Betta Fish Forum banner

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,159 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.

Thanks!

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,338 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,338 Posts
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
169 Posts
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:
Figo
Healthy Paws
Trupanion

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

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
231 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,338 Posts
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.

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
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.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,159 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
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.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,159 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
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.
Yes, cancer sucks! So sorry about Joey and Katie. Will include them in my prayers.

Like Katie's, Russell's mass is also on his sternum and inoperable.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,159 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Chemo today and X-rays and a freebie ultrasound. Tumor hasn't grown and there is no evidence of new ones! Doing a mental Happy Dance. I know Russell is terminal but at least we're getting a bit more time with our boy.

BTW, Pet's Best Insurance offers Accident-only insurance for $9.00 per month. $250 deductible and $10,000 annual limit but 90% reimbursement. We can get it for Russell. We travel with the dogs a lot so this will at least cover if he has a problem not related to his cancer/illness like ingesting something he shouldn't. It is included in Fiona and Edward's Accident and Illness policies. Thought you dog owners might like to know you can insure your guys for accident-only costs for $108.00 year; less it you pay annually.

According to the insurance person at Blue Pearl Vet, Healthy Paws and Pet's Best seem to have the most customer satisfaction. The drawback to Healthy Paws is they do not cover vet exam fees...ever. The drawback to Pet's Best is they take a bit longer to reimburse you. However, if the facility accepts such and your state allows it, Pet's Best will direct-pay the clinic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
Well done Russell for that good news!
The chemo must be so hard on him.

Thank you for the info on Accident Only. Of course we have different insurance companies here in UK, but someone will be offering a similar policy.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,159 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
How did Russell do with his first chemo treatment? Most dogs tolerate it fairly well, although there is sometimes some nausea associated with it.
Russell had four chemo treatments 1 x a week. Then we skipped a week and now we are every other week for 4 x. Tuesday was his first after skipping a week. He is not feeling and has had some diarrhea. For that they gave him Tylan (spel).

Have you ever accidentally tasted that stuff? Ugh! Bitter and you can't get the taste out of your mouth. And the instructions direct one to "sprinkle on food." No way a dog would voluntarily eat ANYTHING with that powder on it. So, I wet a Chee-zit, sprinkled the powder on it and topped with tuna. The powder stuck to the Chee-zit, the Cheez-it stuck to the tuna (and mayo-only). So, down it went. Worked with a Ritz cracker, too. ;-) But, wash, wash, wash your hands so you don't get an inadvertent taste. :shock:

We also have meds for nausea which I gave him this morning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,338 Posts
Russell is a trooper, and a fighter. Sounds like things are going well with all things concerned. Ginger and I are keeping you all in our prayers. It's funny you say the med's taste bad, We once had a rotty that would chew on everything . We finally found a spray that we thought would work. It tasted so nasty. However it did not stop the chewing. He really liked the stuff (go figure) Even spraying it directly into his mouth, he just sat there and lapped it up. They have different taste buds I guess.

I'm glad Russell is responding to treatment.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,467 Posts
I'm pulling for Russel through this, having lost my share of pets over the years, it's tough.

We have MetLife pet insurance through my work, but I think it may be an employer only plan. Every time I try to navigate to it on my own, it seems to redirect me through my company's benefits page.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
Thank you for the update.

My two shih tzus get nauseous v easily, if they have empty stomachs. We often get retching in the mornings, if breakfast is delayed. Can’t imagine how much worse it must be for Russell with chemo and meds AND nausea.

Don’t know if this will work for you, but when we get the nausea-retching, i can get them to eat if I wait 10 mins, and then give them a small amount of a high-value treat. Wait another 10 mins, and then produce a meal.

Hope that helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,338 Posts
I do hope you find what you need. From talking to my sister, I was told that Dad chose Nationwide Because the deductible was the most reasonable. I'm very glad that after my fathers death we sold the horses. This would have been an expense that neither my sister or I could have afforded.

I do miss them and riding, but since my surgery, and just now being able to use the right arm (limited use) I wouldn't have been able to enjoy riding. Let alone brushing and cleaning them up.
Retirement will not allow for those bills either.

She did tell me that the deduct able was $1500.00 per claim. It's a whole lot more now a days.
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top