Water is his crack

Canine Epilepsy: The financial implications

It’s been quite a while since I wrote my first post about living with a severely epileptic dog and I felt it was appropriate to update you with how things are going.

Luke hasn’t had a fit since 26th November 2011 and unless you lived with him, you wouldn’t know he had a problem. His medication is working wonders and we’ve all been pretty ‘on it’ with feeding his drugs to him. I’ve moved away from putting his meds in cheap own brand cheese and now use the even cheaper own brand sliced cheese – 59p from Asda. Lasts ages and Luke just sits and waits for his twice daily treats – daft dog. Then again, it would be hellish if he was a fussy dog and refused his meds, battling him twice a day would really be a nightmare!

He is now taking a mixture of Phenobarbitone and Potassium Bromide, both of which are anticonvulsants. He has a blood test every three months to check the levels of Phenobarbitone are within normal parameters, too high and it can lead to liver damage. I don’t test for the bromide because it’s metabolised quickly and doesn’t build up in his body. This trimonthly blood test combined with enough medication for the next three months, costs me £225. Whilst I have pet insurance which covers this, I pay £60 a month for it! When I took out the insurance I got a high level of cover as I knew I would never be able to afford an ongoing condition so I paid £25 a month for 4K of cover per condition per year which resets at the end of each year. Good deal. It definitely was for the first two years of Luke’s epilepsy, as I claimed approximately 2K each year and only paid in £300. Simple maths will tell you that no insurance company would be happy with this and they increased my monthly premium £80…

A rather desperate phone call and some tweaks to the policy saw it drop to £61 – still more expensive than my car insurance.  In all honesty the insurance company has me over a barrel, no competitor will cover Luke for epilepsy so they can effectively charge me what they like til I get to the point of saying ‘No’. That is a point I never want to get to but it is extremely expensive to have an epileptic dog. I have toyed with the idea of just buying his meds from a supplier online and going for a cheaper insurance option but then, I’d be without the backup of the vet and the blood tests and not covered if he had a bad episode like he did this time last year.

Suffice it to say, I love my dog but he costs me an arm and a leg!!

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