Pet Insurance and Luxating Patellas. Help!

emma*puppy

Member
Feb 18, 2008
597
0
OC, CA
So I've been meaning to get pet insurance but I've procrastinated. Unfortunately, Emma was a little sick this week and when I took her in, the vet ran x-rays. While it didn't explain her sickness, it did show that both her knees were suffering from Luxating Patellas. Since the vet wrote this down in her charts and told me, it's now a Pre-existing condition. Emma isn't suffering and the doctor anticipates that even if she needed insurance, she'll probably won't need it until she's 7 or 8. Emma doesn't even have any lameness and she doesn't "kick her leg out" to re-align the patella. I'm starting glucosamine supplements this week.

Emma is a one-year old Pom (just turned one on Monday), if that helps.

So my question is, does anyone know if a pet insurance company would still help us out with the luxating patella issues since it's now a pre-existing condition? And if not, what would you recommend that we do?

Thanks!
 

Cindi

My baby, Bellis
O.G.
Aug 8, 2006
9,872
159
53
PA USA
One of my cats has this same problem. I doubt pet insurance is going to cover it since it is now pre existing but you may never need to do anything about it. I guess the only way to know is to call the insurance company. For now I would just keep an eye on her and worry about if/when you ever need to.
 

kittenslingerie

Go Saints!
O.G.
Aug 25, 2006
6,075
157
My pugs both have luxating patellas (badly bred). Anyway, they are both 6 yrs old. One pug has a worse patella than the other and the vet still says that the surgery is very painful and has a rather long and uncomfortable recovery. Therefore, what I'm saying is if the patella isn't that bad, that I doubt the knee/patella will ever really merit such a painful surgery. So I really wouldn't worry much about the insurance. But with human insurance the pre-existing condition thing only goes for 1 year and then that condition can also be covered, so maybe its that way with pet insurance too...
 

aklein

Member
Dec 30, 2007
10,683
2
Generally, pet insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions. Also, a lot of the companies require you to pay up front for major surgeries. The company then re-imburses you. I've also noticed that a lot of pet insurance companies are very selective about what they cover. So I wouldn't beat myself up over waiting to get it, because your pom's surgery and meds to treat her patellas probably wouldn't have been covered.
 

missisa07

(Isabel)
O.G.
Jun 1, 2007
7,424
363
Hawaii
My pet is covered with VPI Pet Insurance. They do not cover pre-existing conditions. VPI doesn't cover luxating patellas period, even if they developed after the dog was already under insurance coverage.

Sorry to hear that! My mom also has a full-breed pom that has luxating patellas.
 

jennielee

O.G.
Nov 29, 2006
133
0
i think poms are actually genetically predisposed to luxating patellas. most pet insurances will not cover anything genetic. good luck though!
 

lizavet8

"Ruffian"
O.G.
May 3, 2007
1,231
66
Lonesome Dove
You girls are right...luxating patellas are genetic, and most insurance companies won't cover them. CCl (ACL) tears are another condition not covered by VPI...we do 2-3 of these surgeries per week at our hospital (TPLOs & Sutures.) These two knee injuries are the most common canine orthopedic surgeries, and it's really annoying to me that insurance won't pay for it. One thing I'd like to clear up is that Patella surgery is one of the least painful and fastest recoveries. The procedure is called a Wedge Osteotomy, and sometimes requires an additional step called a tibial transposition. We do these on 4 lb Yorkies, and they run around the clinic the next day! The danger of not doing the surgery is the development of arthritis in the knee. One thing to to do if surgery is not an option is keep the dog from getting fat!!!!! Also, joint supplements can help. Hope this helps.
 

Hemlock

O.G.
Dec 18, 2006
352
70
You should check into this company:
https://quote.embracepetinsurance.com/QuoteEngine.aspx

I am researching insurance for my Chi now. From what I've read...if they consider Luxating Patellas genetic conditions instead of pre-existing it would be covered. It also seems like this company provides a wide range of coverage for other problems. The consumer reivews have also been good.
 

emma*puppy

Member
Feb 18, 2008
597
0
OC, CA
You girls are right...luxating patellas are genetic, and most insurance companies won't cover them. CCl (ACL) tears are another condition not covered by VPI...we do 2-3 of these surgeries per week at our hospital (TPLOs & Sutures.) These two knee injuries are the most common canine orthopedic surgeries, and it's really annoying to me that insurance won't pay for it. One thing I'd like to clear up is that Patella surgery is one of the least painful and fastest recoveries. The procedure is called a Wedge Osteotomy, and sometimes requires an additional step called a tibial transposition. We do these on 4 lb Yorkies, and they run around the clinic the next day! The danger of not doing the surgery is the development of arthritis in the knee. One thing to to do if surgery is not an option is keep the dog from getting fat!!!!! Also, joint supplements can help. Hope this helps.
It's awesome that someone from an actual animal hospital (I'm assuming) is on here.

Is it better to do the surgery now even though she's not really feeling anything or to wait until she's actually limping? The vet actually popped her knee cap in and out and she didn't even react and at home when she's running and whatnot, she doesn't limp and she doesn't do the kicking thing.

We're lowering her weight right now as advised by the vet (not much, which is easier) and she started the glucosamine tablets this weekend.
 

emma*puppy

Member
Feb 18, 2008
597
0
OC, CA
You should check into this company:
https://quote.embracepetinsurance.com/QuoteEngine.aspx

I am researching insurance for my Chi now. From what I've read...if they consider Luxating Patellas genetic conditions instead of pre-existing it would be covered. It also seems like this company provides a wide range of coverage for other problems. The consumer reivews have also been good.
Yeah, unfortunately, they don't covering pre-existing. I already called them! :crybaby:

They do have good reviews though and customer service was nice.
 

emma*puppy

Member
Feb 18, 2008
597
0
OC, CA
Thanks for the help everyone!

So what I'm thinking now is that I'm going to take the monthly money I would've spent on insurance (which would've been a lot because I would've gone for the whole she-bang) and then putting that money in a savings account for pet emergencies, like surgeries and not get the insurance afterall. I figured that I didn't need reimbursements on vaccines (they're not THAT much persay) and she's already been spayed.

What do you guys thinK?
 

aklein

Member
Dec 30, 2007
10,683
2
Thanks for the help everyone!

So what I'm thinking now is that I'm going to take the monthly money I would've spent on insurance (which would've been a lot because I would've gone for the whole she-bang) and then putting that money in a savings account for pet emergencies, like surgeries and not get the insurance afterall. I figured that I didn't need reimbursements on vaccines (they're not THAT much persay) and she's already been spayed.

What do you guys thinK?
I think this is your best bet right now. Currently, the whole veterinary insurance issue is being hotly debated by the AVMA. And it seems to be pretty divisive issue too. The big point of contention is that pet insurance is not modelled after human insurance. It is more like home owners insurance. And a lot of the specifics haven't really been ironed out yet. It is still a relatively new industry, so you should be cautious.
Based on what I saw while working as a veterinary technician and during seminars in veterinary school, I am inclined to agree that a savings account really is a better option for both owners and their pets.
 

lizavet8

"Ruffian"
O.G.
May 3, 2007
1,231
66
Lonesome Dove
I'm glad to be of help! Yes, my husband and I own a vet hospital, but being a veterinarian is not a great way to support my handbag habit!!!! I think you're idea of putting the money way is a great one. Please feel free to PM me if tou have any Patella questions.
 

emma*puppy

Member
Feb 18, 2008
597
0
OC, CA
I think this is your best bet right now. Currently, the whole veterinary insurance issue is being hotly debated by the AVMA. And it seems to be pretty divisive issue too. The big point of contention is that pet insurance is not modelled after human insurance. It is more like home owners insurance. And a lot of the specifics haven't really been ironed out yet. It is still a relatively new industry, so you should be cautious.
Based on what I saw while working as a veterinary technician and during seminars in veterinary school, I am inclined to agree that a savings account really is a better option for both owners and their pets.
Thanks!

Yeah, from what I've seen, it only covers "emergencies" but the big expenses I see are really chronic conditions stuff.
 
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