I have not given you a proper update on Kylo since his Parvo treatment, and I have received so many emails and messages asking me how he is doing. I have been putting it off, because it was truly a traumatizing time in our live. It is one of those things that you want to push to the back of your head, and never ever think of again…
That being said, you all came through for me at a time we needed you most. Thank you to every single person who thought of us, send us messages of strength and encouragement and contributed to his vet bill. It means the world to us. I learned so much through this terrible experience – not only about resilience, compassion and empathy… but also about the importance of adhering to vaccine schedules and the need for really good pet insurance!
To those of you who do not know, this is what happened…
Our gorgeous Kylo contracted Parvo on the 12th of May. As gorgeous as he is, he loves to dig in the trash and eat all kinds of things so we did not think much of it when the initial symptoms started. It all started with him just not being himself one Friday afternoon, and having an upset stomach. He went through bouts of running around being fine, to just lying around feeling sorry for himself. We cooked him some rice and boiled chicken, thinking he had eaten something that had upset his stomach. The next day he threw up, but he was eating. By Sunday evening, he was refusing to eat and had a fever (although we had no way of being sure), and we planned to take him to the vet first thing in the morning – it was Sunday, and we did not think it would be an issue to wait until morning. At this stage we had no reason to suspect Parvo, and to be honest, we didn’t even really know what Parvo was.
Plans changed dramatically when we woke up in the early hours of Monday after hearing Kylo whimper. As I got out of bed, the smell hit me first. It was absolutely terrible… it smelled like something died in our house. As I walked into the lounge to find Kylo and the source of the stench, I was met by an absolutely terrifying sight. The floor was covered in what looked like old, coagulated blood and Kylo was lying close by… he had collapsed. I grabbed Kylo and we rushed him to the nearest 24 hour vet. At this point we still did not know much about Parvo, so we did not suspect that it was what was wrong with him. We later found out that one of the most tell-tale signs of Parvovirus is the foul-smelling and bloody diarrhea that Kylo had experienced.
I was already in tears when the vet finally saw us. Kylo was not looking good and I had no idea what to do… She ran some tests and concluded that Kylo indeed had Parvovirus, that he was dehydrated and had a fever. She then launched into a scathing attack on me for bringing a dog with Parvo into her practice, carrying on about how they would now need to disinfect the whole practice and she would lose valuable time because she needed to have a shower after seeing us. At this point I was in full hysterics… A complete blubbering mess. She continued on how irresponsible I was for not keeping his vaccines up to date (which I deserved, Kylo was two weeks pass his vaccine date) and then launched into the costs of treatment and all the reasons why we should have him put down. I did not know much at this point, but I did know that they had no intention of saving Kylo’s life, and that he would not live to see the morning if I left him in their care. I picked Kylo up, sent Cole to pay the R1860 it cost to have a look at him and run a test, and left.
I phoned the only people I thought could help me, and that was Sidewalk Specials. We adopted Kylo from them and in their line of work – they see hundreds of Parvo cases. I was told to bring him straight to Dr. Reena at Vetpoint. We did just that, and when I arrived the wheels were already in motion. They took over and I felt a pang of hope, even though Kylo’s chances of survival was not looking good. Two days later, our younger puppy also started showing symptoms of Parvo and was admitted with Kylo. They both needed a few plasma transfusions, aggressive drip treatments, antibiotics and 24-hour intensive care.
One week later I got the call we were all hoping for, I could collect Kylo and Jakku and finally bring them home. They had both lost a lot of weight, especially Kylo. They needed special food for their digestive tract and several follow-up appointments… but they both survived, against all odds. Dr. Reena saved their lives, and so did all of your amazing support.
The costs involved when it comes to treating Parvo can run into tens of thousands of rands. The commercial cost for treating Kylo and Jakku ended up at R18 000. Parvovirus treatment starts at a minimum of R3000 and can run as high as R15 000 per animal, if not more.
No matter how big or small your pets are, they are a life that needs to be kept alive, healthy and most of the time … they will need specialist care that only a veterinarian can provide. If anything ever happened like that again I want to be prepared for it so I started looking into Pet Insurance. While doing my investigations I came across a really helpful comparison between the better known Pet Insurers on www.insurepet.co.za. Based on the criteria listed Dogsure seemed to offer the best value for money so I decided to contact them with many of the questions posted by some of you on my social media platforms. If you have your own question, free feel to ask it in the comment sections and we will have it answered asap!
Q 1: Do you have to pay upfront and claim the funds back afterwards, or does it immediately get sent through to the pet insurance company?
A 1: In most cases where the costs are small the client pays upfront and then submits the claim to Dogsure. For larger claims and where the Vet agrees we can settle directly with the Vet.
Q 2: If you do have to pay upfront, how long until you see a payout / until claim gets validated?
A 2: Claims take approximately 5-7 working days to be processed
Q 3: What is your policy regarding getting cover for older pets?
A 3: When pets are older than 8 years old we have an accidental only policy which is a reduced price of R127 per month per animal
Q 4: Are there any age restrictions for cover on cats and dogs? What are they?
A 4: Cats and dogs need to be 8 weeks and older for cover and younger than 8 years old
Q 5: Why is it so difficult to get cover for a dog that suffers from epilepsy?
A 5: You are still able to get cover but the epilepsy and related conditions would be excluded as it is a pre-existing condition. This is applicable to any pre-existing condition
Q 6: Do you cover diseases like Parvo or Distemper
A 6: Yes we do except where it is a pre-existing condition
Q 7: Are there any limitations to cover on vaccine prevented diseases?
A 7: No but it is a requirement that all vaccinations are up to date
Q 8: Do you only cover certain vets? Or all animal hospitals and vets?
A 8: you can use any vet or animal hospital
In collaboration with DogSure