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Anybody ever buy it? Anybody ever heard of it? I vaccinate myself (except for rabies, that's gotta be done by a vet), but do you suppose it'd be worth it for checkups, dental care, etc?

TIA!
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Frankly, I *love* the idea of pet insurance. I researched it many years ago (at least 8), but it was ridiculously high at the time. I happened to be going to the most reasonably priced (and yet excellent) vet in the world, so I didn't make the purchase. But now... we have 14 cats, and spend an insane amount on vet bills. However, to insure that many would be tough too... I've been torn on it and haven't seriously looked into it in awhile.

I'm not sure if you have a PetsMart near you, but they have a vet clinic attached to the store. It's a large chain. They have "plans" - you pay a certain amount per month, per pet, per plan. The plans impressed me. And it says exactly what's included, so it's not like insurance where you *think* something is covered only to find that when you need it, it's not...

I'm anxious to hear what others say about the insurance -- and if anyone has it, please, let us know how it works - if it's worth it, etc.

Good post cmonkey!

TMF Psyche
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But now... we have 14 cats, and spend an insane
amount on vet bills. However, to insure that many would be tough too... I've been torn on it and haven't seriously looked into it in awhile.



Oh yeah. That's why I do my own vaccs. That way, the only shot-type things I have to pay for are rabies and heartworm tests. Can you just give them heartguard year-round so you don't have to have them tested every year? That's a lot of bucks!

I used to work with a guy who had insurance, but I think it was through his vet, and I'm not going to drive to hell and gone for that. It did include spay/neuter.

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Oh yeah. That's why I do my own vaccs. That way, the only shot-type things I have to pay for are rabies and heartworm tests. Can you just give them heartguard year-round so you don't have to have them tested every year? That's a lot of bucks!
_______________________________________________

I'm envious that you can do your own vaccinations. We take ours in and it's around $100 a cat for that alone. Are you a vet or vet tech, cmonkey? That would be *so* convenient! Our cat-sitter is a vet tech, so she has vaccinated one for us - but that was because we happened to be "fostering" that cat at the time, for her organization (but we grew attached on day one and never let that little kitty go - as we did with all of our fosters, actually...). We do use a mobile vet on occasion if we're doing a bunch of kitty vaccinations at one time. Line 'em up and ship 'em out... :)

This subject being brought up caused me to surf... as I tend to do (researcher by nature). I found the following sites on pet insurance:

http://www.petplan.net/

http://www.veterinarypetinsurance.com/vpi_user/

http://www.pethealthplus.com/stepbystep.htm

http://www.premierpetinsurance.com/plans.asp

http://www.metrosavings.com/products/ps-pt.htm

http://www.petshealthinsurance.com/

The US seems to have slimmer pickings than the UK, which has many pet insurance programs. The above listings were the ones that popped up most often and seemed pretty interesting. I unfortunately don't have the time now to actually read the pages, but will be doing that this weekend.

TMF Psyche

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I'm envious that you can do your own vaccinations. We take ours in and it's around $100 a cat for that alone. Are you a vet or vet tech, cmonkey?

Nope, just trying to LBMM. You can buy vaccines from several pet supply companies, and they give you instructions on how to administer it. It's *really* easy, and this is coming from someone whose needle phobia is so strong that she doesn't even like to sew.

Try these places:
http://www.lambriarvet.com/
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/ (their vaccs are not in the online catalog, but they'll describe them to you on the phone, if you call. They have several different types for cats and dogs)

Some companies will not sell to certain states; I have no idea why. It's perfectly legal for me to do this, yet I can't buy the vaccs. I just don't get it. But Fosters and Smith is a nice catalog and the folks there are really nice. It's a little cheaper at lambriar, but I can't get stuff from them. Some states require you to have a note from a vet or doc to buy the syringes, too, but not here.

Anyhoo, it's *beyond* worth the price and nervousness the first time you do it. I'm saving several *hundred* dollars this way, I don't have to shove them in the car (and with the cats, that's a Big Deal), there is no fear of the vet's office involved, and they can just go romp in the yard when it's done.

So get ye to the sites and order!
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I had no idea this "self-serve" ability existed. I am going to be all over those websites you sent. Thank you! I always assumed (I know, I know, never assume...) that these things *had* to be done by professionals. You may have saved us over $1000 a year! Wooooooooo hoooo!

I owe you!

TMF Psyche
<surfin' on over to http://www.lambriarvet.com>
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I owe you!

I'll take a DRiP, thanks! I think Exxon, Coke, Intell, and, oh, let's toss in Kelloggs (I eat a LOT of cereal).


(are we the only ones here?)
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<<(are we the only ones here?)>>

Naw, this place is thick with lurkers.

Raggmopp
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<<Naw, this place is thick with lurkers.>>

Howzabout goats? Any goats?

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Howzabout goats? Any goats?

Like you gotta ask?

Raggmopp

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I miss my goat. Billy Clyde, his name was. He was a Nubian/Something cross and he liked to jump up on you and lick your chin. It was nice until he got too big. Then he decided to start butting everyone, and by that time he was living at a nursery school... eep!

But he was a great goat.
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Anybody ever buy it? Anybody ever heard of it? I vaccinate myself (except for rabies, that's gotta be done by a vet), but do you suppose it'd be worth it for checkups, dental care, etc?

Hi cmonkey!

This topic came up a while back. Here's what I posted back then. :)

http://boards.fool.com/Registered/Message.asp?id=1370012000029001&sort=postdate

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba
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Excellent post Tony! I'm going to ask around our area and see if I can't find a vet who will do something similar. I'm beginning to think that all of the vets in my area of Maryland are just money-hungry, so I'm not sure any of them will have something and convenient as this. Sure would be great tho.

We're currently in the market for a new vet. We've had one suggested to us, but we haven't tried her yet (no need - woohoo!). Our current vet... oh get this... Okay, I posted awhile back about one of our kitties who had this incessant blood in her urine and she acted as if she had a UTI, when in fact, tests said she didn't. So we took her to a couple of vets, and finally wound up going back to our original vet for surgery.

He opened her up, called me as soon as he was done and said "Who did this spay?" I said I didn't know... she was spayed right before we got her (had the bald belly and all!). I told him I'd look into it. Well he went on and on about what a botched job it was - lesions everywhere, too much scar tissue... this was done wrong and that was done wrong and this was done poorly and that... and consequently it screwed the poor little munchkin up. Well, that surgery cost us almost $600. The other vets probably around a total of close to $400.

That night, I called the organization from which we had adopted the kitty, only to find that... you guessed it - our vet did the spaying! He was complaining about his own work! Well, I suppose technically it could have been done by another vet in his office, but it was indeed his office.

So now we're pulling all 14 of our cats from there, and demanding to be paid back the money we paid for the surgery. And *maybe* the $400 we paid to the others. But the bottom line is, that little kitty had to put up with a lot of pain that could have been avoided had someone in his clinic been more careful. And I'm not going to put my cats and their health into the hands of someone who can't be the best. Since the surgery that fixed her problems (tho he tells me they could come back at any time...)

So... in summary (and to close a story filled with a lot more than anyone wanted to hear) we're looking for a vet -- one who cares. We'll be happy to pay top dollar if the vet is wroth it - but frankly, if we can find one who cares *and* will set up a health maintenance plan like Tony described, that would be ideal.

TMF Psyche
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So now we're pulling all 14 of our cats from there, and demanding to be paid back the money we paid for the surgery. And *maybe* the $400 we paid to the others. But the bottom line is, that little kitty had to put up with a lot of pain that could have been avoided had someone in his clinic been more careful. And I'm not going to put my cats and their health into the hands of someone who can't be the best. Since the surgery that fixed her problems (tho he tells me they could come back at any time...)
________________________________________

Oops - I didn't finish that paragraph. How awkward is that? Anyway, quickly... As the last line sez, since the surgery that fixed her problems, she has developed a whole new personality. Before she was always jumpy, shy, quick to run away, spent a lot of time in hiding. We figured since she was living inside a wall before coming to live with us, and spent her first month with us, hiding in a closet buried in a comforter... that was just her personality. We feel awful... It turns out that she's actually quite luvvy! She doesn't go so far as to snuggle yet, but she sure bumps against us for pets, and she doesn't run away anymore...

Woohoo!

Best!
TMF Psyche
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What a horror story, Psyche!

That pooooooor kitty!

It makes me so angry to hear that your vet turned out to be the culprit. It must've made you crazy thinking that he was the one who did the lousy job and then went back in!! Arrrgh!!

If I were you, I'd fight tooth and nail to NOT pay him for this surgery. Heck...he should pay you for damages to the poor thing. : (

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba
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Tony lamented:
What a horror story, Psyche!
That pooooooor kitty!
It makes me so angry to hear that your vet turned out to be the culprit. It must've made you crazy thinking that he was the one who did the lousy job and then went back in!! Arrrgh!!
If I were you, I'd fight tooth and nail to NOT pay him for this surgery. Heck...he should pay you for damages to the poor thing. : (
____________________________________________________
Yep, the really sad thing is, he's the only vet in this area that I trusted (I had a *great* vet back in WI... Actually THREE great vets I could count on. I miss them...). But admittedly, he's lost all the good colleagues he had (he had a couple other vets and vet techs there that we also really liked - now there isn't anyone there that we trust - we thought we were down to just him and even that's been killed now) and he's putting in less hours, so when we call we can't always see him, so we figured we'd look around for another vet anyway. This just cinched the deal.

As to Hera - he may have botched her spay, but he did this one effectively. She's doing *so* well now! She's active, playful, healing quickly. We're thrilled. Angry at him, but thrilled at her progress.

As to not paying - well the checks have cleared, so now it's gonna be more of a fight then it would have been otherwise. Had we known sooner, it would have been worth my time and money to stop payment. But alas... we did not. If we take it all the way, there will be attempts at getting the money back that we paid other vets, as well as possibly pain and suffering for little Hera-doodle. (Her name is actually Scherezade, but we call her Hera-doodle 'cuz she's so small.)

Thanks for your concern, Tony. We're workin' on the situation!

TMF Psyche




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Re: Cat Vaccinations.

What vaccinations do cats need aside from rabies?

(Not to sound like a horrible cat owner... My husband handles the vet visits so far)

-Megan
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As to not paying - well the checks have cleared, so now it's gonna be more of a fight then it would have been otherwise. Had we known sooner, it would have been worth my time and money to stop payment. But alas... we did not.

Psyche, 2 questions...

I'm curious. Have you approached this vet about your feelings regarding payment, and getting the money refunded? I'm wondering what his response will be, and hoping that you'll use his own words about the previous work against him.

Also, "Hera-Doodles" cuz she's so cute? Hmmm...I would've thought Hera Doodles might've been the little presents she leaves ya in her litter box. ;)

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba
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What vaccinations do cats need aside from rabies?

Hi Megan!

Well, distemper is one vaccine I know of that's important. That was most likely given with the rabies vaccine.

The other biggie (and somewhat controversial) is Feline Leukemia. Most vets today will tell you that this vaccine is vital if your cat goes outside. However, it's when the cat (like our Himalayan, Sami) is totally indoors that the issue of Feline Lukemia vaccine becomes highly debated. I've done a lot of research and spoken to many sources and the general feeling is that if the cat never goes outside, then it's better to avoid this vaccine as there have been links to cancerous tumors.

Either way, it is important that cats are screened for leukemia early. I highly recommend, from experience however, that you don't have the test done too soon--wait until the cat is 6 months old. Kittens can actually show the leukemia antibody before that time, and the scare is just not worth it.

We had Sami tested as soon as we got her, and the test came back positive. We were wrecks! Finally, after a re-test, it came back negative. That's how we learned that many vets tell you to not even check until 6 months of age.

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba
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<<What vaccinations do cats need aside from rabies?>>


Distemper, feline rhinotracheitis, calici, chlamydia psittici and panleukopenia. As I recall, the really important ones are distemper, rabies (especially if kitty goes out), and leukemia if s/he goes out. There are also feline heartworms, but I think the incidence is really rare. But distemper is a really important vaccine; it's not a disease you want to have to deal with on any level. Most animals do not recover and have to be put down. And the ones who do recover are not always *fully* recovered, both physically and emotionally.

So stick yer kitties!
c(at)monkey
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I'm curious. Have you approached this vet about your feelings regarding payment, and getting the money refunded? I'm wondering what his response will be, and hoping that you'll use his own words about the previous work against him.
____________________________________

Hi Tony! We haven't yet. We planned to the other day, but he wasn't in the office. I have resorted to writing a letter since my husband and I commute in together (he's in DC and I'm in Alexandria) so we're rarely around during the vet's office hours. We leave the house around 6 or 6:30 in the morning, and we get home between 7 and 8 at night. Needless to say, the time to run to his office and talk to him is limited. As to calling... again, difficult. He's either not there, or in an appointment. Then, when he calls me, I'm not at my desk and we play phone tag... <sigh>

Long answer to a short question, eh? :) But yes, we are going to talk with him, one way or another, and we are going to get our money back. The decision has been made in our heads, so now all we have to do is take action to make it pan out.

As to the Hera Doodle reference: <shaking my head> I'm not even gonna go there, Tony. Nope... not gonna do it.

(It did made me giggle though... Never even thought of that particular use of the word when it was bestowed upon her.)

TMF Psyche

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Oops - just noticed that I put that last post in under my hubby's Fool name! Sorry 'bout that - I'm not *really* schizophrenic. Funny, I saw that and thought "Oh look! Howy's finally posting on the boards!" But once I went in, I saw that... gee, had he written *exactly* what I had??? <doh!> And I can't even say, "Well, it's Monday!"

<heavy sigh>

Thanks for bearing with me...

TMF Psyche
<back to her usual name...>
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But yes, we are going to talk with him, one way or another, and we are going to get our money back. The decision has been made in our heads, so now all we have to do is take action to make it pan out.

Hi Psyche!

Please let us know whatever happens, when it happens. I'm sure I'm not alone in being very anxious to hear the outcome.

And if you don't get satisfaction, post the story on Aruba's Isle of Revenge, and we'll take care of it for ya! ;)

Oh! And if necessary, we'll bombard him with a bagful of Hera-Doodles!!

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba
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And if you don't get satisfaction, post the story on Aruba's Isle of Revenge, and we'll take care of it for ya! ;)

** Like the moving situation! Way to go Dawnc! :) <woo hoo!>

And if necessary, we'll bombard him with a bagful of Hera-Doodles!!

** Oh yeah... a bag of screaming clawing kitties tossed at him... *that'll* probably make more of a difference than any legal threat. :) My hubby and I are both scarred up just from trying to get her into a cat carrier... She actually got mu hubby right across the nose!

** I shall let you all know what the final result is, as soon as I know myself. Hopefully I will come on and rejoice at the result, instead of cussing over the fact that we have to take it a legal route...

** I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!

Best!
TMF Psyche
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