what's been your most expensive vet bill - one off or ongoing?

(47 Posts)
stonecircle Fri 19-Feb-16 15:43:03

I've been saying it for years, but am now seriously thinking of cancelling our pet insurance. We pay Direct Line £154 pcm for 2 dogs and 2 cats (only 12 month cover, not whole of life). We've never made any big claims, only the odd one for a few hundred.

One of our dogs recently had to have a tooth removed (trauma not decay so actually covered by the policy). The whole op was about £400 and Direct Line have sent us a cheque for £156 - having removed the £80 excess, £15 for special food and £156 for 'scaling and polishing'. After much discussion, turns out the 'scaling and polishing' actually includes the extraction itself. The vet says this was necessary to ensure the surrounding teeth were clean and not harbouring any bacteria which could have infected the wound. Direct Line are refusing point blank to cover any teeth cleaning so vet is having to let them know the cost of the actual extraction. If we're lucky they'll be covering half of the cost of the op.

I'm so annoyed with them I'm wondering if we should just cancel the policy. We're paying almost £2k per annum in premiums - which will no doubt go up now we've made a claim and with age. We could cover any biggish bills without too much difficulty, but I'm wondering exactly how big they might be. I know serious ops can cost a few grand and ongoing medication can work out very expensive. Our dogs are 6 and 9 (labradors) and our cats are 14. If i could start again, no way would I take out pet insurance. I'm seriously tempted to just risk it and tell Direct Line to take a running jump!

So what's been your most expensive vet bill?

tabulahrasa Fri 19-Feb-16 15:49:34

One off bill, 5.5k...most in a year 8k, ongoing bills without any energencies add up to about 3k a year, that's the dog.

If I didn't have him, it'd have been about 2k a year for a cat for five years with a 3.5k as her biggest bill and about 5k in total that year.

TrionicLettuce Fri 19-Feb-16 15:51:31

DDog2's cataract surgery which was £5000.

Closely followed by DDog1's heart and arthritis medication which totalled about £3600-4000 over the course of two years.

Last October DWhippet1 had a freak accident and needed orthopaedic surgery which cost (including initial consultations, x-rays and initial follow ups) about £1500-2000.

Sophie38 Fri 19-Feb-16 15:55:11

about 170. When my son found a pot of open gloss paint and the cat in the same room, and had an idea.

It was mostly for sedation.

I cancelled the insurance for similar reasons - far better to save up the cash in a separate account and use it if needed.

It's ridiculous. Though I think with dogs, you can end up with very high bills on occasion.

The insurance just started to cover less and less and it didn't seem worth it.

Ridingthegravytrain Fri 19-Feb-16 16:03:20

A good few thousand. We are now tied into PetPlan life cover for one dog at £58 pm and it keeps going up

I'm pissed off though as we have been with nfu for our other dog 6 years and never claimed. Just called to inform them our dog is sick and having investigations and we have just heard back that our policy is up for renewal in April and they are putting our excess up by £50 as a result of our claim....that we haven't even made yet

Ridiculous

BlackMarigold Fri 19-Feb-16 17:41:44

I cancelled Pet Plan insurance for my 2 dogs three years ago. Never claimed anything as vet bills were always below the £90 excess.
I'd been paying Pet Plan £70 a month so put that into a savings account instead, there's over £2000 in it so far.

bodenbiscuit Fri 19-Feb-16 17:44:39

I would never consider cancelling our pet insurance tbh. With four animals, what if you were unlucky and more than one of them needed treatment within a short space of time?

BlackMarigold Fri 19-Feb-16 18:04:05

OP, if you decide to cancel your pet insurance you'll need 3rd party public liability insurance in case dog causes damage death or injury and you have to pay out £££s.
Joining Pet Plan (£25 a year) is a way of getting 3rd party insurance, or sometimes its included in house insurance.

ScattyHattie Fri 19-Feb-16 18:14:10

In this past year insurance has covered £4k on diagnostics & treatment for old fracture that's giving him trouble in and another £1.5k for MRI & specialist consult for different condition. Dogs 10 & otherwise in good health.

randomsabreuse Fri 19-Feb-16 18:15:57

Labs are prone to cruciate issues (££££) and might be GDV prone (£2k potentially). Our 8yo is still insured having not had any cruciate issues but 1k plus for tail tip amputation (medically necessary - was failing to heal) - would have been more if DH wasn't a vet!

FiveHoursSleep Fri 19-Feb-16 18:17:12

Two ops on our lurcher's broken leg last year came to over £8K. We were only insured for £4K so were hugely out of pocket, and she died anyhow sad

ditsygal Fri 19-Feb-16 18:30:04

£2500 on a cats broken leg. We had no insurance at the time. We definitely got it for both cats after that!

Noitsnotteatimeyet Fri 19-Feb-16 19:02:34

Our cat got hit by a car last year and shattered his pelvis- that was 5.5K alone plus he's got asthma which is under control at the moment but if it gets worse will need horrendously expensive medication

I will frankly be amazed if he gets to old age without at least one other major medical issue hmm

HarlettOScara Fri 19-Feb-16 19:09:02

One dog - 2 operations for torn cruciate ligaments by age 3 plus ongoing treatment for the resulting severe arthritis (joint supplements, NSAIDs when needed, acupuncture and hydrotherapy) plus other sundry illnesses and ailments totalled well in excess of £20K over his 11 years of life. By the end, his insurance premiums were £130 per month but his meds and therapies were £400 per month so really I couldn't have afforded to not be insured.

MidLifeCrisis007 Fri 19-Feb-16 19:34:15

£4500 uninsured....

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 19-Feb-16 19:36:44

I have one patient who has a chronic condition that racks up in the region of 4K every year. I have three patients on chemo currently and that is coming in about 500 per month with blood tests etc. Another patient had back surgery beg ire Christmas 5.5K.
Sadly at the weekend we lost a patient who in his life time his owners have claimed 25K from the insurance company.

mrslaughan Fri 19-Feb-16 21:50:07

When we moved her we brought our cost with us - he was 2 years old, 6 weeks out of quarantine he went into heart failure.....with moving countries I just hadn't quite got around to organising insurance.......he cost us thousands over the next 9 months. It's to depressing to add it up. But maybe you should shop around? It does seem expensive.....

stonecircle Sat 20-Feb-16 11:26:13

Some interesting accounts though I'm still not convinced. A 4-5k op would only be 2 years' premiums for us. We can't shop around as nobody would cover pre-existing conditions and our older lab has ear problems, a lot of fatty lumps and arthritis - all of which could develop into something more serious.

I think the thing which stops me from cancelling is that pet insurance includes public liability insurance. Our other dog likes to chase things and the red mist can descend. He once slipped his lead and ran into the road when ds had him out - fortunately didn't cause an accident but the potential was there. He's also a bit snappy with other dogs so further potential for him to cause damage.

Direct Line have pretty much got us over a barrel.

But on the bright side, I'm still chuckling today over Sophie's account of her cat, her ds and a tin of gloss paint .......smile

HarlettOScara Sat 20-Feb-16 12:05:00

My other dog was a giant breed with insurance premiums to match. Her renewal when she turned 8 was £180 a month. At that stage, she had some joint problems but nothing that would cost anywhere near that amour per month. We decided to switch to another insurer for £65 per month. We worked out that it would be cheaper to cover the costs associated with her pre-existing conditions ourselves and the new policy would cover any new conditions and 3rd party liability etc. At that stage, we expected to have her for another few years as she was in good health generally.

3 months later she had to be PTS due to a particularly aggressive form of cancer. It was 4 weeks from she first showed signs of illness to diagnosis and then the end. The new insurance company paid out almost £3k for the vet bills incurred and they had received less than £300 in premiums from me. Illustrated to me perfectly why pet insurance can be so expensive.

KinkyAfro Sat 20-Feb-16 12:32:20

The single most expensive was £4500 for cruciate surgery and associated xrays etc. The running total for everything to date is pushing £20k. My dog is 3

KinkyAfro Sat 20-Feb-16 12:33:27

And she's a lab

BlackMarigold Sat 20-Feb-16 12:52:58

I think the thing which stops me from cancelling is that pet insurance includes public liability insurance.
This costs peanuts compared to pet insurance, if you join the Dogs Trust (£25 a year) you're automatically covered. Also can be included in household insurance, worth checking, it was already in my policy and I didn't realise.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Sat 20-Feb-16 12:58:11

£400 for a dental which the insurance didn't even cover.

Only other bill was £70 for the appt and painkillers. Didn't bother claiming as the excess was £60

Ive paid £15 a month for years and years but the thought of a bill of £thousands stops me cancelling the insurance.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Sat 20-Feb-16 13:00:15

Blimey if I was paying £154 a month I think Id be cancelling. None of my dogs have ever got to an age where bills were that much. Ironically my longest lived dog died during that £400 dental operation!

tabulahrasa Sat 20-Feb-16 13:10:34

I pay £120 a month for the one dog...it's less than his medication costs though.

" A 4-5k op would only be 2 years' premiums for us."

Would you have it at short notice though and then money for care afterwards?

My 5.5k operation was for a perforated ulcer caused by the NSAIDs for arthritis, so on top of that cost he has to now have more expensive painkillers.

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