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What did that doggy eat?!

Posted on: August 23rd, 2011 by

An owner tries to stop a dog with pet insurance from eating a toothbrush.

Posted by: H.R.
For Pets Best Insurance

It’s no surprise that pet owners want their companions to be healthy. And with the advancements in veterinary science and research, our pets are now able to live longer, happier and healthier lives. But many of the life-enhancing and often life-saving procedures are complex and very expensive. Pet owners who opt to purchase pet insurance plans often find that their financial burden is alleviated when their pet becomes ill or injured.

Many of the top pet insurance companies report certain pet health conditions/injuries ranking as the most expensive to treat. Gathering data from subscribers’ claims, they’ve determined the average costs for these procedures. Many pet owners can’t believe that they might have to pay more than $1,000 for a single pet health issue. But the reality is that often the total vet bill may be even higher.

Ingesting Foreign Objects
Stomach and intestinal problems resulting from ingesting foreign objects are some of the most costly pet accidents or injuries that owners experience. Foreign object ingestion covers any item that a pet consumes that is not food. Even small things swallowed by pets can cause serious and even fatal internal injuries.

You’ve probably caught your dog trying to eat something he shouldn’t, and many dogs will eat some unbelievable things. One vet reported a dog that ate an entire bed sheet! Another common item dogs seem to frequently ingest are rocks. Though cats are less likely to eat something just because it’s there, they can easily swallow string, bits of their toys and even plants or other decor.

Symptoms of Ingestion
The most obvious symptoms that your pet has eaten a foreign object are lack of appetite, vomiting (even after water) and diarrhea. Diarrhea can be a sign that his intestines are blocked. He may look unwell. If you think your pet has ingested something harmful, get him to the vet ASAP– if you have dog or cat insurance, foreign body removal can cost far less.

Diagnosis
Your vet will first feel your pet’s abdomen for obstruction. If a foreign object is a possibility, X-rays will show some objects, but other items like plastic and cloth may not be visible. Sometimes an ultrasound may even be required to make the final diagnosis. In the worst cases, exploratory surgery is needed.

Treatment
Sometimes by inducing vomiting, the object will come up if it’s still in his stomach. Items can also be removed with an endoscope. Sometimes, if the item has moved to the intestines, abdominal surgery may be necessary.

Prevention
Make sure your pet has appropriate, safe toys, put them away when not in used and check them often for missing pieces. Obviously, pick things up off the floor that you wouldn’t want your dog to ingest.

Cost
Vet costs can vary depending on location as well as the severity of the foreign body diagnosis– but can often be upwards of $1,900.

For more information about how dog and cat insurance can help you afford the best healthcare for your pet, visit Pets Best Insurance.

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