One of the best things about the Christmas season is all the heartwarming tales of holiday miracles we tell this time of year. At Petplan, we hear these stories every day – accounts of pets who have survived all kinds of medical mishaps and come out on top. With today being Christmas Day, I’d like to share some of our favorite “Tails of the Unexpected” from Petplan family members – starting with my own!
1-year-old Domestic Shorthair
pet parent: Dr. Jules Benson
unexpected tail: $850 for x-rays + observation
Superstitious? Then I’ve got a tail for you. According to Petplan claims data, orange cats are nearly twice as likely to have an accident than black cats, who are usually thought to be unlucky. Jethro, my orange domestic shorthair, is no exception. One afternoon, Jethro nudged open a top-floor window, sauntered onto the windowsill, lost his footing and fell four stories to the sidewalk below. Luckily, I was nearby, so help was immediately at hand. Jethro was shaken and obviously in pain, so I took precautionary X-rays, which revealed a close call – but thankfully – no permanent damage. Jethro took it easy for the next few days while I made sure he hadn’t suffered any additional injury, and with some rest and TLC he recovered in full. And you can be sure these days I double-check to make sure my windows are locked!
11-year-old Yorkshire Terrier
pet parent: Vernon Hill, Petplan Chairman
unexpected tail: $5,400 for surgery to remove 11 teeth
What's for dinner? When you are Duffy, the top dog to banking guru Vernon Hill and wife Shirley, a cold can of dog food just doesn't cut it. Duffy's favorite meal? Kobe beef (preferably fillet) followed by dulce de leche ice-cream. When a routine visit to the vet found periodontal disease, Duffy's four-star dinners took a hit. Yes, even the most pampered pooches are susceptible to dental disease, especially in their later years. As a result, Duffy had to have 11 teeth pulled, leaving the Hill's with a $5,400 cavity in their wallet – which, thanks to Petplan, has been refilled. It took Duffy a week or so to return to his "normal" diet, but now he's back to scampering the halls happily and healthily. With regular teeth cleaning and annual dental visits, Duffy's oral health should return to top form – just in time for dinner!
10-year-old Maine Coon mix
pet parent: Staci Welsh, Petplan Veterinary Services Manager
unexpected tail: $3,946 for feline asthma and otitis externa
When it comes to aquatic interests, cats and water usually don’t mix. But that’s not so with Riley. “He’s not shy around water,” laughs Staci. “He’s even hopped into the bath before!” While Riley doesn’t mind getting wet behind the ears, he didn’t enjoy dealing with an ear condition called otitis externa (swimmer’s ear) that he developed last summer, which led to almost $1,000 in vet bills. It wasn’t Riley’s first swim with health issues. Two years ago, he developed a persistent cough, which caused Staci concern. Having spent over 20 years working in a veterinary hospital prior to joining Petplan, she knew it wasn’t a symptom to take lightly. When diagnostics confirmed Riley was suffering from feline asthma, he was given bronchodilators and prednisone, a steroid – both of which Petplan helped cover. Today, Riley is off meds and fully healthy. “He’s the best cat ever,” beams Staci. “It literally says that in his medical records. And after spending so many years without it, I’m so grateful to have pet insurance to help with the big vet bills.”
1-year-old Domestic Shorthair
pet parent: Lauren Grant, Petplan Business Development Associate
unexpected tail: $4,850 for surgery to remove a linear foreign body
When the dog’s away the cat will play… especially with the dog’s toys! One day when Lauren came home from walking Aurora, her nine-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever, she found a rope toy frayed to bits. The prime suspect? Her one-year-old kitty, Olivia. “She’s always been a bit of a chewer,” recalls Lauren, who has lost more than one pair of ear buds to her kitty’s curious taste. “But a dog toy? That was a new one.” A few hours later, Olivia began vomiting up bits of fiber and refused her evening meal, a sure sign something was amiss. After no signs of improvement the next morning, a trip to the vet was in order. X-rays at the local emergency vet revealed strings from the toy stuck in Olivia’s intestines, requiring immediate surgery to remove. “I was so scared for her,” admits Lauren. “She’s a tough kitty, but still.” Thankfully, surgery was successful and the recovery – both from the operation and from the big vet bill as a result – was quick, thanks to Petplan.
From our family to yours, have a safe, happy and healthy holiday!