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Pet Insurance Claim Stories

Read stories from Healthy Paws customers who have seen the value of pet insurance first-hand. See real-life claim examples and how Healthy Paws helped pets get the care they needed.

Ralph the dog

Diagnosis: Rattlesnake bite
Claims covered: $11,735| Healthy Paws paid: $9,138
Coverage options: 80 percent coverage | $250 deductible

Ryan and Stephanie of West Hollywood, California were out on a hike on the Gabrielino Trail near Los Angeles in early April with their mixed-breed dogs, Ralph and Henry, when the most unexpected and horrifying thing happened.

ralph the dog

Ralph, hero and rattlesnake bite survivor.

Even though he was on a leash, 5-year-old Ralph was bit by a rattlesnake when he suddenly happened upon and surprised the deadly reptile. Stephanie believes Ralph intentionally stepped in between her, Henry, and the snake to protect them.

“Not only did he take the rattlesnake bite, but he also bit the snake back. He is a literal hero, and we are so grateful to have the most amazing good boy in our lives,” she said.

Stephanie had researched what to do in case of a bite, so she knew they needed to tie a tourniquet on his leg and get him medical care as quickly as possible. Ryan and Stephanie were understandably panicked, but a couple of angels helped them get Ralph off the trail.

One man who was hiking with his family stopped and helped Ryan carry Ralph 2.5 miles. Another man in a landscaper truck near the trail offered to let them ride in the back to get them to the trailhead. Without these good Samaritans, Stephanie believes Ralph would have perished.

Once they arrived at the trailhead, the local fire department met them and transported Ralph to the nearest emergency vet clinic. They arrived within 45 minutes of the bite. The vets gave Ralph anti-venom and painkillers, which stabilized him, but he was far from safe.

Anti-venom treatment was just the beginning

Little did Stephanie and Ryan know they were about to go on the rollercoaster ride of their life – and not a fun one – over the next few days.

Ralph spent the night in the hospital, and they were permitted to take him home the next day. He was eating and drinking, but the remaining venom still caused bloody urine and swelling that equaled 11 pounds of fluid.

The next day they took Ralph in to have his bloodwork checked. His healthy blood counts were too low, and the veterinarians recommended a blood transfusion and steroids to settle his immune system. Ralph spent another night in the hospital for observation. Through it all, Ralph showed his appreciation for his pet parents.

“He’s still wagged his tail and kissed me good night,” Stephanie wrote.

 

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Swelling from rattlesnake bite almost cost Ralph his life

The news the next day was heartbreaking. While his blood condition was improving, the swelling around his airway became worse. The hospital called to tell Ryan and Stephanie they should come and say goodbye.

On their way to the hospital, the vet called again and said she wanted to give him one last chance. He was moving and peeing and pooping, and she thought he had some fight left in him. She recommended taking him to another hospital with an intensive care unit. Stephanie and Ryan agreed and rushed him to the better-equipped hospital.

At the critical care hospital, several specialists performed a higher level of lab work to determine what was causing the swelling, and then carefully monitored his heart, kidneys, and immune functions to watch reactions to steroids, diuretics, and other medications. This intensive approach allowed them to perform the most aggressive treatment for the swelling.

Finally, there was some good news. Ralph had responded well to the treatment and stabilized. Ryan and Stephanie visited him, and he was able to go for a short walk and was eating and drinking normally.

 

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“He wagged his tail, he snuggled, and gave us kisses. He’s doing fantastic and shockingly looks 100,000x better than he did on Friday so (fingers crossed),” Stephanie wrote to her followers. “He (obviously) will still be in the hospital a few more days but we’re so happy with him and his happy spirits. Keep cheering for him.”

The next day, Ralph was ready to come home. He walked around the neighborhood, socialized with neighbors, and greeted his brother enthusiastically with lots of tail wags. Finally, Ryan and Stephanie felt confident he would make it.

Back to normal just one week later

At his one-week follow-up, the vet was amazed at how well he was recovering. His severe anemia and low platelets in his blood were resolved, and he was taken off all medications.

“Ralph’s bloodwork came back normal & we are cleared to resume all normal activity- YAY!!!” Stephanie told her Instagram followers. “No further follow-up care needed, just routine 6-month check-up, so we are officially out of the woods (literally!) WAY TO GO RALPH!!”

After their ordeal, Stephanie says she is done with hiking and is instead taking the dogs to the beach for now. She wanted to share their story, so that other pet parents are aware of the danger of rattlesnake bites to dogs and how important it is to be prepared.

Ralph was lucky. Rattlesnake bites are about 25 times more lethal to dogs than humans, according to the Methow Valley Veterinary Hospital. Pet parents who live in rattlesnake country may want to consider having their dogs vaccinated for rattlesnake venom.

 

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How Healthy Paws Pet insurance helped

And she’s certainly glad that they purchased pet insurance for both dogs as soon as they adopted them. The Healthy Paws plan covers treatment for any accidental poisoning, sting, or wildlife encounter.

“We wanted to give them the best life with coverage for anything and everything,” she said.

Ryan and Stephanie have a plan that covered 80 percent of their bills, minus a $250 deductible.

Customers who download the Healthy Paws mobile app also have the advantage of having their pet insurance information and vet information at their fingertips for quick communication and claims processing in an emergency. It’s also a good idea to have the pet poison helpline number, 855-764-7661, saved on your phone.

Follow Ralph and Henry

Stephanie has an Instagram account dedicated to her pups, and she documented much of the journey and recovery there.

Protect your pets from those unexpected encounters with wildlife, which the Healthy Paws plan covers. Get a quote and make sure you’re covered for those dog and puppy mishaps and unpleasant surprises.

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Cute dog

Diagnosis: Torn retina

Claims Covered: $11,950 | Healthy Paws paid: $8,408

Coverage options: $250 | Reimbursement: 80%

Key Takeaways

  • Cleo, a Bichon Frise, was undergoing treatment for a cataract and her retina began to tear, threatening her eyesight.
  • Her pet parents drove eight hours to the nearest surgical hospital to get her the surgery she needed.
  • She has fully recovered and her pet parents can see the light in her eye again.

cute dogCleo is a three-year-old Bichon Frise, about 10 pounds of fluffy cuddle bug with a mischievous streak, said her pet parent Keisha, of Glendale Heights, Illinois. She has been the baby of the home since Corey, Keisha’s husband, allowed her to sleep in the bed shortly after she was adopted.

She wants to cuddle no matter what her pet parents are doing, and she won’t get up until they do.

“She will throw her body against you just to find her comfortable spot,” Keisha said.

Cleo also has a silly side, especially when it comes to her sister Snowie, a 10-year-old American Eskimo. Her favorite activity is teasing Snowie, stealing her toys or food for attention, Keisha said.

“She loves playing in the laundry. Whether it is warm, clean laundry or piles of laundry being sorted, she finds a way to make the chore fun. She will find the clean laundry, jump in and sit until we have folded every item,” Keisha said.

Canine cataract treatment takes a serious turn

Cleo was undergoing treatment for a juvenile cataract, and her retina started to tear as the cataract began to shrink.

Keisha and Corey learned from the veterinary ophthalmologist that Cleo’s torn retina would get worse if they did nothing, and quickly. They also learned that there are only a handful of veterinary surgeons in the U.S. that perform retinal re-attachment surgery on dogs and the nearest surgeon was an eight-hour drive from their home. And then there was the upfront cost to worry about.

“We were worried about how to come up with the payment for Cleo’s surgery in such a short time. Do we allow Cleo to go blind in one eye? I went back to the Healthy Paws website and learned about the Direct Pay option. I contacted Healthy Paws customer care and a representative called us back the same evening. She explained how Healthy Paws could help Cleo by paying the vet directly. Her words and actions lifted a huge weight off of our shoulders,” Keisha wrote.

Keisha and Corey loaded Cleo and Snowie into the car and they made the long road trip to Missouri, where the surgeon was located. She checked in with the Healthy Paws customer care team and was able to arrange direct pay to the hospital for the surgery.

“We met with the surgeon who discussed what could be done in the best- and worst-case scenarios; at best Cleo’s retina would be repaired, and her cataract would be removed and replaced with a new lens. If Cleo’s lens couldn’t be replaced, she would be farsighted. And with that, we returned to the hotel and waited for the call from the clinic,” she said.

Fortunately, Cleo’s surgery went better than expected. Her retina was repaired, and her lens replaced. Her eye pressure was high on the follow-up visit, but once they returned home the pressure had returned to normal.

cute dogCleo fully recovers

After a few days, Cleo’s pet parents could see a noticeable difference in her eyesight. Her right eye, once dim due to the cataract, now has light.

“Seeing the yellow light reflections in her eyes is a wonderful blessing. It is a reminder that she can see us clearly, something that she hasn’t been able to do in several months,” Keisha wrote.

After about a month on a strict medication regimen, Cleo returned to her playful, cuddly self.

“The most important aspect of her recovery is that Cleo is back to teasing Snowie and finding her favorite cuddle spot,” Keisha said.

How Healthy Paws pet insurance helped

Cute dogKeisha signed up for pet insurance over a year ago after Snowie suffered from a seizure and they were shocked at how expensive the emergency room visit was.

“I looked at a number of pet insurance companies and when I read the reviews from happy pet parents, I knew Healthy Paws was the company for us,” she said.

Keisha said without the option of having Healthy Paws pay the vet directly, they would have had no choice but to allow Cleo to go blind in her right eye.

“Thank you for eliminating this option for us,” she told the Healthy Paws customer care team.

About Direct Pay to the veterinarian

In situations where customers cannot pay their vet at the time of treatment, they may contact us for payment directly to their vet. If a veterinary hospital is willing to accept direct payment, Healthy Paws can work with them to expedite access to a customer’s pet’s medical records and the processing of a claim. This direct payment option is available for any licensed vet across the U.S.; it is not limited to any specific network of vets. Direct payment may be requested during business hours by calling customer care at (855) 898-8991.

Protect your pets from those unexpected illnesses like cancer, which the Healthy Paws plan covers. Get a quote and make sure you’re covered for those dog and puppy mishaps and unpleasant surprises.

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Cute dog named Darby

Diagnosis: Cancerous tumor

Claims Covered: $3,181 | Healthy Paws paid: $2,737

Coverage options: $250 | Reimbursement: 90%

Cute dog named DarbyNo pet parent wants to hear that their furry loved one has cancer, but the story of Darby, a 7-year-old retriever mix, illustrates that cancer in pets is often treatable, and pets can recover from it and go on to live long, healthy lives.

Darby lives with her pet parent Erin, in Chicago, Ill. where she takes up the whole couch when lounging and has the unusual quirk of loving vegetables, especially carrots and celery.

This spring, Erin noticed a lump on Darby’s side. The veterinarian performed a test and determined it was a tumor that needed to be removed by a specialist, based on the location and type of tumor.

The surgeon removed the tumor, and the biopsy confirmed it was cancerous. However, because the vet caught it early and was able to remove all of the cancerous tissue, Darby didn’t require any follow-up chemo or radiation treatments, Erin said.

“She is expected to live a completely normal life,” Erin said.

Darby’s recovery went smoothly. She rested for a couple of weeks while a large wound on her side healed up. Now her fur has fully grown back, and she is as good as new, Erin said.

“She is doing great and is back to her goofy, happy self!” she said. “We went on a little road trip recently and have been enjoying lots of long walks and hikes.”

How pet insurance helped Darby’s brush with cancer

Cute dog named DarbyErin purchased a Healthy Paws Pet Insurance plan when Darby was young, and she’s grateful she did, both for the tumor removal and previous health issues over the years.

“I got Healthy Paws insurance when she was a puppy, and they have always been wonderful – super easy to file a claim on the app, direct deposit (that comes fast!), and they really seem to care about my dog, even checking up on her a few years ago after a health scare,” she said. “The cost for her surgery alone was almost $3,000 but because of Healthy Paws, my out-of-pocket costs were only about $400. Darby is recovering like a champ, and because Healthy Paws processed my claim so quickly, I didn’t have to worry about the stress of a large (and unexpected) expense and could focus on her recovery.”

Like most pet parents, Erin considers Darby a member of her family, and wants to make sure she is around as long as possible. Having pet insurance means she can focus on making sure Darby gets the treatment she needs without being stressed about money.

Protect your pets from those unexpected illnesses like cancer, which the Healthy Paws plan covers. Get a quote and make sure you’re covered for those dog and puppy mishaps and unpleasant surprises.

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Merlin the mini Aussie
Merlin the mini Aussie

Merlin the mini Aussie, with pet parents Mike and Amber.

Diagnosis: Autoimmune disease

Claims Covered: $50,229 | Healthy Paws paid: $40,085

Coverage options: 80 percent | $250 deductible

Two-year-old Merlin is a mini-Australian Shepherd with tons of personality who makes friends with all the other pups at the dog parks.

Before COVID-19, when pet parents Amber and Mike were working in offices, Merlin enjoyed coming to work and playing all day with the other office dogs.

“He loves to play fetch and when he likes to relax, he cuddles up on the couch waiting for his belly rubs,” Amber said. “It takes some time to gain his trust and love, but once you have it, Merlin will not hesitate to show his love with that adorable wiggle butt!”

About a year ago, Merlin was not acting himself. He had a fever, would not eat or drink, barely moved, and he was visibly uncomfortable. Amber and Mike rushed him to the animal hospital.

Merlin the mini AussieVets make a horrifying discovery

The veterinary team checked Merlin’s vitals and organ functions, and also made sure he didn’t have any broken bones.

They then shaved the area where Merlin was most sensitive and saw that his skin and fat layer had died and was starting to deteriorate and fall off. They performed some tests to see if it was a skin disease, a tick infection, an underlying issue, or if there was an accident at a previous vet visit.

Unable to determine the root cause, the team knew that they had to act quickly to save Merlin’s life. He was later diagnosed with an autoimmune skin disease, a rare condition in dogs in which the immune system attacks itself, causing serious illness, according to VCA Hospitals.

Saving Merlin the mini aussie would require removing the skin and fat layer on Merlin’s whole right side and slowly pulling the healthy skin over the wound. Several surgeries were needed, and Merlin had to stay in the hospital for an excruciating two months. He was on several pain medications and antibiotics and had to be fed through a tube initially.

“We were fortunate that the hospital staff allowed us to come in and visit Merlin often and eventually feed him breakfast and dinner. After weeks of tubes and bandages, removal and pulling of the skin, Merlin was starting to recover and was able to come home where he could heal. He had to go back to the hospital every other day to change his bandages and this was around the time COVID hit as well,” Amber wrote.

Merlin the mini Aussie

Merlin, recovering at home, after 2 months in the vet hospital.

Pet insurance saved Merlin’s life

Amber and Mike were extremely grateful to have pet insurance to help cover the substantial costs and saw first-hand what happened to some pet parents who couldn’t afford their pet’s care.

“Some of the most difficult moments were watching the families in the waiting room, who had to make some very difficult decisions because they did not have the help of insurance to cover some of the many expenses. Having Healthy Paws there to help us honestly saved Merlin’s life!”, Amber wrote.

Merlin the mini Australian Shepherd fully recovers

A year after his surgery, Merlin is 100% back to his normal ways — running, playing, and hiking again.

“He has a Frankenstein-looking scar along his right side but the hospital did an amazing job and his long hair covers most of it anyways! We are so happy to have our fur baby still with us healthy and happy!”, Amber said.

Amber signed up for a Healthy Paws plan when Merlin was still a puppy at eight months old. She had gone to the vet when his left knee was bothering him, which turned out to be a pulled muscle, and picked up a brochure for Healthy Paws.

“We figured since Merlin was a very active pup and loved hikes, running, and playing, it would be a good idea to have health insurance. It was so inexpensive and we thought, eh, we will never really need it but like to know it’s there just in case. Man, oh, man are we happy we have it now! We also really appreciate how easy it was for Healthy Paws to work directly with the hospital on bills while we were busy trying to do what was best for Merlin. The handwritten notes along the way also made us smile!”, she said.

Protect your pets from those unexpected illnesses and accidents, which the Healthy Paws plan covers. Get a quote and make sure you’re covered for those dog mishaps and unpleasant surprises.

 

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Rumba the shepherd

Diagnosis: Pneumonia and stomach issues

Claims: $6,960 | Reimbursed $5,177

Coverage options: 80 percent | $250 deductible

Rumba is a 72-pound German Shepherd with big brown eyes, who, like a typical shepherd, is highly communicative and barks and ‘talks’ a lot, said her pet parent Alison, who lives in Portland, Oregon.

She thrives on challenges and loves to play hide-and-seek with her favorite ball. Playing in snow and water is also high on her list of activities.

Rumba the shepherdShe loves her brother, Chico (also a shepherd), more than anything, and she’s protective of her family, who she prefers to be with all the time.  She is happiest when they are all in the same room, Alison says.

Rumba’s health issues started one Saturday night when she had a little cough. When they awoke the next morning, Rumba was completely listless and breathing rapidly. They rushed her to the emergency vet where she was diagnosed with aspirant pneumonia.

Because of COVID-19, Alison and her husband Milko sat in the parking lot for 16 hours, waiting for Rumba to be stabilized. Finally, they were able to go home while Rumba was kept for two more days in recovery.

About a month later, Rumba suffered another medical emergency. It was Christmas Eve, and Rumba was sick all night, vomiting and shaking. The family again rushed to the emergency vet, where they suspected she might have swallowed a foreign object, based on some x-rays. Yet, when the doctors performed abdominal surgery, they found nothing except inflammation.

The veterinarians decided while they had her in surgery to perform a gastropexy, a procedure where they surgically ‘tack’ the stomach to the right side of the body wall. German Shepherds are prone to bloat and this technique prevents bloat from developing in the future.

The recovery from that surgery was challenging as Rumba couldn’t play or be off leash for six weeks. She also reacted to the sutures, which required another emergency visit.

Today, almost two months later, Rumba is finally back to normal. Her pet parents never did find out the underlying cause of either emergency.

Rumba the shepherd“She is as playful and vigilant as ever! We still wonder what caused her issues because she’s with us all the time, but we’re hoping we can go a LONG time without another visit to the emergency vet,” she said. Through it all, Alison is grateful she decided to get pet insurance for Rumba, and her other dog Chico. She said pet insurance has changed a lot since she last considered it many years ago.

“When we first got Chico, a friend told me about Healthy Paws. I was hesitant because 20 years ago with my last dog, insurance was very different. They didn’t cover anything and had breed restrictions. I’m SO glad we enrolled for both of our dogs,” she said.

Choosing Healthy Paws has paid off during a time of stress due to the pandemic.

“If we did not have the support from you all, I’m not sure what we would’ve done. This time is already financially stressful enough with the pandemic and all the vet bills have been huge. The fact that we have insurance makes it so much easier… and it’s not just that we have insurance, it’s the wonderful customer service you have, return time on claims, and ease of website,” she wrote.

Protect your pets – and your wallet – by enrolling in pet insurance. Healthy Paws offers one simple plan to protect dogs and cats from any unexpected accidents or illnesses. Start by getting a free quote.

Are you a Healthy Paws pet parent with a recovery story to tell? We’d love to hear it! Send your pet’s story along with photos of your four-legged family member to [email protected]

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Skeeter the dog

Diagnosis: Sensitive stomach

Claims: $832 | Reimbursed $662

Coverage options: 90 percent | $250 deductible

Skeeter the dog

Skeeter as a puppy.

Skeeter is a 14-pound mixed-breed pup with a huge personality. Pet parent Kristy rescued him from a shelter in Maine and was told his mother was a puggle, and they think his dad was a Chihuahua.

“He’s very smart and learns commands easily, though he can be stubborn. We never taught him how to play fetch, but he has always just brought back any toy we’ve thrown. He’s a momma’s boy, so he gets jealous easily if he can’t sit right next to me or on my lap,” Kristy said. “His nickname is meerkat because when he begs, he sits like one.”

In his first 18 months, Skeeter was mostly healthy with just some minor digestive issues. Then, in early December, he became very ill, was vomiting blood, and passed blood through his feces.

Kristy called her vet, and they recommended she go to the emergency clinic where they took a fecal sample and blood count and prescribed medication to help with diarrhea. The vet found no underlying issues and diagnosed Skeeter with a sensitive stomach. A few changes in diet seems to have resolved the issue.

“We switched to a prescription diet and from traditional dog treats to scrambled eggs or raw carrots, but he loves them (probably more than the dog treats), and that’s helped enormously. He still occasionally vomits when overly stressed, but it’s not often at all,” Kristy said.

Stomach issues in pets are among the most common conditions that bring pet parents to the veterinarian – whether it be from intestinal illness or ingesting something they shouldn’t. In 2019, stomach issues were the No. 1 reason Healthy Paws dog parents visited the vet.

Skeeter the dogSkeeter is doing great today and is back to his favorite activities of riding in the car, going to doggie daycare, and taking walks.

How pet insurance helped

Kristy said she signed up for pet health insurance as soon as she adopted Skeeter because she had not done so with a previous dog – an English bulldog – and regretted it after shelling out thousands for vet care over his lifespan.

“There is nothing worse than having to make hard choices about your pet’s health because of the cost. Of course, we always did what was necessary to provide our bulldog with the care he needed, but it hurt us financially,” she said.

For Skeeter’s vet visit and aftercare, Kristy submitted her claim the same day and received an email two days later that she would be reimbursed for 90 percent of the cost after she met the deductible.

“What a relief to have Healthy Paws there for us in such a scary time,” she said.

Protect your pets from those unexpected illnesses and accidents, which the Healthy Paws plan covers. Get a quote and make sure you’re covered for those dog mishaps and unpleasant surprises.

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Ryder the cat

Ryder the cat

Diagnosis: Ingested foreign object

Claims: $7,774 | Reimbursed: $6,747

Coverage options: 90 percent | $250 deductible

Ryder is a 2-year-old cat who loves to eat, play hide and seek with his pet parents (with them being the hiders) and sun himself.

“His favorite activity is eating. It doesn’t matter if it’s cat, dog, or human food. He finds great joy in discovering an unwashed plate with even the scent of dinner left on it,” said his pet parent Megan of Houston, Texas.

It was this love of eating everything that landed Ryder in trouble last summer when Megan and her partner John arrived home one day, and instead of the persistent meowing they usually heard, it was silent.

Ryder the cat“When we didn’t hear a peep, we knew something was wrong,” she said.

They rushed him to the vet, not knowing that his visit would turn into a week-long nightmare. There were numerous x-rays and tests. The vet ruled out pancreatitis. The vets then performed an exploratory laparotomy – a surgical procedure in which they make an incision in the abdominal cavity – where they found an ingested foreign object that was the cause of his discomfort. Megan thinks it was a chunk of rubber from a dog toy that he consumed.

During the surgery, the vet took biopsies, which came back normal and showed no long-term issues (cancer, leukemia, etc.). They also found he had a heart murmur, which didn’t require treatment but required closer monitoring of his heart.

Complications cause financial worry

Unfortunately, there were complications from the surgery, and Ryder was transferred to a 24-hour emergency clinic after the surgery. Megan and John had to consider their finances in case their Healthy Paws pet insurance plan did not cover the care. Their worry was for naught.

“We already maxed out our credit cards at the vet, and the emergency facility was quoting $1,500 a day and expected him to stay there between 5-10 days. We could absolutely not afford that, nor did I think we could front the money, even if we could afford it. I was extremely distraught and called Healthy Paws to see if they could tell me right away whether we’d be covered. The customer care rep. that answered was soooo nice to me and immediately got me in touch with the Direct Pay team. We got an answer on coverage that day, and we were able to move forward with Ryder’s treatment,” Megan wrote.

Three days later, Ryder was well enough to come home. He was so happy to be back and bounced back quickly to his normal self and big appetite, Megan said.

Insurance for ‘trash cat’

Megan and John are so happy they enrolled in pet insurance because they knew Ryder was prone to swallowing something he shouldn’t.

“We call Ryder ‘trash cat,’” she said. “He ate something in an incident before, but it was small enough to be flushed with fluids rather than surgery. After that, we thought insurance would give us peace of mind. And boy, were we right. If Healthy Paws hadn’t moved our claim through as quick as they did, I’m honestly not sure what would have happened.”

Protect your pets from those unexpected illnesses and accidents, which the Healthy Paws plan covers. Get a quote and make sure you’re covered for those cat mishaps and unpleasant surprises.

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Mandy the Goldendoodle

Diagnosis: Pleural effusion
Claims: $11,445 | Reimbursed $9,459 (deductible previously met)
Coverage options: 90 percent | $500 deductible

Mandy the Goldendoodle
Mandy is a 3-year-old Goldendoodle who loves people and lives for attention. At the dog park in Wixom, Michigan, she’s more focused on earning pets and belly rubs from people than on the other dogs, says pet parent Cecilia.

While she can be lazy and timid, she loves to chase squirrels when she spots them on the bird feeders. She’s fond of fetching her Frisbee, but this sensible girl finds running for exercise pointlessly repetitious.

One day in July, Mandy wasn’t eating her food or drinking water. She normally liked to graze throughout the day, but that day she left her kibble untouched. Cecilia and her fiancé initially thought perhaps their furry best friend didn’t like the salmon flavor they were trying, but then they noticed her dry nose, excessive whining, and heavy breathing. She also seemed uncomfortable transitioning from standing to sitting or lying down, and vice versa.

When they took Mandy to the veterinarian, he noted that her weight was down, she appeared dehydrated, and she had a fever. After running through her symptoms, he recommended they take her to an emergency clinic to determine the underlying cause.

To the emergency vet for diagnostics

They went directly to a 24-hour emergency hospital where the vets took x-rays and blood work but could not find a cause for the fever. After injections of fluids, antibiotics treatment, and an overnight stay, Mandy was improving even though they still had not identified a cause. She was eating again, and there were no signs of infection.

The hospital considered releasing her with antibiotics and an appetite stimulant, but that evening, her temperature had shot back up to 103 degrees (the normal body temperature for dogs is 101 to 102.5, according to PetMD). The vet called with the news that her x-rays indicated right lung pneumonia, and they wanted to put her on oxygen. There were signs of fluid buildup in her abdomen around the lungs (pleural effusion) that needed to be extracted and sent to a lab.

The couple received an updated treatment plan and a cost estimate of about $5,000 because of the additional time in intensive care and the need for oxygen.

“We were well aware of the increasing bills and we were blessed to have a Healthy Paws plan. It meant that we could afford almost anything Mandy could need with minimal financial hardship,” Cecilia said.

A diagnosis of pleural effusion

Mandy the GoldendoodleThe next morning, a high white blood cell count led the vets to suspect lung torsion, an uncommon condition where the lung lobe becomes twisted. An accurate diagnosis would require transfer to a more advanced pet hospital where Mandy could receive a computerized tomography (CT) scan to determine the root cause of her sickness.

“We picked her up and transferred her to the hospital they recommended, the kind with 20+ board-certified veterinarians ranging from behavior to cardiology to oncology to surgery. After getting her checked in and examined, the estimate for her treatment was $4,000 – $6,000, plus or minus 15%,” Cecilia said. “We also were asked to confirm if we wanted Mandy resuscitated in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest. They ask this of every pet admitted, so we knew it wasn’t an indication of her condition, but having to think through why it was being asked and what it meant for Mandy’s quality of life took an emotional toll.”

Over the next three days, Mandy’s treatment continued while they performed more tests, including blood work, x-rays, cytology, chest fluid cultures, and the CT scan. The CT scan showed that while she did not have lung torsion, two of Mandy’s right lung lobes had collapsed. The good news was that there were no heart issues and no signs of cancer (common causes of pleural effusion). They still don’t know what caused the condition, although Mandy had gone to the vet for pneumonia months earlier.

Mandy’s recovery from pleural effusion pneumonia

mandy the Goldendoodle

Finally, after six days in the hospital, Mandy was breathing well enough to be weaned off the oxygen. Due to COVID-19, the couple couldn’t see her yet, but the vets sent a photo to show how she was doing.

The next day, her heart and lungs were normal, and she was breathing comfortably without oxygen. Finally, Mandy could go home with antibiotics and anti-nausea medication.

Today, months later, Mandy is back to living her best life and is appreciating having her pet parents home more during the pandemic, Cecilia said.

“With us home a lot more, she gets to be as attached to us as she wants, often sleeping on our feet, behind our chairs, or in her bed a few feet away. She’s back to wrestling on her back with dog friends and jump-tackling humans that pass through our doors, despite our disapproval. We took her out running with us again. We’re proud to say she trotted all 3 miles with minimal complaint just last week,” Cecilia wrote.

Why a Healthy Paws pet insurance plan?

Cecilia is the kind of person who is always prepared, and becoming a pet parent was no exception. She waited until they had a home with a fence and the ability to come home for lunch before adopting a dog.

“Pet insurance was the logical next step in my mind. With me new to dogs and Mandy new to us, I wanted to make sure we could afford anything that might happen. It felt inhumane to need to make decisions over Mandy’s life based on money,” she wrote.

She did her research to find the right choice, reading online reviews, and talking to other people and vet techs, who often recommended Healthy Paws. She liked having options to choose an annual deductible and percentage of coverage. She also wanted a policy that would include coverage for hip dysplasia should Mandy ever need it. Finally, she liked how easy it was to submit claims.

“I’m grateful to have Healthy Paws to be able to get Mandy the care she needs. At this point, we couldn’t imagine having anyone else help us with Mandy,” she said.

Protect your pets from those unexpected illnesses and accidents, which the Healthy Paws plan covers. Get a quote and make sure you’re covered for those dog mishaps and unpleasant surprises.

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Leo the puppy

Diagnosis: Leptospirosis leading to kidney failure

Claims: $20,836 | Reimbursed $16,418

Coverage options: 80 percent | $250 deductible

When pet parent Joe and his wife Melissa adopted an adorable black Labrador puppy earlier this year, he did not expect to have to face a life-threatening condition when that sweet puppy, Leo, was only 13 weeks old.

Leo’s Leptospirosis signs

One day little Leo started vomiting up his food. Since throwing up isn’t abnormal for a puppy, Joe was not too worried at first. But when the retching continued into the night and by the next morning was coming up white foam and bile, they called the vet.

Leo the lab puppy

Joe rushed Leo to the veterinarian, and immediately, the doctors could see his condition was grave – his kidneys were already failing. They tested him for leptospirosis or “lepto”, a disease caused by a bacterial infection, which dogs can contract by drinking contaminated water or exposure through a wound. But that fast test came back negative.

They transferred to a veterinary hospital in Long Island, where Leo was treated with fluids and antibiotics. By early the next morning, the news was heartbreaking – Leo was in grave condition.

He was not processing the fluids and producing urine since his kidneys had shut down.

“The hospital said the only way he would live would be through dialysis, which they mentioned was extremely expensive. We called [the Healthy Paws] support line, and when they said dialysis is covered, we didn’t have to worry about finances and took him to the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan,” Joe said.

Diagnosing and treating Leo’s lepto

The top-notch veterinarians at the medical center agreed that Leo was in dire shape, but they thought dialysis could buy him time to fight whatever was going on. They then did a true blood, urine, and x-ray check for leptospirosis, which this time came back positive. Some dogs only have mild symptoms from the condition, but others, like Leo, can suffer life-threatening kidney or liver failure.

A vaccine is available to prevent leptospirosis and will protect a dog for a year, but Leo was so young that he hadn’t received all his vaccinations yet.

After the first dialysis treatment, he started producing urine again and drinking water, Joe said. After the second treatment, his kidney values went down to a much safer level, and he began to eat and drink on his own. He spent another seven days in the hospital, which included two days of intravenous treatments and five days of monitoring.

“The first two days were so nerve-wracking for us as we only had Leo for one month and couldn’t think of losing a puppy so soon. After the second treatment, the doctors said his kidneys were back to functioning, and he could stay off dialysis and fight the bacteria with the antibiotics on his own,” Joe said.

Getting back to normal puppy antics

Leo is now six months old, but he was back to his old puppy self just a few days after completing his treatment.

“We are happy to say Leo is back to his normal self. After the first few days, he really started to be a puppy again. He is back to running around the house, stealing socks and playing with all of his favorite toys. We are so blessed to have our boy back,” Joe said.

While many people don’t think young dogs need pet insurance, Joe knew better. After pet parenting three dogs, he knew puppies could have unexpected accidents or illnesses just as older dogs do.

How Healthy Paws helped

Leo the lab puppyJoe chose a Healthy Paws plan because there are no per incident, annual or lifetime caps, and he was impressed with the number of conditions covered. He also appreciated the quick reimbursement.

“I couldn’t be more thankful that I signed up when I did. We are so incredibly grateful to the staff at Healthy Paws. You saved us from the burden of having to put financials over saving our puppy’s life. The cost of his treatments would have ruined our financial safety net and potential house fund. Thanks to your service, we were able to focus on getting Leo better,” Joe wrote.

Protect your pets from those unexpected illnesses and accidents, which the Healthy Paws plan covers. Get a quote and make sure you’re covered for those puppy mishaps and unpleasant surprises.

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Miss Kirbie cute dog

By CAT Tieger

A longer version of this article was first published in Old Naples Living magazine.

Diagnosis: Lung cancer

Total claims:  $7,929

Reimbursed:  $6,735

Policy options:  $200 deductible | 90% reimbursement

Miss Kirbie is an 11-year-old Welsh Terrier and the whole world to CAT Tieger and her husband Elliott Brown, who live in Naples, Florida. “Kirbs”, as they sometimes call her, is a strong, joyful and loving companion and a therapy dog to Elliott.

In recent years, she’s been treated for Cushing’s disease, a malfunction of the adrenal glands; and pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. Miss Kirbie was diagnosed with lung cancer when under treatment for pancreatitis.

Here is a detailed account of Miss Kirbie’s medical treatment for lung cancer in 2019 and the decision-making process CAT and Elliott went through:

CAT Tieger, Miss Kirby, husband

CAT Tieger, Miss Kirby, Elliott Brown

A tiny coughing spell

October 4 – Miss Kirbie seems to have another case of pancreatitis, an ongoing concern when a dog has Cushing’s disease, a problem when the adrenal glands produce too much cortisol.  Veterinarian Dr. Carin Corbo checks Kirbs for pancreatitis.  It is positive.  The same drill, as usual, is recommended, intravenous fluids and meds for the vomiting and diarrhea.  While there, Kirbs has a tiny coughing spell, which I raise concern about.  “I hope she doesn’t have cancer,” I said to Dr. Corbo.  She responded, “I can’t imagine, but she could have something caught in her throat.” We agree to do a chest X-ray at her follow-up appointment.

October 7—Back to the vet for follow-up.  Dr.  Ben Palmer, Kirbie’s primary vet, is on duty.  “She looks great,” he said, “I think the pancreatitis is resolved.”  He performs the chest X-ray to make sure nothing is stuck in her throat. Ten minutes later, he enters the exam room where Kirbs and I are waiting.  “Come back here, I want to show you something,” he said in a very calm voice.  As I walked to the X-ray room, I thought if this is a toy squeaker, how in the world do we get it out.  I’m standing, as he showed me the X-ray.   Dr. Palmer circled something on the film with a pen.  I looked at it for a few seconds and then said, “Is that what I think it is?”  Dr. Palmer replies “Yes, it’s a tumor in her lung.”

World upside down

My world went upside down and so did my balance.  I had to sit down.  I felt faint.  I wasn’t expecting that.   Not lung cancer.  Not in a dog.  Not in our precious Kirbie.  God, help her, is all I could think.  Then, like with anyone, whether human or animal, the next question is ”why, and why her?”

A cancer survivor myself, I wasted no time between tears asking what’s next and can this be fixed?  Dr. Palmer said he did not see any metastatic involvement anywhere else in the lung if there was any good news to this. He also noted that lung cancer in dogs is very rare, less than 1% of all cancer.

We swung into action.  Dr. Palmer immediately contacted a pet oncologist.

What are our options?

October 10 – Three days later we are in the office of oncologist Dr. William Ratterree.

Dr. Carrie Kosarek and Dr. Ratterree, who are married, are the founders of Cancer Veterinary Centers, a state-of-the-art cancer center, which they started in 2016. My husband Elliott and I immediately felt confident in the entire operation.

Like Dr. Palmer, Dr. Ratterree believed it was likely a primary tumor, but to make certain, he recommended a full body scan of Miss Kirbie to determine if there were any tumors elsewhere in her body.  He agreed to do it that same day and also do a biopsy to see how bad it was.

Several hours later, we received some good news and some bad.  He found no other visible evidence of tumors or metastases.  The bad news…he couldn’t get a biopsy.  The tumor is too deep in her lung and is very near her aorta.  Next question: “Okay, what are our options?,” we inquired.  Dr. Ratterree responded calmly and compassionately: do nothing, highly targeted radiation therapy, or surgery to remove a lobe of the lung (lobectomy).

We discussed the costs.  Surprisingly, the radiation treatment which Dr. Ratterree would perform was more expensive than surgery, because of the high cost of the technology involved.  He estimated about $6,500 for the radiation treatment and $4,500 for surgery.

I had to ask him the most important question: “What would you do if this were your pet?”  He did not hesitate, “If it is operable, surgery would give her a much better chance of a prolonged life.  However, there are always risks and it is a big surgery.  I think you should have Miss Kirbie evaluated by a surgeon before you make a decision.”  I knew then we were dealing with a doctor who puts the best interests of his patient first.

Shortly after that visit, the final verdict from the body scan report came back.  There was a well-defined mass in the right lung lobe.  If nothing is done, she may have only a few months to live.   Elliott and I decide to meet with a surgeon, so we can make the best decision for Kirbs.

‘Her best chance’

CAT and Miss KirbyOctober 15 – Next stop, Dr. Christopher Potanas, a veterinary surgeon, who performs all types of surgeries, especially advanced orthopedic and oncology.

We liked him immediately.  When he talks about your pet, you know exactly why he got into the field.  He’s about making pets whole again, if possible, and quality and longevity of life.  After discussing the risks involved, the potential complications and the best outcome, we asked, “So what do you think?”  “There are risks involved in terms of where the tumor is,” he said. “Plus, at this point we don’t even know the type of cancer, but if we are successful and there are no complications, this will give Miss Kirbie her best chance.”

We asked Dr. Potanas how many of these surgeries he had done? Around 250 open-chest surgeries and between 50-60 lung surgeries, he responded.  We were not expecting that many, especially in terms of lung surgery.  “And what is your success rate?”, I asked. “I’ve never lost a patient,” he said humbly.

As we left, Dr. Potanas said, “Just know if you decide to do the surgery, she is your little girl now, but when she comes in here, she is mine for at least 72 hours.”  We were so touched by that and knew if we went forward with surgery, he was our guy.  I cried all the way home.

Decision time

For the next few days we debated all the pros and cons.  Kirbs is only 10.  She’s not an old dog, but she does have other health problems.  Can she make it through surgery?  Radiation is less invasive, but what if it only gives her six months.  Plus, without knowing the type of cancer, it will be difficult to develop a treatment plan.  One decision was easy: Doing nothing was NOT an option.  Kirbs is too strong, too joyful, too loving to let her go without giving her the best chance.  We decide on surgery.

With her pancreatitis still flaring, we schedule surgery for October 21.  Dr. Palmer, Kirbs primary vet, and the staff at Animal Medical Hospital of Naples, where Kirbs has been a patient for almost 10 years, swing into action to get it cleared up before surgery.

Time for surgery

October 21 – Up at 7 a.m. to get Kirbs to Dr. Potantas for surgery.  He will do an evaluation to determine if she is strong enough and his colleague will do a cardiac assessment to make sure a small heart murmur is not connected with any underlying cardiac disease.  Later in the day, he declares a “Go” for the surgery, and he and his team begin to prepare.

Of course, we had alerted every family member and friend and asked for prayers for our baby girl.  We were so grateful to everyone for all their support and love, including lots of Old Naples friends and neighbors.

The surgery lasted about two hours, as we sat patiently, but prayerfully, in the waiting room.  Finally, Dr. Potanas emerged and said it all went well with total removal of the lobe.  The tumor will be sent to pathology, which will determine whether further treatment is required, likely in the form of chemo.

Post-surgery – Kirbs came home three days later.  She kept us up all night with little grunts and whimpers until about 5:30 a.m. when she finally settled down and we all got about four hours of sleep.  Four days later, I didn’t like the way she looked so we rushed her back to the hospital.  As I suspected, pancreatitis had raised its ugly head again.  This time it was likely brought on by the anesthesia, according to the hospital.  Hospitalized again for pancreatitis, she gets the same treatment again, fluids and meds for nausea and diarrhea.   Sunday, October 27, she comes back home.

A year later, ‘tiny warrior’ lives on

Kirbs
Now, nearly a year later, Kirbs is doing well, walking, eating, and even smiling again.  She is an amazing animal, so tough, brave, and resilient.  She is our “Tiny Warrior,” and we cherish each day we have with her.

Almost 50% of all dogs over 10 will get cancer, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.  As for lung cancer, the incidence in both cats and dogs is very rare, and less than 1% for both.

I’ve written this for all pet parents to let you know what it is like when your pet is diagnosed with cancer and the decision-making process we went through.  Hopefully, you will never have to go through a situation like this, but should it happen, everyone’s decision will be different, given the type of cancer, whether it has spread, the pet’s age, and the costs involved.  Pet cancer is expensive, and we feel blessed to be able to afford the best care possible. We are incredibly fortunate to have such outstanding pet health care professionals in our community.   They did an amazing job of using their special skills, collaborating with one another in the best interests of Miss Kirbie, and giving us hope that she will be with us for years to come.

Pet insurance was a great investment

Having a policy with Healthy Paws Pet Insurance also made the cancer journey so much easier.  We were so fortunate to be able to go through this difficult experience and not have to think about the costs involved in assuring our little girl had the best care.  Healthy Paws covered 90 percent of the medical bills, minus a $200 deductible. We are so grateful and believe pet insurance is one of the best investments a pet parent can make.  You just never know when you need it, and when you do, it is invaluable.  In our case, it was life-saving.  High fives to everyone at Healthy Paws!

Protect your pets from a potential cancer diagnosis, which the Healthy Paws plan covers. Get a quote and make sure you’re covered for any future injuries or illnesses.  

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Haley the dog

Diagnosis:  Cystic brain tumor

Total claims:  $12,753
Reimbursed:  $10,003
Policy options:  $100 deductible | 80% reimbursement

Haley is a six-year-old mixed-breed poodle who would be the class valedictorian and the star athlete if she were a person.

She’s a highly active little dog who loves long walks and outings with the family, where she’s known to chase rabbits and chipmunks if she gets the chance. She’s keen to show off her skills at amateur agility on a course set up in Haley the dogher yard.

She is so bright that she passed both the Animal Protective Foundation Canine Good Citizen course and a Therapy Dog International test when she was little more than a year old. After all that activity, she settles into becoming a snuggler when she gets to know you, and she performed years of therapy visit work at a local hospital.

Healthy Paws customer Kathy and her husband Mike adopted Haley from a shelter when she was just a pup, and she’s been keeping them on the go ever since.

When Haley started having vision trouble in May, Kathy took her to the veterinarian, who recommended she go to a canine ophthalmologist for an exam.

They suspected a condition where the retina degrades and quickly causes blindness in dogs, which was scary enough.

However, her test for that condition came out negative.  She was then referred to a neurologist to investigate other causes for the progressive blindness. At this point, optic nerve damage was suspected, but Kathy was told there was a chance it could be a brain tumor.

A brain tumor diagnosis

The next day a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and spinal tap were performed, revealing that Haley did have a brain tumor.

“We were absolutely devastated,” Kathy said. “Her tumor was not operable, and the only hope to prolong her life with was radiation therapy.”

Haley the dogKathy and Mike live in a rural part of New York state, and there were no veterinary hospitals nearby where Haley could be treated. They traveled to the closest vet hospital that could perform radiation – two and a half hours away in Yonkers, N.Y.  – and consulted with a vet radiation oncologist.

They learned that Haley needed three weeks or 15 radiation treatment sessions. Thankfully, they had family in the area to stay with during the treatment.

Haley handled the radiation well, and within the first week, her vision started to improve.

“We watched her track a bird that was in the yard. It brought us to tears,” Kathy wrote. “Two weeks earlier, she was bumping into us and furniture.”

After the radiation protocol was complete, the only other medical need was an anti-inflammatory medication, which Haley took for several weeks.

Back to spotting rabbits

A month after completing her treatments, she visited her neurologist, who was amazed at her progress. She was back to normal. Going forward, she will have follow-up visits with her neurologist periodically and another imaging scan in six months to ensure the tumor remains recessed.

Haley is back to spotting rabbits and chipmunks and, just like before, she chases them like crazy.

Cancer is the #1 disease-related killer of senior pets. The Healthy Paws pet insurance plan covers cancer care, including diagnosis, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hospitalization, surgery, medications, and rehabilitation, as long as it is not pre-existing before enrolling in pet insurance.

“If we had not had Healthy Paws, we would have had to take a serious look at Haley’s options.  Having this insurance allowed us to seek out and do what was the absolute best for her.  Several of my neighbors and friends have said they could not handle the cost if it were their pet,” she said. “I am encouraging everyone to please get Healthy Paws Pet Insurance.  It could save your beloved animal’s life.”

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Key Takeaways

  • Pet parent Aaron and his chocolate lab Fizban had their lives shattered when a car accident paralyzed Fizban in January.
  • Aaron took extraordinary measures to get Fizban healthy again, even moving cross country to live with relatives so he could take Fizban to a rehabilitation center.
  • After surgery, stem cell treatment, and months of therapy, Fizban has regained almost all his mobility.

Diagnosis: Traumatic injury
Total Claims: $28,474 | Healthy Paws Paid: $22,279
Policy Option: 80 percent | $250 deductible

The day it happened – Jan. 2, 2020 – will be seared into Aaron’s memory for the rest of his life.

He was driving near his home in Palmer, Alaska, with his best friend Fizban, a six-year-old chocolate lab, sitting in the passenger seat. Another car illegally entered the roadway and Aaron, unable to stop or avoid it, smashed into it. He watched in horror as his beloved companion crashed into the front windshield.

“I heard his howls of pain that went on for what seemed like forever. Seeing his body stiffen as it did — his legs immobile, his howling. I almost lost my ability to function, but he needed me,” Aaron recalls.

A bystander helped Aaron strap Fizban to a plank and lift him into his truck and they rushed to the nearest veterinary hospital. There, he was stabilized and Aaron soon learned the basics of how severe the damage was: a fractured vertebra that was causing him to be completely paralyzed in the rear and show weakness in the front legs.

The first few days Aaron thought he was going to lose his constant companion and adventure buddy. He struggled with whether Fizban would have a reasonable quality of life if he did survive.

 

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A special bond

But he had three things on his side. As a previous veterinary technician, he knew there were treatments such as stem cell therapy that could help Fizban regain his mobility. He was enrolled in a Healthy Paws insurance plan that he knew would help with the financial burden. While the Healthy Paws plan does not cover stem cell therapy, which is still considered experimental, it did help cover the surgery and months of rehabilitation and physical therapy. And then there was Fizban’s indomitable spirit.

As hard as it was, Aaron knew he had to save Fizban’s life. The two have had a special bond ever since Aaron adopted him as a puppy.

“He has been with me through a divorce, a heart attack, and a number of other life-altering events. He’s helped me through the most difficult times of my life. Sometimes I wonder where I’d have been without the strength I gain from knowing he loves me, and he needs me,” he said.

A long, painful recovery

After a successful surgery to correct the fractured vertebra, Fizban had to remain strapped down for 10 days. During that time he also received two sessions of stem cell treatment, a fairly novel approach for pets in which stem cells from the bone marrow are injected into the damaged area and the cells suppress inflammation, relieve pain, and allow new tissue to grow. Aaron paid for those treatments out of his own pocket.

Through it all, Fizban was alert and remained the spirited dog that Aaron loved.

“We didn’t start to see improvement until a week in. That was the longest, hardest, most tear-filled week of my life,” Aaron wrote. “Seeing him there, still 100 percent Fizban, happy to see everyone and confused why we wouldn’t let him stand up.”

Fizban was required to remain in the hospital for a full month before he was ready to go home. Once he got out, Aaron made an extraordinary decision: In order to get Fizban the ongoing treatment that he needed, he left his job and relocated temporarily to the Chicago, Illinois area where he had family and could access Canine Physical Rehab, a veterinary hospital that could provide the rehabilitation services Fizban needed.

Fizban would undergo daily sessions of hydrotherapy, laser therapy, and land exercises. He was also receiving acupuncture and massage. Soon he regained his ability to stand, sit, and move his legs. Aaron ordered him a wheelchair for his hindquarters while he worked to regain strength and balance in his legs.

Remarkably, within weeks, Fizban was chasing a ball with his hind legs supported by the wheelchair. Within two months, he was fully weight-bearing. Since then, he’s continued to progress.

“At every step along the way in his therapy, I’ve gotten nothing but slack-jawed amazement at his recovery, progress, and determination. I couldn’t be prouder, as a dog dad,” he said.

Almost back to normal

Today, Fizban still has a palsy in his rear right leg and his gait is off, but it doesn’t affect his buoyant, joyful outlook in the slightest, Aaron said.

“Indeed, the hardest part is making sure he doesn’t get ahead of himself. He’s always been an energetic guy…sometimes he forgets his hindquarters aren’t what they used to be. But I’m always there to get him up the steps or onto the bed, or wherever he needs to go,” Aaron said.

The time that Aaron took off to care for Fizban has inspired other changes in his life.  He has returned to Alaska and is fixing up a bus into a tiny home that he plans to live and travel in with Fizban by his side. He will write about his adventures and work on his hobby of drone photography in beautiful places.

You can follow Aaron and Fizban’s adventures on Instagram.

Fizban the labWhy Healthy Paws?

Aaron signed up for pet insurance shortly after adopting Fizban because as a vet tech he had seen the “soul-crushing” decision that some pet parents had to make to euthanize their pets because they couldn’t afford care.

“Pets are family, and I never wanted to be caught in that position. Never,” he said.

When choosing a plan, he did his research. He asked friends and colleagues, looked at online review sites, and read the details of various plans.

“I knew that if I ever needed to use my insurance, I wanted the best one out there. The resounding consensus was Healthy Paws,” he said. “I wish I never had to use your services, but now that I have, I couldn’t be happier.”

If you are a Healthy Paws pet parent with a recovery story to tell, we’d love to hear it! Send your pet’s story along with photos of your four-legged family member to [email protected].

Be prepared for high vet bills in case of an accident with your pet. Find out more about dog insurance (and cat insurance) and start by getting a free quote. Bonus: Each quote means a donation is made to homeless pets.

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