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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Emergency Medical Care for Pets

A topic that has been the subject of great debate in recent years has been that of proper medical care and medical insurance for the human populace. While good medical coverage for people still leaves a lot to be desired, animals stand even less of a chance. Although there are many good veterinarians out there the amount of emergency care that is available for pets is sadly lacking.

When my cat was poisoned I searched the phone book and could not find anyone to care for him because it was after regular office hours. After repeatedly receiving automated messages I finally reached one office that generously offered to schedule an appointment the following week for my desperately ill pet. The only emergency pet hospital we could find was in a nearby city over an hour away traveling at top speed.

I was thoroughly appalled at the total inadequacy of available facilities. For pets in need of immediate medical attention, the time it takes to travel to another town or area where available twenty-four hour emergency care can be found, this can literally be a matter of life or death.

In emergency situations people are usually quite unprepared because the only thing on their minds at the time is the injured or ill loved one, even if that loved one is a pet. They normally aren’t thinking about costs or any other factors that are going to add to the amount of stress they are already feeling. So they might be quite disappointed to find that some establishments won’t even treat your pet unless you can pay the full estimated cost of treatment up front. It is unlikely that many people are prepared to pay these costs on the spot unless you are lucky enough to be carrying around a credit card with a fair amount of credit. Do keep in mind that veterinary costs can be quite costly and the extent of injuries or illness can compound those costs readily.

What can you do? You can ask if there is a payment plan that would be more suitable if the costs are rather steep although this is unlikely since most facilities do not offer affordable payment plans. It may be worthwhile to check into a pet insurance plan. While these plans can be fairly costly as well especially if you have more than one pet, it can still help to offset emergency costs when the unexpected happens. Setting up an insurance plan offers a bit more stability and helps to alleviate the pressure of being financially unprepared. Most plans also cover regular yearly exams, shots and a deduction on the cost of medications.

If you live in an area that is sorely lacking in emergency care facilities the best you can do is to create a back up plan by preparing yourself for emergency pet care. Of course prevention is the best medicine but you may want to become familiar with emergency first aid procedures for pets. There are many available resources in books at the local library and on the internet. You may also be able to pick up useful literature from a local veterinarian. You can check and see if any local animal facilities offer any type of educational first aid classes. If not you can still put together a first aid emergency kit to keep on hand for your pet.

You may also want to investigate alternative healing methods as well such as herbal medicine, and homeopathy and seek out practioners in your area. Good nutrition and vitamin supplements can help boost pet health by strengthening the immune system and making them less susceptible to illness.

Copyright © 2006, Ian White Access 2000 Pty Ltd

1 Comments:

Anonymous meg said...

My cat became ill when he was accidently dosed with dog flea medication I was able to find a web site that deals with pet poisonig for a small donation. You get live support all thru the incident and advise on what to do. It was worth every penny and I was able to treat my cat at home.For more info on this site you can contact hapsable@yahoo.com

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