Tag and I adopted our puppy Sydney on Thursday, January 31st. Six days later she was so sick that she had to stay overnight at a veterinary hospital with an IV giving her fluids.
Holy crap were we scared!
Sydney went to the vet on Monday and got some heartworm medicine. On Monday night she threw up twice, which we didn’t think was a big deal because vomiting was one of the side effects of the medicine.
Then in the morning she wouldn’t eat anything and wouldn’t drink much, and she wasn’t as lively as a puppy should be. Loss of appetite and lethargy were also potential side effects so we weren’t too worried. We figured it would pass and she’d be fine.
On Tuesday night she was throwing up again, and on Wednesday morning she still wasn’t eating. Tag took her to the vet and he gave her a shot that was supposed to stop her from throwing up. Then she threw up twice in the car, feel asleep when she got home, and threw up again hours later when she woke up.
Something was wrong.
We called the vet and he said we should bring her in immediately.
At this point we were freaking out. She was so lethargic she could hardly move and she hadn’t eaten or drank much of anything in two whole days. The vet he saw how bad she was and after a negative Parvo test (thank God!) he recommended that we leave her overnight hooked up to an IV so she could get her strength back.
We hadn’t even had her a week and we already had to spend a night without our puppy! Worse yet, we had no idea what was happening to her. Was she okay? Was she getting worse? It’s SCARY!
Luckily the fluids did wonders. She woke up and ate food for the first time in three days now. She even had enough energy to get into a little mischief at the vet. By the time I was done with work she was ready to go home!
When I picked Sydney up the guy at the front desk told me that he was going to print off a receipt. He handed it to me and there was a $500 bill!
When the vet came to give Sydney back she told me that they weren’t going to charge me because it was all just a bad reaction to the heartworm medicine they gave her and that they would try to recoup their costs from the heartworm medicine company.
Whew! I don’t really have an extra $500 lying around (although I would have found a way to pay for it to make my little baby better!).
This got me thinking… what if this happens again?!
Do I Need Pet Insurance?
If Sydney gets sick or hurt then I’m going to take her to the vet and get her fixed. When we adopted a puppy she became a part of our family, and we are financially responsible for keeping her healthy.
I really don’t want to have to come up with $500 if she gets sick again. I definitely don’t want to come up with $2,000-$3,000 if she tears a ligament in her knee. However, there’s a fairly good chance that she’ll never get sick again until she’s old.
Is pet insurance worth it?
I got a quote online where I can get a comprehensive insurance plan for Sydney for between $19 and $28 a month. The $19/mo package has a $500 annual deductible, while the $24/mo package has a $250 deductible and the $28/mo package has a $100 deductible. However, there are new companies like Bivvy insurance that offer prices that are much more affordable to the users.
Keep in mind this isn’t like health insurance where EVERYTHING is covered. I’d still have to pay 100% for standard checkups, shots, and heartworm meds.
On one hand, the insurance will make sure Sydney doesn’t break the bank with health issues. On the other hand, the insurance isn’t cheap and I have a wedding to save for.
No Pet Insurance for Sydney Today
In looking at the numbers I just don’t think pet insurance is going to fit in the budget right now. I do understand it’s a risk, but it’s one I’m willing to take.
We already spent $350 adopting her and have spent a bunch on toys, food, a crate, leash and collar, and more. I’ve also spent $150 for a puppy training class that will last 6 weeks and start soon.
Puppies are expensive.
If something terrible happens with her health then I’m just going to have to buck up and pay for it from the wedding fund. Then I’ll make up for it with reduced spending elsewhere. I’d rather take the money I would have spent on premiums and the deductible and use that to pay for anything that might happen.
If nothing or something small happens, I’ll have made the right choice. If she has a really big health issue, I’ll have made the wrong choice. Only time will tell.
The great news is the she’s healthy again. She’s lots of trouble and too freaking adorable. We love her so much already!
Readers: If you have a pet, do you have pet insurance? If so, how much does it cost and have you ever had to use it?