Interesting NY Times article on new surgeries for dogs plus their higher costs:
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
We paid just under $10,000 for Java's 2 TPLOs. And I would pay it again....but Java was only 13 months old and otherwise totally healthy.
If she was 12 years old, I would have reconsidered.
If she was 12 years old and had terminal cancer...I would probably not spend that amount. I would make her comfortable and help her enjoy her time.
I do think there is a limit, especially when it comes to the older dogs.