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Rough Play Leads to Internal Injury, Surgery for Samoyed

By Christy True
published: October 12, 2022 - updated: January 20, 2023 • 3 min. read
White Samoyed dog
Diagnosis:  Hematoma
Claims Covered: $8,806 | Healthy Paws paid: $7,932
Coverage options: $100 deductible | Reimbursement: 90%

Pet parent Lynda has three dogs – all of them beautiful, big white fluffy Samoyeds she sometimes takes to dog shows. 

One day in March 2021, she returned home after a dog show with Jazzi, one of her three dogs. Jazzi and her sibling Sierra were excited to be home and started some serious play in the living room.

Suddenly, Lynda heard a loud thud on the hardwood floor. 

“Yikes, what happened? We are pretty sure Jazzi (only three years old) got under Sierra (who had just turned ten years old) and flipped her,” Lynda said.

Lynda rushed to Sierra and helped her up – initially, she seemed fine. Lynda walked her outside, and she was moving well, then she pooped and collapsed onto the ground. Once Lynda helped her inside, she melted onto the floor. 

Lynda called a tele-vet service, and they advised her that Sierra likely needed emergency care.

Sierra needed surgery right away 

She and her husband Larry got her into the car and raced to the nearest emergency vet an hour away from their home in central California. They called the vet on the way and explained the situation.

White Samoyed dog

“I was pretty certain she had either had a seizure or an internal injury,” Lynda said. 

Once at the vet, they brought her in quickly, took x-rays, and, as Lynda suspected, she had fluid in her belly from her spleen. 

The emergency vet could not perform the surgery she needed, and Lynda was referred to another vet a 45-minute drive away. They called the second vet en route and advised them that Sierra was on her way and her condition was critical.

Upon arrival, they took Sierra in, performed more tests and decided to get her into surgery immediately. She needed a splenectomy or removal of the spleen, as the mass was attached to it. The spleen serves as a storage area for blood, but dogs can live fine without it. 

Lynda and her husband returned home at 3 a.m., exhausted and worried. Fortunately, the vet’s office called at 5 a.m. and said the surgery had gone well. They removed a large mass that indicated a hematoma, blood collected in a swollen lump under the skin. Most hematomas are caused by trauma or injury. Fortunately, the mass was not cancerous.

Sierra spent three days in the vet hospital to monitor her recovery, as splenectomies can cause heart arrhythmia. Finally, Sierra could go home, but her health issues were not over. 

The medication she was on was causing Sierra to have bladder issues, and she was lethargic and groggy. Lynda called her local vet to examine her. The vet put her on a different medication, and she started improving as her bladder issue resolved. 

Then a pathology report came back with more good news. It confirmed that the lump was a benign hematoma from the accident and that Sierra was in otherwise good health for a 10-year-old dog. 

Sierra developed a mammary tumor at the end of 2021; it was removed with surgery and radiation, and she fully recovered.

Now 11-1/2 years old, Sierra is thriving and back to running, jumping over logs and chasing chipmunks on her pet parents’ wooded property. 


How pet insurance helped

White Samoyed dog

Sierra’s mother and grandmother had developed mammary cancer, so she wanted pet insurance for all of her dogs. She chose Healthy Paws based on the terms of the policy and thorough research.

“We gathered information, read reviews, talked to vets and vet receptionists. We narrowed it down to Healthy Paws and one other company,” Lynda wrote. “We then did more due diligence, and both decided Healthy Paws was for us!”

Now that she’s had Healthy Paws for a while, Lynda is pleased with her choice.

“Healthy Paws was fast and efficient in our reimbursements. I received exactly what I expected would be covered. I am so thankful that we have this insurance,” Lynda said. 

The claim scenarios described here are intended to show the types of situations that may result in claims. These scenarios should not be compared to any other claim. Whether or to what extent a particular loss is covered depends on the facts and circumstances of the loss, the terms and conditions of the policy as issued and applicable law.

Insured persons providing testimonials in this report have not received compensation for their statements.

Christy True and Tomas
By Christy True

Christy has been writing about pets for Healthy Paws for 21 dog years. She previously worked in journalism, hence her penchant for writing about offbeat animal studies and the latest viral pet trends. She has been owned by several dogs, and right now, Tomas, a Mexican street dog rescue, is staring at her because he wants a walk. Outside of work, she can usually be found sliding down a mountain near her home in Bend, Ore.

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