Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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23 August 2021
Hi – I just adopted Luna a couple of weeks ago. She’s 7 years old and lost half a leg due to an accident when she was just a kitten, so she’s grown up and comfortable moving around. She was checked by a vet pre-adoption and found to be in great health. For future medical care does anyone has a recommendation for pet insurance that won’t deny coverage due to her foot being amputated years ago?
Hi Cory and Luna, welcome! Congratulations on adopting Luna and THANK YOU for adopting an older kitty! That’s so wonderful!
And bravo for looking at pet insurance!
You ask a great question about pet insurance, and we have answers! Here’s a couple of links to start, then I’ll share my thoughts about our own experience.
OK so when it came to our own dog Wyatt Ray , his insurance company, Trupanion, would not cover anything that was directly caused by being a Tripawd. For example, they wouldn’t cover rehab therapy for his arthritic hip (he was a rear-leg amputee). I talk about it in the first link I sent you, to our podcast with Embrace and Dr. Kenney. So “Directly” is the key word. Something like an accident or illness that cannot be linked to an altered gait, would likely be covered. But chronic arthritis is a toss up.
The BEST way to find out what and won’t be covered is to request a Medical Record Review (again, discussed in that first link). What this is, after you enroll (yep, you have to take that chance and sign up first, usually), the insurance company’s underwriting department will dig through your cat’s file to find past medical treatments. Then they come back with a report and tell you what conditions will or will not be covered under their policy.
Many insurance companies refuse to do medical record reviews because obviously they cost money. I would NOT work with them! Embrace does reviews at no charge, and I believe Trupanion is doing free Medical Record reviews now. I don’t know who else is but you can ask around. Some people have told us that the typical customer service sales rep on the phone won’t even know what a Medical Review is, so you have to dig deep. But it’s the only way to know for sure. Otherwise, you will never be 100% sure something is covered, and you will waste valuable time having your cat insured with a company that may or may not pay up when you need it most.
I hope this helps. Be sure to post your findings in our Pet Insurance Reviews Discussion here.
Just came across this great article from our pet insurance expert friend, Dr. Doug Kenney DVM:
Top 3 Complaints
1) Claims being denied because of a pre-existing condition.
2) Premiums increasing dramatically since policy was bought.
3) Reimbursement delays after a claim is filed.
Based on the evolution of the pet insurance industry during the last decade, I could have easily predicted at least the first 2 complaints.
All is not lost, however, because there are steps you can take to avoid each of these situations even before purchasing your policy. It’s always better to try and avoid problems rather than have to deal with them later.