Cat-upuncture brings alternative pet therapy debate to a head

Cat-upuncture brings alternative pet therapy debate to a head

May 04, 2018

With novel pet treatments on the rise, pet insurance specialist Aquarium Software says it is worth letting your insurer know if complementary therapy has been recommended for your pet, as these treatments may be covered by your insurance; conversely, not telling your insurer could invalidate your claim if you ignore traditional treatments in favour of alternatives.

Times are changing and some UK insurers do now cover complementary therapies such as physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and acupuncture, but it is worth clearing these treatments with your provider first.

Reports on effectiveness of such treatments are mixed, stemming from differences between complementary and alternative medicine.

Complementary is used alongside conventional medicine, while alternative is often used as a direct replacement.

Hydrotherapy has a history of success in humans and is regularly used to treat racehorses; while alternatives are open to some debate. Humans using alternative medicine for life threatening conditions are statistically twice as likely to die as those who opt for regular treatment, leading Aquarium Software Director, Mark Colonnese to issue an advisory note to pet parents.

“As sophisticated human treatments become available for pets, it was inevitable that complementary therapies would follow,” said Mark.

“57 percent of UK pet parents would consider complementary care and it is already part of some policies.

Technology means treatments can be better assessed and insurers will be interested if they reduce costs associated with long term care,” Mark added.

“Not all therapies are proven however, and not all treatments will necessarily be looked upon kindly by your insurer – you need to talk to your insurer before committing to any treatment for your pet,” said Mark.

Any therapy which can cut the cost of conventional care is going to attract attention and with more policies offering such treatments, the natural assumption is that some treatments must have proven positive effects, in some circumstances.

Intuitive technology allows insurers to assess the validity of complementary treatments by breed and even down to postcode level. 

“Thanks in part to technology, the medical breakthroughs of the last 100 years can now be offered to animals with an ever-increasing degree of certainty of the outcome,” concluded Colonnese.