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Trupanion Trends: Dog Ate your Socks Again? Pets’ Erroneous Snacking Leads to Millions in Veterinary Bills

Almost every pet owner has experienced that moment of shock when they realize their pet has eaten something it shouldn’t have. Whether it’s a sock, screw, underwear, rock, or even a toy alien, our pets frequently stick their noses into things they shouldn’t. In veterinary medicine this is referred to as foreign body ingestion, and it is one of the most common conditions we receive claims for. We studied our data on foreign body ingestion and compiled our findings in this report to reveal the truth behind what pets eat, why they eat it, and how much is costs to treat the pet afterward.

4.2-mill-in-Ingestion-claimsAccording to the findings, this erroneous snacking has resulted in over 6,000 claims and a total payout of over $4.2 million toward our customers’ vet bills.

Giving a bone, ball or toy to your pet is often harmless, yet claims for foreign body ingestion continue to increase every year. In 2015 we paid almost 10% more foreign body claims than in 2014.

How to Keep Toxic Human Food from Your Pets


There are many situations where a pet can run into something that could be detrimental to their health. In many cases, one simple step could save your pet from getting into trouble or ingesting a toxin. Despite your desire to share everything with your best friend, it is not always a good idea—and you may be “sharing” more than you bargained for.

Keep Paws off This Palm!

toxic-sago-palmAll parts of sago palms are considered extremely poisonous for cats and dogs — especially the seeds. The plant is commonly found in tropical environments and can be seen in several U.S. states, including California, Texas, and Florida. Sago palms are an extremely popular plant for use in home landscaping — you might even have one in your yard!

How do I Know my Pet Has Eaten Sago Palm?

Within 15 minutes of ingestion, pets can start showing signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as drooling, vomiting, and black tar-like diarrhea, and can soon develop severe liver failure, weakness, tremors, and seizures. Pets that ingest any part of a sago palm need immediate, aggressive treatment by a veterinarian even if they are not exhibiting any symptoms.

In California alone, we’ve seen over 100 claims from policyholders whose pets decided to make a meal out of the palm. And we paid out over $42,000 to help them treat their poor pet’s sago palm poisoning. Sago palm toxicity can cost a pet owner over $7,000 to treat!

Are there Other Plants that Can Poison my Pet?

dog-healthWith spring in our sights, ingestion of poisonous plants is a big concern right now, as many people like to decorate their home with flowers and plants or start sprucing up their yard. Love lilies? Keep a sharp eye on them too if you have a cat — all types of lilies are extremely toxic to our feline friends, even if they just gnaw on a few petals. Other plants to keep your pet away from include oleander and lantana — even the water that oleander sits in can be toxic to pets. Check out our Pet Poison Prevention Guide for other examples of plants that are poisonous for your pet.

It’s important to be prepared if you’re a pet owner in a state where sago palm and other poisonous plants are common. When your pet has an unexpected run in with a toxic plant, medical insurance for your cat or dog can help you cover the veterinary expenses. Get a quote for your pet now to see how Trupanion can be there for you.


Treating the “Down Days”


“When I adopted Raidyn as a wee baby, I knew I was in for an exciting life with him. His personality is so vibrantly infectious. He is mischievous, playful, loving and such a hug bunny. But I noticed as he got older, something was not quite right. He began to have what I call ‘down days’ where he didn’t want to do anything and he would look at me with a look of ‘Why, Mom? Why do I feel bad?’ His veterinarian, Dr. Barnes, was concerned and wanted to find out what was causing these “down days.” So Raidyn underwent a scope and several tests. He was diagnosed with three chronic diseases. IBD, Lymphoplasmacytic enteritis and Eosinophilic gastritis.

It’s been a long road, but we manage it with daily meds and a special diet. He is pretty much his old self most days. He loves to go for car rides, walk on his leash and meet people, and play his heart out. I thank you, Trupanion, for being there for us, not just for the bad days but for every day. Without Trupanion, Raidyn’s quality of life would have been very restricted. Because of Trupanion and Dr. Barnes and his team from Westview Veterinary Hospital, Raidyn will have a good life.”

Susan H.


Powell River, British Columbia
Enrolled: October 2010
Condition: IBD, Lymphoplasmacytic  Enteritis, Eosinophilic Gastritis
Trupanion Paid: $1,222.08

A Blessing in Disguise

black-lab-trupanion-testimonial“Brewer was a gift from Santa for our three boys on Christmas Eve 2012. He truly became our fourth son and the boys’ baby brother.

This past Father’s Day, my husband was playing with Brewer in the backyard with a blower and Brewer kept trying to bite it. When he opened his mouth my husband saw a huge growth in his mouth. We took him to Estrella Veterinary Hospital the next day and they removed it via surgery.

Within a week the growth was back. That same week we received the call that Brewer was diagnosed with oral fibrosarcoma, a very deadly cancer. Our family was devastated.
Thankfully, six months prior to this Brewer ate a chocolate cake resulting in a very expensive veterinary bill. We consider that cake to be our blessing in disguise! Brewer’s doctor suggested Trupanion and it was that moment that we decided to purchase our Trupanion policy.

Without Trupanion, Brewer would be gone today. Trupanion’s policy allowed Brewer to have radio-surgery and chemotherapy at the Veterinary Cancer Group – two very expensive treatments. We are so grateful for Trupanion! They have paid for 90% of his medical costs; the radio-surgery was $14,000 alone! Every employee I have worked with at Trupanion has been incredibly friendly and easy to work with. I share our story with every person I meet that has a pet and tell them to purchase Trupanion!

Thank you, Trupanion – because of you Brewer has a chance at life, which means the world to our boys and our family.”

Corrie B.


San Clemente, California

Enrolled: February 2015
Condition: Cancer
Trupanion Paid: $19,748.56