Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Pug that pooped 100 rocks

The oddest Pet Insurance Claim

Harley the rock-pooping Pug
 He ate 100 rocks, then pooped them out. Ouch

That digestive feat makes Harley the pug one of 12 animal finalists for this year’s title of oddest veterinary health claim. 

The pug’s competition includes Chico the Chihuahua, grabbed by a hungry owl who tried to take Chico aloft; and Eddy the cat, who landed on a hot wood stove while chasing a fly. All 12 competitors survived their injuries.

The public can vote between now and September 20 to decide the winner by going to the website of the contest’s sponsor, Veterinary Pet Insurance. The company, which sells pet health insurance, will bestow its prestigious “VPI Hambone Award” September 21.

The award gets its name from a dog who, while trapped in a refrigerator, ate an entire Thanksgiving ham. Past winners have included Lulu, a hungry bulldog who swallowed 15 pacifiers, a bottle cap and part of a basketball; and Ellie, a Labrador retriever who ate a beehive.

Harley’s owner, Lori Laverdiere, says on VPI’s website that when the pug began emitting rocks she took him to the vet. “I wasn’t aware of how many rocks Harley had ingested until I saw the X-ray. We’re not talking about one or two rocks. Harley’s stomach was half full and his intestines were jampacked.”

The rocks, however, were small; and Harley, with the help of medicine, was able to pass them, thus avoiding surgery.

Harley was lucky - many pets are not.

The top ten surgically removed items from pets stomachs are socks, underwear, panty hose, rocks, balls, chew toys, corn cobs, bones, hair ties/ribbons and sticks. The average cost varies from practice to practice but $1200 to $2200 is the usual range.

Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) is a large pet insurance company. Their data from 2010 shows that they provided coverage for around 2000 foreign body ingestions cases.

More than three million dollars was spent on these surgeries.
The consequences of foreign object ingestion can be expensive and devastating.

Pets, especially puppies, get into all kinds of things. It is important to monitor their activities and be alert to the possibility of intestinal obstruction.

Do you know what your pet has eaten today!!

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