June 2015 Focuses on Summer Dangers

Great Dane Snake BiteOn one hand I can scarcely believe we’re already half way through 2015, and on the other, it feels like this summer was way overdue. But, with the rising temps we’re already seeing an increase in claims that come with seasonal allergies, insect bites, and even snake bites (check out Aragon the Great Dane's snake bite claim story by clicking his picture).

It’s not all doomsday though. (I know it can start to feel like that at a pet insurance company.) With the summer sun we also see more pups out for walks, shedding winter weight, and enjoying adventures. I’m awestruck by the Australian Shepherd that plays frisbee in the park near my home every morning. There’s always a smile on his face as he retrieves his prized possession for his person, the bond growing more and more with each throw. The same goes for the dog on his family’s boat or the cat enjoying some extra time with her kids home on summer break.

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Guest Post: Cancer Affects Everyone

Feline Cancer

Peter, a mixed breed cat,
suffered from lymphoma.

Cancer affects everyone’s lives. It might be a family member, a friend or our pet. Our pets get the same cancers that we do. They get mammary cancers, lymphoma, leukemia, lung cancer and any other cancers you can think of. If we can understand the disease of cancer in a dog or cat, we will better understand cancer in people, and vice versa.

There is such a high level of research being done by veterinarians, and until recently this research has gone nearly unnoticed by human physicians. Why? Who knows? But, it is now coming to the forefront that this research is valuable to the treatment and management of cancers in all species. For example, veterinarians have known for decades that estrogen mediated mammary cancer exists. The risk of mammary cancer in dogs increases to the exponential power with each heat cycle, and in cats 100% of mammary tumors are malignant. Spayed dogs and cats rarely get mammary cancers. That has not always been recognized in humans. There is now a test that tells you if the breast cancer is estrogen-receptor-positive or negative. These findings will help not only our pets, but us!

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Podcast: Pet Cancer Awareness with Dr. Patrick Mahaney

Our ongoing discussion about pet cancers has been quite informative and we’ve partnered up with Dr. Patrick Mahaney to continue this conversation, bringing you more on the following cancer-related questions:

  • What we can do to prevent cancer in our pets?
  • What are the most common cancers and what breeds are most likely affected by a diagnosis?
  • What are the recommended steps if you find a lump on your pet?
  • What should I expect when your pet needs chemo?

Dr. Mahaney will also share some helpful resources in the event that you find yourself caregiver to a pet with cancer, and will update us on any new cancer treatments coming over the horizon.

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#embraceyourpets Giveaway

#EmbraceYourPetsNothing makes an Embracer happier than seeing pictures of Embraced pets. Nothing. We’re always cooking up schemes to have you post photos of your pets to our Facebook timeline or tag us in your pet pics on Twitter and Instagram so that we can oooh and awww over the fluffy, fuzzy sweetness that is a happy, loved pet.

But, the cherry on top of these photos in our feed is when you’re posting photos and spreading the word about Embrace. We trust that you’ve had a good experience and enjoyed the peace of mind that comes with having an Embraced pet, and you’d probably rest even easier if your loved ones’ pets were Embraced too. There’s nothing worse than seeing financial heartbreak when a pet gets sick, so do your friends a favor and tell them how it’s helped you. They might even be eligible for two months of free pet insurance!

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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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