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Trupanion Blog

Trupanion's Blog is dedicated to help educate people with pet insurance and pet health information, but more importantly, to have fun!

Four-Pound Puppy Undergoes Two Surgeries

Four-Pound Puppy Undergoes Two Surgeries“I noticed my 9-month-old, 4 lb, black-and-white Chihuahua puppy, Mojo, was not eating his normal portions and seemed depressed. I took him to my local veterinarian, Dr. Clark of Bay Hills Animal Hospital on February 28. She examined Mojo and took x-rays. He was dehydrated and sensitive to any pressure on his stomach. The x-ray revealed an obstruction and gases in his stomach. Dr. Clark sent me to the Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic so he could be further tested.

At the clinic, they immediately put him on fluids to ensure that he didn’t develop sugar shock, which is common in Chihuahuas. They were hoping that the fluids would allow the blockage to release. However, this did not happen. So surgery was the only alternative for Mojo.

Mojo’s surgery was very extensive due to the severity of the blockage. He had 6 inches of intestine removed because the blockage could not be cleared. After surgery, he looked as though he was improving, but then made a turn for the worse. Again, my husband and I had to agree to a second surgery for Mojo. This time they discovered that a portion of the intestine that had been cut and sewn together had died. The surgeon removed the dead tissue and sewed up the intestine again. Mojo received a couple of staples and stitches. Now the healing needed to begin. He had to stay in the hospital for a week and the dollar signs were adding up. But we knew Trupanion would assist us with the costs.

Today, Mojo is eating on his own and is starting to gain weight, and is anxiously waiting to play with his siblings. Thank you, Trupanion, for your help and kind words during our puppy’s recovery.”

Protecting Cats & Dogs in Hot Cars: A Veterinarian’s Perspective

Dogs in Hot CarsOn July 24, a new law goes into effect in Washington to protect pets from some of the dangers of being left unattended in a vehicle—whether that be excessive heat or cold, or lack of ventilation or water. Under the new law, police officers will have the authority to rescue dogs and cats from unattended vehicles and will not be liable for damages caused.

The conversation about leaving cats and dogs in hot cars is especially prevalent now, with record-breaking summer temperatures and the dangers of heat stroke in dogs on our minds.

Expert Testimony: Leaving Dogs in Hot Cars

Dr. Steve Weinrauch, Trupanion’s Chief Veterinary Officer, shared a few thoughts with us about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars, and the benefit of this new law. Here is what he had to say:

“Almost every summer I unfortunately have to react to the heat stroke of a family pet who was left in a car. In spite of the best emergency care, these cases often lead to tragedy. Nobody thinks that it could be their family until it’s too late.

Bottom line— if you wouldn’t be comfortable in a parked car with the windows cracked, neither would your pet. Leave your pet at home.

In my experience, most people understand the consequences of leaving a dog in a car on a 90 degree day. It’s the 70 to 80 degree days that catch people off guard.

For example, a few years back, on an 80-degree partly sunny day I was called by a local business manager who asked that I check on a service dog in a car in front of her business. By the time the dog was removed from the car, his core temperature was 112. The normal range is between 99 and 102.5. Four hours and $5,000 later, the dog’s systems completely shut down and she died in the specialty hospital. I’m hoping that by discussing this now, someone can avoid the grief later.

If we are talking about what to do about heat stroke, it’s often already too late. The best ways to prepare for these cases are to avoid the situation and to get medical insurance for your dog or cat before something happens.”

States That Say No to Keeping Pets in Hot Cars

Prior to Washington, just 17 states have passed laws protecting dogs from being trapped in hot cars, and only 15 allow law enforcement to enter a vehicle. These states include the following:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

If you do see a pet left in an unsafe vehicle, there are a number of things you can do, like contacting the owner or law enforcement and staying with the pet until help arrives. If you live in one of the U.S. states listed above, keep an eye out for unlucky pets trapped in hot cars this summer, and help keep our furry companions safe.

Click here for more tips on how to keep your pet safe in the summer months. For more information on medical insurance for your dog or cat, visit our pet insurance page and get a quick quote!

Foxtails: How to Keep Your Pet Safe

foxtails in dogsIt’s peak season for foxtails on the western coast of the United States and Canada, and every pet owner should be aware of their harmful effects on pet health. These seeds are barbed—like fish hooks—and can latch on to your cat or dog’s fur. Once embedded in the fur, foxtails can move into your pet’s skin, nose or ears, leading to serious infections. With some terrible luck, foxtails can impact sensitive organs and even be fatal.

A Little Lemon Gets All the Care She Needs

A Little Lemon Gets All the Care She Needs“Chai is our little lemon dog. We rescued her from a shelter at 4 months. Working in a specialty hospital, I saw so much heartache, especially relating to lack of funds. I couldn’t have that for my “fur babies.” I also had the inside scoop on which company took care of their clients the best, having seen the hassles owners suffered with different insurance companies. I have fought with numerous other insurance companies for many clients. I never once had to fight with Trupanion. Trupanion was not only the best choice, it was the greatest choice we ever made. It feels like they are in it for the same reasons we are: not money, but animal care.

Chai has had a retained deciduous canine removed, she’s urinary incontinent, and she has allergies. Trupanion has taken care of her diagnostics, medications, and procedures so we can focus on her happiness. Her most recent incident involved her running under our deck and creating a 4-inch laceration along her side. Her bill for the repair was $1,000. Trupanion covered 90% after our deductible. All 4 of our animals have coverage with Trupanion and whenever people ask for a recommendation I only ever have one answer. Don’t take chances with unreliable companies. Animals get hurt and get sick just like we do. Make sure your finances are your last worries when you face an emergency. Thanks Trupanion, from all of us.”

July 2015 Trupanion Giveaway: #SummerPaws

SummerPawsGiveaway (July 20-24): #SummerPaws

Summer time is such a fun time to be a pet owner. Whether you are spending time at the beach, in the park, exploring the city, or just hanging in the backyard, we want to see your pet having fun in the sun!

To enter, post a new photo with a caption telling us how you and your pet enjoy the summer and be sure to use #SummerPaws. All entries, limit one per person, will be put into a random shuffle. One randomly selected winner will receive a bag of Zuke’s dog treats. Entries accepted until 12pm PST on Friday, July 24, 2015. Winner will be chosen and announced on Friday, July 24, 2015.

How to enter:

  1. Snap a photo of your pet and post it to Twitter, Instagram, or the Trupanion Facebook wall with a caption telling us how your pet enjoys the sun. Include the hashtag #SummerPaws and tag @trupanion
  2. Alternate entry: if you do not use social media (or if your account is “private”), please email your entry to socialmedia@trupanion.com

Disclaimer: No purchase necessary. Entry method via e-mail. Giveaways are open to residents of the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Limit: 1 entry per user. Duplicate entries will not be counted. Trupanion employees are excluded from this drawing. All winners will be contacted via e-mail. Winners are selected randomly via Random.org. Chances of winning are based on participation. By entering the contest you are agreeing that Trupanion can use all or a portion of your entry in any company materials, including but not limited to company website and blog. For a winners list for any giveaway, please contact us by emailing socialmedia@trupanion.com. Your privacy is important to us. Please review Trupanion’s Privacy Policy. © 2015 Trupanion. All rights reserved.