Unfortunately, sometimes in life things happen when we least expect them. Our pets can get ill or have an accident leaving you facing a costly veterinary bill. That’s why you have Petplan insurance, it takes away the financial worries and gives you peace of mind, so that you can focus on getting your pet back to the best of health.
We receive thousands of letters each year from customers who want to share their pet experiences, both happy and sad, and have published some of their stories here. If you have a tale to tell about your own experience with Petplan, why not send us the details?
Customer Stories Petplan paid
We would just like to send you our sincere thanks. Kekoa (our miniature pinscher) would not be here to day without your support. It is coming up to the anniversary of his life saving heart surgery… Read more >
Kekoa was only two and a half when the procedure was recommended and he was referred to the Royal Veterinary College in Hatfield.
It was an amazing place and the staff were all brilliant, but if it hadn't been for Petplan this opportunity would never have happened. Kekoa had had his share of mishaps as a puppy and on each occasion Petplan settled our claim without any fuss. You have no idea how reassuring this was.
So when the news came about his heart problem and the cost of the operation, whilst we were naturally extremely anxious, the peace of mind Petplan gave us was enormous.
We simply could not have afforded the medical treatment and it was at this point we fully appreciated that 'Covered for Life' meant exactly that. Petplan did not question or quibble our claim and settled promptly, it was wonderful to have our precious dog home safe and well without any stress.
So one year on as we approach celebrating Kekoas amazing anniversary, we would like to say a HUGE HEART FELT THANK YOU to Petplan.
Kekoa would love to say thank you too, so we have attach a few pictures to advertise his success story. Close >
Mr Gil & Mrs Sarah Schaeffer and family. (Jan 2013)
At 10 weeks old my Border Collie puppy Eddie was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain). We were very upset but the decision was not difficult, we were going to get Eddie the treatment he needed… Read more >
Due to Eddie's age we only had one month's free breeders insurance with Pet Plan was immediately up graded to Petplan Ultimate.
Eddie was 12 weeks old when he had his operation at Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield. The specialists and their teams were fantastic and the operation was a great success. After a one month recovery period Eddie was given the all clear to lead a normal life.
We cannot thank Pet Plan enough, who never questioned the costs involved (which ran into many thousands). I can confirm that Eddie is a well boy now and leading a very happy life. Close >
Diane Smith (December 2012)
Our Irish wolfhound puppy Obe developed a major problem with his front leg - Carpel Valgus… Read more >
One of the bones in his lower leg (the weight-bearing part) wasn't growing, meaning the other bone was growing in a curve as it had nowhere else to go.
We were extremely worried; however, on contacting Petplan, the claim couldn't have been smoother. As we have two Wolfhounds we had taken out life insurance for both - in other words, premiums we would pay monthly for the life of the dogs.
Obe had a number of consultations, x-rays and an operation. We are keeping our fingers crossed the problem will right itself, but if he needs further medical intervention, it's so reassuring to know that Petplan is there to support us. We couldn't have got through this without their help, so a huge thank you from us, and from Obe! Close >
Christine Stone (November 2012)
Sue Millard will never forget the distraught call from her daughter Rebecca, on 6 August last year, after her beautiful Collie-Spaniel cross Ben suffered a 35-foot fall. Here is the story of his amazing recovery back to health… Read more >
'My daughter had been out walking on a forestry road when Ben went through a hole in a fence and over a sheer drop. His injuries were so bad that he'd been rushed to the hospital.'
Looking back, Sue admits that the next few days were a blur for the whole family: 'Ben was in such a state – it was touch and go whether they could save him. None of us got much sleep. We cried so much – we thought we'd lose him.
'We've had him since he was just 12 weeks old. He really is part of the family.'
Apart from losing a lot of blood, Ben had a ruptured spleen and a dislocated hip, and his legs needed plates and pins. In fact, his body was so badly damaged that he had to go to Langford Small Animal Hospital, about an hour's drive from their home near Cardiff.
'Rebecca and I collected him from our vets and drove him to the hospital ourselves. It was awful. While Rebecca drove, very slowly, I sat in the back holding Ben, who was all drips and bandages. He couldn't move at all and just laid there, looking at me…'
When they finally arrived at the hospital, three nurses were waiting to rush Ben into the operating theatre.
'I can't tell you how heartbreaking it was,' Sue says. 'He looked so pathetic and we didn't know whether he'd live or die – even though Christina, the vet who operated on him, was wonderful and stayed in constant contact with us over the next few days.'
To begin with, Sue and the family were advised not to visit Ben, but after 10 days, Ben was declared well enough to return home. But when Sue and Rebecca arrived to collect him, they were in for a shock. 'He was so thin and on so many drugs,' says Sue.
'He could only eat rice and we had to carry him everywhere. He really was a shadow of his former self.'
As the weeks progressed, Ben started to eat properly, put on weight – and walk, although with a limp. 'They had put a toggle in to join his pelvis with his hip,' Sue says. The idea is that the muscle grows around the joint and the toggle then disintegrates.
'We were told it would take 14 weeks for it to repair and for the muscle to grow, which would fix his leg. But about 12 weeks down the line, he couldn't put his leg down, so it was obvious there was a problem.'
It turned out that the toggle had broken, so poor Ben had to have a second op. This time, the vet opted for a head and neck excision, which is used to treat painful hip conditions.
Thankfully, the procedure was successful, although Ben still has to have gentle exercise and hydrotherapy to stretch and strengthen his muscles.
'Looking back, it's incredible how well he's done,' Sue says proudly. 'It was such a difficult time. We were also worried about the cost. We called Petplan as soon as he'd had his first op and they were lovely to deal with – and so helpful, as were the vets. It was a great relief, I can tell you.'
Nowadays, Ben is much more like his old self. 'You wouldn't think he'd had any trauma,' says Sue. 'Although he has a slight limp, he bounces about – and when I come in, he jumps up to greet me. In fact, for a nine-year-old dog, he acts like a two-year-old pup!' Close >
Sue Millard (April 2012)
Weeks after getting her characterful cat Horace, Janet Parnell discovered he had diabetes. Luckily, a Petplan Covered for Life policy means Horace gets all the treatment he deserves… Read more >
The moment she spotted Horace on The Blue Cross website, Janet Parnell knew he was the cat for her. 'It was love at first sight,' she says.
However, within a few weeks of starting his new life, Janet and husband David became concerned that Horace was drinking excessively, sleeping a lot and not grooming.
'David has diabetes, so I knew that extreme thirst is one of the symptoms,' says Janet. A trip to the vet confirmed her suspicions, and that Horace would require insulin injections every day for the rest of his life.
'I didn't know diabetes was common in cats,' says Janet. 'But I wasn't worried. I've often given my husband injections and the vet showed me how to inject into Horace's scruff.'
Expense wasn't an issue, either. Petplan covers cats, dogs and rabbits adopted through The Blue Cross with four weeks free insurance. Horace was already covered, so Janet simply needed to renew the policy and take out lifelong cover.
Thankfully, Horace began to feel better, although it took several months for the vet to work out the ideal dose. Meanwhile, Janet introduced a strict mealtime schedule. But a year later, Janet found him walking in circles and staring blankly with dilated pupils. 'I thought he'd had a stroke and rushed him to the vet in tears,' she says.
In fact, Horace's blood sugar level had dropped dramatically and he was suffering from hypoglycaemia. He was treated for the condition with a sweet solution delivered intravenously.
Horace suffered another severe hypoglycaemic attack in May 2009, which resulted in Janet's daughter rushing him to an out-of-hours vet, but he has been well ever since.
For the past year, Horace has been having twice-daily injections with a new type of insulin. And Janet has trained up neighbours, her daughter and brother-in-law to stand in if she and David are away.
'Having added up all my claims, I realise how fortunate we were to have a Petplan Covered for Life policy,' Janet says. 'And Horace is a fantastic character who only needs a little more attention than the average cat. Close >
Amanda Riley-Jones (April 2012)
When a mystery illness paralysed Clare McClintock’s super-fit dog, Toast, it took 20 days in intensive care to get him back on his feet. Luckily, writes Amanda Riley-Jones, Petplan was there to help… Read more >
Toast, a New Zealand Huntaway-cross Collie, is 'the most good- natured companion', according to his owner Clare McClintock. 'Last July, we walked from our home in Devon to Land's End!' But one morning in September, Toast collapsed. 'His back legs were paralysed,' she adds.
When Toast was referred to a larger practice, Clare rang Petplan. 'They were very helpful and told us we had '£4,000 of cover,' she says.
However, Toast's breathing became laboured as she took him from one specialist to another. By 6pm, he was taken into intensive care at North Somerset's Langford Small Animal Hospital.
Blood tests revealed that severe toxic shock, perhaps from ingesting pesticide, had damaged his kidneys and liver. Thankfully, Toast's paralysis didn't worsen, but he developed aspiration pneumonia and an eye ulcer.
'After the first week, Toast's bill was already up to '£4,000,' Clare explains. 'The family had to club together to pay for the rest of his treatment.' Toast had an operation to treat the eye ulcer but still needed oxygen and intensive physiotherapy.
Unfortunately, his frail eye ruptured the next week. 'The ophthalmic surgeon was prepared to try a corneal transplant, but we made the hard decision to have Toast's eye removed as it was a simpler operation,' Clare says.
Afterwards, with more massage and physiotherapy, Toast was gradually weaned off oxygen as his lungs cleared and he was able to move his legs again. He went home after 20 long days, thin and hardly able to walk. 'But he was delighted to be back and managed really well with one eye,' says Clare.
Clare massaged his joints, took him for hydrotherapy treatment and increased his walking time by five minutes a day. He's now back to his ideal weight, and loving long walks and swims in the river.
'If I hadn't had insurance, I don't know how I would have managed,' says Clare. 'Thanks to Petplan, Toast had the best possible treatment from more than 20 professionals.' Close >
Clare McClintock (December 2011)
Would you think of acupuncture and homeopathic medicine as treatment for a cat with painful fused discs in his lower back? Miss James and her cat Boris have seen very successful results using this complementary treatment, with help from Petplan to cover the costs… Read more >
‘We've been having our cat Boris treated with acupuncture and homeopathic medicine for about 3 years now. He is nearly 16 years old and I know that he wouldn't be with us now if it weren't for the treatment.
I was first aware that something was wrong when he started crying out in pain whenever he got up from lying down or jumped down from a chair. We took him to the vet who X-rayed him and told us that as well as having the beginnings of arthritis, he had 2 fused discs in his lumbar region. At this point, when I had started to think that we would need to have Boris put to sleep very soon, I remembered veterinary acupuncture as an option. I contacted the closest practice and told them about his history; they agreed he could be treated and asked me for a referral letter from my own vet.
At the first appointment the acupuncturist made it clear that it might not work as cats were notoriously resistant to being needled. Fortunately, it worked for Boris and the rest, as they say, is history. He currently has one session a month, which lasts about 45 minutes. He's also being treated with homeopathic medicines which we put in his food, so there's no problem getting it down him!
I spend about £400 a year on his acupuncture at the moment - it's covered by Petplan so I have no worries about being able to afford the treatments. I'm just glad we have the cover so I don't have to worry about the bills.’ Close >
Miss Liz James, Hampshire (June 2010)
Bernard had settled in nicely with Miss O'Connor and her partner until he started urinating throughout the house and became aggressive when they tried to stop him… Read more >
Just over two years ago when my partner and I moved in together we decided to add a kitten to our little family. Bernard had kept us entertained with his clumsy antics for nearly two years when we noticed that our normally clean cat was urinating in unusual places, such as the bath and the draining board. I thought it was a problem arising from his litter tray so I changed his litter and moved his tray. One day he squatted in front of me, when I tried to grab him he hissed. It was then that I realised that there was a problem.
We took him to the emergency vet and they told us that he had a blockage in his bladder. It was the beginning of an awful six weeks in which an incredibly talented vet battled to save our poor boy. Bernard underwent three major operations to unblock his bladder, remove his penis and twice to move his urethra. The vet gave us her mobile number and even opened the surgery for us one Sunday when he took a turn for the worse. She said she had never seen a case this bad before in a living animal, so we prepared ourselves for the worst.
Thankfully, due to her skill and hard work, Bernard pulled through and is now a healthy, happy moggy, despite our jokes that he is now a 'Bernardette'! His treatment cost in excess of £4,000. It was such a relief to us that Petplan processed the claim quickly. We are also very grateful to our vet who was amazing. She did everything she could to ensure Bernard continued his life within our family. Close >
Miss O'Connor , Essex (June 2010)
Phoebe was playing in the garden chasing quoits when she ruptured her cruciate ligament in her back leg. Mrs Stevenson tells us about how she used Petplan's complementary treatment to treat her dog Phoebe from a ruptured cruciate ligament so she could get back to her job as a ‘Pets as Therapy’ dog… Read more >
‘Whilst playing in the garden, Phoebe must have swerved like a footballer to do the damage she did to her leg.
Thanks to my vet who managed to repair the ligament extremely well, her leg is now rock solid again. Phoebe has made a brilliant recovery with 10 sessions of hydrotherapy - courtesy of Petplan. What was also great was how much Phoebe enjoyed the hydrotherapy which made the recovery process really pain free. Phoebe is now back to her normal, happy self.
Phoebe is also a 'Pets as Therapy' dog and is much appreciated especially by one man who is blind and loves having Phoebe sit on his lap. She visits a residential home and a home for people with learning difficulties every other week, and manages to put a smile on everyone's face. I am so glad I am with Petplan!’ Close >
Mrs Stevenson, Gloucestershire (June, 2010)
When a chronic skin condition was causing her beloved German Shepherd great distress, Beverley Siddle turned to Petplan for help and support… Read more >
Then in December 2008, a new vet told Beverley he thought Max had atopic dermatitis and that there was a new, expensive drug, Atopica, which might help him. ‘Atopica was about £200 a month and Max needed ongoing treatment. It was such a relief that Petplan would cover it. I signed the form at the vet’s and Petplan started paying them direct.’
Since then, Max’s skin condition has finally come under control. Beverley says, ‘Being with Petplan means I can afford to give Max the very best treatment. He wouldn’t be on this new drug without Petplan.’ Max was 11 in October, so he’s quietening down, but still loves his walks every day. Beverley adds, ‘We spend endless happy hours together in the woods opposite our house.’ Close >
Mrs Siddle, Hampshire (April 2010)
When Linda and Andrew Pettit’s dog Buster developed epilepsy, they feared the worst. Fortunately, Petplan was there to help… Read more >
Linda Pettit and husband Andrew live with three-year-old Buster in Bedfordshire. ‘He’s a lovely, gentle, affectionate boy,’ says Linda.
But in March 2007, Buster had a fit. ‘We were terrified, thinking he was having a heart attack,’ says Linda. After diagnosing epilepsy, the emergency vet prescribed expensive medication which Buster would need for the rest of his life.
Fortunately, the couple had extended Buster’s Petplan insurance past the free period of four weeks.
Then, just over two years later in late 2009, Buster’s legs started giving way occasionally, and he became worryingly lethargic. The vet advised Linda and Andrew to take Buster to Davies Veterinary Specialists in Hertfordshire, who kept him in for six days of tests.
‘I was in tears every day,’ says Linda. ‘We weren’t allowed to visit him but it was a comfort to speak to his dedicated nurse every day.’
Blood tests, a chest X-ray and an abdominal ultrasound showed very low blood sugar and aspiration pneumonia – inflammation of the lungs caused by inhaling stomach contents. Once the vet had started treating Buster’s lung infection with antibiotics (which he needed for six weeks) his blood sugar level soon stabilised. He was also given a prescription for new, improved epilepsy medication.
‘When we visited at the start of November, Buster looked so well. He was bouncing about like a puppy!’ remembers Linda.
The next day, the Pettits collected Buster – and a bill for £2,700. Linda says ‘We’d been so traumatised, we hadn’t thought about the financial side of things. We paid by credit card and completed the insurance form at the same time.’
‘Shortly after, we got the credit card bill and a cheque for the full amount from Petplan in the same post! We were delighted, and Buster’s treatment was superb.’
‘Buster is now in fine form,’ says Linda. ‘He still has occasional fits, but it’s all over in one or two minutes and afterwards he acts like nothing has happened. His legs are fine now and he loves walking over the fields at the back of our house.’ Close >
Linda & Andrew Pettit, Bedfordshire (January, 2010)
Trixie is a typical Spaniel; full of life, mischief and a tail that wags even when she's sleeping!… Read more >
As a puppy she spent most of her time exploring hedges and undergrowth (she’s a Spaniel after all!) however, after a few weeks we started to notice a worrying rash developing on her tummy and took her to the vets. The vet thoroughly investigated, which we knew was going to be costly, however the peace of mind that our Petplan policy provided was phenomenal. After many different tests, they discovered that Trixie suffered from a long list of allergies which includes beef, lamb, meadow grass and dandelion...
We now successfully manage these allergies with the help of medication, and things have since gotten better and better. We have even started to let Trixie enter a number of agility competitions, and she has to date won lots of rosettes and trophies! Close >
Mr and Mrs Amor (January 2010)
Living with a chronically ill dog has impacted substantially on our daily lives… Read more >
Financially, the impact has been minimal thanks to our Petplan policy. Cuillin is covered for life and his epilepsy is not excluded after a year as can often be the case. Claim forms are straightforward to complete and our claims have always been paid, in full, in a matter of days.
Living with a chronically ill pet can be traumatic but at least we are assured that we can obtain the best treatment for him for as long as he requires it – you can’t put a price on such peace of mind. Cuillin’s epilepsy could not have been foreseen but thank goodness we had the foresight to take out comprehensive insurance for him. Close >
Ms C Donaldson, Edinburgh (February 2009)
On Sunday night my son and husband found Mickey, our cat, in a terrible state… Read more >
They thought he had been run over and rushed him to the local PDSA. After a worrying night for us, Mickey came round from his operation and seemed ok. The vets said that he had actually been impaled by a thin object and it had gone into the pelvic joint near the nerve endings. Mickey’s future wasn’t looking very bright, the vets told us that he may have lost the feeling in his leg, and only time would tell if it would come back.
A week later I took him to our ordinary vet for a check-up. They were pleased with his progress and since then Mickey has regained almost complete use of his leg. I am so glad I insured him and am hugely grateful to Petplan who paid the claim very promptly and gave us the peace of mind to make sure Mickey got the treatment he needed. Close >
Mrs Daley, Nottinghamshire (January 2009)
All stories have been reproduced with our customers' permission. Petplan does not accept responsibility for the views expressed in our customer stories, which are in our customers' own words and based on their own personal experiences. Cover is provided subject to policy terms, conditions and excesses, so please always refer to your own latest policy documents for details of the cover available for your pet.