Junk Drawer Diet Leads to Tummy Turmoil for Manchester Terrier Mix

Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Selects Most Unusual November Claim

Brea, Calif. (Dec. 16, 2014) – Nick Servies of Indianapolis, Ind., describes his 11-year-old Manchester terrier mix Jackie as a happy, calm and independent dog who likes to get into a little mischief from time to time. But Nick is still scratching his head over Jackie’s last incident, after she discovered how to open the family’s junk drawer and proceeded to ingest all of its contents. Jackie’s bizarre brunch and relieving recovery have earned her the title of November’s "Most Unusual Claim of the Month" by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance.

Nick first met Jackie at a rescue center in Kentucky. After learning of a homeless dog with a litter of puppies, Nick, being a huge dog lover, decided to make the trip with the intent on adopting a puppy. Nearly seven months later, Nick heard the 4-year-old mother was still looking for a home so he repeated the journey and adopted her as well, giving her the name Jackie.

“Ever since we brought Jackie home she’s been a really happy dog,” said Nick. “She gets along with our other dogs and loves to eat. She’s really ornery though and has a tendency to want things her way, which has led to some veterinary visits over the years, but we’ve been prepared. We signed Jackie up with VPI as soon as we got her, as we have done with all our dogs.”

On the day of Jackie’s junk food feast, Nick had returned home from work and was greeted at the door by a commonly excited Jackie. Nick noticed that Jackie’s stomach looked bloated and wondered if she had gotten into her food or something edible. Upon further investigation, Nick noticed that one his bedroom drawers had been raided and what he discovered, or lack thereof, boggled his mind. Jackie had ingested a pair of sunglasses, the sunglass case, a medicine bottle, Chap Stick, a bottle of fragrance oil and a container of lip gloss.

“At first, I couldn’t believe that she was able to get the drawer open,” said Nick. “Then I noticed the items missing and I knew she needed to go to the emergency animal hospital right away. She’s never done anything like that before, but this is an example of why we purchased pet insurance with VPI. You never know what kind of trouble your dog can get into, no matter what their age.”

Once at the emergency animal hospital, the veterinarians took X-rays and ran several tests on Jackie. The X-rays revealed the various items that Jackie had ingested, which led to concern that surgery may be required to remove them. Luckily, with the help of some powerful laxatives, the terrier was able to pass all of the foreign objects on her own.

“Foreign bodies can be extremely dangerous for pets,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, Vice President and Chief Veterinary Officer for VPI. “If a pet ingests something that is non-digestible, it can cause a blockage in their intestines and in many cases, require surgery to have the foreign body removed. Jackie was very lucky that she has a pet parent who got her treatment right away and even luckier that she was able to pass the objects on her own.”

Since the incident, Jackie has made a full recovery and is back to her old self. Nick is relieved that Jackie wasn’t seriously injured and has since taken precautions to prevent Jackie from looting his belongings.

“The whole thing was really out of the ordinary for her and I’m still shocked it even happened,” said Nick. “I’m just grateful that everything turned out okay and that I had VPI. You never know what can happen to your pet and its best to be ready for anything.”

As the most unusual claim submitted in November, Jackie will be in the running for the 2015 VPI Hambone Award. Jackie’s incident was one of more than 92,000 claims received in the month of November by VPI, and was selected by VPI employees as the most unusual of them all. Honorable mentions in November include a Chihuahua that battled a possum, a cat that ate a Christmas light bulb and a Labrador retriever that ingested a large amount of brewer’s yeast for beer brewing. All pets considered for the VPI Hambone Award have made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.

Note to editors: Digital images of Jackie are available upon request. Please send requests to rwhittington@petinsurance.com.

About VPI Hambone Award

The VPI Hambone Award is named in honor of a VPI-insured dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while waiting for someone to rescue him. The dog was eventually found, with a licked-clean ham bone and a mild case of hypothermia. This quirky title was first awarded in 2009 to Lulu, a hungry English bulldog who swallowed 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap and a piece of a basketball. The VPI Hambone Award and these unusual pet insurance claims have since helped educate the public about the unexpected mishaps that can affect household pets. Stories and pictures of the VPI Hambone Award nominees are available at VPIHamboneAward.com

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

With more than 500,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI) is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies and is the first and largest pet health insurance company in the United States. Since 1982, VPI has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers. VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Wellness coverage and routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2012); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2012). Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

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