We know the emotional distress that a veterinary emergency can bring pet owners. From uncertainty to sheer worry, little brings more uneasiness than knowing your pet is ill or hurting. Add the financial burden for your pet’s care, and you have a recipe for downright stress. At Urgent Pet Care Omaha, we understand the emotional and financial weight that comes with treating veterinary emergencies, and we encourage our clients to consider pet insurance or another financial plan, to help prepare for the unexpected. Currently, numerous pet insurance plans are available to help offset veterinary care costs, and offer you peace of mind.
While many pet owners expect and prepare for the initial costs that come with puppies or kittens, such as vaccines and preventive medications, fewer are financially ready for the burden of emergency veterinary care. The costs associated with many common veterinary emergencies vary greatly, depending on the severity of the pet’s condition and the length of treatment. Here are a few common urgent concerns and their possible treatment plans:
- Seizures — The workup for seizures may include blood testing, urine testing, and advanced imaging. Pets with cluster seizures (i.e., two or more seizures in a 24-hour period) or intractable (i.e., difficult-to-manage) seizures will likely require hospitalization and intravenous medications.
- Vomiting and diarrhea —These common signs can be caused by a variety of factors, including infectious organisms, dietary indiscretion, or pancreatitis. Our veterinary team may recommend blood testing, viral or parasitic screening tests, and X-rays to determine the cause of your pet’s signs. If your pet is dehydrated or inappetant, hospitalization may be recommended, along with medications to treat the cause and symptoms.
- Limping — One of the most common reasons why pets limp is an anterior cruciate ligament injury. The workup involves X-rays of the affected knee, and may require sedation. Treatment is typically surgical, and the postoperative period necessitates frequent recheck appointments, pain medications, and physical rehabilitation.
- Collapse — Diagnosing the cause of a pet’s collapse often involves lab work, X-rays, ultrasound, or a cardiology workup. Treatment may require surgery or hospitalization, depending on the underlying cause.
- Injury or wound — Depending on the injury, your pet may need sedation, pain medications, surgical debridement, and hospitalization. Recovery times are variable, and may include frequent recheck appointments or repeated treatments.
Not only is predicting when these conditions may occur impossible, but anticipating the costs also can be tricky. Thankfully, numerous pet insurance plans are available to help protect your pet’s health, and your wallet. When choosing a veterinary insurance plan, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the company have a good reputation? — You should research several different companies, along with their customer reviews, before deciding on a plan. When you need insurance help in a crisis, you want to be confident the company you choose will provide needed assistance so your pet can receive the best care.
- What are the monthly premiums? — If the monthly cost is a deciding factor, consider a plan with a low monthly fee. But, keep in mind that low monthly premiums are often paired with a higher deductible.
- What type of coverage does the plan include? — Ensure you choose a plan with adequate emergency or urgent care coverage for your pet. Some plans also include preventive care, such as vaccinations and dental cleanings. If having a more comprehensive plan means that your pet will receive the preventive care she needs to maintain good health, a more robust plan may be a better option.
- Is there a deductible? — Many plans have a deductible that you must meet before the plan begins covering costs. Deductibles, as well as the remaining portion of the bill that will be covered, vary greatly from plan to plan, so do your research.
- Is there a cap on reimbursements? — Some plans will only pay out to a certain limit, and once the cap is reached, the pet owner is responsible for the remainder of the bills. Keep in mind that many pet emergencies require surgery and several days of hospitalization, which can easily cost several thousand dollars.
Choosing a financial plan for your pet’s veterinary care is wise, but can be daunting. We are here to help. Contact us for more information on pet insurance plans and other payment options, such as Care Credit and Scratchpay.