My name is Kim Shopp. I am a policyholder as well as a Claims Adjuster for Pets Best Insurance and this is my story.
November 20th was just like any other day in my house hold with work, gym time and dinner for myself, my daughter and my dogs, Rex a 6 yr. old Great Dane, and Camilla VonDog, a 2 yr. old Rottweiler. I fed my furry kids their first dinner at the normal time of 3 pm and second dinner (no they’re not Hobbits, just big dogs with multiple food times) around 6 pm.
My Dane Rex had the hiccups and looked “off” to me after his second dinner. I decided to watch him as that wasn’t normal for him. About an hour later, he began to act as if he was going to vomit. I let him out in the back yard. He began to wretch non-productively. I continued to watch him and noticed he still looked uncomfortable and had started to drool uncontrollably. Within another 30 minutes he was pacing around the room and couldn’t lie down and find comfort. I suspected the worst – bloat.
Bloat is a life-threatening condition that occurs when a dog’s stomach distends with gas and fluid. The increased pressure can cause the stomach to rotate and close itself off at both ends, taking the spleen with it (since the spleen is attached to the wall of the stomach.)
Thanks to my experience as a Veterinary Technician, I know Great Danes tend to bloat high up under the rib cage. Rex didn’t look bloated in the stomach area, but when I palpated his stomach, it was very tense and painful. I immediately called my boyfriend for back-up as there was no way Rex could jump in my Jeep in his condition. By the time he got to my house 15 minutes later, Rex crashed.
Worried sick, I rushed him to the emergency vet. They immediately took him back for radiographs, an exam and pain medication. I cried. He’s an old boy and I just knew he had bloated with torsion of his stomach and spleen. The veterinarian came out and informed me that I was correct – and Rex needed emergency surgery to the tune of $1,800. Given that my big guy was very ill and his life-saving surgery would use up all of the Christmas money I had saved, I cried even harder. Then the reality of having pet insurance set in.
Affording the Surgery
I told the doctor to go ahead with the surgery. Thanks to our Pets Best Insurance plan, I didn’t have to choose between saving Rex’s life and telling my 13 yr. old daughter that she couldn’t have a Christmas this year, or telling my old friend and beloved dog good bye just so we could afford to celebrate the holiday. Rex had to go through an operation and spend 2 days in the hospital, but he was alive.
I filed my claim 11/26/12 with Pets Best and it was processed and set to be reimbursed to me two days later. Pet insurance is seriously a win- win. My baby is alive and my daughter will get new bedroom furniture – the only item on her Christmas wish list.