Are You Prepared for Unexpected Vet Bills?

Your Pet Can Cecome Sick at Short Notice

How Prepared Are You?

You’ve just arrived home after a busy day at the office. As you’re getting ready to for the next shift of the day – aka – dinner for four, your daughter emerges from her room and says “Mum” – “Can you have a look at Riley” “I think there’s something wrong with her.”

“In a minute hon… I’m busy”

“No Mum, I mean now!”

You quickly dry your hands and follow your daughter into her room, only to find the normally vivacious family terrier cowering sheepishly under the bed. You immediately notice a small pool of vomit in the corner and the dog staring out at you with big fearful eyes.

Despite coaxing, Riley is reluctant to come out from under the bed so you crawl under to get her.

She yelps as you pull her out and puts her tail between her legs. Riley is clearly not well at all.

“I think we better ring the Vet”

You turn off the stove, organise a snack for the kids while they wait till you get back and off to the vet you go.

During the exmaination you’re informed that Riley is dehydrated and needs to be placed on an iv drip a.s.a.p. Further diagnostic tests are also neded to work out the cause of Riley’s condition. Images of big $$ apear in your head and you start feeling a little ill.

“How much will this all cost” – you ask.

Your vet gives you a breakdown of the initial diagnostic and treatment costs, “the rest of course will depend on what the test results reveal” – he says.

This is not good news for you. You love Riley and certainly don’t begrudge her the treatment but, what a totally inconvenient time for this to happen. You’ve just paid a stack of bills and have just enough to get by till pay day next week.

Would You be Prepared for this?

You could ask your vet for a payment plan. Some vets do offer this as an option but don’t count on it.

  1. Most clinics you’ll find expect full payment of fees at the time of patient discharge from hospital. Some may even ask for a deposit before starting any treatment.
  2. You could apply for credit through a third party provider such as GE Care Credit. Most vets use a third party credit provider for situations just like this. These companies deduct installments from your bank account over an agreed period of time until the account is paid in full with little or no interest charge to you.
  3. You could arrange to borrow money yourself – from the bank, family or friends.

This is not an uncommon scenario in veterinary practice. Many people are unprepared to deal with an unexpected vet bill which adds additional stress to an already emotional situation.
Depending on the nature of the illness or injury, your bill could be anything from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars.

Of course, the best way to avoid situations like this is to take out Pet Insurance. This is the ultimate protection for you and your pet and best taken out when your pet is still young.

Want to compare Pet Insurance Policies

Ask for our Pet Insurance comparison chart.

This handy little flyer is available from our clinic. It compares the fees and inclusions of 12 different Insurance Providers.

Please drop in and grab one.

However, if you don’t like the idea of paying monthly fees for the unknown or you have more than one pet you could do one of the following:

  1. Set up a separate account for your pets into which you transfer small amounts of money on a regular basis specifically for situations like these. Even if you don’t end up having all the funds you need in there (if it’s a large bill) – at least it’s a downpayment.
  2. If you use a particular vet, keep your account in credit through regular deposits. This way you’re never tempted to use the money for anything else. This also means you’re more likely to be offered a payment plan to pay off the remainder.(This has proven to work well for clients of ours)

Just a final note: Remember – vets are businesses too with the same overheads as any other business out there. They can’t be money lenders as well. It is up to you to make provisions for your pet’s health expenses just as you do for all the other members of your family.

2011 The Year Of The Rabbit

Do You Know these Rabbit Facts?

Apart from being a popular choice for a child’s first pet, they’re now growing in popularity across all age groups.

  1. Rabbits are not rodents like Rats and mice and guinea pigs – they’re a lagomorph. That’s one of the reasons why guinea pigs and rabbits do not make the best of friends and shouldn’t be housed together as is often done.
  2. Rabbits have 28 teeth that never stop growing. That’s why they need lots of fibre in their diet to keep the teeth from overgrowing. Your rabbit’s diet should consiet of 80% – 90% grass or oaten hay plus vegetable and greens – not commercial pellets. Pellets are high in carbs and protein and a diet based largely on these can cause health problems.
  3. A female rabbit is called a “doe” and a male rabbit is called a “buck” – just like a deer.
  4. Rabbits can purr – similar to a cat by lightly grinding their teeth
  5. A happy rabbit can jump around 3 feet and do a twist. This is called a “binky”
  6. Rabbits can live to about 10 years of age and produce hundreds of offspring in a lifetime if not desexed. That’s why there’s a great deal of truth in the expression -“breed like rabbits”.
  7. Rabbits droppings pass through the body twice! They eat their soft night droppings to produce the dark droppings. This is a normal and healthy process.
  8. Rabbits can make great indoor pets as they can be litter trained really well.
  9. Rabbits can groom themselves.
  10. Rabbits can’t vomit so they need lots of hay in their diet to allow any fur balls to pass safely.
  11. A group of Rabbits is called a “herd” and they live in “warrens”
  12. Rabbits are not a solitary animal. They need interaction with from suitable friends such as other rabbits and humans. So always get your rabbit a suitable best friend.
  13. Unwanted behavious such as fighting, urine spraying, biting and scratching can be eliminated by desexing your rabbits. Both males and females should be desexed.
  14. The only place a rabbit sweats from is through the pads on it’s feet
  15. A predator can literally scare a rabbit to death!
  16. There are many different breeds of domestic rabbits and all are descendants of the European wild rabbit
  17. An adult rabbit drinks about 5 – 10 mls of water a day. Make sure they always have a constant supply of fresh water
  18. Rabbits are prone to fatal illnesses just like cats and dogs. Calicivirus is one of those diseases.
  19. Fortunately a yearly vaccination is available.

Rabbits can be unique in their personality just like cats or dogs..

They are very clean animals as they groom themselves daily and always go to the toilet in the same place.

Being gentle creatures, they don’t tolerate rough handling and can stress very easily.

On the other hand, they can become quite territorial and will put up a good fight when their territory is challenged or invaded.

Rabbits can make interesting pets – for any age group and they’re easy to look after if all the basic requirements of housing, diet and preventative health care are met.

I’m guessing, being the Year of the Rabbit, we’ll be seeing a lot more of these creatures around – in advertising and in households everywhere.