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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Bunny Health Insurance
Last Post by poopy at 1/13/2007 11:02 AM (27 Replies)
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User is Offline Gina Won
110 posts Send Private Message
9/09/2006 1:44 PM
HelloBinkyBunny-ers,

I was just wondering if anybody happens to have any experience with health insurance for buns. Is it worth it? How was the coverage, cost, etc. and what companies have you heard of? I'm wondering if I should get it for my buns or not.

A little while ago I called SaveABunny and Joann told me that they know some people that use VIP Pet Insurance (or something like that) and they're very happy with it but I don't know a lot about insurance and don't exactly know how to shop around or do my research on it.

The one time I brought Seamus to the vet for his eye infection, his visit was $170 the first time for checkup and medication, and the follow-up apointment was about $140!  Granted I feel confident that the doctors at this hospital are very rabbit savvy, but that's quite a bit of expenses!

I've heard that emergency operations for GI Stasis can be in the thousands of dollars, and so I was just wondering how you other bunny lovers prepare for any worst-case scenarios. Our babies are worth every penny, no doubt, I was just wondering about how others have coped with the costs. Thanks in advance!

Ligeia

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
9/10/2006 9:57 PM

Rabbits really are expensive!  That is one thing people don't realize when they get  a rabbit, but they are actually considered exotic - can you believe it?  But it's because they really do have a different system and so it's like taking a parrot to a vet.  

I have a great pet insurance.   VPI   www.petinsurance.com   It cost about 12 bucks a month and they pay about 75 - 80%.   The only thing that they don't cover is known pre-existing conditions and parasitic illnesses.  (but some illnesses, like jaw abscess can be taken off the pre-existing list if they have been free of the abscess for over a year and a vet verifies this.

 I can tell you that this insurance has saved me over thousand dollars!    And just to let you know, I don't work for them, they don't pay me to say that, they don't even know how much I recommend them - I should get paid!  ,

I also have a  low interest credit card just for health emergencies (includes human and animal)  (www.carecredit.com) and so far the vets I have seen take it, but you will want to call and make sure.

So what I do is put the bill on the credit card, then turn in the claim to the insurance company.  The insurance company pays within a month and I use that money to help pay for the majority of the credit card bill.


User is Offline wendyzski
Chicago, IL
1316 posts Send Private Message
9/11/2006 10:01 AM
I'm glad to see that you have VPI.  I was looking at them, but since I just adopted Annabelle Lee this past weekend they won't cover her till I've had her 60 days.  I am totally getting it as soon as I can.  I also have simethecone on hand and Critical Care on order, just in case.

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
9/12/2006 8:49 AM
I didn't really know much about VPI, but I'm really glad you asked since now I'm thinking about getting it too!

ligeia - Surgeries for stasis are only if there's a clear obstruction - like the bunny has eaten something that's blocking their system from working. In most cases stasis is a build up of fur and will work it's way through the system with some meds, medical care and assist feeding.

wendyzski - it's a really great idea to keep Critical Care & Simethecone around the house. I find it very reassuring if there's an emergency to have it on hand, since emergencies always seem to happen on Saturday nights of a holiday weekend! I also like keeping some of the clear pedialyte too, since it can help with making sure your sick bun stays hydrated.
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
9/14/2006 12:23 AM

wendyzski - They won't cover you until you've had her for 60 days?  Wow, that's new. I didn't have to do that three years ago.  They were just immediately covered.   Things must have changed.


User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
9/14/2006 12:33 AM
Posted By ligeia on 09/09/2006 4:44 PM
HelloBinkyBunny-ers,

A little while ago I called SaveABunny and Joann told me that they know some people that use VIP Pet Insurance (or something like that) and they're very happy with it but I don't know a lot about insurance and don't exactly know how to shop around or do my research on it.

Ligeia


I forgot to add:  I bet Joann was talking about me!  Do you know people over at SaveAbunny or did you contact them from the link we have here on the site?

User is Offline ea hurse
108 posts Send Private Message
9/14/2006 8:40 AM
For tus U.K.-ers the insurance tends to work slightly different. i insured all 3 buns, and i got a discount for multiple pets (i think it can be any combination). i found very few pet insurance companies that deal with rabbits but PetPlan, one of the few, seem the best by far. For the 3 of them i pay approx 21 pounds (how ironic, my keyboard only has a dollar sign!) per month and this is life cover so i would only ever pay the first 50 pounds fees for any illness or injury then they cover the rest up to 2500 per year for unlimited years/ per bunny (and you only ever pay the initial 50) for illness and there are extras like they'll also pay for 'x' amount of alternative therapies, boarding fees if you get ill, etc. the only exclusion is illnesses that you KNEW about prior to getting insured (which i think is invaluable if you adopt from rescues and dont know any history). Illness cover starts after 14 days and injury cover is instant.

The 'health-card' sounds like a fab idea, they should provide something like that in the UK since the NHS subsidies have all but been revoked! (thats a gripe for a different site...!) but seriously, simply for animal emergencies, does anyone over this side of the water know if we have something similar?

User is Offline Gina Won
110 posts Send Private Message
9/14/2006 3:42 PM
Wow loopy-lop, that sounds like quite an insurance plan you've got!

For Binkybunny, I know of SaveABunny because I live somewhat near the shelter. Well, not exactly near but about 1 hour away! When I was looking around for a bunny to adopt, I definitely gave their website a gander and spoke to Joann on the phone. She's very very helpful and nice! =)

From your experience, VPI sounds like it is definitely worth looking in to. Thank you for the recommendation and advice! I really appreciate, especially as of today, because Floppy is having a GI Stasis scare!

I noticed yesterday that her fecal pellets were a tad smaller than normal but I wasn't sure what to make of it. She took her greens and her usual tiny portion of timothy pellets, so I was hoping she would be okay. I gave her a big, fresh batch of hay before going to bed, which she typically demolishes during the night. However, this morning when I gave her her morning pellets, she didn't want them at all! Now THAT was very strange because she usually goes insane with excitement come pellet time. Then, I tried giving her a tiny dried papaya piece, which she loves, but she didn't take that either! That's when I knew I had a sick bunny on my hands. I looked in her litter box, there were no new fecal pellets and she hadn't touched her hay, so I immediately called the vet and made an appointment. I tried feeding her some wet, fresh greens, which she nibbled at.

So after having seen the vet, she is now on a medication to help her stomach move stuff into the intestine (3x daily, I think it's called Reglan?) and I am administering subcutaneous fluids (1x daily) under her skin. Crazy. I was so distressed this morning, but luckily since my parents and I watch our buns very vigilantly we were able to catch the signs. Jeebus. I've only had my buns since May and this is our first serious scare. Goodness, I was so besides myself while waiting to be seen by our vet!

Luckily and to my surprise, the whole visit + medication was only $85. Nice! But I still want to look into insurance just in case... thank you Gravehearted for the clarification about surguries! That's a relief. I'm glad Floppy doesn't have to go through that at this point (knock on wood!!!). I'll keep you posted on her condition, hopefully she can clear this blockage soon and be back to her old, binky-ing self again!

User is Offline wendyzski
Chicago, IL
1316 posts Send Private Message
9/14/2006 4:16 PM
Yep - 60 days.  There is even a little tool on their website that will send you a reminder in 60 days so you can reply.

I e-mailed and asked "what if I don't know my rabbit's exact age - I got her from a shelter?".   They replied that they used the vet's estimated age, so I have that.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
9/16/2006 8:10 AM
Ligeia -  Oh I am so glad that things worked out.    You did exactly the right thing.  By noticing things right away, and contacting the vet, you really saved her life.

How is she doing today?

User is Offline Gina Won
110 posts Send Private Message
9/16/2006 10:02 PM
She's doing MUCH better. I gave her lots of extra fresh, wet greens in addition to the medicine, and she slowly but surely started eating more and more greens and then started having tiny, rock-hard poops. She started nibbling a little on her hay again, and gradually things have been heading in the right direction. Now, she's eating a lot more hay and pooping regular looking poops, though she's not quite up to her regular quantity yet. She's been drinking water but I'm wondering if I should still continue with the medicine for another day, both the tummy medication and the fluid injection... how do you know when to stop? The vet said to do the fluid injections for 5 days, but my mom (who's a nurse for humans) said she doesn't need it if she's eating and drinking again. So I feel a bit conflicted... what do you think?

User is Offline Gina Won
110 posts Send Private Message
9/16/2006 10:08 PM
I would also just like to add: this whole experience with GI stasis is really scary! It all happens so rapidly, the signs and the physical decline happen so quickly that it's absolutely paralyzing... to realize that your beautiful, active bunny can suddenly be wrestling with death was really startling for me. *phew* well, flops has made it and now me and my parents are more competent and able bunny companions because of it. i just love her so much i'm so relieved she's alive and eating.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
9/17/2006 11:47 PM

Well, ultimately, if you have doubt, I would call the vet.  I myself, would keep going with the  vets orders, especially because your rabbit's poops are not yet back to normal.   Little hard poops are a good start, but it doesn't mean normal -  and especially because GI stasis can mean a life or death thing in such a short amount of time so it's best to make sure her system is really working well.   I'd continue on with the vets orders, and if I had any questions then I would definitely call the vet. 

And though your mom is a nurse for humans, a bunny's digestive system is even unique for many vets - that's why it's important to find a rabbit savvy vet like the one you have. SO ultimately, no disrespect to nurses, but I would follow your vets advice first. 


User is Offline Gina Won
110 posts Send Private Message
9/18/2006 10:10 PM
Yes, you are right and I totally agree. We stopped by the vet today because Floppy had bitten the cord for the fluids and we needed it replaced. We spoke to the people over there and they said we should continue administering the subcutaneous fluids as long as she is not completely back to normal. Her poops are fairly normal now, but the quantity is still low compared to before. She is eating everything but the amount of hay consumed and amount of poop excreted is still not what it used to be. she used to leave PILES and I mean PILES. man, i just want her to be better, i have been so stressed out these past few days! i'll keep ya posted on any new developments. thank you for all your help and support, binkybunny!

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
9/18/2006 10:38 PM
hi ligeia,

Glad you checked in with the vet.

It's good that they're having you continue the sub-q fluids, since keeping a bunny hydrated really helps them feel better. I'm hoping she'll start eating more hay - since all the fiber is really important to keep their gi tracts moving and leads to the piles of poop you were talking about. Just a thought - does Floppy get other hays beside timothy? You might try picking up some oat hay or orchard grass to see if they're more appealing to her now.
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline Gina Won
110 posts Send Private Message
9/19/2006 3:47 PM
that is such a great idea, to offer a variety of hay, gravehearted. we couldn't make it to the pet store today but luckily we had another bag and brand of timothy hay on hand, and it just so happens that this one is more stem pieces so floppy ate a bunch of those and had a fairly sizeable poop this afternoon. you're right, she's simply not eating the quantity of hay she used to, so we've got to encourage her to eat as much of it as possible. it's so strange, as before she used to eat so much hay i had to ask the forum if it was possible to o.d. on hay! now if only we can get her back to that state...

User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
12/31/2006 9:23 AM
Posted By BinkyBunny on 09/11/2006 12:57 AM

Rabbits really are expensive!  That is one thing people don't realize when they get  a rabbit, but they are actually considered exotic - can you believe it?  But it's because they really do have a different system and so it's like taking a parrot to a vet.  

I have a great pet insurance.   VPI   www.petinsurance.com   It cost about 12 bucks a month and they pay about 75 - 80%.   The only thing that they don't cover is known pre-existing conditions and parasitic illnesses.  (but some illnesses, like jaw abscess can be taken off the pre-existing list if they have been free of the abscess for over a year and a vet verifies this.

 I can tell you that this insurance has saved me over thousand dollars!    And just to let you know, I don't work for them, they don't pay me to say that, they don't even know how much I recommend them - I should get paid!  ,

I also have a  low interest credit card just for health emergencies (includes human and animal)  (www.carecredit.com) and so far the vets I have seen take it, but you will want to call and make sure.

So what I do is put the bill on the credit card, then turn in the claim to the insurance company.  The insurance company pays within a month and I use that money to help pay for the majority of the credit card bill.


BB, would you happen to have the full plan details on pdf? I emailed them about it and it'll probably take a year for them to ever respond. The website quote doesn't give info on what is covered and how the deductible works. Is it that you have to pay $50 deductible for every visit and anything over that is covered by the insurance? Once Medusa has hit her 60 days I am going to enroll her.
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User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
1/02/2007 9:28 AM
nevermind, found the plan benefit schedule. http://www.petinsurance.com/downloa...d-2002.pdf
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User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
1/04/2007 11:23 AM

Sorry, I took me a while to get back to you.   Looks like you found it!   I do know they do not cover parasitic type stuff - like mites, fleas and e.cuniculi.    Also, I have found them to have great customer service over the phone.  I haven't emailed them often.

Thanks for posting it as I can refer people to this post for future reference.

 


User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
1/07/2007 3:22 PM
does anyone know, are they pretty stingy with calling things pre-existing conditions? for example i want Medusa's teeth to get checked out once her insurance starts in Feb. if they find anything, will it be a pre-existing condition?
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$
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