Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Skin Test Details

Since a few people asked about what was included in Maya's skin test. Here's a copy of the test results. There are quite a few 1s and 2s, but the vet said those are fine.

On the bright side, the patch of fur that got shaved off is growing back in. If I didn't mention it myself, no one actually noticed it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pet Insurance - Year 2

This is a follow-up post to my previous one about pet insurance. Sadly, it's not as positive.

After a year without any claims, Maya's 2nd year premium increased from $580 to $793. I was really shocked when I saw the quote, especially since Maya wasn't even 5 years old.

A nice Shiba owner, who originally recommended PetPlan to us, helped contact their customer service and voice our complaints. They were quick to respond, but said there was nothing they can do to lower the price unless we pick a plan with less reimbursement level. Well, that kind of defeats the purpose, right?

After some debate, we still paid the high premium. Since we got some discounts the first year, I hope the big increase is just a one time thing. If the price keeps going up at this rate, I will seriously have to reconsider whether it's really worth having the insurance. We'll see in a few months.

To be clear, I have read posts online about which insurance will be "worth it", as in whether their expected "return" will be more than the money they paid. Like I mentioned in my other post, insurance companies are not charity and they are here to make money, so for most of us, it will never be "worth it", and I am totally fine with that. If Maya can grow old without ever needing to file a claim, I am totally fine as well. What I don't like, is the steep price increase that caught me by surprise. Perhaps if the insurance company can lay out a price projection for next 10 years, I would have been a much happier customer.

Anyhow, Maya was not impressed.

Link to my previous post: Pet Insurance (Jan. 10, 2014)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Skin Test Results and Atopica

After the round of steroid and antibiotics treatment, Maya was feeling much better. Around mid-April, we took Maya back to the dermatologist for an allergy skin test. Well, that was one of the fastest way to waste $$$$$. 20 minutes after they sedated Maya and shaved off a patch of her beautiful fur, the result came back all negative. So we were back to where we were 3 years ago.

Customized immunotherapy is no long an option. As for RESPIT (another type of immunotherapy that uses general allergens in the area, so no need to pin point the allergens causing troubles), the doctor thinks that's just adding random allergens in Maya's body, and blew off the idea. Then, she denied giving us Apoquel. She said the meds hasn't been out long enough and there could be unknown side effects. Somehow I feel like she said so only because she was out of stock.

Once again, Maya was put back on Atopica, which I hate. The possible side effects really worries me. However, on the other hand, I need to consider her quality of life. Pure holistic treatment was not taking us anywhere, and we just couldn't let her suffer anymore. It feels giving in and taking the easy way out, but we've spent 3 years trying to find something that works. How many more 3 years will she have to let us "experiment"?

So far, Maya's on Atopica once every 3 days for almost 2 months. She has been doing well, but May and June were always her "good months", so we'll have to wait till August to see. Meanwhile, I still haven't given up on finding a more natural approach. And hopefully, the "good things" we are providing her and the good mood she's in, can help combat some of the negative effects of the drugs.