Friday, July 25, 2008
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The map above shows the full horror of our interaction with local vets. We have dealings with all of those shown; some on a day-to-day basis, others very occasionally. Each surgery will have several vets, nurses and reception staff, and there is no way all of them can remember our standard procedures, or how to contact the right person to ask for financial help for one of their clients.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
In this hot weather there's a high risk of cats being shut in sheds etc., so it's advisable to start asking neighbours to check sheds, garages etc. (anywhere that a cat might go in for a nap and get shut in) if a cat doesn't check in at normal mealtimes. Also ring round local vets in case he might have been injured and handed in. It's best to start this as soon as a cat's been away for longer than his normal habit.
Vet24 at Milton do most of the out of hours emergency cover for the Cambridge area, so it's particularly important to phone them as they're the most likely vet for an injured cat to be taken to over the weekend or evenings. Their phone number is 0845 500 4247. Injured cats reported to the RSPCA will normally be taken to the closest available private vet for initial first aid.
The Blue Cross cats home on Garlic Row would be the most likely place for an uninjured stray to be taken if found in Cambridge City. Their number is 01223 350 153.
It's also as well to get a missing cat logged with the RSPCA National Control Centre (NCC). Their number is 0300 1234 999.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Axa, the insurance company that provides the policy (and which underwrites well over half a million pet policies sold by a wide range of partners, including the RSPCA, the Post Office and John Lewis's Greenbee) has this month introduced a "selected breeds" category: they are bulldogs, estrela mountain dogs, German shepherds (alsatian), great danes, greyhounds, Irish wolfhounds, leonbergers, Newfoundlands, old English sheepdogs, rottweilers, Pyrenean mountain dogs and St Bernards.
Thinking about it, I'm not surprised that most of these breeds are bad insurance risks, but a bit surprised by the inclusion of greyhounds; I can only think they've got a higher than normal risk of expensive, but survivable, "athletes" injuries, such as damaged cruciate ligaments (which can set you back £1k for a repair operation). Breeds like the cavaliers' heart problems or setters' retinal atrophy are a problem for the dog and owner, but not so much for the insurer, because there isn't a ruinously-expensive treatment option.
I'd second their advice to shop around - not only for better deals if you own one of the high-risk breeds, but, crucially, to make sure you get a policy which suits your financial circumstances. If you don't have savings or a credit card, it is absolutely essential to check that your insurer will either pay the vet direct or be prepared to pay you on the basis of an invoice from the vet which you have not yet paid. If you don't have a credit card, some policies are virtually useless if you are on a very low income, because they assume you will pay the vet and then claim the money back.
Pet insurance isn't the answer to all veterinary cost problems, but without it a lot more animals would have to be put to sleep, or have amputations rather than effective treatment.
Our own webshop offers some links to insurers who pay us commission, as does the national site. We are encouraging insurance in general, and no individual insurer will be right for everyone.