View Full Version : Emergency Spaying - Insurance

22nd January 2010, 07:00 PM
Some of you may have seen my earlier post about my 9 month old bitch Dotty and her heavy, smelly 'season'.
I've taken her to the vets and they have kept her in overnight so they can perform an emergency spaying tomorrow morning.
Obviously I'm worried sick as there are complications to the op while she is bleeding so much.
My question is will this be covered by my insurance as it is was prescribed by the vet? I know they don't cover spaying if it's your choice but is it covered if prescribed.
My insurer is unavailable till Monday 9am so I can't speak to them until then.
Has anybody else had anything similar happen?

Many Thanks

22nd January 2010, 07:13 PM
If it is deemed medically necessary then I would think it would be covered. Were you planning on getting you dog spayed or were you planning on breeding her? I'm sorry to hear she is having such a difficult time. I hope all turns out well for her and that she makes a full and speedy recovery. Thank goodness you took her in when you did.

22nd January 2010, 07:14 PM
I hope that she is ok - i'd be quite suprised if your insurance would cover the cost of a spay to be honest.
May be wrong but im pretty sure thats one thing mine dont cover - hope it all goes well :hug:

22nd January 2010, 07:43 PM
No advice on insurance.
Just to say that I hope everything goes ok with the op in the morning and Dotty be all right. Will be thinking of you and Dotty. :hug:

22nd January 2010, 07:50 PM
No advice on insurance.
Just to say that I hope everything goes ok with the op in the morning and Dotty be all right. Will be thinking of you and Dotty. :hug:

I too hope that everything goes well in the morning for young Dotty. Once she is home she should be running around like a puppy very soon after. Very worrying until then though.

Whether the spay is covered by your insurance will depend on the exclusions included in the policy. Look for something which lists exclusions or says 'not included'.

22nd January 2010, 08:36 PM
As this is a spay because of pyometra, which is considered an emergency medical condition for which spay is the safest treatment, I would be quite sure it will be covered. They will likely keep her in for a while after such a spay as well as it will be more involved than a regular spay. But it depends on the policy and whether they believe it was an avoidable condition if she had been spayed. You'll definitely need to talk to them but have a look at your policy as it may be clear on this. :thmbsup:

Good job for getting her in and being suspicious so quickly that something was wrong, as this condition is usually fatal if not caught soon enough. Your fast action has undoubtedly saved her life.

According to insurance statistics, cavaliers have one of the highest risks of pyometra of all surveyed breeds, with a lifetime risk of an alarming 41% if not spayed -- one of the reasons spaying is an important health consideration for this breed in particular. But for any female dog the risk is quite high for an unspayed female -- a 20-25% lifetime risk. Based on the study below, it would suggest pyometra spays are covered as emergency treatment for illness.

J Vet Intern Med 2001 Nov-Dec;15(6):530-8

Breed risk of pyometra in insured dogs in Sweden.

Egenvall A, Hagman R, Bonnett BN, Hedhammar A, Olson P, Lagerstedt AS.

Department of Ruminant Medicine and Veterinary Epidemiology, Faculty of
Veterinary Medicine, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala.

An animal insurance database containing data on over 200,000 dogs was used
to study the occurrence of pyometra with respect to breed and age during
1995 and 1996 in Swedish bitches <10 years of age. A total of 1,803 females
in 1995 and 1,754 females in 1996 had claims submitted because of pyometra.
Thirty breeds with at least 800 bitches insured each year were studied using
univariate and multivariate methods. The crude 12-month risk of pyometra for
females <10 years of age was 2.0% (95% confidence interval = 1.9-2.1%) in
1995 and 1.9% (1.8-2.0%) in 1996. The occurrence of pyometra differed with
age, breed, and geographic location. The risk of developing pyometra was
increased (identified using multivariate models) in rough Collies,
Rottweilers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Bernese
Mountain Dogs, and English Cocker Spaniels compared with baseline (all other
breeds, including mixed breed dogs). Breeds with a low risk of developing
the disease were Drevers, German Shepherd Dogs, Miniature Dachshunds,
Dachshunds (normal size), and Swedish Hounds. Survival rates indicate that
on average 23-24% of the bitches in the databases will have experienced
pyometra by 10 years of age. In the studied breeds, this proportion ranged
between 10 and 54%. Pyometra is a clinically relevant problem in intact
bitches, and differences related to breed and age should be taken into
account in studies of this disease.

22nd January 2010, 09:11 PM
Many thanks for all you messages. The wife and me are worried sick as Dotty is a bit of a worrier and has never been on her own. I can handle the thought of the op but I don't like the thought of her being in a cage on her own tonight attached to a drip. I'm giving the others extra cuddles tonight though and that's helping.
My policy says spaying is not covered but as this was recommended by the vet to solve a potentially dangerous medical condition I'm hopeful it will be covered.
I'll let you all know how she gets on.

22nd January 2010, 09:15 PM
If it is deemed medically necessary then I would think it would be covered. Were you planning on getting you dog spayed or were you planning on breeding her? I'm sorry to hear she is having such a difficult time. I hope all turns out well for her and that she makes a full and speedy recovery. Thank goodness you took her in when you did.

She was booked in for the 12th Feb with our other bitches. They were all booked in for November but we cancelled as they all came in to season. We cancelled Dotty's when she started bleeding but the others are still being done

Many thanks for your well wishes. They are most appreciated

22nd January 2010, 10:45 PM
In a policy that kind of statement generally refers only to an elective spay; as this is an emergency I am pretty sure it will be covered. Healing thoughts for Dotty; let us know how she is in the morning. Don't worry too much about her -- she will be groggy and sleepy and probably will have a good sound sleep. :flwr:

22nd January 2010, 11:57 PM
Sending healing thoughts for Dotty. Hope she will soon be much better. Keep us posted pls. I'm sure this will be covered by insurance as Pyometra is a medical condition. Best wishes.

23rd January 2010, 01:06 AM
I hope Dotty is home playing (and kissing) soon. I was to have my 6 month old spayed Feb. 3 but she has already gone into heat. She now has to wait some weeks until after her cycle before the vet will spay her. I'm sure Dotty must need this surgery if they are going to do it now. I hope things work out with your ins. so you can concentrate on lovin' Dotty back to good health. My thoughts are with you.

23rd January 2010, 11:14 AM
I'm so sorry you are going through this but thank goodness you noticed in time - and did the right thing going to the vets.

It is extremely unusual for a bitch to take a Pyometra on the first season, this is only the third case I have ever heard about in over 13 years of having Cavaliers.

I am pretty sure your insurance should cover this - it is a medical emergency and not an elective procedure. If they quibble, you might need to get a supporting letter from your vet.

My insurance company covered Fillipa's op, despite having the same clause - I also had a bitch who went into a really bad phantom pregnancy and a different company paid for her spay op after the vet wrote a supporting letter stating that he felt it was medically necessary.

We are thinking of you and Dotty - I'm sure she will be fine at the vets.

23rd January 2010, 05:43 PM
Dotty's home!! Turns out it isn't pyometra but she does have a very large number of cysts on her ovaries. The vet said he has never seen a dog with so many. She is in season but has a large blood clot which is what is causing the smell. He wouldn't spay her as she has lost a lot of blood and it might be dangerous. We have to let her season finish, the cysts should burst and she should lose the clot. He can spay her in 2 months.
You cannot believe how relieved I am.

Many thanks for all your well wishes. They were most appreciated

23rd January 2010, 05:54 PM
Oh that is good news that she is back and it isn't going to need a higher risk spay -- scary though that she is losing so much blood. Does she need special care in the interim or is she pretty stable now?

I don't recall if she is a rescue or if you know the breeder but if the latter be sure the breeder knows there are these serious complications for her as this is important information for any responsible breeding programme. :thmbsup:

23rd January 2010, 06:27 PM
oh goodness poor wee soul. So pleased she is back home safely.
Please watch her very carefully - keep an eye on her gums, I'm sure your vet will have told you this but make sure they are not pale.

Give her a special hug from all of us

23rd January 2010, 07:06 PM
Thanks Karlin & Nicki. Dotty is absolutely full of beans. She is weeing a lot and she is still very bloody but she is fine in herself. The others went crazy when they saw and she's had a lot of fuss and treats.
No special care needed for her as such. We just need to keep a close eye on her to make sure the bleeding doesn't increase. We've had her since a pup so I'll contact the breeder to make them aware.
Good point about the gums. I'll make sure I keep an eye on them