BREA, Calif. (February, 2018) – Devastated after losing her beloved Dachshund of 15 years, Rocky, Stacey Logan-Docke of Carle Place, N.Y., knew the only way to uplift the family was by bringing another dog into the household. The family soon after adopted two Dachshund’s and named the duo Blitzen and Dasher. They brought a lot of joy to Stacey’s entire family and truly uplifted the household. However, soon thereafter Stacey’s husband, George, came home from work to find that Blitzen chewed a hole through the kitchen wall. Blitzen’s “foodierdquo; adventure gone wrong and heartwarming recovery earned him the title of February’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance.
The day started off as any other day in the Logan-Docke household. Stacey and George were hard at work and Blitzen and Dasher were headquartered in the kitchen, to keep them out of trouble. Stacey returned home during her lunch break to take the dogs out and stretch their legs and returned back to work immediately after. Hours later, George arrived home from work only to walk into the kitchen and find that the dogs had chewed a hole through the kitchen wall.
“My husband didn’t know what happened,” said Stacey. “He wasn’t sure what caused them to chew through the wall. He couldn’t tell if both of them chewed the wall or only one of them. He had no idea if either of them were in any real medical danger.”
George immediately rushed Blitzen and Dasher to their primary veterinarian at Garden City Veterinary Care in Mineola, N.Y., where they both had X-rays taken. The results showed that Blitzen had ingested a foreign body, likely drywall, and they treated him with fluids, hopeful that surgery was not needed. Blitzen and Dasher were both cleared and able to be taken home, only to return to Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center of Westbury, N.Y., two hours later.
“We took them home and everything was fine. Blitzen and Dasher were tired but otherwise acting normal,” said Stacey. “After a couple of hours, Blitzen was nauseous and started vomiting, and we immediately rushed him to the emergency hospital.”
The family arrived at the emergency veterinarian where Blitzen was evaluated right away for the ingestion of foreign material and vomiting. A plan was made to keep him overnight for hospitalization on IV fluids and supportive care. The staff at Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center of Westbury had additional X-rays taken and administered anti-vomiting medication to help keep him comfortable throughout the night. The next morning, the staff took another set of X-rays which showed that the foreign object had successfully passed and Blitzen was cleared to return home.
“Blitzen is incredibly lucky that he didn’t ingest more of the drywall,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide. “This incident is a prime example of why pet insurance exists and how these unforeseen events can happen anywhere, including your own home. Literally!”
Two months following the distressing event, Blitzen returned back to his normal ways, although he has kept his distance from the eerie kitchen wall. The pups have even found themselves in the constant care of a dog sitter, to help keep a closer watch on any suspicious activity the duo may get into.
“Blitzen received excellent veterinary care at both Garden City Veterinary and Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center. The staff was comforting, and they treated him immediately,” said Stacey. “We’ve been long-term users of pet insurance from our previous pets. I recommend pet insurance to everyone I know. It’s a worthwhile investment that pays for itself with one emergency visit.”
As the most unusual claim submitted in February, Blitzen will be in the running for the 2018 Hambone Award. Blitzens’s incident was one of more than 149,000 pet insurance claims received in the month of February by Nationwide, and was selected by Nationwide associates as the most unusual of them all. Honorable mentions in February include a Doberman Pinscher who ate an air freshener, a Chihuahua who ate a barbeque skewer and a mixed breed dog who ate a razorblade. All pets considered for the Hambone Award have made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.
Note to editors: Digital images of Blitzen are available upon request. Please send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hambone Award is named in honor of a Nationwide-insured dog who got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire holiday 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 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 Hambone Award nominees are available at HamboneAward.com.
With more than 650,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.
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