May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

My retriever mix, Lyger, was prone to lipomas, harmless fatty lumps that pop up under the skin. I only had the first one removed, quickly realizing that they were just more of him to love. One day, a new bump popped up on his neck and I watched it for a few weeks, assuming that it was yet another benign bump. After all, he was 12 and had dozens of them over the years, just more character in my senior boy. Almost as an afterthought, I mentioned it to the vet at his routine checkup. And that is when I heard the big “c” word no pet parent wants to hear: cancer.

Lyger - Post LumpectomyLyger had a mast cell tumor, a type of cancer I’d heard of but knew nothing about. I’d never been keen on the idea of treating pet cancers, thinking it seemed cruel, especially in a senior dog that couldn’t understand. But, after talking with the vet and a few vet tech friends, they assured me it was quite treatable, and he might not even need chemo after the surgery. Turns out they were right. The vet did a lumpectomy and the margins were good (post-surgery pic right). Lyger remained cancer free the remainder of his years.

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It's our 10th Blogiversary!

BarnesLaura's cat, Barnes, at our
first office.

Happy 10th Anniversary to the Embrace Pet Insurance blog!

Time sure does fly when you’re busy and having’s just staggering to think that today marks the 10th anniversary of this blog. (What should we get ourselves for the aluminum anniversary?) There have been over 500k visits, where people discussed concerns about pet health, joined with us on our entrepreneurship journey, and of course, got the straight scoop on pet insurance. We’ve shared fantastic guest posts and podcasts, had a few laughs, and said some very hard goodbyes.

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Who Rescued Who?

CamoPrevention of Cruelty to Animals Month involves a lot of very tough topics, so we wanted to finish it off with a story that shows even pets who start off in rough situations can go on to do amazing things...

Ask most rescue pet parents “who rescued who” and it’s a hard question to answer. That mutual appreciation couldn’t be more real than in the case of Kate and Camo (pictured right), a 25 pound Shih Tzu and Poodle mix, two friends that have spent the last four years helping each other through some tough past traumas.

Camo was already a year old when he was rescued from a hoarding situation, likely a puppy mill, where he was kept in small quarters. But that wouldn’t be his last stint in lock down, as he was about to do some serious time. His second detention would be for a good cause, however, as Camo’s rescue group partnered him with a service dog training program based in a nearby women’s prison. There he would hone his skills to help a human in need.

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Podcast: Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Animal cruelty certainly isn’t a topic we looked forward to discussing, but as responsible pet parents, it’s up to all of us to help the animals in our community. After all, we are their voice. So, it’s up to us to advocate for animals that are being neglected or abused.

But sometimes it’s hard to even know where to begin. What are the signs of neglect? When does neglect cross over to cruelty? How can we help? This month, our friend and fellow animal advocate Dr. Patrick Mahaney helps us help those that cannot help themselves.

In our podcast we’ll answer:

  • What should I do if I witness someone being cruel to their animals? Who do I report that to?
  • How do I recognize if a "breeder" is actually a puppy mill?
  • How do you talk to someone who crosses the line from what you think is helping, to actually hurting animals?
  • What signs might indicate a pet is being abused?
  • Do veterinarians have “mandatory reporter” requirements if they think a pet is being abused?
  • If you adopt a pet that you suspect or you know has been abused in the past, what do you recommend you do to combat the long-lasting effects of that abuse, particularly behavioral issues?

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Guest Post: Puppy mills = Animal Abuse

Pet store puppiesThe FBI defines animal abuse as “Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly taking an action that mistreats or kills any animal without just cause, such as torturing, tormenting, mutilation, maiming, poisoning, or abandonment. Included are instances of duty to provide care, e.g., shelter, food, water, care if sick or injured; transporting or confining an animal in a manner likely to cause injury or death; causing an animal to fight with another; inflicting excessive or repeated unnecessary pain or suffering, e.g., uses objects to beat or injure an animal.” The FBI recently labeled Animal Abuse as a top tier felony, hoping to curb the ongoing problem.

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