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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!

Preparing for the “What Ifs”

Preparing for the What Ifs“In June 2015 my Star turned 6 years old! The realization of her being with me today is truly due to the amazing team of doctors and staff at Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital (BVH) in Bridgewater, New Jersey, and Trupanion!

When I adopted Star as a puppy I debated getting insurance because, I figured I would invest in insurance when she was older. After discussing insurance with Dr. Bruce Levinston, he explained that if there was an injury or illness it could be very costly and Trupanion would pay 90% per incident. Dr. Levinston shared how Trupanion would give me peace of mind for the “what ifs.” I decided then to buy insurance.

Shortly after enrolling Star with Trupanion she became very ill, and in the past six years she has been diagnosed with numerous health issues: incurable internal bacteria, IBD, allergies to food and vaccinations, bleeding ulcers, and inflammation of the gallbladder – all of which is now controllable with daily medications.

Trupanion has paid over $27,000 toward her medical bills. All of my claims were processed and checks were mailed out within seven days of receiving the invoice.

Trupanion helped BVH fight the fight because I didn’t have to worry about the financial end— I just focus on loving Star through it all. I planned for the “what ifs” and it paid off. The doctors have Star on a plan that is managing her illnesses and as for Star—she is wagging her tail and playing every day! Thank you, Trupanion, for being a part of the process and truly standing behind what your company stands for with no limits on cost for illnesses, and not changing the cost of her deductible or increasing her monthly fee because she is ill.

My Star’s success is due to BVH & Trupanion working together! Thank you for providing, not just Star, but all pets with a chance to become healthy when the “what ifs” happen!”

Supporting Patch in his Golden Years

Supporting Patch in his Golden Years“By pure luck, we picked up a Trupanion flyer as we were unhappy with our previous pet insurance. We put the flyer on the table and didn’t look at it for a few days. By chance, we picked it up to read the night before Patch’s 14th birthday. We wanted him covered as he was getting up there in age so we called and asked if we could still insure him as he turned 14 the next day. Fortunately, Trupanion’s answer was yes!

Patch has never been a sickly dog; we wanted protection “just in case.” We are glad we did. The following January Patch had a stroke. We were confident to tell the veterinarian to do what was necessary because we had Trupanion. We would probably still be paying that bill off if we didn’t have Trupanion.

They paid out exactly what they said they would, 90% of the bill, in less than a month. Since then Patch has had a couple of strokes called “transient ischemic attacks” and gastroenteritis.

We are so impressed how the wonderful staff at Trupanion keeps us informed every step of the way on how a claim is progressing. If they need more information from the veterinarian they deal with getting it, leaving us to be able to love on our baby and not worry about little details. If we need to call, they always ask how Patch is, by name (it makes us feel that Patch is as important to them as he is to us).

Trupanion is total peace of mind. We know he has the best insurance and therefore we are not concerned about the treatments he may need. His is now 15 ½ and doing well!”

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.