Does Pet Insurance Cover Amputation
Pet insurance is a great and convenient way to ensure you’ll be able to pay for vet bills resulting from unexpected injuries and illnesses. As beneficial as it is to have pet insurance, it’s important to know what the insurance will and will not cover. If your dog were hit by a car or developed cancer and required amputation of one or more of its limbs, would you be able to cover the expense?
A commonly asked question is “Does pet insurance cover amputation?” Read on to learn more.
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What is Pet Amputation?
Pet amputation, which is treated as major surgery, is an operation where one or more of the pet’s limbs are amputated. When a limb is amputated, it’s generally done as close to the body as possible to prevent damage to the remaining portion of the leg. They often attempt to use the stump to balance themselves or to get up, and this can cause injuries, sores, and further damage to what’s left of the limb.
Because it’s major surgery, the amputation is done under general anesthesia. Amputation is generally chosen if the pet is at risk of further injury, in severe pain or if the leg or limb cannot be saved. It’s also used with pets suffering from cancer. The most common reasons pets have to undergo an amputation include:
- Bone Cancer or Osteosarcoma
- Severe infection or tissue damage
- Extensive bone trauma
- Birth defects
Does Pet Insurance Cover Amputation?
When a vet recommends amputation, it’s generally from a very serious condition. If the insurance will cover amputation may depend on various things. Required amputations can be the result of an illness like cancer or an accident. What type of policy do you have? Is it for accident and illness, or is it an accident-only policy? Even if you have an accident and illness policy, an amputation may fall under the category of something that a particular pet insurance policy just will not cover.
One example would be if your vet required amputation for a condition that is part of a pre-existing condition. In this situation, the amputation may not be covered. There are so many variables, which is why it’s so important to really study your pet insurance’s coverage and exclusions prior to purchasing a policy because every insurance company is different.
Pet Insurance for Mobility Devices
When a pet has a limb amputated, it may be a limb that is often used, in which case it would be greatly missed. However, it may also be a limb that the pet seldom used and won’t really be missed that much because dogs and cats are very resilient and adaptable. Depending on the conditions surrounding the amputation, your vet may recommend a mobility device.
Some common mobility devices for animals are:
- Harnesses and slings
- Boots and splints
Although many mobility devices are recommended due to amputation, many other conditions might require mobility devices.
- Neurologically deficient limbs
- Elbow dysplasia
- Weak joints
- Recovery from surgery
- Shortening of muscles
A major concern for pet owners is if pet insurance will pay for mobility devices. Many pet insurance companies will cover the cost of the mobility devices if they are medically necessary. Pet owners do not have to purchase a special policy or add-on policy to have this coverage because it’s covered under the basic health insurance plan. Each pet insurance company may be different in terms of which type of mobility device they will cover. They will not cover a mobility device for cosmetic purposes.
Plans with Specific Language Regarding Amputation
Some pet insurance companies will cover amputation as well as mobility devices if certain conditions are present or requirements are met.
Embrace Pet Insurance Amputation Coverage
Embrace will cover the cost of amputation as well as all the services leading up to and following the surgery, such as x-rays, biopsies, hospitalization, rehabilitation, and follow-up visits. There is a six-month waiting period for orthopedic exams and related surgeries. If the pet is seen by the vet within the 14-day initial waiting period for illnesses, that time decreases the time of the six-week waiting period.
If the pet must have amputation due to a chronic condition, it will be fully covered after the deductible and copay have been met as long as it’s not in the 14-day waiting period. If there are any parts of the bill that are not covered under the illness or accident policy, they may be covered by a wellness policy if the pet owner has purchased one.
Pets Best Pet Insurance Amputation Coverage
Pets Best offers coverage of amputation through its Best Benefit Accident and Illness plan. After the deductible and co-insurance are paid, the company will pay for the amputation, x-rays, exams, physical therapy, hospitalization, prescription medication, and rehabilitation.
They will also pay the cost of any necessary mobility device. Because Pets Best offers comprehensive coverage that includes accidents, illnesses, and chronic conditions, the company will take care of the bill within the annual limits. This condition cannot be part of a pre-existing condition, and it must be treated after the 14-day waiting period.
SPOT Pet Insurance Amputation Coverage
SPOT will pay the cost of amputation if the pet has met the waiting period. However, if it was from an injury, the injury cannot be the result of negligence or irresponsible pet ownership. SPOT does not cover pre-existing conditions. However, if the condition has gone symptom-free and treatment-free for six months, the insurance will cover it and not treat it as a pre-existing condition.
SPOT covers hospitalizations, surgeries, therapy, medication, and rehabilitation, which are all required with an amputation. If it’s recommended by the vet, SPOT will cover it.
There are a lot of pet insurance companies that may have exclusions related to the pet amputations. Be sure to read the fine print or stick with our recommended companies if you want to make sure you get a really comprehensive plan that will cover such things if they arise.