4 Bizarre Holiday Pet Insurance Claims

My Vet's the Best contest winner, Dr. Kathleen Heneghan of River Grove, Illinois.

Most people look forward to the holiday season, but between purchasing presents, preparing food, and coordinating travel, things can sometimes get a little chaotic. Chances are, the last thing you’re thinking about is what your pets are getting into. Pets Best has received a wide range of surprising claims from pet owners over the years and we’ve selected a few of the most unusual holiday-related claims recently processed.

Below are real pet insurance claims from 4 dogs who really indulged during the holidays:

Costly Croissants

For many, baking is a holiday tradition. From breads to decadent desserts, there’s usually something special in the oven during the holiday season. A 2-year-old Siberian husky named Zoey really bit off more than she could chew when she decided to eat a whole box of frozen croissants. Due to the high amount of yeast in bread dough, a veterinarian induced vomiting and monitored Zoey for hypoglycemia and signs of ethanol toxicity. After a short hospitalization, Zoey was well enough to return to her terrible twos in the comfort of her own home. Pets Best reimbursed Zoey’s parents 90 percent of their veterinary bill after their deductible was met.

Not-So-Cozy Slippers

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Cat Breed Guide: American Wirehair

An American Wirehair cat with pet insurance from Pets Best.

By Dr. Fiona, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the American Wirehair 

Weight: 6-11 lb
Points of conformation: A powerful build with well developed chest, short neck and well muscled legs.  Curly whiskers.
Coat: Dense, wiry, springy short to medium length hairs that crimp and curl.
Color: All are accepted, except for lilac, Himalayan and chocolate.
Grooming needs: Low
Origin: New York, USA
Behavior Traits: Even tempered and funny.

Is an American Wirehair cat right for You?

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2 Common Cat Cancers & What to Watch for

A cat with cancer has pet insurance to help with veterinary bills.By Dr. Tracy McFarland. Dr. McFarland has been a practicing veterinarian for 30 years, focusing exclusively on cats for the past 20 years. She also writes for Pets Best, a cat insurance agency.

Cats tend to hide their illnesses, making it difficult to detect cancers as early as possible. No one wants to admit their pet may have cancer, but the most surefire way to sense an illness is simply to observe. Ultimately, owners know their cat’s daily routine and behavior traits, so keeping an eye out for changes, is encouraged. If you feel there might be something wrong, trust your instincts and schedule an exam with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Two common types of cancer in cats:

Lymphoma
The most common type of cancer found in cats, Lymphoma affects almost every part of the cat’s body including the kidneys, stomach, intestines, liver, spleen and even the spine. Besides weight loss, other symptoms include weakness, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea and swollen or enlarged lymph nodes. The standard treatment is chemotherapy, while that’s not an option for all cats, palliative therapy with injectable or oral cortisone can temporarily help achieve better quality of life for the cat.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This type of skin cancer is most commonly found in white haired cats, because they are more susceptible to significant sun exposure. Symptoms include sores and scratches, typically found on the nose, eyelids, or ears. If diagnosed early, this form of cancer is extremely treatable and is usually cured with surgery. Squamous cell carcinomas can be found in the mouth, which can be much harder to detect. This can occur when a cat is grooming and comes into contact with cigarette smoke particles. Look for signs of drooling, facial swelling, weight loss and difficulty eating.

What to watch for:Read More…

What Breeds Are Your Mutt? Georgie’s Genetic Test Reveal

A mixed breed dog.

In July we asked our over 40,000 Pets Best Facebook fans to share photos and stories of their adopted mixed breed dogs for a chance to win a genetic test in honor of National Mutt Day, which is celebrated bi-annually in both July and December. The winner was a spirited, three-legged dog named Georgie.

Mixed breed dogs are by far the number one insured dog breed with the pet insurance agency, Pets Best, accounting for about 30% of all the dogs insured. Many pet parents guess or assume the breeds of their mutt, but actually discovering what breeds the dog is can be surprising!

Prior to receiving the genetic test, we interviewed Georgie’s pet parent, Lisa, to see what her thoughts were before learning of his results.

What breed(s) do you think Georgie is?
I’m guessing Georgie is a pit bull/Labrador/German shepherd mix. My husband thinks there may be some Rhodesian Ridgeback and my veterinarian is leaning towards Boxer.

When did you get Georgie and do you know anything about his history prior to you adopting him?
Georgie was left in front of the Terre Haute Humane Society, overnight in an outside kennel with his back left paw cut off and no explanation. With the help of community donations and a generous fourth-grader selling t-shirts and raffle tickets, they raised enough money to cover the cost of Georgie’s amputation surgery. He entered foster care, but was still unable to find a home in Indiana. At five months old, he was rescued by S.A.F.E. Sanctuary, here in Minnesota. We then adopted Georgie through PetFinders in 2005.

What are some of your favorite things about Georgie’s personality?
He is so darn happy all the time. He loves everyone and is such a sweetheart. Anyone who meets Georgie falls in love with him. Georgie really loves life on the farm. He enjoys riding in the Kawasaki Mule with me and finding a shady spot in the vineyard while I’m working. He is crazy about broccoli, green beans, and carrots and thinks having his teeth brushed is so much fun, probably because I get excited about it. He also loves to run around in big circles as fast as he can.

How has Georgie impacted your life?Read More…

Dog Breed Guide: Bloodhound

A Bloodhound puppy with pet insurance from Pets Best.

A Bloodhound.

Dr. Marc is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Bloodhound

Height (to base of neck): females 23-25″ males 25-27″
Weight:  females 80-100 lb, males 90-110 lb
Color: Black and tan, liver and tan or red.
Origin: Mediterranean
Coat: Smooth, short and hard hairs with softer texture hair on the ears.
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Energy level: Moderate to high
Exercise needs: Moderate to high

Is a Bloodhound the Right Dog Breed for You?

The bloodhound was bred to follow scents for hunting and they continue to excel in tracking, often used by the military and police force for search and rescue.  They are determined and hardworking.  They tend to be even tempered, docile and can be a little shy.  They are friendly with other dogs and people.  Puppies are highly curious and have been known to eat inappropriate objects.  They are not trust-worthy off leash because of their tendency to follow scents.  They are high energy outside, but tend to be pretty quiet indoors. Bloodhounds are droolers, and can be vocal and prone to howling, baying and whining.

Common Illnesses, Medical Conditions and Accidents for the Bloodhound 

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