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Does Anyone have pet insurance?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by weluvvegas, May 15, 2012.

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  1. weluvvegas

    weluvvegas Vegas Slot Junkie

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    One of our dogs, our yellow lab is getting up there in age (8) and I was thinking it might be a good time to invest in pet insurance. Do any of you have pet insurance and have you ever had to use it? Was it worth it? Any suggestions on who to go with?

    Thanks in advance as always :)
     
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  2. brownies95

    brownies95 Low-Roller

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    We don't have it. But I sure wish we would have. Our 7 year old mini-schnauzer had to have two operations. The first one was to remove bladder stones from his bladder. When that didn't work the vet had to re-route his urethra(sp?) tube because the stones were getting caught where the bladder and urethra were hooked together. He was at the vet for almost 3 weeks.

    I wish we would of had insurance, because we are still paying on the vet bill. But we would do it again if we had to. Having Oakley home and healthy is more important to us than money!

    Tim:peace:
     
  3. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    We decided it wasn't worth the cost to us. Lucy got cancer when she was 6 yrs old and the costs were pretty staggering at the time. But when we went back and averaged it out, we really only paid a little more than we would have with the insurance and copayments.

    It would be a great investment if your pet had some kind of medical condition you didn't know about. It's just like gambling. :)
     
  4. tizzy

    tizzy Low-Roller

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    I'm glad you brought this up because it got me thinking about getting it for Dachshund. They are prone to back problems and heard that back surgery for the little guys could be very costly. Appears to be around 30 dollars a month or so.
     
  5. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

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    Pet insurance

    I think people should buy pet insurance if you want your dog to live many years and have surgeries and treatments for medical problems.

    I paid $1,000. for two visits to different vets and I was told she was just
    old. I didn't want to get more x-rays, blood tests, other tests, etc. on my
    old dog. Nothing was done for her medical problems and they cleared up
    on their own by me using common sense and buying her bottled water with
    electrolytes, cooking fresh foods for her, throwing out the pet snacks that
    were killing her.
    Milo's Kitchen snacks gave her bloody diarrehea. It was killing her. I bought
    her dog anti-diarrhea medicine and it cleared up the problem.
    Wagon Train dried chicken breast was also getting her ill.

    Right now I am cooking a tri-trip roast for my dog and me. She also likes to eat cooked veggies. I also mix cooked rice in her food.

    I am doing the best I can to take care of my old dog and I don't plan for her
    to get any kind of surgery because she has started having old age problems
    like bad eye sight, hearing problems, digestive problems, she leaks urine at
    times in bed while she is sleeping. She is having dementia problems too because there are times when I see her just standing trying to remember
    what she wants to do next in her life.lol. Her joy of life is starting to fade.

    I love my dog and I plan to have her die peacefully at home if possible when her time comes. I will ask my vet for advise on what is best for my doggie.
    LucyR.
     
  6. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Worth it is in the eye of the beholder.

    Strictly dollars and sense, of course its not worth it, or it wouldn't be offered. Most people would pay way more in insurance than medical bills. A small few would potentially save a bundle. And on the grand scale the insurance company would come out a winner.

    What makes it "worth it" is if you have a combination of

    a) being able to easily afford the premiums
    b) not being able to comfortably pay any unexpected major procedure.
    c) not being emotionally able in the event of such an unexpected ailment to have your pet put down instead.

    If you have that combination, then the peace of mind may matter more to you than the money. That's up to you.
     
  7. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    We don't have pet insurance... I did look in to it but decided against it in the end.

    First, I would suggest doing some research.

    Don't just go with "My vet recommends..." because its likely they are just getting an affiliate deal by carrying the insurance company's pamphlets and recommending them to customers or being an accepted partner of the program.

    But you do want to find a brand that your vet takes/can take. I remember looking at different pet insurance and there were a couple of brands where my local vet was not a part of their program and that if I went with those brands the nearest vet to me that I could take our cats to would be quite a ways away - since we don't drive, we use taxis, it would be much more expensive to be cabbing it to and from one of these vet offices than anything we could save using them.

    Next you should look for reviews of the different insurance options on the internet. This was one of my biggest put-offs: the brand that my vet recommended has a lot of people on the internet complaining about how hard they are to deal with or loopholes that would get the insurance company off paying for something. IE: you don't want to be paying $X per month for a few years paying for insurance and then when you finally need to use it they say "Oh, our insurance doesn't cover that because..." or find out that there is a limit to the insurance, IE: if your pet has cancer they might pay for one round of chemo and treatments and then thats it and they cut you off after that.

    And you should do a calculation of the short term costs of insurance versus the long term costs of reasonable medical care for your pet. Obviously nobody wants to go to the vet and then have them say "To save your family dog we need to operate and its going to cost..." and then get hit by some huge sum of money... but does that sum of money exceed the amount of premiums you would have been paying over the years?

    And you want to find out how much its really going to cost. You said your dog is 8 years old... if you pick up a pamphlet at your local vet and its saying your breed/size of dog is typically $25-30 a month you have to remember that generally thats going to be for a young dog and when your dog is older the insurance premiums go up, not to mention for 8 years old they will want a full, and up to date, medical history of your pet so you might have to pay hundreds of dollars to have a bunch of tests done to your dog just to see if he/she qualifies for the insurance.
     
  8. dostoy

    dostoy Tourist

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    We have it for our dog, we got it after a friends dog got stepped on at the dog park and it cost them $2600 to have it's leg set surgically. Since we got it he got a hold of one of my wife's medications and had to get his stomach pumped, some medication and and stay at the vets for a couple of days the vet cost was $850, with the insurance it cost $150 plus the $200 premium we payed for the year if you want to add that in as well.
     
  9. weluvvegas

    weluvvegas Vegas Slot Junkie

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    Thank you for all the info. We started thinking about it for 2 reasons. 1) My nephew's dog recently got hit by a car and needed her pelvis reset and a hernia fixed. Their vet bill was over $8000. She is a very young dog, just over 2 years and my nephew's best friend in the world. My nephew is 21 and a college student without much funds to take care of it, so my bro and his wife footed the bill. They weighed the pros and cons of it and decided that because she would be able to have a full recovery and live a normal life (not to mention the emotional impact putting her down would have on my nephew) it would be worth it. They didn't have pet insurance but I wonder what it would've cost if they did.

    2) Our yellow lab is nearly the perfect dog and I just discovered a lump on his chest -- feels like what they call a lipoma fatty tumor but god forbid, it might be cancerous. Plus, for large breed dogs, 8 years old is considered elderly. This post made total sense to me:

    We meet all 3 criteria. If that had been our dog hit by a car, sad to say but we woudn't have had that money. I would feel BEYOND horrible and guilty if I had to put one of our dogs to sleep because I couldn't afford the treatment they needed and would be expected to recover and live just fine for a while longer. Talk about something that would weigh heavy on your heart! I can't say that I would be able to handle that.

    I'm going to do my research and find a company that appears reputable. What I've found so far woudl be about $45 per month for the best plan that covers the most and has the least deductible. That's pocket change compared with what I'd have to pay if something were to happen.

    Lucy -- good for you for taking such great care of your baby. I'm sure that it is repaid to you a hundred times over :) Lots of snuggles, kisses and tail wagging!
     
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  10. nhcris

    nhcris High-Roller

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    We give it to my son as a Christmas gift since he adopted a deaf chihuahua (who is the coolest dog ever). I worry that something will happen to the little guy since he can't hear, but he is a resilient little guy. My son barely gets by living and working in Boston, and from our own pups we know how expensive things can be, so we decided that would be a good gift.

    First let me say, thankfully we have not had to use it yet, so I can't give any feedback on how this company pays out or if we made a good choice, but here's our info to give you an idea. I did quite a bit of research and we ended up going with PetPlan USA. We pay $392 a year and there is a deductible and the cap is not as high as I would like, but it will definitely help if something happens. They have many options, prices vary by location and breed, and you can pretty much customize your plan. We chose a midrange plan with a $100 deductible and 100% reimbursement. Here's the details.

    Silverplan
    Veterinary fees $12,000
    Boarding kennel and cattery fees $250
    Advertising and reward $250
    Loss due to theft or straying $250

    Deductible $100
    Reimbursement level 100%

    Who could resist this little boy?
     

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  11. TFK

    TFK High-Roller

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    My Dachshund had to have back surgery, and it was very expensive. Unfortunately, it was due to my complete and total ignorance about their potential back problems. I was doing things like picking him up incorrectly and letting him jump off the couch. I just had no idea, and the shelter I rescued him from never said anything.

    Of course, after he got hurt, I educated myself on proper handling of Dachshunds and found that if you do simple things like keep them from jumping off of couches and beds, don't let them walk down flights of stairs, and pick them up the proper way so as not to put any pressure on their spine, they'll be just fine.

    The surgery was expensive, about $7000, and he required a lot of taking care of after, as his back legs were paralized after surgery, but with care and home therapy, after a few weeks he slowly regained feeling in his legs, and not long after that, he was as good as new, running around like a puppy.

    Ironically enough, the night he hurt himself, we were hours away from leaving for the airport to celebrate our anniversary in Vegas. Had to cancel the entire trip last minute.

    TFK
     
  12. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

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    Hi TFK, I time I almost had to cancel my Vegas trip when my doggie got real
    sick but I took her to the vet and there was nothing seriously wrong with her. I paid $500. for all of the tests and x-rays they did on her and she was
    okay but just dehydrated.
    The next morning when I was leaving she was fine. "WHEW".

    Hi Weluvvegas, Yes, my doggie gives me lots of joy. Last night she took a
    nap on the hardwood floor and she woke up all wet from urinating on herself. She is a small dog so I picked her up and washed her wet hip and she was real good about letting me wash her. I am so happy I have a small
    dog where I am able to pick her up and wash her.

    Pet stores do sell diapers for doggies. I think I will buy her some for night-time wear.

    My doggie has learned that I have to pick her up and put her on the car seat and also she waits for me to take her out of the car. She has common sense that it hurts her legs to jump now that she is old.

    I live in a condo so my doggie has been a condo dog all of her life. When she was young I was willing to pay whatever it would cost if she was to get
    seriously ill. But now that she is old I will only take her to the vet for her shots and check ups. If she ever gets in an accident while I am gone on a
    vacation my dog sitter knows she can take her to the vet and pay with my
    credit card. Plus she can call my adult son to help out. She can also call me
    on my cell phone. "Whew" she is my fur baby. Someday she is going to the
    Rainbow Bridge and wait for me when my time comes.

    If you have never heard of the Rainbow Bridge.... just check it out on their website. LucyR.
     
  13. KevinStoner

    KevinStoner Newbie

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    I agree with what Sonya said, that it's basically a gamble. As I recall, Consumer Reports doesn't recommend it. I had a policy for a while but they really don't cover all the basic stuff - they're designed to help only in case of emergency. So your day-to-day expenses won't change.
    The only other option is to join a "discount network", I know of two, United Pet Care and Pet Assure. Personally I'm a member of pet assure, basically they'll pay 25% (which admittedly is not so high), but then again my premiums are something in the range of 8 bucks a month, and they don't have exclusions. Here;s their website, maybe consider it in addition to pet insurance.
    If I'm not mistaken united pet care has a very similar plan, I remember that they weren't available in my area so I didn't sign with them.
     
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