ANAHEIM, Calif., May 30 /PRNewswire/ — Pets need health insurance, not only for the most common ailments, but also for some of the most extraordinary. To demonstrate that fact, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI)combed through its claims to find the top ten list of most unusual claims in the year 2000. Fortunately for these pets, their owners had purchased Veterinary Pet Insurance policies.

“While some of these cases may seem humorous in retrospect, we have to remember that, at the time, they were real emergencies for the pets and their owners,” says Jack Stephens, DVM, founder and Chief Executive Officer of VPI.”The lesson to be learned is that pets can get themselves into an amazing variety of dangerous predicaments. From what we can tell so far, 2001 is going more smoothly for this group.”

Case #1: Chilly Dog

With guests on the way and meal preparation in high gear, no one noticed Rex, the wily Yorkshire Terrier climb into the refrigerator (perhaps disguised as Yorkshire pudding). By the time he was discovered, the well-chilled pooch had managed to nosh half the family’s holiday ham.

Diagnosis: Pancreatitis from overindulgence. Hypothermia from excess refrigeration.

Case #2: Dream Kitty

Think you have wild dreams? Stuffie, a Himalayan cat, was catnapping on a window ledge when she suddenly awoke and jumped straight up in the air. Too straight, unfortunately, because as gravity kicked in and she hurtled down to the floor, her back paws smacked against the ledge.

Diagnosis: Two broken paws.

Recommendation: No more catnip before bedtime.

Case #3: Pane and Suffering

What’s a dog to do? Cora, an Alaskan Malamute, was walking along minding her own business, when she saw a cat sunning itself in a house window. To any normal, red-blooded American pup, this is an invitation to playtime.

Diagnosis: Severe lacerations from crashing through the window.

Case #4: Nailed

Enu, a Yorkshire Terrier, took “sleeping at the feet of his master” a step too far when he climbed into his owner’s work boot for a little snooze. Not realizing his puppy was in there, the owner tried to pull on his boot.

Diagnosis: Scratched cornea from owner’s toenail.

Case #5: Stick-to-it-tiveness

While chasing a rabbit through the desert, one determined Border Collie named Jesse zigged when he should have zagged.

Diagnosis: Severe lacerations on nose, face and body from an encounter of the cactus kind.

Case #6: Getting a Seasonal Glow

Every year, a brightly lit tree stands in the living room. And those electrical cords from the strings of lights are mighty tempting to dogs and cats alike. But curiosity nearly got the best of VPI-insured Honey. The orange Tabby’s shocking discovery nearly dimmed everyone’s holiday.

Diagnosis: Severe burns.

Near diagnosis: Electrocution.

Case #7: One Tough Chew

Cabot, the Beagle wasn’t sure: Was it a chew toy or was it a rawhide? Neither. It was a metal pipe.

Diagnosis: Broken jaw.

Case #8: Rear-ender

Chasing cats is normal for dogs. Chasing cats and running into cars is not. Tockey, the chocolate Laborador Retriever was so focused on getting the neighbor’s cat that he didn’t notice a car coming down the street. Fortunately, the car stopped. Unfortunately, Tockey didn’t.

Diagnosis: Soft tissue trauma and multiple lacerations.

Strong recommendation: Switch to fetching tennis balls in the back yard.

Case #9: It Was Raining Cats and Dogs

“when I slipped and fell in a Poodle. Only in this case, it was on a Bichon Frise.” Yes, sad to say, a New Yorker was walking little Snowflake one dark and stormy day when he slipped and fell right on top of her.

Diagnosis: Broken leg (the dog). Severe remorse (the owner).

Case #10: Sheer Madness

Dogs insured by VPI have ingested a menu-long list of delicacies –tinsel, prom dresses, golf balls, pagers, needles and thread, hearing aids, human medications, drywall, snail bait, anti-freeze and small flashlightbatteries. But Max the Italian Greyhound hit a snag when he ate an entire pair of pantyhose (taupe, control top, reinforced toe, tall).

Diagnosis: Gastrointestinal obstruction.

Other likely, but ruled-out, diagnoses: Intestinal perforation, indigestion.

Case note: Max reoffended a few months later with yet another pair of pantyhose. Owner extremely grateful for VPI coverage.

Claims Outcome

The cost of veterinary care submitted as claims in these cases ranged from$105 to $1275 per incident. Luckily, VPI was there to help with the treatmentand surgery costs — allowing veterinarians to perform immediate care, while providing emotional and financial relief to pet owners. Best of all, each of these pets has made a full recovery.

Doing What Comes Naturally

“The dogs and cats we share our homes with are intelligent, playful and sometimes obedient. But they’re always mischievous,” notes Stephens. “The fact is, most claims received are from pets doing what comes naturally.”

Fortunately for pet owners, Stephens says VPI covers more than 6,400 medical conditions related to accidents and illnesses. “Pet owners can’tpossibly predict the predicaments their pets will get themselves into,” he adds, “but knowing their pet is protected provides peace of mind.”

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

Founded in 1980 by Dr. Jack Stephens with the support of 750 independentveterinarians, Veterinary Pet Insurance, Anaheim, Calif., is the nation’s number-one medical insurance for dogs and cats. Veterinary Pet Insurance policies make the miracles of veterinary medicine affordable by covering more than 6,400 medical treatments for accidents and illnesses, with optional coverage available for preventive and routine care. Cat and dog policies are licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Avian coverage is now being approved in all states. Exclusively endorsed by the American Humane Association, Veterinary Pet Insurance enjoys an 82 percent renewal rate and has issued more than one million policies. Veterinary Pet Insurance policies are underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. in California. Elsewhere, policies are underwritten by National Casualty Co., an A+15 rated company.

For more information on insuring their pets, consumers may call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit the Veterinary Pet Insurance Web site.

SOURCE: Veterinary Pet Insurance



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