Why does my dog chew her paws? Dermatology 101

Dog paw 85% of foot licking is a sign of pollen allergies (atopic) - who would have thunk it?

What about the other 15%? Quite likely to be food allergies.

Now those are useful stats.

In the claims department at Embrace Pet Insurance, skin conditions are not our friends. That's because they are many times signs of chronic allergies, which often comes as a big surprise to our pet parents especially if the allergies are pre-existing :(.

Who would think that chewing paws could be related to an ear infection, another sign of pollen allergies? Not most of us. 

So I was paying attention when I recently came across a fascinating presentation by Dr. Hnilica , an expert on skin conditions, as he had some really useful rules of thumb relating symptoms to diagnosis.

In addition to the statistic above, how about:

  • perianal dermatitis (inflammation of the skin around the rear end, ahem) is most likely food allergies
  • lumbar dermatitis (inflammation of the skin on the dog's back) is most likely a flea allergy
  • with ear dermatitis (inflammation on the outside of the ear), if you rub the edge of the ear and the dog gets a rear leg reflex to scratch, the dermatitis is 80% likely to be scabies (aka positive pinnal-pedal reflex.)

So if you see these signs in your dog, they might be symptoms of a chronic allergy or condition that is not going to go away without treatment. You might just want your vet take a look to see what she thinks.

BTW, Dr. Hnilica has more information on his website http://www.itchnot.com  so check it out if you want to learn more (love the name, makes me want to scratch - don't you?)

Job Opportunity: join us a Customer Care Embracer in sales

We've posted another job at Embrace Pet Insurance - a Customer Care Embracer. If you are applying,  please pay attention to the instructions at the bottom for best results.


Can you sell on the phone while educating pet parents about pet insurance?

Do you like to use your intelligence on a daily basis?

Does the challenge of creating a pet insurance culture in the US excite you?

Embrace Pet Insurance -- a fast-growing, fun-loving pet insurer in Mayfield Village -- is looking for bright, innovative, and highly motivated individuals who are comfortable using technology and have strong communication and sales skills.

If you want to grow with us, then we want to hear from you. We offer a competitive salary ($25K - $35K), health benefits, pet insurance, and company ownership.

Skills & Experience:

  • Must have prior experience as a successful sales representative in a call center environment and the results to prove it

  • Strong customer service orientation – you’re not satisfied unless the customer is satisfied

  • “Can do” attitude – no obstacles are too big and no tasks are too small

  • Team oriented – pitching in to help get the job done

  • Flexible - ability to work in a changing, dynamic, and sometimes chaotic early stage company environment

  • Ability to take on more responsibility, including supervisory duties, as the company grows

  • Pet lover who really cares about animals and their welfare
To apply, please send an email to hireme@embracepetinsurance.com with a well written cover letter including a paragraph on what pet insurance means to you and your resume. Be sure to include the words "CCE Blog" in the title.

Light relief as the election comes down the home stretch

Which are better - cats or dogs Are you a dog person?

Or a cat person?

Are cats really better than dogs in your opinion?

Or not?

If you can't wait for the election to be over, then you'll really enjoy these two websites that use a political motif to get your vote on whether Cats Are Better or Dogs Are Better.

You'll have a good laugh and get your chance to vote in this most important election.

All I say is Cats rule in Ohio.

What say yea?

Bilateral Elbow Dysplasia - $5,900 surgery

At Embrace, we aren't perfect but we darn well try hard to be. We are mere mortals though and it seems like we spend all our time focusing on our failings instead of celebrating the good that we do.

So I wanted to share with you an email we received today from Donna. She sent it after we approved a pre-certification for bilateral elbow dysplasia surgery that Huck, her Bull Mastiff puppy, is going to have before Christmas.

Huck's estimated surgical bill is $5,900 and if the actual vet bills comes out the same as the estimate, we'll be paying just over $4,100 (Donna has a $500 annual deductible, 20% copay and no take-home drug coverage - annual premium $349.06.)

When Donna heard this good news this afternoon, she sent us this email:

Dear Christine and everyone at Embrace,

Spread the word? I will SHOUT it from the roof tops!!!! Embrace has saved Huck and I. As a reasonably intelligent person, I did all my homework and thought I was doing my very best to purchase a great healthy puppy. Then real life happens, as it does with humans and here we are, in this terrible economy, with this very expensive problem.

My decision to purchase Embrace is the one of the wisest decisions I have made in my 52 years. You bet I will spread the word, and I know so many dog people who are as crazy in love with their dogs as I am Huck. Bless you all for this terrific news! You have saved my beloved pet as well as my 29 year marriage:) To see Huck pain free and happy and healthy will be our Christmas miracle. He is a wonderful, sweet soul, and he deserves to feel good. I cannot thank you all at Embrace Pet Insurance enough.

Very gratefully yours, Donna C & Huck the Mastiff

It's a nice way to end the week.

Follow up on Online Scam using Pet Insurance

Oh my goodness! After my post yesterday (Email Scam using Embrace Pet Insurance as a Lure - Bah!)about people purchasing pets online (and this includes monkeys of all things), a number of people contacted me confiding they had been duped - one to the tune of $1,300.


All of them asked what they can do to get their money back. If this happened to you (so sad :( ) I'm not sure you are going to see anything back but here's what I've found in my digging online on what you can do.

  • If you used Western Union, they can't get your money back for you (they are just a conduit to facilitate money transfer, they don't hold the money or anything) but they can shut down the other party. So, email them at spoof@westernunion.com and let them know what happened. They have more information on fraud online.
  • You can file a complaint online at the Internet Crime Complain Center run by the FBI. I'm not sure that much can be done for a complaint against someone in Cameroon but again, reporting it might help others.

There's more information on what you can do in this excellent article called What to Do If You Are Scammed Online.

If you have been a victim of this fraud and do report it, let us know what happens so we can report to others out there going through the same thing.

Related Posts:
Email scam using Embrace Pet Insurance as a lure - bah! - intro to the pet scam
Foreign puppy shipping fraud continues - another sample letter from scammers

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