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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!

Puppy Problems in the First 30 Days

Hank's Pet Insurance Story“We adopted our English Bulldog, Hank, at the end of December, 2013. After a lot of researching for possible health issues from different breeders we found a very good breeder. When we brought Hank home we made an appointment with our veterinarian at Phoenix Animal Hospital. Once Hank was checked out and had his vaccinations, we were checking out with Susan the receptionist and she gave us a brochure about Trupanion’s 30-day certificate. I went on the website and I was surprised how easy it was to sign up.

After some time passed, Hank was having problems keeping his food down. Every time heate he would lose it within a half hour. We took him to the veterinarian for x-rays and tests, and were given medicine to treat symptoms of a virus. After a couple of days he was not better so we went back to the veterinarian. They ran a fluid through him and took x-rays to see if he had an intestine blockage but found nothing. After a few more days he came around and was able eat and play again. When we went to pick Hank up from the veterinarian Trupanion called to see if I wanted to enroll Hank with a policy. I forgot about the 30-day certificate! I told the lady it just so happens that I was on my way to pick Hank up from the veterinarian. She asked if he was doing better and told me I had 3 days left on the certificate and to be sure to send the claims in for Hank. It only took a little over a week and I got a check in the mail and I was reimbursed over $350 for a bill just over $400. After the incident we decided to continue with the insurance because you never know when something could happen.”

Meet the Star of Trupanion’s First-Ever TV Commercial, Stella!

Stella is an almost 10-month-old Labrador Retriever from Mission, British Columbia. Stella - Labrador Retriever

The Carreiros searched high and low for the perfect canine addition to their family until they finally found a breeder in Campbell River, BC. It was meant to be — the breeder was about to have their first litter and the family got the first pick, choosing Stella from the bunch.

Holistic Medicine for Your Pet

Holistic Medicine & Pet CareToday, pet owners have access to an unprecedented level of veterinary care through a wide variety of medical approaches and resources. Pete, a 9-year-old basenji-corgi mix, was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia and, despite his low chance of survival, endured for two years after diagnosis. His treatment included strong medication, weekly testing, and alternative therapies, combining care from veterinarians specializing in emergency care, conventional medicine, and holistic medicine.

Many pet owners are taking the approach of holistic care, combining conventional and alternative care to complement one another and provide the best care for their pet. Some of the most common claims we see from our policyholders include:

  • Supplements
  • Rehabilitative therapy
  • Acupuncture

How Holistic Medicine Helped Treat Pete’s Anemia

This was the case for Pete’s family. Because of his age, everyone agreed that it was best to continue conventional medication while adding supplements to his diet and alternative therapies to his treatment regimen to keep him comfortable.

All of the options available to Pete contributed to his survival. Throughout the course of Pete’s illness, he was insured with Trupanion. His owner submitted over $15,170 in claims and we covered $11,051 of the bill. Pete’s owner accounts their ability to continue treatment to the financial coverage, and without the treatment, Pete would not have survived as long as he did. Read more about Pete’s story here.

Are Alternative Therapies Covered By the Trupanion Pet Insurance Policy?

The Trupanion plan offers an optional coverage package called the Recovery and Complementary Care Rider. This package covers the following specialized procedures to give your pet the well-being he or she needs:

  • Physical therapy for canines: A set of techniques adapted from from human physical therapy to improve and rehabilitate the mobility of your dog’s muscles and joints.
  • Veterinary Acupuncture: Originally used on animals in veterinary practices in China, acupuncture is used on pets to help treat various ailments. By inserting needles into targeted points of your pet’s body, the technique is designed to support healing and wellness. This method of treatment can also help treat anything from Inflammatory Bowel Disease to lameness.
  • Canine Hydrotherapy: Similar to hydrotherapy techniques used on humans, canine hydrotherapy can be used to treat conditions related to post-operative and pre-operative procedures. It’s also ideal for treating osteoarthritis, orthopedic conditions, neurological conditions, as well as muscle, ligament, and other soft tissue injuries.
  • Animal Chiropractic: A specialized field of pet health care that focuses on improving the neurological, muscular and skeletal health of your pet.
  • Behavioral Modification and Therapy: A field of pet health care that applies the principles of Operant Conditioning to reduce unwanted behaviors in your pet. These principles include Reinforcement, Extinction, Punishment and Positive Reinforcement.
  • Veterinary Homeopathy: A system for treating diseases in pets that focuses on administering small doses of a drug that stimulates the immune system and promotes self-healing.
  • Animal Naturopathy: A field of alternative pet health that focuses on natural remedies to achieve balance between nutrition, exercise and diet for your dog or cat.

With this add-on, you can take advantage of these holistic veterinary options for your dog or cat. If you’re looking for more information about pet insurance and the coverage Trupanion provides, visit our Pet Insurance FAQ page!

Four Simple Steps to File a Pet Insurance Claim with Trupanion

Filing a claim with Trupanion is easy as pie. These four simple steps help you file your claim quickly so you can focus your energy on taking care of your pet.

Trupanion Claim Form

You’ll receive an email when our claims team receives your claim—if you haven’t received the email within a week, give us a call! Keep in mind, your first claim will probably take longer than the rest—we will need your pet’s complete medical records from both current and previous veterinary and emergency hospitals.

Not sure whether you should file a claim? Ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. Did you visit your veterinarian for wellness care (annual exams, vaccines, preventative care, routine teeth cleanings etc.)?
  2. Did this issue occur prior to enrolling with Trupanion?
  3. Are you including the cost of the exam fee, wellness care, or taxes?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you may NOT need to submit a claim. We don’t cover annual wellness exams, vaccinations, routine dental cleanings, pre-existing conditions, or your veterinarian’s exam fees.

However, if your pet goes to the veterinarian for an unexpected illness or injury be sure to file a claim. Give us a call if you ever need more clarification we’re standing by ready to help you!

More questions about the claims process? Visit our Claim FAQ. You can also download a claim form.

Help! I Think My Dog Has an Ear Infection

dog ear infectionIf you’ve had a dog, chances are they’ve had an ear infection at least once in their life. An ear infection — or otitis — is the second most frequently claimed condition for dogs that Trupanion receives. This condition affects many dogs, but with some guidance from your veterinarian, you can help prevent or treat a dog ear infection as soon as they happen.

We asked Denise Petryk, DVM, to answer a few questions about dog ear infections. Below is what she had to say.

What causes dog ear infection?

Cocker Spaniel - Trupanion Breed GuideA dog’s ear has both a vertical and horizontal ear canal, basically making the ear canal an “L-shape.” It is difficult for debris to exit the ear especially once it makes it into the horizontal canal or the bottom part of the “L.” This anatomical feature of a dog’s ear canal is partly what makes dogs prone to ear infection. Ear infections can be caused by a number of things, including debris or parasites in the ear, excessive hair growth, or other irritation of the ear canal. Recurring ear infections are often caused by the specific conformation of a dog’s ear, allergies, or other underlying conditions.

Dogs with floppy ears, like Golden Retrievers and Cocker Spaniels, have an even greater chance of developing ear infections because their ears have a more moist, damp, and dark environment that can harbor bacteria or yeast.

Ear infection in dogs: “telltail” signs

Keep an eye out for ear discharge, ear or head pain, redness and inflammation, foul odor, excessive scratching of the ears, and shaking or tilting of the head. Serious ear infections can even cause your pet to lose their balance.

How can I treat my dog’s ear infection?

If you suspect your pet has an ear infection, consult your veterinarian. If your dog does have an ear infection, your veterinarian will typically clean out their ear and prescribe a medication to administer at home. During your appointment, your veterinarian can show you how to gently clean your dog’s ears of wax and debris and show you how to safely administer medication.

Keep an eye on your dog’s ears!

To prevent ear infections in the future, check your dog’s ears for symptoms regularly. During your dog’s next appointment with the veterinarian, ask how to clean your dog’s ears. If your veterinarian finds your dog’s recurring ear infections are a result of allergies, make sure your dog is maintaining a consistent diet and/or receiving other appropriate care to keep the pet allergies under control!