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Old 20th November 2008, 1:59 PM   #1
svendenhowser Thread Starter
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Default Pet Insurance?

So I've always thought about pet insurance, but never really taken out a policy or looked into it much until now. Although we can afford the vet bills for unexpected events they always seem to happen at the worst possible time.

My 8month old cat has a gut obstruction requiring surgery which in all (with diagnostics, surgery and meds) will cost around $2k. In the beginning it wasn't known why he was sick (lethargy, not eating/drinking, normal faeces/urine, tender abdo) but on doing a barium capsule test found that there was indeed a blockage.

So this got me thinking about pet insurance and whether it is worth it. I've had a look at a few PDS's and they are all fairly similar, although with varying degrees of coverage and clauses. Does anyone have any experience with pet insurance? Is it hard to claim things? I'm pretty much just interested in the accident/illness side, not the routine yearly checkups.

On the other hand I think it seems more logical to just save a bit of money each week to fund these kinds of issues, however with a mortgage everything is just piled into that and it's hard to redraw more money than you usually do each month :P (I'm quite the scrooge..)
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Old 20th November 2008, 6:28 PM   #2
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do you have private health cover?
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Old 20th November 2008, 6:51 PM   #3
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No I don't. But I think it's a little different with pets, the owner has to pay for everything, whereas with human medicine they only pay for certain things (I've never had to pay for anything).
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Old 20th November 2008, 6:54 PM   #4
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my dog is insured and three of my horses are insured.
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Old 20th November 2008, 7:55 PM   #5
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have you ever had to make a claim tuna? I'm in the process of a claim for my car (that my b/f wrote off..) and it's been interesting to say the least..
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Old 21st November 2008, 2:06 AM   #6
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I know how you feel. And my wallet feels your pain as well. Same cost, same diagnosis, same tests, same symptoms.

http://forums.overclockers.com.au/sh...d.php?t=620335

About the same age as well. Have you go a clone of my cat?

Its not black with a white chest and neck is it?
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Old 21st November 2008, 9:41 AM   #7
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Haha, no he's black. Slightly different though, they didn't find anything unusual in the exploratory surgery, no inflammation, all organs grossly normal, the ONLY abnormal thing was enlarged peritoneal lymph nodes. All his tests were normal (blood and urine), except the barium capsules which on exploration there was no obstruction anyway! He had 3 vets double check what was going on and none of them had any idea. He's only 8months old and strictly an indoor cat.

So really after all this time, money and suffering of the poor darl, we still don't know what is wrong, although we've pretty much ruled out everything there is :P
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Old 21st November 2008, 12:16 PM   #8
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Take it from me, I have Pet Insurance.

I always thought it was a stupid idea but my partner persisted with it, and she won in the end.

And boy am I glad.

My dog Axle, has had to have two major operations in the 2 1/2 years we've had him.

Firstly when he was about 6 months old, he swallowed a macadaemia nut and it got stuck in his bowel. They had to retrieve that from there and the operation cost us 1700 all up. Because of Pet Insurance, we ended up getting back 1300 dollars.

About 6 months ago, we were mucking around with him and pushed him when he was jumping up and down. Basically, he fell awkwardly on his leg and dislocated his knee (I didn't even realize dogs had proper defined knees).

That operations also cost us around 1700, which we got back a similar amount again.

So all up, for the 7 dollars or something we pay week/month (not sure what ti is, gf handles the bills), two full on operations have cost us 800 dollars instead of 3500.

it's totally worth it if you care about your animals.
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Old 21st November 2008, 12:56 PM   #9
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Thanks baron! Just what I wanted to hear Do you think that if he needs more surgery/treatment due to the current problem in the future that they wouldn't cover it? I guess I should talk to the insurance places about it..

I went to see Vader at the vet this morning, they wanted to try him on some food and wanted me to bring in some of his normal food. He ate a few peices off my hand and was very purry/cuddly, much improved from yesterday.



Still on IV fluids and IV antibiotics, hopefully I'll get to take him home tomorrow!
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Old 21st November 2008, 12:59 PM   #10
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depends if the future incidents are directly related to the previous ones.

if you can get a vet that more or less says in his personal and professional opinion that this incident was in no way related to a previous one because of this this and this, then you should be ok.
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Old 21st November 2008, 10:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svendenhowser View Post

So really after all this time, money and suffering of the poor darl, we still don't know what is wrong, although we've pretty much ruled out everything there is :P
Sorry to hear that you still don't have an answer. Cat gastrointestinal problems can be frustarting. Did they take intestinal biopsies while they were in there?
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Old 22nd November 2008, 9:04 AM   #12
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Sorry to hear that you still don't have an answer. Cat gastrointestinal problems can be frustarting. Did they take intestinal biopsies while they were in there?
Yeah he pretty much took a biopsy of anything and everything he could, however we haven't done the histo on them yet because it will cost a fortune to get them all done. And then if we spend all the money on the histo and their are still all normal? We'll still be back where we started, except with a much, much lighter wallet
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Old 22nd November 2008, 11:13 AM   #13
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I'll be looking at this myself......how much (for example) roughly would you pay in insurance for say a Golden Retriever per year? $200 or thereabouts?
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Old 25th November 2008, 4:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svendenhowser View Post
Yeah he pretty much took a biopsy of anything and everything he could, however we haven't done the histo on them yet because it will cost a fortune to get them all done. And then if we spend all the money on the histo and their are still all normal? We'll still be back where we started, except with a much, much lighter wallet
In comparison to the rest of the surgery the cost of histo would be a relatively small cost (normally most labs would charge multiple (upto 6 in most cases) gastrointestinal biopsies as 1 unit). I would estimate that histo for 1 unit would be ~150-200 depending of the laboratory. Most times this is the only way to get an answer. If you don't send the biopsies for histo and you have a relapse in several months time you will wish that you had sent them off the first time. I do however understand your hesitance as they may come back normal (which, don't forget, is a good thing).
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Old 25th November 2008, 5:27 PM   #15
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Yeah he quoted $200 for the biopsies. I am a vet student however so I'm going to see if the vet school will do me any deals :P
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