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RussellTheShihTzu 03-23-2019 10:42 PM

Thank You For the Support
Does anyone have experience with such or know someone who has? Need suggestions.

Russell has been diagnosed with thoracic cancer and the treatment cost has made me aware of the necessity of insurance for Edward, 5, and Fiona, 9 months.


Note: This started off about pet insurance and Russell. But I decided we could use a thread offering support to other owners who are facing hard decisions for their Furkids as well as pet insurance information. Please feel free to join in the conversation if you want to talk about what's going on.

Old Dog 59 03-24-2019 02:50 AM

I don't remember the name of the company but My father and I have had insurance for the horses for years. I know there are companies out there that do insure the dogs.

When my wife and I moved to Oil City 4 years ago the new home owners insurance not only covered the cats but also covered the Fish tanks. ( they didn't cover the fish.) I found that out last week when I lost the 75 gal.

bluesamphire 03-24-2019 05:34 AM

Oh, I am terribly sorry to hear this. Poor Russell. Poor you.
As the owner of 2 Shih Tzus, I would be floored by this if one of mine had that diagnosis.
So sorry.

Re the insurance... here in the UK pet insurance is much more common that over in the States, so I understand.
Pups often come with 3 months insurance cover when they come from the breeder, and then the expectation is that owners continue, or shop around. I have insured several cats and even pet rats when they lived with me.

My experience with the cat insurance was that every time I wanted to claim, there was a significant excess, or the item wasn't covered. I think I got a total of 200 out the insurance co. in that whole 12 years. When I started the policy I was paying 8 a month in year 1. By year 12 I was paying 360 a year. Definitely not value for money!!!

Now we have the dogs, I have taken a different tack. Instead of paying into an insurance company's coffers, each month for the entire life of each dog, I have taken out a Standing Order that automatically pays 55 a month into a savings account where it will grow and accrue interest for the whole of their lives. I intend to increase the monthly payment in line with inflation. So far, all vets bills have come out of my pocket, not the savings account, so the amount is growing nicely.

Having said that, there is an area of risk that is not covered - that of the dogs causing damage to other people and property (such as them running out into the road, causing a car accident, and me being sued for large amounts). Most insurance policies include this in their cover, and of course, I don't have that.

Old Dog 59 03-24-2019 07:12 AM

In doing a search on line I have found, Nationwide insurance for pets, The ASPCA also has accident insurance for pets, Pets Best insurance. I don't know what their coverage's are like or what the premiums are, because you have to give zip code and pets name. But there are some places to start.
I also spoke with my sister and asked if she remembered the insurance company for the horses. She thinks it was Nationwide.

OrchidxBetta 03-24-2019 01:01 PM

I'm so sorry to hear. It is devastating when a beloved pet or any loved one is diagnosed. Have you searched Trupanion?

I had a personalized Embrace Pet Insurance wellness, accident and illness for three years. By no means am I an expert on insurance policies. I feel there are so many limitations with pet insurance. So I decided to go with a care credit card instead. Although I am anti-credit cards, I felt like it wasn't cost-efficient giving $80 a month to Embrace even with a reasonable deductible. Basically, I had to pay out of pocket up front at the vet, and then the pet insurance would reimburse a certain percentage later on. Aside from that, my dog developed an otohematoma soon after we moved to Arizona. Needless to say, I paid for the $500 procedure out of pocket and her cone of shame. Since she had pre-existing allergies, that wasn't reimbursable. At least her pain meds were partially reimbursable.

Here's a list I found off the web:
Healthy Paws

You may consider your local pet hospitals or clinic to see what they offer.

Ratvan 03-25-2019 08:23 AM

I am in the UK so not sure how similar this will be, but I was unable to insure one of my two dogs and one of my two cats as they had a known pre-existing condition.
I was able to insure them but not against the known issue

blubird101 03-25-2019 09:28 AM

Yeah, I looked into pet insurance for my two cats and dog (mainly one cat, who is almost 14 now, so I worried about future health problems) and from all the reviews I read it seemed to be that its more there for catastrophic coverage. Most regular checkups and a lot of common health problems weren't covered, or there were large deductibles before things were covered, all in all not really a good investment.

I've also heard that carecredit is a better option overall.

Old Dog 59 03-25-2019 11:20 AM

How are you holding up? I know you said the last time we talked Russell had finished his first round of Chemotherapy, and was starting his second this week. I really do hope, and pray for a good outcome. I know you must be going bonkers.

After looking into different pet insurances, unless you customize the coverage they really are like human insurance. An enormous price for very little coverage. I went through the files on the horses, and even though Dad paid good money for the policy, it really didn't cover much in the way of regular care.

When our Palomino Quarter horse chipped a Pastern Bone in her hoof The x-rays and vet call were covered, but not the medicine and wraps needed for her. That was all out of pocket. I looked at her health file Dad had and found the x-rays and vet call was over $4000.00 for the first visit and each vet visit after that was $300.00. The medicine and wraps (or special rubber shoe) was $3878.00 out of pocket and that was all at one time.

We found that she kicked the step out on her stall which caused the chip. We then took all step outs from the stall doors in each stall. Thank heaven Dad had me do this. I say what a contractor would have charged to take the 6 foot long by 4 inch high steps out of 26 stalls. At the time I thought he was doing this to me just to be nasty. (Boy was I wrong.)

We find ourselves wanting to give our charges, who we come to love as our own children, better care than what we give ourselves. Russell, Edward, and Flora have such great parents. Linda, my heart breaks every time I think of what Russell is going through. He doesn't understand what is happening except he knows he is not feeling well. But with his mothers, and Dad's love he knows he is safe and they care.

From Ginger and I, We send our prayers and love to you and your family. If there is anything, anything we can do please ask.


Worldsworstusername 03-27-2019 05:18 PM

I am so sorry you are going through this. I know how you're feeling, My boxer Joey was diagnosed with lymphoma right after Christmas, and my lab Katie was diagnosed with osteosarcoma about 3 weeks ago. Joey is on palliative treatment, and Katie's mass is on her sternum and is inoperable. Cancer sucks.

As far as pet insurance is concerned, I have a little experience dealing with some of the above mentioned companies. I have been a vet tech for 31 years.

Almost all of the pet insurance companies work on a reimbursement basis. You pay the vet, and they will reimburse whatever is allowable. That said, if your pet has had ANY kind of health problem in the past, it will be considered a preexisting condition, and will not be covered. This turns into a real problem, especially for allergy patients.

What a lot of people have started doing is opening a savings account for their pets. Every week, or pay period, they will deposit X dollars into the account, and use it for medical bills.

Care Credit is another option, but just be aware that if you carry a balance after the 0 % interest period (12 or 18 months I think), the interest rate shoots up to 24.9 %, which I think is outrageous. Also, you have to have impeccable credit to get approved...I know some people who have been approved for car loans that have been turned down by Care Credit.

Sending good thoughts for a positive outcome for your little Russell.

RussellTheShihTzu 03-28-2019 06:50 PM

Thanks to everyone.

We are not looking for normal care pet insurance. But for catastrophic care. So far, Russell's expenses (factoring in four more chemo treatments) is $6,000+. The most expensive insurance for both Edward, 5 years, and Fiona, 9 months, (neither has pre-existing conditions), is $1,00 per year. Average is around $600.

One man we met has Nationwide. His Lab has operable cancer; they paid 100% after deductible was met. Then, after she finished chemo, Maggie's ACL deteriorated and she had surgery for that. Paid 100%. No limit.

Some insurance has a maximum $5,000 cap; some no limit. Healthy Paws has the best EXCEPT it doesn't cover veterinary examinations. Our initial consult was $120 and after that $60 per visit for eight chemo and one CT scan. So we are still searching. Gary works for the AKC and they have pet insurance but it is second most expensive (after the ASPCA). Need to find out if we get an employee discount and if that discount applies after retirement.

I am going to ask the people where Russell is being treated if they notice any company is better than another. There is just one that pays the clinic directly but I forget why I wasn't impressed. Probably expense or ratings.

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