View Full Version : SM and Insurance advice?

1st October 2010, 11:19 PM
Hey Everyone! I'm new to the forum and am looking for some advice...My Abigail is 6 months old, and I believe she is already showing early signs of SM:( I haven't noticed any air scratching, neck tenderness, or random yelping yet, but she scratches consistently throughout the day, and it seems to be exacerbated when she gets excited. I've also noticed that she occasionally rubs her face with her front paws, and she shakes her head/body several times during her walks (I guess this could be her just being irritated by the harness... but with all the other symptoms, I'm wary).

Anyway, I feel like it might be a good investment to get pet insurance for Abigail, and I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the matter. If anyone (in the US in particular) has had any experiences with specific companies, good or bad, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

After reading several articles on pet insurance, and I've come to the conclusion that there's a solid chance I'd pay more in premiums throughout Abigail's life (which will be nice and long, god willing), than I would for her vet care. So right now I'm leaning toward setting up a separate savings account for Abby, and paying her vet bills out of that.

Again, all thoughts are welcome. Thanks so much for reading!

2nd October 2010, 07:22 AM
My dog started showing signs at 3 mos, and was diagnosed last year when she had just turned three. I got pet insurance on her the moment I saw the signs. It has paid off 10 fold. Just her work up at Auburn University Vet school along with the MRI came to $1900. Had we opted for the surgery, that would have been another $2200. Those 2 things alone would have used up the $3,000 allotted for each classification of diseases with the insurance I have, but it would have been worth it because the initial work up with MRI, and the surgery are probably the two most expensive treatments you will have if your puppy does have it, and you opt for the surgery sometime in the future. Mine is with 24 Hour Pet Watch, and my policy pays 70% for any illness or injury up to $3000 for each classification of illness. At the time I joined they did not offer well dog care, but they do offer that now. I really wish they paid for medication, but they don't. The medication for my two is running about $80 a month. You can choose higher amounts to be paid out other than the 70% I have. My premium is $24 dollars per month, and I have it on both my Cavs. I have been very satisfied with them, they have paid on every claim submitted within 2 weeks.

Owning a Cavalier almost demands that you have pet insurance, if you can do it. My rescue Cav has MVD, and it has paid for all of his echo cardiograms, which he has to have every 7 to 8 months at $300 a pop. It is very important that you obtain the insurance before ever taking the dog to the vet for SM or any other illness, or disease, unless of course it is life threating. Otherwise, they will never cover the SM or any other disease or illness that the dog was treated for prior to the policy going into affect. Anything the dog has been treated for before you enroll, will be considered pre-existing, and therefore not covered for the lifetime of the dog.

I enrolled on line, and there are several other companies that offer insurance. Hopefully, others will respond about the ones they use.

Enjoy your new baby and try not to worry too much. You will receive love like you've never known before or ever imagined possible from your Cavalier. Mine are the loves of my life, and I don't regret for one second that I have them, and would do it all over again. I can't imagine having missed out on the love of a Cavalier!

2nd October 2010, 11:47 AM
Firstly I am sorry you have this concern, I hope it turns out to be nothing serious. My meds for 2 dogs, one with CM/SM, one with CM is about 160 a month, my premiums are about 200 a year for each dog. Glad I got insurance. If you decide to get insurance, you can't mention to the vet your concerns until 2 weeks (may vary between companies) after your policy starts. Don't be impressed by the term "lifetime cover" what you need is cover for the lifetime of the condition.

2nd October 2010, 03:09 PM
I live in NY, USA and have trupanion for my dog Jack. It pays 90% of actual cost for tests, surgeries, meds. Does not cover cost of any office visit or anything considered routine (vaccines, teeth cleaning, neuter/spay). I chose a $0 deductible so I pay ~$44 monthly, but for me it has been well worth it being that Jack has already had an MRI, spinal tap and his meds cost $104 monthly. Only catch is your dog cannot have any signs of the disease as documented by your vet for 30 days from effective date. I got it for Jack when he was only 3 months old so that wasn't a problem. I usually hate insurance companies (human and animal) but so far this one has been a lifesaver.

2nd October 2010, 07:23 PM
Shay, Irene, Pauline- thank you so much... I'm starting to think that I'll try to enroll while she is still healthy, that way if she does end up having SM (I just have such a bad feeling), I'll be prepared.

Right now I am deciding between PetPlan US and Trupanion... so far Trupanion seems the most appealing, but any other advice/caveats are more than welcome.

Thanks again:)