When it’s time...to Remove a Pet from your Pet Insurance Policy

When I read this post that Embracer Lea wrote, I had a heavy heart and a tear in my eye. I've known Lyger as long as I've known Lea and he's been a wonderful part of Embrace's history.

It's hard to think you would ever drop your pet insurance policy for your older dog. What do you think about Lea's decision below?


Back in 2006 when I started with Embrace as one of just two employees, we weren’t even selling policies yet--just getting ready to.  But when the big day rolled around come October, we all jumped up and celebrated, then set to selling each other our very first insurance policies. Lyger, then just a six year old nutball who would sneak into the board meetings of our office neighbors, was among the first to be “embraced”.  We set him up with the “$5,000 max/$200 deductible/80% reimbursed” plan.

Flash forward a few years and his policy looks quite different.  Until he hit his “tweens” he’d been mostly healthy, with the exception of some arthritis so I reduced his coverage to a more catastrophic $500 deductible and 90% reimbursement option.  And that policy continued to serve us well, reimbursing for his mast cell tumor removal in 2012 and acupuncture in 2012.  Then his renewal rolled around last week, a happy reminder of how many years we’ve been selling policies, but also a reminder of how frail Lyger’s become, and how much the cost of insurance goes up with the advanced age.

During his last vet visit the doctor and I discussed his overall quality of life and noted that his arthritis and a large benign tumor were starting to take their toll on him.  I realized that the cancer surgery he had last year had been very hard on him, a trauma that he hasn’t fully recovered from.  While that’s bought him an extra year, it’s not the sort of procedure I’d put him through again. 

Realizing that Lyger’s $500 deductible wouldn’t serve much use in a situation where we had switched to pallative care, I took a look at the cost benefit of our coverage. Ultimately, Lyger’s insurance reached about $55 per month for a catastrophic plan that wasn’t paying for any of his home pain medications. (I’d opted out of the prescription drug coverage, and stand by my decision to do so...but that’s a post for another day.)  I consulted with my long-time colleagues about my decision, but ultimately took Lyger off of our Embrace plan.

So, now it feels very final.  No going back. No coverage “just in case”, because we’ve sadly hit that point at which  the next major step will be euthanasia.  And honestly, making the decision to jump off of the policy was difficult, but I have come to a resting point at which I no longer need to “make good use” of our policy.  In the insurance industry, we talk about avoiding “financial euthanasia”, or putting an animal to rest because the care is unaffordable.  But, we’re now at a polar opposite...I’ll no longer feel like I should proceed with treatment, just because I can.  It’s almost like I’ve made an internal agreement with myself. No more extreme measures, just respite care.

And I’m ok with it.  For now. Until that hard day comes.  In the meantime, I’ll opt to spend the savings I would have spent on premium on a few trips to his favorite ice cream stand.

A few notes from your Embrace agent about adding/removing pets:

  • Pets can be removed from the policy at anytime, though age guidelines may apply for pets being added to a policy. 
  • Pre-existing conditions may also apply if adding or re-adding a pet to your policy.
  • Coverage changes can be made, but any increase to your coverage will result in pre-existing conditions being reset.
  • Euthanasia is covered by your Embrace plan so long as the decision is brought about due to a covered condition. Cremation and burial costs are not included at this time.
  • When a pet is removed, for any reason, the coverage ceases and the policyholder is issued a refund for the remaining portion of premium paid.

Lyger celebrating a dog birthday in the office Lyger celebrating a dog birthday in the office



Claim example: German Shepherd Dog first wellness visit

If you ever wondered how expensive a puppy can be, here's a sample for a puppy's first visit that cost over $400. And it's not even from NY City; it's from Wrightsville PA.

This Wellness Rewards claim is for Turbo, a German Shepherd Dog puppy with several more visits to come. Now that's worth having an Embrace Wellness Rewards policy for.

Description Billed Amount
Puppy Series Full Bundle $349.35
Examination -Preventive Care $45.50
Fecal Wellness $29.85
Initial Puppy/Kitten Deworming $10.00
DHLP Vaccination $20.50
Initial Puppy Heartworm Dose $12.00
Pre Op Screen Panel $58.70
Vectra Puppy Pack Dose $0.00
Discount -$117.80
Total $408.10

I wonder how many people would get a dog if they saw this bill first. Was your first vet bill an unwelcome surprise?

 



January is Eye Care Month at Embrace Pet Insurance

IMG_3459Back in 2001, my cat Simon started to be concerned about his left eye. He'd rub it, and rub it some more, and then really had go at it until it was so swollen, he couldn't open it - all in the span of two days.

I took Simon to a local cat vet and we tried putting an antibiotic cream into his eye but he'd rub it out so fast, it hardly made a difference. I tried an E-collar but that didn't seem to help the condition (and he was a houdini when it came to the collar). So, off to the kitty opthamologist at the Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Her assessment was that if we couldn't fix the issue, Simon was going to lose his eye. I couldn't believe it!

Ultimately, a tiny vial of antiviral juice saved the day (at only $100 a pop back in 2001) and Simon was diagnosed with an eye herpes that could flare up at any point in the future if he became stressed (which luckily only happened one more time in his life). Definitely a candidate for pet insurance - prior to getting the condition of course!

I was thinking about how quickly Simon's eye issue came up when the topic of eye care came up for our theme for the month.

This month at Embrace, we're going to talk all about eye care and eye issues. If you have any questions for us to discuss with any of our experts, post them in the comments and we'll do our best to answer them.

Related Posts
January is Eye Care Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: Common Eye Issues as seen by Dr Rex Riggs
Podcast: cat and dog eye questions with Dr Patrick Mahaney
Claim Example: Dog Cataracts



Claim Example: Ruby the Dog is kicked by a Moose

When I was looking for claims that related specifically to Winter Dangers, this one stuck out as rather unexpected - poor Ruby gets kicked by a moose! We asked Elizabeth B, her pet parent, to tell us what happened and this is what she said:

Ruby in AlaskaRuby is proof that old dogs can learn new things.  We moved to Alaska in the winter of 2012.  Our dogs, Ruby (age 12) and Willow (age 3) , instinctively knew to be cautious around the bears we crossed paths with on our hikes.  But our dogs did not see moose as an obvious threat.  Although moose can weigh upwards of 1,500 pounds, they come off as curious, docile, and almost clumsy creatures, and accordingly are easy prey for dogs. What our dogs didn't know is that while moose tend not to run from a perceived threat, they can and will kick forward with their front feet, knocking down and trampling the threat.  

This fall, we came across a female moose on one of our hikes.  Ruby and Willow circled around it, barking until the moose became agitated and kicked Ruby in the hip.  Ruby lumbered out of the brush with an immediately swollen hip and back. Fortunately, she did not break any bones, but did tear a muscle which is still in the process of healing.  

We are fortunate to be covered by Embrace, which reimbursed us for the majority of the emergency visit and follow-up care she needed.  And now when we see moose on the trail, Ruby keeps her distance.  Willow is another story!

So there you have it - moose are not as docile as they appear to be! Ruby's claim details look like this:

Ruby's vet bill for moose kick
Ruby's claim payout calculation
Ruby's policy costs $12.59 a month for her accident-only policy, living in Anchorage AK.

Related Posts:
November is Winter Dangers Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: Winter Dangers With Dr Patrick Mahaney
Guest Post: A Warm Winter Is Not Necessarily A Good Thing For Pets
Veterinary View: An Increase in “Blocked Cats” During Autumn?
Claim Example: Ruby the Dog is kicked by a Moose

 



Claim Example: Mast Cell Tumor in German Shepherd/Golden Retriever/Labrador mix

Embracer Lea has been off on maternity leave with her super cute daughter Stella but she has been going through some tough times with her dog Lyger, which she wrote up for us. Here's Lea's story of Lyger and his mast cell tumor.

FYI we know Lyger's breed mix because he's Embracer Lea's dog and we did the genetic test on him as
part of an Embrace contest. He's a very happy German Golden Lab :)


Lyger and his red boneMy old retriever Lyger has more bumps and lumps than I can count--he's had lypomas for years.  Sometime in the summer, I noticed a new, soft, squishy bump on his neck.  I was a working student, very pregnant, and had just been joking with my vet tech about the possibility that I have Munchausens syndrome with my dogs--taking them in for any little thing.  So, I figured I'd just take a wait and see approach with this lumpy bump, keep an eye on it for any changes.

Fast forward a few months later and I'm in my vet's office for a senior check up--Lyger's been acting a bit sluggish.  The vet checks his hips, his neck, looks at a mole, does bloodwork.  Everything appears normal--it appears to be just  normal aging.  As an afterthought I mention the neck lump.  He does a needle aspirate to check the fluid in the lump.

Now, here comes the one downside to having a good relationship with your vet: You know when he sees something bad but is trying not to scare you.

He sends it out for pathology and calls me the next day to say it's cancer--but, a very treatable form of cancer, mast cell.  I confirm with some of my vet tech colleagues--they agree, this is a good cancer prognosis, if such a thing exists.  I never thought I'd want to put him through surgery at his age, but it was the best chance he had.

Lyger's mast cell surgery incisionTo remove a mass that was only about half the size of a ping pong ball required a very large incision, about 7 inches, to get clear margins.  But, we got very lucky--the vet was able to remove all of Lyger's cancer.  He won't require chemotherapy or other treatments.  But, as grade 2 mast cell tumors have a 50% chance of recurrence, we'll have to watch that area carefully.  A sample biopsy from his lymph nodes indicated that the cancer had not spread, despite my decision to "wait and see".

Speaking of the wait and see, that's what I'm here to tell you.  Don't do that.  First of all, the cancer could have spread to other systems, causing the prognosis to be much worse.  Secondly, I was waiting to see if the lump would get bigger.  It never did--but I later learned that's a characteristic of mast cell tumors: they can get bigger and smaller again!  Sneaky!  These tumors are especially common in senior dogs, particularly Retrievers, Boxers, Beagles and Bully breeds, among a list of others, and are
often found on on a dog's extremities.

This was a very costly close call, with about $1,000 in diagnostics and the surgery. But, I learned a very valuable lesson--don't play wait and see when it comes to health concerns, whether it's for your pet or yourself.  I could have lost the friend that's been by my side for over a decade, and would never have forgiven myself for it.  Fortunately,  Lyger is doing fine, enjoying the extra hugs he's been getting, and will continue to get for a while to come.









"So Glad I had Pet Insurance" story - hip dysplasia surgery for 1 year old German Coolie

Being Pet Health Insurance Month, it's time for a "so glad I had pet insurance" story. How's this for a good one. A one year old German Coolie (yes, it's a real cool looking dog too) based in Salem, NY who unexpectedly needed hip dysplasia surgery, for a total cost of $5,417.

Here's Amy H's story in her own words: 

2012-07-01_16-07-51_500When my 1 year old German Coolie Elliot Cool came up three legged lame after a fun weekend of
running and playing, I knew something was wrong right away.  After bringing him to the vet for an exam and radiographs, my worst fears were confirmed.  Elliot Cool was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and would need hip replacement surgery if he was going to be able to live out a full, active life without constant, debilitating pain.  

DSC00321I had never doubted the wisdom of signing Elliot Cool up with Embrace pet insurance when he joined my family at 4 months of age last year.  I have been an Embrace customer since 2008, I know the quality of customer service Embrace provides.  As a financial planner, I also know the importance of having a plan in place for unexpected financial emergencies.  For my policies with Embrace, I have chosen a higher deductible and higher co-pay, in order to keep affordable coverage for those expenses that I can't plan for.

Elliot THRI never anticipated needing to use the coverage for Elliot Cool so soon, but I am so thankful Embrace was there for us when we needed them.  Without Embrace, I would not have been able to provide Elliot Cool the surgery he needed to ensure he would be able to live a pain free life.  

Thank you, Embrace!

There were a couple of vet visits to determine the diagnosis and then an initial specialist visit at Tufts University but then the main surgery details are as follows:

ITEM BILLED AMOUNT
Waste $10.00
Chem 25 $62.00
CBC & Platelet Count $60.00
Micro Exam Blood Smear $0.00
UA A/O $28.00
Radiograph $88.00
Rad Addl $79.00
Total Hip Series 4 views $292.00
Butorphanol 10mg/ml CIV $13.44
Atipamezole 5mg/ml x 0.31 $10.00
Atipamezole 5mg/ml x 0.15 $10.00
Dexdomitor 0.5mg/ml x 0.31 $10.00
Dexdomitor 0.5mg/ml x 0.15 $10.00
Anesthesia 2hrs $220.00
Anesthesia Pre Work Up $54.00
Anesthesia Disposables/Agents $81.00
Hospitalization $58.00
Anaerobic ID & Aerobic $174.00
Lab Accession Fee - Send Outs $3.00
Daily Professional Care $69.00
Cefazolin x 1 $18.00
Total Hip Series 4 views $292.00
Surgery Supplies $14.00
Surgery Implants $1,941.00
Total Hip Replacement Unilat $1,178.00
Cefazolin Sodium 100mg/ml $10.94
Methadone 10mg/ml C II $29.04
Hospitalization $58.00
Daily Professional Care $69.00
Cefazolin x 1 $18.00
Meloxicam 1.5mg/ml Susp x 2.60 $7.57
Hospitalization $39.00
Daily Professional Care $69.00
 TOTAL $5,074.99

Eliot Cool had a $500 annual deductible, an 80% reimbursement percentage and a $10,000 annual maximum, with prescription drug coverage not chosen, for a monthly premium of $24.91.

The surgery reimbursement was calculated as follows:

STEP 1: Calculate Potential Refund
  Billed Amount:         $5,074.99
  Covered Charges:       $5,074.99
  Annual deductible remaining     $122.00
  subtotal     $4,952.99
  Your Share of the claim (20%)     $990.60
Potential Refund          $3,962.39
           
           
STEP 2: Compare against annual maximum
     Annual Maximum       $10,000.00
     Prior refunds for this policy year     $0.00
     Coverage remaining     $10,000.00
           
Total refund is:       $3,962.39

Related Posts:
September is Pet Health Insurance Month
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - painful choice to euthanize
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - close encounter with dental floss
Guest Post: can I get pet insurance for that?
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - vet techs need pet insurance too!
Guest Post: Pet Insurance Q&Amp;A from Dr Patrick Mahaney
"So Glad I had Pet Insurance" story - hip dysplasia surgery for 1 year old German Coolie
"So Glad I had Pet Insurance" story - surgery for vicious dog attack
"So Glad I Had Pet Insurance" story - cats and lilies do not mix


"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - vet techs need pet insurance too!

Continuing the theme for Pet Health Insurance Month, here's a story from Chrissy, one of the Veterinary Account Representatives at Embrace. I love seeing Bella in the office and had no idea of this story until today.


I have worked as a technician in the Cleveland, OH area for the past 10 years.  While I always thought pet insurance was an excellent idea for clients, I never dreamed I would need it for myself.  Being in the profession, getting a hefty staff discount, and having a whole bunch of great contacts in the field, I did not foresee the cost of veterinary care ever becoming a problem.  I could not have been more wrong! 

Rewind to Christmas Eve 2007.  Bella, at the time a 2 year old pit mix, was always getting into things she wasn’t supposed to. She was obsessed with having things in her mouth so it didn’t surprise me when she vomited that morning.  However, a few hours later come breakfast time, I started getting concerned when she was not interested in her food.  She is a chow hound so that was very out of the ordinary.

As the day progressed, Bella really started to go downhill.  She had vomited many times and it had that characteristic, foul, obstructed smell.  I knew we were in trouble and as much as I wanted to try to make it wait a day and half until my hospital opened, I knew Bella needed immediate attention.  Off to the emergency clinic we went.

After bloodwork and x-rays, it was determined it was either an obstruction or something irritating the bowels passing through.  It was hard to tell exactly what was causing her symptoms as nothing was very clear or apparent on the x-rays.  They hospitalized her, put her on IV fluids, gave appropriate medications, and decided to see what tomorrow would bring and hope whatever she ate would pass on its own.

She improved somewhat on Christmas morning (even chewed out her IV line 3 times!), but still didn’t want to eat and the improvement was very short lived.  When I came to pick her up on December 26, I was told exploratory surgery was in her best interest.  I took Bella to the hospital I worked at, as we were now open after the holiday to be opened up.  The surgery was less than routine because there was not one object that was causing the problem!  She was obstructed in multiple places with tons of hair! Yes, hair! The doctor had to open her stomach, pylorus, and small intestines in a 3.5 hour surgery.  The copious amounts of hair had her poor intestines so inflamed that the doctor even felt it was necessary to biopsy, just in case.

So we think the worst is over……but not quite!  Back to the ER we go with Bella that night due to complications with her protein levels being so low from not eating for 3 days.  Fortunately, after another day of hospitalization and some more IV fluids, she was ready to eat and on the upswing within a few days.

After all was said and done, I paid over $2500 out of pocket between the ER visits and surgery – which was a HUGE hit being just out of college.  The Emergency doctor was even very generous, giving me a 25% veterinary professional discount for Bella’s visits. 

After pretty much breaking the bank with this ordeal, I have been a pet insurance advocate ever since and will never be without it again! 

This is just one example of why even veterinary staff members need pet insurance too.  You can never plan for accidents and illnesses that necessitate you visiting an ER or Specialist and these things always seem to happen at the most inopportune times!

Related Posts:
September is Pet Health Insurance Month
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - painful choice to euthanize
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - close encounter with dental floss
Guest Post: can I get pet insurance for that?
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - vet techs need pet insurance too!
Guest Post: Pet Insurance Q&Amp;A from Dr Patrick Mahaney
"So Glad I had Pet Insurance" story - hip dysplasia surgery for 1 year old German Coolie
"So Glad I had Pet Insurance" story - surgery for vicious dog attack
"So Glad I Had Pet Insurance" story - cats and lilies do not mix



Michael Phelps strikes gold with his dogs

Continuing on with our theme of the Olympics this month, Embracer Lea put together a piece on Michael Phelps and his canine companions. Olympians have big hearts for their pets, as well as for their sport.


Michael Phelps shows off Stella (Penelope) on the Today Show's Bow to Wow segment. Photo Credit TODAYIt’s not just his competition that will be pleased with Michael Phelp’s retirement. His two canine companions, English Bulldog Herman and recently rescued Catahoula Mix Stella will also be happy to have him around more. Phelps says that neither dog is keen on his early morning work-out schedule and prefer to root him on from the comfort of the couch.

''I've been hearing stories and seeing pictures that Stella is more relaxed than before,'' Phelps said in a Fox Sports interview. ''I want to be able to go home and hopefully not see Stella ripping Herman's wrinkles anymore. She kept doing that, and he would get so upset. Stella nowBut they like each other now. I definitely miss those guys. I remember the day I left, they all looked so sad.''

Herman was the only dog in this Olympian’s world when Phelps was partnered to promote the adoptable Stella (formerly Penelope) on a Today Show segment in 2011. It was then that Phelps took the 9 month old spotted beauty for a walk in the park and quickly realized she could be his swimming pal in retirement. We’ve got a clip below, and Phelps appears at about 3:15 min in.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

And now that Phelps is no longer sticking to his 12,000 calorie per day diet I wonder if there might be some leftovers in their food bowls. Haven’t seen enough of Phelps yet?

Related Posts:
August is Olympics Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Michael Phelps strikes gold with his dogs
Guest Post: Animal Olympics
Breed Profile: Welsh Corgi
Guest Post: Olympians and their breeds



Claim example: Wally regains his mobility through acupuncture and hydrotherapy

WallyacupunctureContinuing our focus on alternative therapies (absolutely fascinating indeed!), let's talk about Wally, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi living in Emeryville, CA. Wally's mom, Carol, told us about Wally's acupuncture and hydrotherapy treatments.

In Carol's words:

In 2009, I noticed that Wally had difficulty going from a sitting to standing position. Sometimes he wouldn't even fully get up and just drag his body with his front two legs. I took him to see a vet neurologist. After an MRI scan, the vet neurologist had no idea what was wrong with Wally and referred him to a vet orthopedic specialist.

The vet orthopedic specialist examined Wally and concluded that Wally had partial tears in ACL in both hind legs. He said that the TPLO surgery would be the best option. I was not keen on surgery being the only solution.

WallyhydrotherapyI went for a second opinion with a different vet orthopedic specialist and a different vet neurologist. Both stated that the TPLO surgery would not have solved Wally's issue as Wally also suffered from a sore back. They suggested that I try an alternative method of treatment consisting of hydrotherapy and acupuncture.

Wallyhydrotherapy2Since 2009 to present, Wally receives regular acupuncture treatments and attends hydrotherapy sessions for all his physical ailments. Wally no longer drags his hind legs and the alternative therapies have improved his back soreness so that he is able to be as mobile as any other dog.

Here is a summary of Wally's claims since 2009.

Vet Visit Diagnosis/Procedure Claimed Paid
11/25/2008 rolled down hill, difficulty standing, 780.00 398.70
2/12/2009 difficulty standing up after fall 120.00 108.00
3/31/2009 Exam for Episodic Paraparesis 568.00 506.70
4/9/2009 Episodic Paraparesis & MRI Procedure 603.00 542.70
4/14/2009 MRI 1,395.00 1,255.50
5/6/2009 Pre-Surgical Exam Cruciate Ligament 273.00 245.70
5/26/2009 Lumbar Hyper Extension 70.00 0.00
11/24/2010 Fell, Sore Back 65.00 0.00
12/4/2010 Fell, Sore Back 65.00 0.00
2/19/2011 Acupuncture for Neck Tension 65.00 57.60
2/21/2011 Intervertebral Hyperextension 45.00 40.50
2/28/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
3/9/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
3/24/2011 Limping 703.48 592.63
3/24/2011 Neck Tension 65.00 58.50
4/1/2011 Orthopedic Shoes 84.50 76.05
4/16/2011 Acupuncture for Neck Tension 65.00 58.50
4/18/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
4/25/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
5/2/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
5/7/2011 Acunpuncture for Neck Tension 65.00 58.50
5/9/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
5/16/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 0.00
5/28/2011 Acupuncture for Neck Tension 100.00 0.00
6/6/2011 Hydrotherapy 150.00 0.00
6/2/2011 Acupuncture for Neck Tension 215.00 13.50
6/27/2011 Hydrotherapy 145.00 130.50
7/18/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
7/17/2011 Drug: 
  Intervertebral Hyperextension
114.40 0.00
8/1/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
8/8/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
8/15/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
8/22/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
8/29/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
9/12/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
9/19/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
9/26/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
10/24/2011 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
3/12/2012 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
5/7/2012 Hydrotherapy 50.00 45.00
5/14/2012 Hydrotherapy 50.00 0.00
5/30/2012 Hydrotherapy 50.00 0.00
6/6/2012 Hydrotherapy 50.00 0.00
6/11/2012 Hydrotherapy 50.00 0.00
6/18/2012 Hydrotherapy 50.00 0.00
5/23/2012 Hydrotherapy 50.00 0.00
    7,006.38 4,953.58

Wally's policy has a $500 annual deductible so that's why you see some claims without payout - the claim went towards the deductible. For more information on the Embrace site, see our claim story "Corgi uses alternative therapies"

Has your dog or cat had acupuncture or hydrotherapy successfully instead of surgery?

Related Posts:
July is Alternative Treatment Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: Acupuncture for Pets - a safe modality for pain management
Claim example: Wally regains his mobility through acupuncture and hydrotherapy
Claim Example: chiropractic treatment for Tygon the greyhound



Guest Post: Allergy Questions with Dr Patrick Mahaney

As we continue with our focus on allergies this month at Embrace Pet Insurance, I chat with Dr Patrick Mahaney about allergies and your questions for him on the topic.

Carl: Our dog, Sammy, licks and chews his feet regularly and occasionally has bacterial sores on his belly. We've given him Benadryl for the licking and chewing and Vet prescribed antibiotic for the sores. We've been told he has allergies. We keep treating these issues but they keep reoccurring. How would we find out what allergies he has?

Caroline:  At what stage do you suspect a yeast infection over allergies, because aren't the symptoms very similar?

Linda: What would cause a 5 year old lab to suddenly develop allergies and how do you determine
what he is allergic to?

Laura: are there certain types of dogs and cats that are more prone to allergies?

The answers to these questions and more are discussed in the audio below

Laura Bennett & Dr Patrick Mahaney Allergies Q&Amp;A

The omega-3 fatty acid supplement mentioned is made by Nordic Naturals. Do you have more questions on allergies for Dr Patrick? Post in the comments and I'll get some answers for you.

Related Posts:
May is Allergy Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: top 4 signs of pet allergies
Claim Example: Pugsley the Bulldog with allergies
Claim example: a rather expensive Labrador
Guest Post: Allergy Questions with Dr Patrick Mahaney

Other posts by Dr Patrick Mahaney


Dr Patrick Mahaney Dr. Mahaney is a veterinarian from the University of Pennsylvania and a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist, having been inspired by his own chronic pain from Intervertebral Disc Disease to provide accupuncture to his veterinary clients. In addition to Dr Mahaney's house call integrative veterinary medicine business, California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness, he sees patients on an in-clinic basis at Veterinary Cancer Group in Culver City, CA.

Dr Mahaney writes a veterinary column (Patrick's Blog) for www.PatrickMahaney.com and contributes to a variety of media, including Perez Hilton's TeddyHilton.com, Fido Friendly, Veterinary Practice News, Healthy Pets and People with Dr Patrick on OutImpactRadio.com, and MSNBC Sunday with Alex Witt and Career Day. His first book, The Uncomfortable Vet, will be available in 2012 through Havenhurst Books.