24 October 2010

Mina - the canine catastrophe

I'm beginning to wonder if Mina is just exceedingly unlucky, or one of the most accident-prone dogs I know.

Today, the hounds and I were all set for a lovely autumnal walk in the local woods.  Just as we were pulling into the car park, I heard a yelp from the back of the car.  I couldn't determine which hound had made the sound and thought no more about it.

All three jumped out of the car and seemed OK, but then I noticed some spots of blood on the bedding.  I checked all paws and couldn't see a thing, then Mina moved and I spied some drips of blood by her. On closer inspection I saw that she'd somehow cut her tail through to the tendon.

I then started a frenzied look in the car for something to stop the bleeding (boy, can tails bleed) and to bandage the tail with.  Unfortunately, the first aid kit was in the other car. Thankfully, I managed to calm myself and get my brain working and went to the little cafĂ©, thinking they would have a first aid kit. They did, and they saved the day.

After bandaging the tail, I called the vet and bundled all three hounds back into the car, vet-ward bound. 

Mina's tail injury, is the latest in a long line of incidents this year. I'm seriously considering retraining as a vet, as I seem to spend so much time at the vet practice with Mina.

This latest visit to the vet cost over £120 and as you can see, poor Mina's tail is completely encased by bandaging. She's feeling very sorry for herself and will be back on restricted exercise until her tail heals.

I am beginning to wonder whether I should wrap Mina up in bubble wrap before I let her venture out of the house, as she seems to be so accident prone.  She's just so full of life though, and I suppose her injuries are the price she pays for this.

What this latest incident has made me realise though, is how invaluable good pet insurance cover is. Mina's tail injury will be the sixth claim I've made this year on her policy. The insurer, More Than, has proven to be a good choice for us. With three hounds, we couldn't afford  lifetime cover, and opted for cover which provides up to £7,000 per new illness. This has been a godsend with Mina. This year alone, we've had to claim for:

  • Keratitis treatment, following her operation last year
  • Operation to remove caruncular mass from each eye
  • Hypothyroidism diagnosis and on-going treatment
  • Broken nail
  • Cutting her back leg through to her Achilles tendon
If we hadn't insured Mina, we would have had to find over £2,345 to pay for the cost of all these treatments.

I don't work for an insurance company and this isn't a hard sell to fellow dog owners to insure their pets, but I hope it does give food for thought. Lots of people I speak to don't insure their dogs, or have stopped the insurance - only for the dog to become ill and then be faced with expensive vet bills.

Working with a greyhound rehoming charity, all the hounds that are homed leave the charity with four weeks' free PetPlan insurance.  We strongly advise all our owners to take out pet insurance, but many don't and on occasion, come back to the Trust when a dog has injured itself and ask for the Trust to pay. As a small charity, this puts significant strain on finances.

What's more, a lot of people don't realise that if their dog causes an accident or damages someone else’s property, then you, the owner, could be held liable and sued/prosecuted. Most dog insurance policies provide liability insurance to protect against this.

I dread to think what the premium will be on Mina's policy when it comes to renew next year, but one thing's for sure: with Mina's track record, I'll be renewing the policy.  And, if anyone has any tips on how I can prevent Mina having further accidents, please post a comment.


  1. Poor Mina, I hope she manages to keep her self safe for the next couple of weeks!

  2. Couldn't agree more about pet insurance. I have Ci covered for just about everything, and it includes a load of routine injections and worming too, for about €35 a month.

    My last dog, Meic, a border collie, had to go to Newmarket for an MRI scan for what turned out to be a form of epilepsy. That cost £1200 sixteen years ago, so you can imagine how relieved I was to have full cover for that little lot, which also covered him later on for diagnosis and ongoing treatment for an enlarged heart.

    People who say they can't afford pet insurance are effectively saying they can't afford vet bills, as it comes out about the same. And if you can't afford vet bills, you really need to think twice before getting a pet.

    Ci and I wish Mina a speedy recovery and no more illnesses or injuries - a sentiment which is no doubt shared by her insurers!

  3. Thanks Floyd and Tottie. I'm hoping Mina can stay safe and out of the vets for the foreseeable future!

    Tottie - you summarised it brilliantly with your point about vet bills and vet insurance. I wish more people thought like that.


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