Sep 21, 2016

Unplanned time at the vet today

Carmeh has done well the last 1.5 days but this morning shortly after Colin left at 7AM she was out eating grass.  She refused food, special treats or water, she only wanted grass.  Loud sounds emanated from her tummy.  It was obvious that she was in pain.  She could not lie down nor stay still, when she wasn’t outside eating grass she was pacing.

I could not deal with it any longer and called our vet who fit us in within 45 minutes.  The physical exam indicated nothing,  A full blood panel and urinalysis was done.  We should have the results tomorrow.  The question is, is her kibble making her ill or is eating the grass making her ill?  Or ???

Carmeh on the right and Caeli afterh great reu

Carmeh on the right and Caeli after the great reunion after the vet.

Meanwhile for the second day in a row I am not getting much done.  Too many interruptions.  For some reason we got a ton of jobs come in today, one of them very major.  Now to find time to fit these in 😯

Having trouble getting our medical insurance for the trip south.  Turns out that the company that did our insurance all these years has been taken over by another company.  We do not get insurance from departure day till arrival day in April as that would cost us $1688.00.  What we usually do is get insurance from here till we arrive on the Isla and then back again in the spring, usual cost $387.32.  While in Mexico we would just pay for whatever we needed to.  The new company will only insure us until we arrive in Mexico and want us to re apply for the return insurance in March.  They want us to prove that we are healthy to travel in April.  Not sure what to do as I am quite concerned about returning thru the US with no medical insurance. Who knows it they will or will not insure us.  Our broker also sent me this earlier… you guys buy insurance coverage once in Mexico to cover you while there?……. Our office had a client who had a heart attack in Mexico and he was admitted to the hospital and the bill was very expensive and cost over $100,000 to air lift him home after a couple months. He had no medical coverage.  No we don’t have extra insurance in Mexico.  Overall we feel that we are healthy.  However a dear friend said to me earlier this evening that she had no idea that she would end up in a US hospital with an aneurysm.  Before heading to the hospital she called her Canadian insurance company and they told she was covered.  As of today they claim she owes them $17,000.00.

Any and all thoughts and ideas and suggestions would be appreciated!  To be honest I am looking for an insurance company that will insure us heading South for so many days and again heading North for so many days.  Al, ?????   What do folks out there do for travel medical insurance?

The sunset just a few hours ago.

The sunset just a few hours ago.

The refection to the South was spectacular.

The refection to the South was spectacular.

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25 responses so far

25 Responses to “Unplanned time at the vet today”

  1. Kay says:

    Oh the insurance saga… here in the USA it is a huge mess. Some insurance companies now will not cover us as we travel out of our home state unless it is a life/death situation and I was told it may not be covered then either. The Obamacare has really made a huge mess out of it all. I used to pay $149 a month and this year, I have to pay $791 a month for less coverage. They failed to make a illegal for insurance companies NOT to participate in Obamacare, they only made it illegal for us citizens and then fine us on our taxes. Can’t wait to get rid of the whole works. Mexico is extremely costly for healthcare in an emergency, I recommend you have some sort of coverage while there. Years ago, one gal I knew had to remain in Mexico until she paid her hospital bill off. And, here in the state, depending on “who” you have insurance with, depends on the cost you are billed. It is down right insane what has happened here. So many people are saying they are moving out of the USA if Trump is elected I am almost afraid to see election day arrive. I was thinking of going to Germany and hanging out for 4 to 8 years.

  2. Steve says:

    Sadie and Stella eat grass and I have found it does not make a difference if I change the kind or company name of the kibble. Some things I read are “they just like grass” but I’ve always thought they ate grass when they had an upset stomach … I believe that more than just liking grass.

    At times Sadie will literally frantic to get outside and will immediately start eating grass and most of the time that will make her vomit … thus making her feel better.

    I don’t know but do dachshunds get bloat? I doubt it due to their size but with her stomach making noises that sounds like gas build up. In the past my vet has told me to buy the generic brand of gas-x at CVS in case my bloodhounds have gas issues.

    I don’t travel, but I can say this insurance in the USA is a real mess. Luckily I have military TriCare, so that will not help you. I do remember last year that Al had a RV friend that decided not to travel south from Canada due to the large increase in their premiums while traveling a few weeks in the USA.

    I’m a gambler … I’ve been in great health for 64 years but you never know what might happen at anytime, something you and I can attest to since we have been in car wrecks (not our fault) that totaled our cars. You just never know but I hate paying for something I never use.

    • contessa says:

      Lucky you with your travel insurance.

      When Carmeh eat grass she does not vomit. Eventually is comes out of her rectum covered in mucous and often bright red blood.

  3. Al McC says:

    Contessa, I don’t have any direct experience with short term plans for the US, we are fortunate that our retirement benefits cover us completely (pre-existing conditions included!) for 6 months travel outside Canada.

    We have purchased coverage previously from a couple of outfits, Sanderson travel in Lindsay Ontario (877-226-8728) are brokers for a couple of carriers and can give you some answers, they sell Manulife (I would stay away from ML) but represent others as well. Mr. Sanderson himself is the contact so you are talking to the owner.

    I was also thinking about the possibility of trying the Canadian banks for on-line coverage sign ups.

    • contessa says:

      Thanks Al, you always have an idea. Yours was the only one I had time to check out and it is exactly the same as what I found out here in Kelowna.

  4. George Yates says:

    Good luck with the insurance, we pay about $3,500.00 this winter to travel south, just the cost of living this lifestyle.

  5. Maybe just shop around, try blue cross for the entire time out of canada and see what that costs. Unfortunately I agree, not worth taking such a large financial chance not being insured in Mexico either. Each company is totally different. Also try BCAA even if you don’t have a membership they sell out of country medical

    • contessa says:

      We have taken a chance for 13 years in Mexico and something tells me that this year we should ensure for the full 169 days. Thanks for your suggestion. I will call BCAA Monday.

  6. Jean says:

    Hi Contessa,

    I don’t know how you get insurance while you are in Mexico, but medi-pac has a short term policies,
    and you can get an 23 day add on for your trip home.

    • contessa says:

      We do not have insurance while in Mexico. We hope for the best and are willing to pay for whatever happens. I will give Medi Pak a call Monday. Thanks for your input.

  7. Nancy says:

    You might want to talk to Ana Fernandez (bilingual Canadian) at
    Lots of Canadian snowbirds we know use her.

    • contessa says:

      Thank you so very much Nancy. I will be sure to give her a call. Always nice to hear from you. Lets plan on getting together this winter.

  8. Cat says:

    I agree with Steve on the reason dogs eat grass, because my Jack Russell eats grass when his stomach is upset and any time he does that he always vomits. After that he will not eat his regular meal until a couple of hours later. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain though, but you can hear his stomach rumbling when this happens. I have had more dogs than I can remember and, in my experience, this is the way it was with all my grass eaters. Let us know how Carmeh’s tests turn out.

    • contessa says:

      By now you will have of Carmeh’s pancreatitis.

      What is weird it that she eats grass, even in Mexico and never ever throws up. She will graze for 15 minutes at a time and it only ever passes by her rectum. No idea as to the why of it all.

  9. Cat says:

    P.S. I love your sunset pictures! 🙂

  10. Rod & Sylvia says:

    We use BCAA, but with their short term/multi trip policies like we use, I think you have to return to Canada in between coverage periods.
    For example we are purchasing a 90 day multi trip to cover our 130 days down south, but as we plan on heading back to Canada mid winter that works for us. You might want to check and see what their rules are though.

  11. Dee Tillotson says:

    Contessa, I am thinking of four choices of which you may be eligible. 1) In the US, at age 50 we joined AARP (American Association of Retired People). Is there a corresponding association in Canada (CARP). They have good choices for travel medical insurance. 2) I’m sure you and Colin carry homeowner’s insurance and auto insurance. It is more likely than not that these companies have subsidiary companies which are in the business of providing travel medical insurance. 3) You have a large nice motorhome and probably belong to a coach association; some of these associations have affiliate companies which provide travel medical insurance. 4) Are you a member of Costco and shop there in Canada? Here in the US, Costco will sell you travel medical insurance (and will even plan a trip for you and secure reservations out of country, if you wish).

    Since Beach and I are on Medicare here in the US, Medicare will not cover us out of country. Therefore, we secure coverage from our honeowner’s and auto’s insurance company USAA in San Antonio, Texas, through their subsidiary company. Even though we will be floating the Caribbean for only two weeks in 2017, USAA will insure both of us out of country for up to 90 days for $90US. I have asked USAA if we can pay for only two weeks; they said no because 90 days is the least number of days they offer. So, I understand when you indicated that your old insurance company now would not offer intermittant travel medical insurance.

    Dee Tillotson
    Summerville, SC, USA

  12. Deborah Soloway says:

    All insurance is confusing, and travel medical especially so! As Dee suggested, Costco Canada does offer travel medical (click “Services” then “Insurance” from the top menu bar). Coverage is offered through Manulife.
    CARP does offer coverage through Manulife, and is running a promotion through October 12. CARP membership is only $20/year.
    Also, some credit cards offer various types of coverage. For those under age 65, the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card offers Cdn $1million of travel medical insurance for the first 21 days of a trip, at no additional fee. All the major Canadian banks offer travel medical, as does American Express. will allow you to compare quotes from various insurers, AND will explain the different types of coverage. Hospital insurance is one type, and medical evacuation is usually a separate policy; having both types of coverage will cost more.
    Good luck and let us know what you find. And love & snuggles to Carmeh!

    • contessa says:

      Thank you so much for your input. We are 63 and 66 and I have contacted TD already but it is more that others,but not by much. I will try your other suggestions next week.

  13. Peter says:

    Contessa: I have used Medoc for the last 3 years. They are part of Johnson- Royal Sun Alliance. Coverage is for multiple up to 40 day trips out of province, and in my case 5 months in the South during the Canadian winters. Their medical questionnaire(over 60) is not as detailed/restrictive as other companies and the premiums, I have found to be the most competitive. I pay monthly premiums through the year for the annual coverage.
    I have a friend who has been hospitalized in both Mexico and the US, and the bills for the same emergency services have been almost 7 times greater for the US over Mexico. We are talking over 100k in the US. His travel days are now over, as insurers will no longer insure his and his wife’s travels. I would certainly purchase coverage while you are in Mexico, as you never know what could happen to you or Colin, and it is certainly money worth spending now to ensure your future financial security and well being.

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