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Big progress in the move to RLI... 

If you recall, Embrace Pet Insurance is in the process of moving underwriters from Lloyd's of London to RLI Corp, an A+ AM Best rated company based in Peoria IL.

We have already moved 35 states over to RLI but, as of today, we have added 12 more states to the list:

AK, GA, HI, ID, LA, MD, NH, ND, SC, VT and WV

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SAFE-ANIMALS-SAFE-KIDS-Public-art-cat-dog-child-pop-art-BZTAT Our friend, Vicki Boatright, aka BZTAT, has just launched her fundraising campaign for her new project Okey's Promise. Okeys' Promise is a public art project designed to create awareness about the connections between animal maltreatment, child abuse and domestic violence. The picture to the right is the proposed image for first Okey's Promise mural to be located in the Canton, OH Arts District

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Before I started in pet insurance, I confess I had no idea that certain types of chewing gum could be fatal to a dog (there are no known cases in cats) but now I know.  

Xylitol, a sweetner often used in gum, can do 2 things to a dog:

  • ?hypoglycemia - with only a few sticks of gum, the dog's system will think that there's a lot of sugar in the system so work hard to digest it, putting it into an "insulin shock" you hear about with diabetics
  • hepatic necrosis - this extremely serious condition occurs with a much higher dose of Xylitol and can result in complete and acute liver failure, which is fatal to the dog

Here's an example of a claim we had earlier this year for 2 year old Meesha, a Siberian Husky living in East Lansing, MI. The treatment consisted of one emergency visit plus a follow up for blood work to make sure no permanent liver damage had occured.

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Hormonal creams, such as topical estrogen prescribed to relieve some of the symptoms of menopause, can have a devastating effect on dogs or cats (or other 2 legged children) who come in frequent contact with you.

I was talking on Facebook recently with Dr Keith Neisenbaum about hormonal cream poisoning. He mentioned a particular example so, given it's accident month at Embrace, I asked him to guest blog to spread the word about this innocuous but possibly fatal poison.

Dr Neibenbaum writes...


Kitten with David Trouble (not her real name) was a small but spunky Yorkshire Terrier.  She became a patient of mine 13 years ago when she was just a pup.  Unfortunately, her poor breeding stock left  her with a couple congenital problems that we had to deal with in her first year of life.  Her knees were never quite right, and she needed a surgery to correct  a blood vessel anomaly that shunted blood away from her liver.  She did well after that though, and the next 13 years were relatively uneventful healthwise.  Of course we are going to overlook her nasty habit of stealing the remote control for the TV and then hiding it so that no one could change the channel (I assume from Animal Planet).

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Today, we have another excellent guest post from Dr. Rex Riggs, owner of Best Friends Veterinary Hospital in Powell, Ohio. He is a veterinarian, and an Advisory Board member of Embrace Pet Insurance.

Dr. Riggs writes about common cat and dog poisonings and how the holiday season can be particularly worrisome.


Christmas dogs 1 Our pets love the holidays too. They get to see all the family. They get presents just like us. They also know we are preoccupied so it is time for them to get into mischief. You really need to watch your dogs and cats, because they can and WILL get into anything, and I mean anything!

I have already described the objects they will eat, such as ribbon, tinsel and the Christmas ham, in a previous post (Guest post: the most common items swallowed by dogs and cats), so this post is about the different poisonings we see in our practice in this festive time of the year.

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