Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pet Medical Insurance: A Luxurious Necessity?

Given that in most affluent parts of the world veterinary medical treatment of one’s beloved pet often cost more than a typical human’s medical treatment, should one get a pet medical insurance to keep pet medical expenses a bit more bearable?

By: Ringo Bones

Unless you own a show dog whose prize money winnings is enough to pay for premiums for a self-insurance policy to keep skyrocketing medical expenses of your beloved pet a bit bearable, now is a good time as any to shop for a medical insurance for your pet with premiums you can afford and a coverage that’s right for your pet. Pet medical insurance may be a luxurious necessity in our current austere fiscal global environment where a typical human with a minimum-wage job can on the best of days just barely get by. After all, if ever you want to place a price on your pet’s love for you, a pet medical insurance is a good - and quite utilitarian – place to start.

Hong Kong residents often bemoan the price of veterinary treatment in their neck of the woods which on average tends to be 2.5 times more expensive than a typical human’s medical treatment. So owners could have their pets seen as a status symbol if they are in relatively good health – and seen frequenting a posh veterinary clinic.

In the more affluent countries of the European Union – like Germany – if your dog needs to have a hip replacement, veterinary facilities exist that could surgically replace your dog’s ailing hip joint with a brand new one made of medical grade titanium and plastic for around 3,000-euros. The price includes the X-Rays and the specialist fee. Strangely enough, during the 1960s – artificial hip joints intended for medical use were tested on dogs to look out for unforeseen medical side-effects. This is the reason why most veterinarians today can easily learn how to surgically replace artificial hip joints on ailing dogs because the procedure was routinely done with a high degree of success during the 1960s and the procedural steps have since been extensively documented.

Some veterinary practitioners routinely perform canine blood transfusions in their clinics on dogs that need them because knowledge on the different blood types of dogs and related treatments were already extensively documented by medical researchers over 50 year ago during their use of dogs as laboratory test animals. If such “advanced” veterinary procedures become the norm in the near future, will the premiums for medical insurance for one’s pets eventually come down to the level of mass affordability?

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