A high veterinarian bill could take hundreds, even thousands of dollars out of your pocket if your pet becomes very sick. But there is assistance available in the form of pet insurance. Some veterinarians say this is a good alternative for treating your pet. It could even help prolong their life. Doctor Laura Russell with East Care Veterinary Service in Greenville says the owner is responsible for paying the veterinarian up front, and then depending on what your policy covers, your independent insurance company will reimburse you for the services. Pet insurance is sold through private companies. Experts say they won't cover pre-existing conditions or birth defects.