Claim example: gastric torsion, or bloat, in a standard poodle

One of the more horrifying conditions that can occur in dogs (typically in larger dogs) is gastric torsion, also known as bloat  or gastric dilatation volvulus (in cats, a saddle thrombus is equally as sudden and actually more lethal, with very little that can be done for the cat).

You can spot it when your dog goes from being a happy and healthy pet not particularly doing anything unusual to a sick dog wretching and suddenly bloating around the midriff. If you see these symptoms, do not pass go, do not collect your $200 - go straight to the vet immediately.

Here's an example of Lucy, a 10 year old standard poodle who was minding her own doggy business, when she suddenly started to behave oddly, becoming very restless and pacing around.

Within an hour, she started to vomit although nothing came up. That's when her owners became very concerned and rushed her to the emergency vet in Boulder Colorado for immediate treatment of a 360 degree twisting of her stomach.

Here are the costs associated with Lucy's treatment:

DATE ITEM BILLED AMOUNT
8/7/2009 CBC/Chem  $191.00
8/7/2009 Lactate Test  $ 36.00
8/7/2009 IV Catheter  $ 89.00
8/7/2009 1st L Normosol  $ 65.00
8/7/2009 Addl L Normosol  $ 38.00
8/7/2009 Ketamine, Lidocaine and Morphine i  $ 85.00
8/7/2009 Metoclopramide/Reglan 5mg/ml  $ 29.50
8/7/2009 Cefazolin Injection  $ 30.00
8/7/2009 Famotidine Inj  $ 36.00
8/7/2009 Electrocardiogram Lead II  $ 45.00
8/7/2009 PCV/TP (repeats)  $ 21.00
8/7/2009 PCV/TP (repeats)  $ 21.00
8/7/2009 Hospitalization Level 2  $157.00
8/7/2009 Radiograph 3 plates  $180.00
8/7/2009 Examination  $ 90.00
8/7/2009 CBC   $   0.00
8/7/2009 Anesthesia (Inhalant-1st hr)  $149.00
8/7/2009 Anesthesia Monitoring  $ 46.00
8/7/2009 Anesthesia Monitoring Technician  $ 37.00
8/7/2009 Gastric Torsion Repair/Gastropexy  $767.00
8/7/2009 OR Disposables  $114.00
8/7/2009 Surgery Room Use  $ 36.00
8/7/2009 Pack Fee -Major  $ 57.00
8/7/2009 Medical Progress Exam  $  0.00
8/7/2009 IV Fluids Infusion Pump  $ 14.00
8/7/2009 IV fluids Each Addl 100ml  $    0.00
8/7/2009 EKG's in hosp, Monitor  $ 29.46
8/7/2009 Cephalexin500mg Qty 14  $ 16.54
8/7/2009 Carafate 1gram Qty 15  $ 19.00
8/7/2009 Rimadyl 75mg  Qty 7  $    0.00
8/7/2009 Packed Cell Volume  $ 29.49
8/7/2009 Tramadol 50mg Qty 20  $ 15.85
8/7/2009 Antibiotic Injection  $ 46.00
8/7/2009 Anti-Nausea Injection  $ 45.00
8/7/2009 Oral Medications  $    6.75
8/7/2009 Daytime Hospitalization  $ 42.50
8/7/2009 Hospitalization   $   125.00
8/7/2009 Cefazolin Injection  $ 60.00
8/7/2009 Oral Medications  $ 24.00
8/7/2009 Addl L Normosol  $ 38.00
8/7/2009 Famotidine Inj  $ 36.00
8/7/2009 Tax  $   2.54
Total  $2,869.63

Lucy's policy paid out $2,446.42 of the $2,869.63 vet bill since she had a $100 annual deductible, a 10% copay and the take home drug coverage was not included.

Since Lucy was an older dog when her policy was taken out, she was only eligible for accident-only coverage butsince Embrace considers bloat not an illness and therefore an "accident", her treatment was covered by her $13.95 a month policy.

Thank goodness for that, don't you think?


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