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Dog not spayed, owner not eligible for pet insurance coverage

TORONTO — A Toronto dog owner who bought pet insurance for the past seven years says the company that took her premiums didn’t come through when she needed it most.

“I just figured they would cover some of it, or at least three-quarters of it,” Lucy Fava said, referring to life-saving surgery for her dog Coco last winter.

Fava says Coco got sick and was diagnosed with a condition called Pyometra — an inflammation of the uterus.

She says her veterinarians told her the dog — part pug, part Jack Russell terrier — had just hours to live. So she went ahead with the surgery.

The treatment cost to rehabilitate Coco amounted to about $3,500.

Following the procedure, Fava called Pethealth Inc. to discuss repayment.

She says she believed there ought to be some coverage.

But Pethealth denied the claim, citing that Fava was at fault for the infection because she never had Coco spayed.

Pethealth did not return phone calls from Global News, but in its letter to Fava said:

“We are unable to respond to your claim for Coco’s Pyometra as per your selected policy terms and conditions any treatment/surgery relating to the breeding or pregnancy is not available for coverage … this condition is considered preventable and related to breeding or pregnancy …”

Fava says she was never informed during the time she held the policy that certain medical illnesses would not be coverage unless her pet was sterilized.

“It’s personal,” she said. “When you have a pet it’s up to you if you want to have them spayed or not.”

Fava says she’s happy Coco has recovered but unhappy the insurance company has declined to share any costs.

 

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