Of course, cats and dogs get special treatment and consideration for pet insurance coverage. This makes sense when you take into account how many people own them. But when you realize smaller creatures get less attention (like rabbits), this can be a real pain sometimes.
After all, you want to give your rabbit the same kind of love and affection people want to give other domesticated pets—and frankly, exotic pet veterinarians tend to have higher costs. So, insurance can really benefit you in emergencies.
Another attractive thing about having insurance for your rabbit is that they often don’t show signs of illness until it’s very advanced. By then, care is absolutely crucial. So luckily, your rabbit hasn’t been forgotten completely. Some pet insurance companies cover your long-eared best buddy.
Rabbit Health: Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
It isn’t uncommon to see someone get a rabbit as an Easter present for their child, not really realizing the commitment that comes along with it. Rabbits, like many cage animals, are often overlooked or under-appreciated.
In addition, it’s hard to find a veterinarian that will treat smaller animals, and finding an affordable exotic pet vet can be challenging. The reality is that even the smallest animals we own require some type of medical attention at some point in their lives.
If something happens unexpectedly to one of your pets that requires veterinary attention, you need to have a plan in place just in case.
If you’re unfamiliar with rabbit health issues, here are a few that might crop up.
Myxomatosis is a severe disease in domestic rabbits caused by a mosquito bite. It leads to a fever, lethargy, and eventual death with a 100% mortality rate and no successful treatment.
Due to how a rabbit moves, it’s easy for them to injure one of their limbs. This can come from improper handling, jumping from high places, or hopping up–and not quite making it.
When they do injure a limb, it can lead to total or partial limb paralysis. This can be due to trauma, injury, or defect. Any type of limb paralysis automatically requires veterinary attention.
- Rabbit Viral Hemorrhagic Disease
Affecting both wild and domestic rabbits, rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease is a viral and fatal issue for our furry friends.
Flystrike is an issue for both domesticated and wild rabbits. When a rabbit sits in moist and soiled areas, flies are attracted to the soft parts of their fur, laying eggs in their pores. If it’s not properly treated, flystrike can kill a rabbit within 24 hours.
Your rabbit’s teeth continue to grow consistently throughout their lifetime. It’s vital to have chewable materials to wear their teeth down naturally. Many rabbits benefit from wood blocks, hard food objects such as carrots and grain, and Timothy hay.
If your rabbit doesn’t have the proper means to wear its teeth down, they can become overgrown, creating eating issues and dental pain. Some tooth overgrowth may even require surgery if it gets far enough out of control. Teeth can grow into the gum line, creating infection and abscesses.
Of course, your rabbit can suffer from their own unique ailments as well. This is not an exhaustive list. However, if you know common issues, it might help you prepare for potential expenses.
What Options Are There for Rabbit Health Insurance?
Exotic pets and small animals are just now starting to gain some attention. Companies understand that people don’t just own dogs and cats.
Policies need to be tailored to match the needs of the consumer. So, down the line, more pet insurance companies are sure to start accepting small animals like rabbits.
At this time, the United States only offers one pet insurance resource that covers rabbits.
In January 2020, Nationwide announced their avian and exotic pet insurance plans. This has changed the way that the pet insurance companies are moving forward.
The more options they get customers, the more likely they will drive business. Nationwide is in the lead now with their comprehensive plans, including for rabbits.
Nationwide also provides coverage for many domesticated birds, reptiles, and amphibians. You can get a complete list of comprehensive pricing and eligibility factors here.
What Is Covered Under the Policies?
Every policy is different and tailored to match your needs. Some insurance companies offer a greater variety of options. In this case, since nationwide is the only insurance company accepting rabbits at this time, you would have to take what they offer or look for other savings options.
Accidental protection is nice to have because anything is possible. If your pet is involved in any accident and they’re injured, it isn’t anything foreseeable and you might be caught off guard financially.
As a result, they can receive the proper care thanks to your policy.
Illness happens. Sometimes you foresee it, and sometimes you don’t. Rabbits are very tricky when it comes to getting sick. Most of the time, you don’t notice any noticeable symptoms until the illness is advanced. Immediate vet treatment is usually vital.
You might not think that dental sounds like much of a concern for your rabbit. However, if they don’t appropriately chew, their teeth can get overgrown, causing big-time issues. They have what are called incisors. Incisors are teeth that continually grow and are a trait found in other rodents such as rats, mice, and squirrels.
When it’s time for your little one to pass over the rainbow bridge, you might see if anything is covered—like cremation and burial.
Emergency coverage is a very smart part of any care plan. Anything can happen—suddenly, you could find yourself driving to find an exotic vet after hours. In fact, many things that land you at the vet could be at inconvenient times.
Policies can differ in cost depending on the particular perks you choose when building them. You can generally control the cost a little bit depending on the care plan you want to set up. If you have a particular budget in mind, you can always work with a customer service representative at your chosen insurance company to help you out.
Lifetime vs. Annual Coverage
Oftentimes, companies will not set annual or lifetime limitations for their insurance policies.
Since pet insurance isn’t always an option for every owner, there are other options to save you money on vet care.
Wells Fargo Health Advantage
Wells Fargo Health Advantage is a secured payment card with an allotted amount, varying from person to person. You apply like a credit card, and when you’re approved, you can use this Health Advantage card to pay for veterinary expenses or receive discounts, especially for the unexpected.
Pet Assure is a company that is definitely trying to help curb the vet care costs for all animals, including rabbits. You can receive discounts on tons of medications and in-house services. You simply enroll at the website, get a card through your employer, and use the discount available at chosen veterinarian’s offices.
You can directly set up your plan.
Lucky for your rabbit, at least one insurance company does offer healthcare coverage for the species. You can look on the website to see what specific coverage options work best for your rabbit.
If your bunny has any pre-existing conditions, you can also discuss this with the company to see if they offer coverage. Also, keep an eye out–more options for rabbits are sure to pop up.
Featured Image Credit: mariesacha, Shutterstock