A case for Pet Insurance
For most of us who have pets, we will do as much for our pets as we would for a child and that includes health care. When we buy our animals we don't always consider if we can actually afford to have them! From the cost of their food to the cost of medical treatment, even down to regular vaccinations, our pets can be a very expensive pleasure.
If there is such thing as a poor veterinarian I haven't met one yet! Let me make this abundantly clear, I'm not saying that vets are bad or that they are trying to swindle everyone out of their money, veterinarians as a whole do a good job and work hard. Over the years almost all my pets have had a long and healthy life and my vet has always had strong part to play in this.
These days without pet insurance you could end up paying a horrendous price for your pet's treatment. If you can't afford pet insurance or you have an old pet with many problems (you may have taken on an older rescued animal that you could not get pet insurance for, as we did) you may not be lucky enough to have a Blue Cross centre or other pet charities in your area that could assist. This means that you could end up paying a lot of money and may be forced to put your animal down.
I know that vets have costs to cover as much as the next person and in this recession these are difficult times all round, I just can't seem to understand how they can justify charging the prices they do for some treatments. As an example, with our Jack Russell we discovered she had an allergic reaction to wasps stings when eating said wasp, shortly after the incident happened she came into our lounge looking like the dog from the mask! Her head had swollen to about twice its normal size. As you can imagine we were worried, so off to the vets we went. The vet examined the dog, gave her a steroid injection and a antihistamine tablet, this all took about 10 minutes and we were to give the dog half an antihistamine tablet twice a day for the next couple of days. The dog started to recover very quickly, so within 10 minutes of going in to see the vet we were at the counter paying the bill of £110 and watched a receptionist get our tablets for the dog. I was shocked to see that the tablets were a well-known brand of human antihistamine treatment that you can buy in any chemist or supermarket for about £2.50 a box. The receptionists removed two tablets from the foil tray and placed them in an envelope, she gave me the bill to which I paid. I then took the tablets and my dog home, when I looked at the bill I noticed that I had been charged £8.50 for these two tablets and she didn't even cut them in half for me.
Even though my dog is insured, I can't believe that this could be justified to charge someone such an exorbitant price. Why didn't the vet just tell me to go and buy the tablets myself? I often wonder if the insurance companies actually question the vets on why they are charging this amount. And a valuable lesson to me was always checking and questioning the bill, and if you are unsure ask the veterinarian to explain why this treatment was necessary.
The best bit of advice I can give any pet owner is when you realise that your pet has a problem and you have paid the vets bill, look into the problem that your pet has because in the future, you could save yourself money and time by medicating your pet at home. We now have a supply of antihistamine and worming tablets for if/when they are needed.