We send our pups to their forever homes with a 6 week policy from Southern Cross and encourage our owners to renew the policy when the 6 weeks has expired. Most of them do (I'm sure it's because our owners are the best people!) and with good reason.
You might think it strange we are so insistent on health insurance, given the lengths we go to in order to ensure our dogs our healthy and free of conditions likely to run up large vet bills. But insurance is not about what you expect. It's about what you don't expect, as these following owners can attest.
Southern Cross sends us a list at the end of each year, detailing some of the more exotic injuries they've paid out for in the past 12 months and the frightening size of the bill their families would have been faced with, had they not been insured. These guys are the lucky ones.
Case 1: Even a German Shepard shouldn't mess with the pussy cats
A German Shepherd accidentally shut itself in a room with two cats. The cats attacked the dog, which then impaled its hind leg on a metal shoe rack. This seriously damaged the flexor tendon and required two surgeries with post-operative care. Vet Bill: $8,437
Case 2: When your Labrador gets a little too attached to his blankie...
A hungry Labrador (as if there is any other kind!) required abdominal surgery to remove pieces of the blanket it had eaten. Vet Bill: $6,000
Case 3: When your Beagle tries try to have their cake and eat it too
A Beagle ate a home-made fruit cake and experienced renal failure due to raisin toxicity. The dog was medicated, hospitalised and put on a drip to flush its kidneys. Vet Bill: $2,990
Case 4: When your dog attempts to disguise themselves as a kebab
A Miniature poodle ate an entire chicken skewer, which had to be removed endoscopically. “Amazingly, it came out whole,” the owner said. Vet Bill: $3,197
Case 5: When flossing is not recommended
A French Bulldog ate a whole roll of dental floss. The roll was found in the dog’s stomach but had unravelled through its intestines, requiring multiple abdominal incisions for removal. Vet Bill: $2,873
Case 6: When you think "shiny" and "edible" are the same thing
A Border Collie ate a compact make-up mirror. Vet had to induce vomiting to make the dog regurgitate the shards. Vet Bill: $395 This is one may be small but it's still amazing and kudos to the owner and the vet for their quick thinking. Had this been a smaller dog or had they waited until one of the shards had pierced the stomach or the gut, the bill would have been thousands of dollars or the dog might be dead.
Accidents happen. Dogs eat stupid thing. Or try being superheros. Or mess with the wrong pussy cat. Fruit cake is delicious.
You can't predict the future but you can ensure that if your dog leans more towards sweet than smart, you will be prepared and the words "economic euthanasia" will never cross your mind.