Family’s fury as insurance company won’t pay for operation on hermaphrodite dog

A pug owner says he is furious after being told by his insurance company that they won’t pay for an operation on his hermaphrodite dog.

Dean Brazil, 38, slammed Direct Line after it told him he would have to pay £1,500 to remove Nala’s penis because it pre-dates his insurance premium.

Mr Brazil, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, said the company was ‘cruel’ for refusing to pay for the operation which vets said would be best for the dog’s health.

The father-of-seven said: ‘Under no circumstances did we at any point leading up to first vet appointment have any knowledge that Nala was hermaphrodite.

‘We had not even heard of the condition before this day. We feel Direct Line has been unfair in its assumptions and has left our pet in great jeopardy.’

Mr Brazil and his family were shocked to be told that Nala the pug had a penis, vagina and ovaries which could put her health at risk and vets said an operation to remove her penis would be best.

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But Direct Line said they wouldn’t pay for the operation or three x-rays costing £900, despite the family paying £266.56 a year for their insurance premium.

‘I can’t afford it. I have seven children. Direct Line’s assumption is that the condition was pre-existing. Their refusal to pay for the operation is cruel,’ he said.

Retail supervisor Mr Brazil said his seven children, aged four to 21, adore Nala, and see her as a female.

He added: ‘When my wife came back from the vet, she said, “You are not going to believe it”. She told me Nala was a hermaphrodite and it didn’t register.

“I thought “what the hell is that?”. I was quite shocked.

‘We would never want to get rid of her. She’s beautiful, so laid-back and friendly. She’s a lovable dog.’

A spokesman for Direct Line said: ‘Any illness, disease or condition the pet may have or have contracted prior to taking the policy out is not covered.

‘Even though Nala’s treatment happened after the start date of the cover and her owners were unaware of the condition, it existed before the cover was bought.

‘While we understand Mr Brazil’s frustration, this is not an uncommon exclusion or condition of UK pet insurance policies.’

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