Pet Insurance: BEST Decision Ever!
Disclaimer: This is not an ad for Trupanion, just a recounting of an emergency event that we hope others can learn from. We are SO happy to have pet insurance, but we realize that this is a personal decision, and different companies appeal to different needs! Trupanion is the one that fit ours best. Please keep in mind that some of the links included in this blog post are affiliate links and if you go through them to buy something, I will earn a commission. I link companies and their products because in my opinion, they’re good quality. The decision to purchase something is completely and totally up to you.
**Before telling you this story I need to say, please, please, please watch your pups while they chew on a bully stick or any slender chew! We’ve always been told how safe and great they were, but after this happened, Henry has never touched one again. This was the scariest day of our lives as puppy parents.**
Barely 3 months old, little Henry was enjoying one of his first bully sticks. He was right by me, in plain sight, and I was making sure he was chewing safely. This little guy was so happy. Juan was in the kitchen preparing supper and giving Henry a bully stick was our best way of keeping him busy and out of our way. Not to mention the fact that he was teething and biting everything in sight!
Henry seemed to be getting toward the end of the stick. I wasn’t too worried about him biting off any chunks as bully sticks are completely edible. However, just as Juan’s letting me know dinner’s ready, I approach the Smol to remove whatever’s left of the stick. He’s not interested in letting me have it, so the little pest swallows it.
I remember this so vividly. My initial reaction was not panic, but I just figured “Oh, there wasn’t much left, he’ll be fine, he’ll digest it.” Juan on the other hand, wasn’t as calm. No, no, he was freaking out, crying and in full-on panic mode. He stuck his fingers down Henry’s throat to see if he could remove it. He was worried Henry was going to choke, or worse. But Henry just sat there, looking up at us, wagging his tail happily. I remember he even went to pee on his little pee pad. “He must be ok,” I remember thinking.
Well, the vet thought otherwise. We called them immediately to find out if we should bring him in. Their exact words were “Whenever your pup ingests a foreign object, bring them in immediately.” Ok, now was a good time to start panicking.
We grabbed Henry and ran to the car, sped to the vet in 10 minutes (it’s like, 20 minutes away). They were expecting us. The first step would be to see exactly how big a piece of bully stick we were talking about. They quickly took an x-ray, and were able to show us the scan immediately. The stick was actually way bigger than I thought (see x-ray below).
Henry the Smol
Having pet insurance gives us peace of mind knowing that Henry will get the best care in the event of an emergency.
The vet proceeded to give us our options:
- Put Henry under general anaesthesia, go in with a hook-like camera and remove the foreign object
- Let the bully stick pass and make its way to the stomach on its own, to then be digested. X-rays would be done every few hours to see how it would be moving along
It didn’t take long for us to make up our minds. The problem with option 2 was that the stick was mid-way between the stomach and the oesophagus, which could potentially cause damage as it continued on its way. Also there was no sure way of knowing if the bully stick would budge. The best thing to do would be to just remove it. My initial worry was the general anaesthesia and the effects it would have on him at such a young age, but the vet assured us that he was otherwise very healthy. They would even do a complete blood test and whole check-up before, to be absolutely sure.
All things considered, we knew this was going to be a pricey procedure (close to 3000$ to be precise), but we weren’t about to let anything happen to Henry. We confirmed option 1 was the best way to go. The vets immediately got Henry prepped for the procedure, and assured us they’d notify us as soon as it was done. Smol would have to stay there overnight.
By this time, it was getting close to midnight as we placed our call to Trupanion. They answered almost immediately. They took us through all the details and listened to our situation in such a calm and reassuring way; this was exactly what we needed in a time of crisis like this. All was handled directly through the vet and the pet insurance company, and in total, probably took about half an hour. Simple and straightforward, and beyond worth the 80$CAD/month.
We finally made it home and were able to close our eyes for a bit, until my phone rang at about 3am. It was the vet! I jumped up immediately to answer. She was so excited to tell me the procedure went beautifully, not a single problem and Henry was doing great! We’d be able to pick him up the next day. We were hit with a wave of relief, we may have even cried a bit.
The vet had taken some pictures of Henry during the procedure (see above) and sent them to us the next day. This unusual emergency had made the headlines of their Facebook page. We got to keep the bully stick (see photo, and pen for scale) as a reminder to never give him bully sticks ever again.
We are forever grateful for the staff at Centre Vétérinaire Rive-Sud for taking amazing care (and so quickly!) of Henry during this emergency and Trupanion for basically coming to our rescue. Having pet insurance just gives us the peace of mind knowing that Henry will get the best care in the event of an emergency. We can not thank them enough! Henry was in great spirits following this misadventure, took his medication for the oesophagus irritation like a champ, and has put us through no further emergencies…yet!
TLDR: In Winter 2019, we were a guest on Herky the Cavalier’s YouTube Channel, talking about the challenges of Puppyhood. We discuss this little adventure and more, watch it here!
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