Friday, December 5, 2008

Pet Insurance woes again

It does make me cross. An owner who did the responsible thing and got her dog insured found that her policy was almost worthless because the insurers refused to pay out until they'd received a copy of the paid invoice from the vet, and the company employing her usual vet were insisting on payment up front. 

For many people this wouldn't be a big deal: they'd simply pay with their credit card and pay off the card when the insurer reimbursed them. This owner was on benefits (and kudos to her for putting aside the money to pay her insurance each month in the circumstances). Hopefully she will get at least something back on the policy, as she's eligible to use our clinic and will be able to claim reimbursement of the cost of having the dog's operation done there. That doesn't make it fair that she's had nearly a week of misery thinking the dog might die if she couldn't find a way to get the operation done.

Moral: read the small print before taking out pet insurance, and ask your vet to check their practice's policy on settling bills via insurance claims. 

More stocking fillers

The delightful series of animal books by Doreen Tovey have just been reprinted in paperback. 1% commission payable to the branch if you buy them from Amazon by following the links above. Best not read while drinking your tea as spluttering may occur as the hapless Toveys battle with recalcitrant Siamese cats and other animals.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Charity Shops Mini-Survey

One of our main sources of regular income is the work of our three branch charity shops. 

As with many aspects of animal welfare, there are different (and bitterly-opposed) schools of thought about the best way shops should be organised in order to maximise income. In an attempt to get some feel for what potential shoppers actually do prefer I offer the survey below. Any and all responses much appreciated.


Samuel, the little terrier, now has a home.

Nicholas continues to eat for England. Still looking very pathetic (partly because his rear end was shaved for the surgery, so he looks like a mini-baboon), but he's progressed to loud wails of discontent whenever he thinks meals are due and he doesn't appear to have any pain at all now when he walks. I'm a bit concerned that he's still so shy; he's not at all aggressive or "spitty", but he hides in his igloo and peers out waiting until I've left the room before he will eat. I was hoping that he could go down to the kennels if his X-ray gives the all-clear next week, but he's not going to "sell" himself if he hides away. 

It might be better to move him to a pen in a more populous area of the house to encourage him to come out of his shell, but that's going to be a problem if Otto and Luigi (or any of the females come to that) decide to take exception to the presence of an entire male. I would really rather not share a home with cats who have decided they're cross enough to start spraying. Thistledown used to pee into electric sockets, which is dangerous; expensively wrecks the house electrics, and creates an aroma which does not give the right impression.

No news yet on the culture results for Darcy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Update on the St Bernards (from the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph)

I should again stress that I don't have any inside information. However, this update has just appeared in my newsfeed for RSPCA items, and is from the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph

Stocking Fillers

Superior crime novels by Nevada Barr, with the intriguing twist that they are each set in a different North American National Park, with the natural world playing the part of a major character in the plot. Each cover picture above links in to Amazon and we will get a small commission for each book purchased via the link.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Please don't phone about the St Bernards yet

I don't have access to any information beyond the published news stories and we are not one of the kennels which have been asked to take some of the dogs. Anyone interested in adopting one of them if they are transferred to the ownership of the RSPCA is probably best advised to keep checking the national website for further announcements. 

Please don't phone any of the emergency contact numbers as this will stop callers who need urgent help with sick or injured animals getting through.

There is absolutely no question of any of the dogs being put to sleep unless a vet advises that they are too ill to be treated, nor of other dogs being put to sleep to make space to house them.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Samuel, the little terrier cross with the broken pelvis, has had his operation and the vets say he's looking good and should be able to come out tomorrow or the day after. Janine has a possible home lined up and she's going to ask them if they'd be willing to have him for his month's cage rest as that would be much nicer for him than going into boarding kennels.

Nicholas, the cat with the broken pelvis, is still very timid, but eating like a horse and looking quite comfortable in his cat igloo.

The elderly cat at Swaynes vets is having further tests to try to find why he's so thin.

Darcy, the cat with pyothorax, still has some fluid in his chest, so they're going to drain it again and culture the pus for sensitivity in case the bacteria causing the infection are resistant to standard antibiotics. 

Yet another stray via Stone Lane Vets — a tabby and white neutered male about four years old. For a change he's got no apparent injuries or illness, but the finder is fairly certain that he's been left behind when his owners moved away.