2 days ago
I learned a lesson this past week. Actually, make that a few lessons.
#1: Pet insurance is worth it. Just because a dog is young and spry doesn't mean he can't have serious health problems. I started researching when we first got Wicket, got overwhelmed by the choices of deductiblesandcopaysandcoverageandwhatnot and set the project aside, assuming he'd be okay. He was fine for more than the first year of his life, right? Sigh.
#2: Vet trips add up... but, honestly, cost isn't a valid reason to hesitate to take a sick pet in. Wicket started throwing up a small amount of bile in the morning early last week. For the first two days I thought nothing of it -- perhaps he just felt empty from having an early dinner the previous night -- but the third day, I figured something had to be up. I went home from lunch during work that day and never went back. The poor little guy was throwing up and had poo the consistency and color of ketchup. He ended up spending the night at the vet after I rushed him there, receiving subcutaneous fluids, injected with antibiotics and antacids, and then discharged the next morning. I stayed home from work to keep an eye on him... and good thing, because before I knew it, we were back at the vet when his symptoms became worse. A few X-rays, more sub-cu fluids, blood tests and hundreds of dollars later, we had at least determined he had no obstructions in his intestines, and no giardia nor pancreatis. It was just a very bad case of irritated innards (non-technical terms of course). More medicine and a bland diet prescribed, and we were back at home. My wallet was aching, but I realized my heart hurt more. I just wanted to see my little dog back to his normal happy self.
#3: A happy dog = a happy owner. Okay, I knew this before this incident, but now I know it all the more so. I can't begin to describe the relief I felt as Wicket started to recover. I don't think I knew until then how stressed out I'd been over the whole thing!
#4: Prepare now for future pet disasters. I'm going to (gladly) sign Wicket up for his very own insurance plan. After researching many companies, we've decided to choose Pet Plan for Wicket. Their feature of being able to pick a co-pay and deductible as needed, and then a high annual limit that refreshes indefinitely, was the best fit for us. Second choice was Pet's Best. Before doing my research, VPI was the company I'd heard the most about, but upon seeing their very detailed criteria of what constitutes a covered illness/injury and the specific amounts per incident, it just seemed way too confusing. Many of the insurance companies offered coverage of routine care as well, but as the amount ended up being largely the same and I'd have to pay and then get refunded anyway, that wasn't an important factor in my decision at all. A few others I looked into were Embrace, PetFirst, and ASPCA.
I leave you with a few recent photos of the little guy, since I haven't posted any for a long time. Hopefully he'll look this happy again soon (he's getting there)!