Seriously? My pet needs insurance?
My mother loves the idea of having a puppy around the house. I get it: companionship, something to laugh it, talk to, go on walks with. The pros of a pet ownership are AWESOME (I just got a new family puppy by the way), HOWEVER, my realistic and logical side MUST speak up! THEY CAN BREAK THE BANK! This is in no way a discouragement from pet ownership. I highly recommend getting yourself a little Ellie Mae just like mine. I just want you to be PREPARED for what might come. I have to be honest about what I know, what I have helped other owners through and the scary stories of other owners where there was literally nothing I could do.
A quick story of reality
A referring vet called our clinic for an emergency referral. The patient was a ~3 yr old, neutered male feline that was found by the owner literally hanging from the from the gargle door opener. This majestic achievement of height was not by choice, my friends. Apparently, the cat had leaped onto the flat surface of the open garage door that morning. So, when mom when to close the garage door the cat's leg got caught in the chain that lowers the door pulling their furry child towards the opener. The cat had been suspended their for about 3-4 hours before mommy could rescue him. He presented to the family vet's clinic in quite "normal" condition considering. Vitals were normal, physical exam revealed some lacerations, but no immediate internal damage. The patient was placed under monitoring and given pain medications. This was a close call, right, but hopefully we going to get by without minimal damage to the patient and the pocket book. Unfortunately, this is where things take a turn for the worse.
Over about 30 minutes the patient's health declines drastically. The heart rate sky rockets, and the vet suspects a dropping blood pressure. The patient begins to show nervous system problems, and finally he begins to experience respiratory failure. Now we are in a critical care mode, and it's my turn to take over. Mom rushes the patient to my emergency room and it's all hands on deck. I will spare of the grueling, and heart breaking, details. Just know that the internal damage the patient had experience after being suspended by a limb for that long, well it was fatal. UNLESS!!!!!!!! And here comes the reason for this topic. Unless the owner is willing to commit an up front estimate of $1000 to initiate emergency care, and then be prepared for a critical care process with a GUESStimate of another $7,000. Diagnostics alone were going to cost $2,500 over the next 24 hrs. And if surgery was involved, well that's a whole other conversation, bill, etc. I think you get the point. A loving cat doing what loving cats do, a mom trying to get to work while taking care of the whole household, and a veterinarian just simply trying to do what he was trained to do......on a budget! We did not get the chance to help out this patient except for easing the pain temporarily, and then relieving the suffering permanently.
The mom actually forced me to be the one to tell her 9 year old daughter that her cat was going to die. I think that was definitely the hardest part, but I did it. I spoke with the daughter. She absolutely did not understand, and I definitely was not going to try to explain the issues of money to her at a time like this. So this brings me to the topic of pet.
What is pet insurance?
Very simply put, "pet insurance" is health insurance for your pet. In a time of increasing pet medical cost. From simple annual wellness, like vaccines, to the ever increasingly popular animal emergency and specialty services pet care costs are going to increase.. This cannot discourage the reduction in pet wellness or emergency visits, or the unfortunate euthanasia services will see a big increase. We must find alternative methods of supporting the health of our furry family members. With a health plan at your side you can help to mitigate some of the costs of ownership. Pet insurance will give you the ability to accept more aggressive and much needed therapies for your pet when the time comes.
how does it work?
Pet insurance does work a little different than most human health care plans. The major difference to know about is the upfront costs. Unfortunately, veterinary practice management is not at a place to be able to file/ process claims immediately. Here is a simple break down:
What will it cover?
Many national insurance carriers offer good pet insurance that covers a range of medical fees. From vaccines and flea medicine to emergency or chronic conditions like cancer. You will have to review each, decide what services you would like to have covered each year, and then make a final decision on pet insurance, but here are a few of my recommendations to help you get started in the search. These are my recommendations based on the actual experience of dealing with a variety of insurance carriers.
Please note that Knight Animal Wellness, PLLC or any of it's officers, in no way, receive commissions from such recommendations nor are we affiliated with any recommended agency. The information above is simply that, informative.