For once my utter laziness has paid off. I was going to cancel Betty’s pet insurance when it came through last year, it was about £250 for the year and we’d never claimed. I was starting to think it was a waste of time. She’s seven, healthy and only goes to the vets for her inoculations which of course aren’t covered by insurance. But I didn’t get round to it and just kept paying it, as it turns out that was lucky!
And then three weeks ago happened, hence my lack of blogging….
I got up to make Sunday breakfast and for a change she didn’t immediately beat me to the kitchen to shout at me for food.
I went into the lounge to see her, she grudgingly got up, walked 8 steps and then collapsed. Seriously couldn’t get up and was crying. So I called the emergency vet and the nightmare began!
I managed to get her up and into the car – not easy with a large dog who just wants to lie on the floor! She was seen, pronounced ok (because of course she was FINE by time we got there!), had to pop back the next day for blood test and urine tests. Did that and they thought she had a UTI, course of antibiotics and she’d be right as rain. At this point I’d spent £350.
Midway through the course of antibiotics we went for a walk and she pee’d on some dry leaves and I glanced at them and realised it was blood! So back to the vets and they decided that she should be scanned and x-rayed because at this point it could be bladder cancer.
I sobbed, sobbed some more, the whole family was in tears. We took her on her favourite walk, into the field she adores and all had our photo with her so we have some good memories. Paul managed to get a nice photo of her and me, with me not crying which was an achievement that day!
She was duly shaved (look at that poor cold belly!), anaesthetised and scanned and there was a thickening to the lining of her bladder which could be either bladder cancer or polyps. Now bladder cancer in dogs it turns out is really, really horrible and can metastase very quickly if you disturb it in a biopsy. So we have been referred to a specialist dog cancer vet at another surgery. The scanning at my vets was another £550. We’re now at £900 at just one vets.
So we went to the cancer vets and she re-did all the original testing my vets has done so she could double check everything – yes another £550! Then Betty took a turn for the worse went off her food and developed really, really bad bloody diarrhoea, and they gave her more antibiotics and some special food – I haven’t had the bill for that yet. All being well tomorrow she goes for her biopsy and we’ll find out how to proceed either with medicine or with surgery. If it’s the cancer then she’ll have chemo and maybe a good 6-12 months, and if it’s the Polyps which I am SO hoping it is then it’ll be surgery to remove them I believe, but I could be wrong?
She’s insured up to £3,000 thank goodness, but I can now see that last £1500 being eaten up very very quickly. I honestly don’t know how you pay for it if you’re not insured? I really, really feel for older people or those on a low wage who need to get their animals treated. I know there are charities that will help, but they are few and far between and I can see now why more sick pets are being dumped. Such a horrible situation and would certainly drive most people into debt.
Anyway please wish us luck tomorrow and I’ll let you know the outcome.