Financial Assistance for Vet Care
and Information on Pet Insurance
If your dog requires surgery and you can't afford it, don't give up just yet! There ARE options available.
The first thing you should do is talk to your vet/surgeon to see if they would accept a payment plan. Some animal hospitals do, and it is worth it to ask.
Try to visit teaching hospitals as sometimes they offer treatments at lower prices. To find one in your area, check the American Veterinary Medical Association (https://www.avma.org/Pages/home.aspx) and www.VeterinarySchools.com
Before you decide on a credit option, you may want to read the following article as it points out the pros and cons of many credit options for pet care:
CareCredit (www.carecredit.com) is a credit card specifically for health-care costs including veterinary care. This card has a low monthly payment option and it offers a no-interest payment plan if you pay in full within 6, 12, 18 or 24 months on purchases with your CareCredit card.
The HSUS has a list of National and State-by-State associations that offer financial assistance for pets:
Animal Friends Rescue also has a good list of organizations that provide financial assistance:
Stone House Photoblog has a list of financial resources, including fundraising, grants and Emergency Vet Care funds:
Veterinary Partner has another list of institutions that provide financial assistance:
Dr. Nancy Kay's page, Speaking for Spot, has yet another list with links to general, disease specific, breed specific and USA or international financial assistance:
Coast2Coastrx discount card offers a 25% discount on veterinary services where available:
If you are confused, frustrated, and perplexed, don’t feel alone! It’s a mine field! If you are like me, most insurance, even human insurance, all sounds like mumbo jumbo.Today, with the rising costs of vet care, pet insurance starts to make good financial sense, particularly if your dog is prone to IVDD. Surgery costs can range from $3,500 to $8,000 in the United States up to $12,000 in Canada.
In my research, I found 12 companies offering pet insurance, and their coverages, deductibles, waiting periods, and maximum payout all differ. I was quickly overwhelmed! Thanks to the wonderful world-wide web, I soon found help in deciphering the information and learning the important things to look for. First of all, none of the companies cover pre-existing conditions - any pre-existing condition. So, if your dog has already been treated for a back problem or diagnosed with IVDD, no company will provide coverage. There is also the possibility that some companies won’t cover it if the dog has been examined for back pain and the vet made note of it in the records - even if a diagnosis of IVDD was not made.
You have to really do your research and here are some websites that can help.
Pet Insurance Comparison takes you through the basics about pet insurance and how to select an insurer and more.
Pet Insurance University by Dr Frances Wilkerson, DVM teaches you what you need to know about pet insurance, provides comparison fact sheets, and gives you her own reviews of each of the insurance companies.
Pet Insurance Review gives you tips on how to select an insurer plus actual reviews by pet owners on each company and you can also search reviews by dachshund owners:
Keep in mind that most insurance companies will reimburse a percentage of the surgery costs, but you might still need some financing in order to make the upfront payment. In Canada, Trupanion WILL connect with some local vets and not require full payment up front.
Happy Insurance Hunting!!!