists on doing it himself. I also raise sheep, so I'm pretty good at vaccinations and I already have the equipment. I just buy the medicine from the vet or the feed store.

Anyway, just my $.02 on the topic. In other words, don't wait until you have an emergency before you pick out a vet. It can make a huge difference in the cost of care.