Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Monday, 5 November 2007

Keeping busy after the shock of the vet's bill!

Chicken pie out, wholemeal fruit scones ready to go in...

I've had the bill from the vet. For a dental clean, a few teeth taken out, one blood test, the removal of two suspicious lumps for sending to the lab.... guess how much? £954.82.

The nurse told us not to worry as "You can get it all back from the insurance." Not so!

I have an email friend, Donna, in Missourri. Her husband is a vet, and had never heard of Pet Insurance. Is it a UK thing?

Anyway, I pay just under £15 a month for Fluffy's insurance. But there are catches: NOTHING to do with the mouth is covered at all. Of everything else, there is an excess of £60 PLUS I have to pay 25% of what's left.

This means I will get back £539.98. Hardly getting it all back! I hope that nurse isn't saying that to everyone. I'm used to it, but others might have a bad shock coming.

I wonder if this attitude is behind the high fees, and even the strange fees. For example, I have been charged £225.25 for "surgery" and then £47.00" for "surgery theatre fee".

What the??? Where else was he going to operate? In the street?

Off course, Fluffy is worth it. And it's what my credit card lives for- I only have one for vet fees! But I do wonder if vets take the p**s.

She has 25 staples AND stitches, none of them being removed till next Monday. Poor thing. I don't think I can get down to my mum's (where she lives) to see her till Saturday. I may have to forego partner and blogs for a few days, and stay there well into next week. I feel I owe her lots of hugs and attention...


Chalkhills Collective said...

Ouch, on all levels! That's one hell of a bill. It's years since I or my partner have had pets (dogs) - I hadn't realised it was so expensive now. I hope Fluffy is feeling her old self again soon. Love the look of those scones. Confession time I've just scoffed down 9 chocolate biscuits - well it is damned cold today!


Helena said...

HAHA! Any excuse for a choccie biccie! Oh, I'd love to eat that many, but that much wheat and sugar would have me sitting on the loo for about 5 hours!

The scones were yummy and went very fast! I used SPelt flour (bit easier on the tum than ordinary wheat) and Splenda. Must cook some more! Can you believe that they took a whole 1lb of flour?!

(for 15)

(and some raw dough left over for the starlings!)

Frog said...

A frog would never earn that kind of monney :-s

Celebration of Life said...

I have never made scones; do you want to share your recipe?

Lynda (Granny K) said...

I think vets vary in how much they charge. I didn't have any pet insurance but I did have a diabetic yorkie, Lucy, who needed an insulin injection every day. Fortunately we had a very kind vet in a small practice, who didn't overcharge for supplies or treatment.
When Lucy broke her leg badly, on a Sunday morning mind, our vet and his colleague opened the surgery, operated on Lucy and set her leg in plaster. I was dreading the bill after her recovery - how much? £95!
Bob Jones of Blackpool opens his surgery at 8.00 am and is still there on his feet, 10 hours later, six days a week. I've know him be standing there with his leg in plaster, still treating animals.
Not all angels have wings!

Victorya said...

We have pet insurance here, but with the same limitations. It's basically better to set up a savings account for the animal. I've racked up thousands in bills for my old little one when she had her cancer.

Hugs to the both of you.

Celebration of Life said...

How are you doing Helena? My thoughts are with you!

Colleen said...

Helena- that is so aweful! You know, my mom has a beautiful white rabbit and Fats had to go to the vet and she cost my mom $500 in vet fees...for a rabbit! Disgusting to price things so much for animals. But what are you gonna do when they are your babies...?

Helena said...


me neither!!!!

Helena said...

Celebration of life,

Hmmm.... yes, I think I'll put up the recipe. And a picture. Oops that means I need some more, to photo. Ar well! I'll just have to make more!


Helena said...


I think ours charges a lot because he can, basically- it's on the Isle of Sheppey and is the only vet on the island, apart from one that does mostly farm work and isn't open much in the week. So our vet has the monopoly, really.

Years ago there was one who charged less, and less often- e.g., a cat had a op', then I went back for check ups and to have the stitches removed. He didn't charge for those 'aftercare' appointments. THIS vet does. He took over the practice and the fees shot up!

So, despite the £950+, when Fluffy has her staples and stitches out next Monday, I'll have to pay another £20!


Helena said...


Yes, I wish I had thought of that earlier! I have had Fluffy insured since she was 7, so if I had just saved £15 a month for her for the last 8 years..... alas I only thought of this about 18 months ago and decided that it was too late and I might as well carry on with the insurance, just in case she got something that needed regular treatment-

which she has, as she has pills for an over-active thyroid now.

Helena said...

Celebration of life,

Hullo! I'm getting better- I was out in the town for the first time in over a week today. Some coughing, but not much wheezing!


Helena said...


I had to laugh at the name of that rabbit! LOL! Fats! LOL!

Anyway, yes, they are our babies. I'd go bankrupt to pay for treatment for them, to help them or stop their pain etc. I really would.

Not sure what my other half would say, but I would!

Years ago I had a boyfriend who told me that I had too many cats (at the time I had taken in 6!!!) and he told me that if I would "get rid of half of them" he would move in with me.

Gosh! What a favour!

Well what can I say. He is long gone and cats all stayed with me.

So HA!

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Eeeeek! Darn vets earn more than Brain Surgeons (and they get to deal with nicer patients too). I'm going to change playing subliminal messages back to the kids as they sleep from "Be a Doctor" to "Be a Vet", think it'll work?

Helena, those scones are just perfect for a day like today - I'm tempted to make a batch now - I have't baked in ages..

And big, big hugs to you and yours, sweet lady. This must be a horrible, worrying time for you right now. I'm crossing everything that it'll all turn out well. (x)

Victorya said...

Argh on raising rates! Another thing happened here. My vet used to never charge for shots as he thought vets pushed them too much as a way to make quick bucks, now it's 80$ or so for the series.

And you're right, for our babies we'd pay anything. Heck, in my grief I ended up spending 1,000$ (should I admit this?) for a black marble tombstone. If I was thinking outside of grief and love, would I have done the same?

I do hope you and the fluffly one are romping around the house soon!

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Bi-irth-day, dear Helena,
Happy Birthday to you!

(Now make a wish..)


CHEWY said...

Lordy, Lordy, Look who's 40!
I'll be 50 in January. Oh, boy!

Best Wishes.

(Okay, I think you have about 3 or 4 b-day messages from me by now. HA-HA)

Rachelle said...

Homemade chicken Pie??!!!
I'm on my way over...

*runs out to car, revves it up, backs down the drive, remembers where you live................*


Well, eat some for me, kay? :))
Glad to hear kitty's doing well! You hug her for me and keep one for yourself okay?

Rachelle said...

**double heavy sigh**
Am I the oldest one here???!!!

Oh well, tht means I'm the smartest, right?

I think that's how it works.....

Mousie/Paisible said...

how much ? you 're joking !!!more than a month wages for my son when he was working in Birmingham !!!anyway better concentrate on the scone...i bring the tea...

Helena said...


Yup, it's worth a try! You could add "...or marry one". That might work, too.

Thanks for the birthday song!

Helena said...


I wouldn't bat an eyelid at you paying that for a stone for your little pet.

Years ago, I had a beautiful tabby cat, Sam. I loved him so much. He was a nervous, wrecked little stray that I took in. He became so loving and trusting.

Alas. Someone shot him in the stomach with an air rifle.

I got him to the vet.

The op' cost three times the estimate they'd given me. And he died.

They sent the bill, but I oculdn't pay it. I pleaded with them at least for a reduction, given that he hadn't lived (he did for a day. I went to see him. He was sitting up, washing. As I said goodbye I felt a strange shiver. So I hugged him and said, it's ok boy, if you need to go, you go, don't worry about me, it's ok. If it hurts, you go. Then he died the next day- the vet said he couldn't stop him bleeding.)

THe vet wouldn't budge. And, although they let me in one evening to see his body on my own, and say goodbyes and stroke him, I wasn't allowed to take him home with me till I paid.

Well I couldn't pay. After a few months, they sent him for cremation.

Why am I telling you such a sad story? To tell you, don't b guilty about buying a gravestone. That was back in 1996, and I still feel bad, like I let him down. I didn't get 'closure' as they say in the USA. And more than that, I don't feel I did the nest for Sam. He deserved a sunnt spot under a fruit tree with his name in pebbles. Not an industrial incinerator.


Helena said...

Chewy, I can't believe you will be 50! I had you placed at mid 30s!

Helena said...

I'll be with Fluffy tomorrow (Sunday) and find out about the lumps on Monday.

FIngers, toes, legs, arms etc all crossed.....

Helena said...


I made another batch today, but forgot to put any sugar in! Is this a senior moment???? LOL! Never mind. They're fine with butter and honey!