Sunday, September 5, 2010

Help! I Need Pet Health Insurance!

by Leann

As some of you may have heard, my little kitty Agatha Christie was diagnosed with heart disease last year and now we've learned she has diabetes. The vet tried an oral medicine because she has lost so much weight--she only weighs 4lb and 5 oz at the last visit. She feared insulin would be too strong and she might pass out if I wasn't there to drip some Karo syrup into her mouth. But the oral medicine didn't work and her blood sugar doubled. So now she takes 1 little unit of long-acting insulin. It costs more than $100 a bottle and there's a little sticker on the bottle that says "discard after 28 days." WHAT??? She will have used less than 1/4 of the bottle by then. Sigh. The vet and I will have to talk about that. So far, she's not bouncing around and I must take her back for another full day at the vet for a "blood sugar curve." That costs $60.

And now the dog is puny. She threw up this morning and has had diarrhea all day. Let's just say that Rosie, the labradoodle is well, "high strung." We've had company--my kids--and she seems to feel the need to always know where everyone is at all times. We were in and out, going out to eat, stuff like that. She doesn't understand the word "restaurant" although I could probably teach her. Anyway, the kids are gone. We're back to normal. I'm thinking Rosie's just stressed, but since this dog is the love of my husband's life, I foresee a visit to the way over-priced animal emergency clinic Sunday or Monday if the dog is still sick tomorrow.

This is the kind of expense that will catch you unaware and I can see in the future that we must budget generously for the pets when we retire. After all, they are our babies now. My question is, how good is pet insurance? What about pre-existing conditions? Is it worth reading all that extra-fine print? Anyone know? And what about you? How much would you be willing to spend to make sure your fur friends get the best care?