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By: Dr. Jack Stephens

As promised, we want to keep you updated as we learn more information about the pet food recall. Below are some of the things we have learned and information specifically for our policy holders, as well. We are also working on information to help you change your pet’s diet, if you have been feeding one of the recalled products, and will continue updating you as we learn new information. For more information on the recall itself, call Menu Foods at 1-866-895-2708.

-Pets Best Insurance is receiving claims for kidney damage.
-Veterinarians are treating more cases of kidney damage as now being reported in the leading veterinary network.
-Preliminary estimates of affected pets may be low and requires a national reporting network. No one yet knows the magnitude of the problem, but the potential offending agent in the pet food could cause significant kidney failure in thousands of pets who ate the food. The longer they were ingesting the offending food, the worse the damage, though the specific cause is still not known.

-Kidney damage can occur slowly. Symptoms and damage may be progressive or cause acute illness if larger doses of the offending ingredient are given or if the pet is older or in poor health.
-Symptoms will depend on a host of factors, such as amount and time span of the toxin introduced into the pet, age, health, how quickly the toxin is removed, and how quickly treatment is initiated.
-Look for lack of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, weight loss, listlessness, increased urination and drinking water excessively. -A simple blood test is the first and best solution to determine if your pet has any kidney damage.
-If your pet is older, the damage can become more irreversible.
-Your veterinarian can collect necessary samples and interpret your pet’s kidney function.
To date the pet food in question is only from certain “wet” pet foods, no dry pet food is known to be involved.

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We have also been receiving calls from our policyholders about coverage and want to assure customers who have questions about whether or not their medical bills will be covered.

-Will cover any kidney damage that developed from exposure after your enrollment.
-Will pay 80% after the deductible, up to the per-incident limit of $2,500 or $7,000, whichever you chose at enrollment.

For those of you who signed up for the additional wellness coverage, your wellness coverage will
-Provide $ 35 for a wellness exam.
-Provide $ 60-100 for blood panel, which includes the kidney function (depends on your particular state coverage).
-Provide $ 25 for a urinalysis test.

Wellness benefits provide much more per year, however, these tests are pertinent to this issue if you have the wellness coverage and simply want to have your pet tested as a precaution.

PETS BEST WILL ALSO SUBROGATE (HELP YOU COLLECT) ANY CO-PAYMENT AND YOUR DEDUCTIBLE FROM THE PET FOOD MANUFACTURER THAT IS OVER AND ABOVE OUR 80% PAYMENT OR PER-INCIDENT LIMIT. We will be providing subrogation forms should you wish our help. Do keep any proofs of purchase, including store receipts and can or pouch labels.

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