Pet Care: Injuries and Health Insurance

BlogHer Original Post

Does the prevalence of the dog park help or hurt?

Here's the dog park issue: You have to be careful that you don't over do it. Certainly, a tired dog is an obedient dog but you want to make sure you don't over do it when you're having a walk or a run. Unfortunately, a big problem right now with pets is obesity, which causes a lot of problems with limbs. You have pets in the house all day long while the pet parent is at work and when they come home, they are tired. They feel guilty so they give them treats but no exercise.

They usually get in to trouble when they are bored. I just talked to one of my co-workers, she's got an Italian Mastiff, and the dog ate a whole corner off our office coffee table. I'm not sure what the reason for that is.

Thoughts on letting the dog sleep in the bed? We recently had a big debate about this on BlogHer.

Oh, I'll bet. I know that 43 percent of pet parents let their dogs sleep with them. I always say, "If your dog is spooning you in bed, you need pet insurance."

What's the best reason to have pet insurance?

Other than preventative care, probably being prepared for a worse-case scenario - the same reason you have insurance for yourself or your family.

I'll give you an example. When Pozie comes in to the office, a Neapolitan Mastiff, she can put 4 or 5 tennis balls in her mouth at once. The other day, she swallowed one, it was $4,300 to the emergency center - they had to cut her stomach open. This was something that started out as cute. And this happened at our pet insurance office! That's the irony. One minute she's in Jen's office, screwing around, and then suddenly she looks strange.

So, you've got an open dog policy at Healthy Paws?

Yes, but we never have more than three dogs in the office at once. We keep a schedule for everyone's dogs. It's not meant to be a doggie daycare or a distraction but it's fun knowing I can always visit with a dog around the office.

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More random pet injury stories:

Mittens: This Himalayan kitty was brought in for vomiting. While ultrasounding for biopsy they found foreign object - it was a star christmas ornament off the tree! Cost: $5,070

Princess Toadstool: The 2-year-old Beagle-Schnauzer mix jumped off the couch on New Years Day and separated the growth plate in her right front leg. She wore a cast for six weeks. Cost: $584

Kasey: A 7-year- old mixed breed dog had diarrhea and vomited once. She was seen by her vet who initially thought she had endometriosis or a pyometra (uterine infection). Surgery revealed that Kasey had endometriosis of the uterus and also had two testicles! Kasey was a doggie hermaphrodite. Cost: $914

Boo Kitty: BK is a 15-year-old kitty who had a sudden change in behavior beginning in the summer of 2012. She was becoming aggressive and having other minor facial twitches. She was referred to a neurologist and an MRI showed a mass immediately dorsal to the sella truce, the bone that protects the pituitary gland. Her pet parents decided to do brain surgery and remove the mass. It has been about two months and she is recovering well. Cost: $8,652. Said Rob: "Brain tumors are rarely diagnosed in companion pets, let alone surgery being performed to remove them. I thought it was amazing how a cat of Boo Kitty's age survived all of this with a bunch of fight left in her!"

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Have you ever purchased pet insurance for your beloved beastie? If so, why? And did it prove to be a wise investment?

Also, please share your strange animal injury stories - we KNOW you got 'em.

TripleWoof,

~Heather Clisby

BlogHer Section Editor, LIFE & GREEN; Proprietor, ClizBiz and Second Chance Ranch

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