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

Get to the Root of the Problem This National Hairball Awareness Day

Get to the Root of the Problem This National Hairball Awareness Day

Anyone with a cat will know that hairballs are no fun. National Hairball Awareness Day—founded by the National Museum of Health and Medicine—is a great day to hear the hairy details about hairballs and get to the root of the problem.

Cats with long hair or a tendency to groom themselves excessively are especially prone to hairballs but they can happen to any pet. Short-haired cats and even dogs can get hairballs too.

While hairballs are a part of the natural process, frequent hairballs or vomiting can indicate a serious problem, and sometimes, hairballs need veterinary intervention.

According to Trupanion, a company that offers medical insurance for cats and dogs, the average cost for to treat hairballs in cats is $230, and 14% of claims exceed $500. These costly claims are usually related to obstruction complications, when a large clump of ingested hair blocks a cat’s intestinal tract.  These obstructions often require surgery to remove the hairball. Hairballs are the unpleasant by-product of a normal habit. Sometimes, excessive hairballs are caused by underlying problems like anxiety, or obsessive compulsive disorder in cats and may require additional care.

Talk to your veterinarian for tailored advice to keep hairballs at bay. There are many things you can do for your pet to prevent hairballs. Dr. Denise Petryk, our on-site veterinarian, suggests the following:

-Groom your pet regularly—A daily or weekly brushing can be a great way to bond with your pet and reduce the amount of loose hair that can accumulate into a hairball. If your cat has especially long hair and trouble maintaining it, you may want to give them a lion cut, removing much of the excess hair on their body.

-Adjust your pet’s diet—Your veterinarian may be able to recommend a special fibrous diet to help manage hairballs. The diets generally have more fiber and a shape that improves gastric motility and helps clear the digestive tract of hair.

-Use recommended lubricants and remedies like metoclopramide, cisapride, ranitidine, and miralax. These work to lubricate the hair to allow it to pass naturally through the digestive tract but are not effective for every cat. Talk to your veterinarian before giving your cat a hairball remedy.

Nonprofit Series: Helping Families with The Farley Foundation

In 2014, Trupanion members donated over $104,000 to nonprofit animal welfare organizations across the United States and Canada. We’re now asking you to vote for the next nonprofits we should support. Vote through the online poll at Trupanion.com/trugiving. Voting ends May 14, 2015.

The Farley Foundation is a nonprofit Trupanion has donated to for the past several years. They are in the running again to receive donations from our members next year. Here’s a little more about them.

Nonprofit Series: Helping Families with The Farley FoundationEstablished by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) in 2001, the Farley Foundation assists seniors and disabled persons on limited incomes with the necessary treatment of their pets. In 2007, the Foundation expanded its criteria to assist the pets of women at risk of abuse and their children who are participating in OVMA’s SafePet Program. The Farley Foundation honors the human-animal bond and seeks to help those who most benefit from pet ownership.

We asked The Farley Foundation’s Executive Director, Doug Raven, how extra funding from our members would help benefit The Farley Foundation and all of the animals they help. Below is what he had to say.

A Lifelong Companion Gets the Care She Needs

A Lifelong Companion Gets the Care She Needs“I adopted my dog Lucky when she was a year old.  Her previous owner was in the military and she and her family were being transferred to another state. Around that time, I was going through some difficulties. I wasn’t really looking for a dog, but family members suggested that this would be a good opportunity for me to stay busy and have a little dog to keep me company.

Well, Lucky has been keeping me company for 12 years now.  It’s hard to believe how quickly times goes by. Throughout the years she has always been my constant companion through good times and bad.

As Lucky started getting older I worried about her health and the cost of veterinary visits. I decided to purchase medical insurance for her. I called several pet insurance companies, but Trupanion offered me the best coverage for an older dog.

Last December, Lucky was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Since then, she needs daily subcutaneous fluid treatments and blood tests every 3 months.  She also needs to get ultrasounds to check her kidneys. All of these tests are very costly and I don’t know how I would be able to make the payments without Trupanion. Submitting claims are easy and within days I receive payment.

I am very grateful to Trupanion.  You never know what’s going to happen and getting medical insurance for your special family member is so crucial.  Unfortunately, Lucky will need to receive subcutaneous fluid treatments for the rest of her life.  But, it’s comforting to know that Trupanion will be there to help with costs. They will continue to cover costs for as long as it takes.  Thank you Trupanion for all that you have done and continue to do for Lucky.”

Sharyl K.


Lucky
Waipahu, Hawaii

Enrolled: July 2013
Condition: Chronic Kidney Disease and Seizures
Trupanion Paid: $6,637.48

Nonprofit Series: Best Friends, the Beginning of a Miracle

In 2014, Trupanion members donated over $104,000 to nonprofit animal welfare organizations across the United States and Canada. We’re now asking you to vote for the next nonprofits we should support. Vote through the online poll at Trupanion.com/trugiving. Voting ends May 14, 2015.

Nonprofit Series: Best Friends, the Beginning of a MiracleFor so many animals, Best Friends Animal Society was the beginning of a miracle. Best Friends No Homeless Pets Network is in the running for the next nonprofit to support so we caught up with Nathan Measom, Best Friends Animal Society Development Officer, Strategic Partnerships, to learn more  about what the group does and here is what he shared.

Nonprofit Series: The Life-Saving BC SPCA Biscuit Fund

In 2014, Trupanion members donated over $104,000 to nonprofit animal welfare organizations across the United States and Canada. We’re now asking you to vote for the next nonprofits we should support. Vote through the online poll at Trupanion.com/trugiving. Voting ends May 14, 2015.

Nonprofit Series: The Life-Saving BC SPCA Biscuit FundThe BC SPCA’s Biscuit Fund for Medical Care is a nonprofit Trupanion has donated to for the past several years. They are in the running again to receive donations from our members next year. Here’s a little more about them.

The BC SPCA’s Biscuit Fund for Medical Care provides life-saving and important medical treatment for animals in the BC SPCA’s care. This includes any surgeries in emergency situations and common medical treatments such as spaying and neutering, vaccinations or any other treatments required to prepare these animals for adoption and a healthy, happy life.

We asked BC SPCA’s Senior Development Officer, Meredith Beitl, how extra funding from our members would help benefit the BC SPCA and all of the animals they help. Below is what she shared.