Pete the Dog’s Tale of Survival

After discovering a blog post illustrating Pete the dog’s tough and unique medical journey, I knew his story needed to be shared with the Trupanion family. Jenny MacKay, pet parent to this Basenji Corgi mix, wrote a beautiful, powerful entry telling the fateful story of Pete – and her husband and she as they committed themselves fully to their dog’s recovery.

I want to take this opportunity to highlight a few particulars from her post and then send you the MacKay’s way to read about their experience directly.

Pete and the MacKays

Being Diagnosed with IMHA

Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) is a rare, dangerous and minimally understood disease in the veterinary world. Pete was diagnosed with IMHA in late 2011.

What is IMHA exactly?

  • The body’s immune system goes after its own red blood cells, disabling and destroying them
  • Loss of too many red blood cells means the body loses the necessary oxygen to sustain life
  • Symptoms include yellow gums and eyes; dark, pink or red urine; extreme lethargy; and lack of appetite (among others)
  • 75% or more of cases lack a definite point of causation or event that triggered IMHA
  • 4 of every 5 pets with IMHA do not survive the first 6 months
  • No cure currently exists – only medications to attempt to control the disease

It is a scary prospect for one’s beloved pet to be seemingly healthy in one moment and gravely ill the next. That was the case for Pete. His health deteriorated rapidly and unexpectedly within a matter of hours. Thankfully, his owners’ unwavering support, coupled with superlative veterinary assistance and a no limit plan from Trupanion, meant he got the best care possible on every day of his journey. Learn more about IMHA here.

True Support

It is incredibly heartening to see Trupanion’s mission of comprehensive pet health validated by the words of pet parents out there. Jenny MacKay said,

“We owe our ability to give Pete all the medical attention he needed to our Insurance provider, Trupanion… They reimbursed us quickly so we could fund the next course of treatment.”

We are grateful we could do our part in the greater network of support for Pete to make sure he got the coverage necessary to make an eventual recovery. Our coverage is intended for circumstances just like theirs – the unexpected, financially burdensome illnesses or injuries.

The MacKays are a true testament to the love and dedication people can exhibit for their pets – which prove to be much more, an indispensable part of the family really. Pete is lucky to have such wonderful owners.

Please take a moment to read the unabridged, firsthand story of Pete the dog’s inspiring survival over at House of Petethe MacKay family’s website – under
“IMHA – Pete’s Story.”

3 Responses to Pete the Dog’s Tale of Survival

  1. Geroge says:

    Do not waste your money. They. Increase the rates ech year. In three years the rate doubles. The nicle and dime every claim. Save your money and put it in he bank for your animal. You will be better off.

  2. Jenny says:

    I have been a Trupanion client for over 3 years. Yes, the rates have increased – but minimally. It is important that with each increase we’be also received an increase in services. The total invoice for Pete’s first year struggle with IMHA was over $25,000. It is not possible for the vast majority of us to save that money and keep for emergency vet care. We received 80% back from Trupanion… pretty amazing in my books!! And Pete will be on medication for IMHA for the rest of his life – meds are covered by Trupanion at 90% return. Not having pet insurance is like deciding not to have health insurance for your child. Is it worth the risk? Not to me… after this experience I’ll never opt out of pet insurance.

  3. Diane Benson says:

    I also have a dog who has survived IMHA. Maggie, a Border Collie/English Shepherd mix, became gravely ill with IMHA in May 2012 at only 2 1/2 years old. After five days hospitalization and two blood transfusions, and numerous months of drug therapy (at one point 16 pills a day), she has now been weaned from all medications, and is now acting like a normal, happy, healthy Border Collie again. In one month we will celebrate her one year anniversary of surviving, and we know every day that we are blessed with a special dog. We did not have any pet insurance, and had to dip deeply into savings and credit cards to pay for her care. Now, we can get insurance, but they won’t cover pre-existing conditions, so what is the point?

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