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so, how does anyone cope when the insurance runs out and dog is still very ill?

(19 Posts)
BurningBridges Fri 13-Feb-15 13:42:12

We've nearly spent the £3k we had through Tesco on our dog's current condition - he had an exploratory op on Wednesday and came home last night clearly not well, so we had an emergency vet last night and he's had to be admitted back to (our usual) vets this morning. Looks like he'll be kept in overnight again. Rang insurance this morning to check we have only around £200 left.

I'd only casually considered how in gods name people cope when insurance runs out - we have mahoosive financial problems as it is, I had to borrow money for food last week and still haven't paid it back (we both work but have long term debt problems). You know when you think oh that'll never happen to me, my dog will be ok with that £3k limit and so on.

Has anyone had similar experience? Did you just find the cash yourselves? Irony is, I had one of those unlimited "for life" policies, but it was too expensive so I cancelled it a few weeks before my dog got sick and took out a cheapy one instead … * sigh *

BurningBridges Fri 13-Feb-15 13:44:06

Should point out I am still worried sick about my poor dog but just praying if he has one more night on the drip/meds he might turn a corner. I keep thinking all this and its only for diagnosis, we're not even looking at a cure - vet reckons he can only control symptoms. Dog is only 5 sad

tabulahrasa Fri 13-Feb-15 13:48:32

I ran out last year, luckily only by about £500 as he's insured for £7500 so yep, I just shoved it on the credit card and paid it later.

There was a point a few years ago with one of my cats where my plan was to sell my car, buy a banger and use the rest for her vet bills...but luckily it didn't come to that.

tabulahrasa Fri 13-Feb-15 13:52:46

Oh and sad at your poor not well doggy.

EasyToEatTiger Fri 13-Feb-15 13:56:52

I really don't know but could you start a Just Giving page, or Local Giving, or put out a call for help on Streetlife? Or set up a page on Facebook? Is there anything you can sell? What a bloody nightmare. Is there anything Tesco can do to help? Keep pushing and pushing at every door you can think of and hopefully one will open for you.

Endler32 Fri 13-Feb-15 13:57:22

It's a hard position to be in. If you are claiming benefits I think you can get help from RSPCA and other charities ( worth looking into ). Talk to your vet and get their honest opinion to what they think the future holds for your dog, you need a better idea of what you are dealing with, if your dog pulls through will he need medication long term, is he likely to get very ill again?

You need to put your family first, you need to be able to feed and clothe your family. I know our pets are like family members and we want to do the best for them but sometimes there comes a point where you can't do anymore.

Our cat was involved in a accident a couple years ago, vets bills seemed to mount up fast and we had no insurance, we had to talk about a cut off point and if it was worth paying for treatment, for our cat we knew that surgery would make him better and he could live a full life once he recovered, we found the money and went ahead with surgery, I'm so glad we did. We were lucky to have the funds to do it but if it was between saving the cat and feeding the kids I know what the choice would be.

TeamSteady Fri 13-Feb-15 14:07:18

Sorry to hear your dog is ill.sad

I would agree with PP and have a talk with your vet. Ask them their opinion on what the future holds for your dog - is the problem likely to reoccur for example? Also ask if there are any ways of keeping the costs down. Depending on how well you know your vet they may well be able to set up payments by instalments over the next few months, ours did when we weren't sure if the insurance would cover something. Luckily they did so it never came to it.

BurningBridges Fri 13-Feb-15 14:24:21

Thank you everyone. No credit left on cards, and we work we have no benefits just big debts so can't use charity vets although I would if it was a life/death situation of course. My main concern is getting the dog through this weekend/next couple of weeks - apparently that's when complications may set in with this type of operation. I think all I could do was offer to pay the vet in instalments as Team suggests - there would be no other way, I wouldn't let him suffer and I don't think the vet would either but of course, I understand they are not in it for their own healthy they need to earn money!

I suppose I was thinking I'll ask Mumsnet in case I've missed an obvious way out.

MitchellMummy Fri 13-Feb-15 14:24:37

Aww, I feel for you and your dog. Be honest with your vet and hopefully you can pay monthly or something. Have you considered a foodbank? For yourselves I mean, though I wonder if anyone ever donates dog food? I know you're working already but could you perhaps help out with other dog owners to earn a few quid? I'm lucky that I haven't been in your position but I would hate to be without funds to look after my dogs - they are my life. What does your vet suspect is wrong?

tabulahrasa Fri 13-Feb-15 14:25:59

Most vets are fine with setting up a payment plan - they'd rather do that than not treat an animal.

TheFantasticMrsFox Fri 13-Feb-15 14:50:17

Like tab says, most vets will consider a payment plan. I would think that since you have already spent 3k (or the best part of) on DDog, they would be more likely to agree. It's not as if you're at the start of treatment and can't pay.

Ultimately though you will need to make sure you can afford whatever bill they may allow you to rack up. It's so easy to get carried away and you could be stuck with a whopper of a bill that you struggle to afford. I think you would need to have an idea of how much you can realistically afford to pay each week/ month, then be guided by how quickly the vets want full payment.

I really feel for you. We had a similar financial problem but continued with the top whack insurance cover. The fear of ending up in your situation was the motivation behind it, but I would be lying if I said I didn't begrudge the amount every month (which predictably we didn't claim on hmm)

LouiseBrooks Fri 13-Feb-15 15:00:46

Pay in instalments sounds like a sensible option. The vet has a duty to care for an animal if its life is in danger. He can't just ignore it, so I'm sure he'll be amendable especially as you've paid a lot already.

However, this is a salutory lesson for all pet owners: make sure your pet insurance covers for life. I have Petplan and mine is covered for life, for any condition.

I hope your dog gets better soon.

Floralnomad Fri 13-Feb-15 15:14:22

What has your dog had done ? The issue is your insurance will probably exclude this type of issue in the future so long term you are going to have to pay for everything and you seem to imply that this will be a long term issue . Unless you can see your finances improving I think you need to find out what the long term cost could be. Hope your dog feels better soon .

BurningBridges Fri 13-Feb-15 23:17:05

Well tea time he took a turn for the worse and the vet rang to say he had to do emergency op to see why he was so ill, then he found necrotised pancreas. He's got it under control and expects a slow recovery, quietly optimistic etc., but yes now this will definitely be life long and life limiting - chronic pancreatitis. We have agreed I will pay what I can when I can to get us through this, and then we will just have to enjoy every day with him.

I always call him the "dog of my life" that is to say this is a period of our lives, a journey we are having, to have this dog as part of the family. He's grown up with the children, and once he's gone we will never get another dog. However, if I did, I would do as a previous poster said - get the lifetime insurance and grin and bear the cost. Hindsight. If only we could bottle it.

Floralnomad Fri 13-Feb-15 23:53:52

Oh dear , sounds like your vet is very understanding ,which is lovely . Hope your dog feels better soon.

BurningBridges Sat 14-Feb-15 12:01:30

I'm not coping so well today, trying to keep it together for the children. I think I am doing that thing where if asked people say oh yes soon be on the mend, that sort of crap, its just what you say isn't it. But basically he's still seriously ill and when I say the vet expects a slow recovery what I mean is the vet is still hopeful as of course are we, but its literally taking it a few hours at a time.

Feeling crap. I am not good at this sort of thing.

BurningBridges Sat 14-Feb-15 12:04:40

Am going to start another thread about pancreatitis see you over there maybe.

Trapper Sat 14-Feb-15 12:27:09

Is the dog going to have a decent quality of life, or will it be suffering with a chronic illness? Is there a long term cost associated with treatment, or is it a one off? It's a horrible thing to consider, but depending on the circumstances, you may be best to consider having it put down.
Sorry you are in this situation.

BurningBridges Sat 14-Feb-15 12:31:46

Trapper at the moment we don't know, he's too ill to tell but of course I see your point. If he survives it will be long term treatment. Next few days are critical sad

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