Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Best Vet Care for your pet, when you need it, without breaking the bank

Getting the best Vet Care for your pet is something you may only think of when you are faced with an emergency, and that's a big mistake.  You need to budget for your pet's health care including unexpected expenses long in advance.  For many people, the best way to be sure they can afford major veterinary expenses is by taking out Pet Insurance.  Cairns Pets are at real risk of problems like Tick paralysis, so check the exclusions on any policy you take out to insure these conditions are covered.
There are many different companies offering insurance in Australia, but they are almost all underwritten by the same company, and the policies fall into a few categories.
Some policies will pay 100% of the vet bill minus an excess, while others cover a fixed percentage: often 75% or 80% with no excess.  Be sure to check if emergencies, ticks and preventative health care are covered.  You will pay more for each of these items.
Pet Health Insurance isn't cheap, but like human health insurance, its like saving for a rainy day you hope won't ever come.
As vets, we can't legally recommend a particular insurer (because we aren't financial advisers), but we do advise you take out pet insurance if you would have trouble paying an unexpected vet bill for problems like a cat fight abscess ($300-$450), tick paralysis ($400-$800), a ruptured cruciate ligament ($800-$2000) or a broken leg ($1200-$3600).
There is nothing more heartbreaking than someone having to euthanase their pet because they cannot afford expensive, life-saving surgery.  As vets, we can't afford to subsidise unprepared pet owners: vet's overheads for equipment and facilities are high and we need to pay ourselves and our staff.

So make sure you can afford the best vet care for your pet.  And that means planning ahead.

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