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Pet Insurance – Finding out the Hard Way

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Pet Insurance – Finding out the Hard Way

Recently I wrote about Storm, the newest addition to our home, and the joy this little puppy provided our family.  Anything Storm chewed up, carried off or got into was forgiven because he did not know better and/or we needed to better train him.  I’m sure you are aware, puppies will chew on anything, eat everything and carry on like nothing is wrong.   The list of things I've pulled out of little Storm's mouth is as unbelievable as it is long - everything from sticks to bugs, paper towels and even cat poop just to name a few!  Nothing seemed to bother him or make him sick.

As you know, I work in the animal health industry so I thought that I could avoid many of the expenses that come with normal pet ownership.  I can get vaccines, heartworm medicine, flea and tick prevention as well as plenty of grooming products just by visiting our sample room or seeing one of the numerous sales representatives that come through our door at Durvet. Little did I know, I was going to have new best friends down at the local veterinary hospital.

I’ve heard about pet insurance, seen the advertisements regarding the variety of plans available and even gotten all the veterinary publications with articles about pet insurance. Did I need it?  I thought no, as surely the cost is much higher than I would ever re-coop.  Wow, was I wrong!

Pet Insurance - Learning the Hard Way

It started with small things, such as routine exams and a rabies shot.  Then Storm got an ear infection - simple stuff - but you would be surprised how much an office visit can cost.  Next on the list was neutering and after that, things escalated rather quickly.

Poor little Storm started throwing up, stopped eating and had no bowel movements.  After no improvement over 48 hours, I took him back to our new best friends at the veterinary clinic.  A quick x-ray revealed that he had something obstructing his small intestine.  Whatever he had eaten would not pass. At this point, I received a surgery estimate for anywhere from $1,300 to over $1,600.  By now, our investment in this 6-pound puppy was approaching $3,000 and he was not even 8 months old! Quickly doing the math, he was going to be worth $500 per pound.  However, what were we to do?  There was never any hesitation to order the surgery. 

Once we got Storm back home - less the landscaping rock they removed from his small intestine - I started checking into pet insurance.  After some research, I decided that it is rather affordable when considering the potential cost associated with another emergency surgery.   Premiums are $25 per month for Storm.

The moral of the story is the insurance will pay for another incident of this kind at anytime in the next 5 years.  If only I would have had it earlier.

Mark Niblo

Mark Niblo

Marketing Director | Long Distance Runner | Iowa by Birth-Kansas City by Choice


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