Irritable Bowel Disease Causes Complications

Ozzie-Mixed-BreedOzzie, Mixed Breed

Ozzie's Irritable Bowel Disease led to deadly complications.
Vet Bill: $11,151.11
Location: Aurora, Ohio
Date: May - August 2012
View Claim Refund

Background

Embrace's Senior Adjuster, Chris Wrona, found herself on the other side of the claims process when her 6 year old mixed breed dog, Ozzie, started having issues in May of 2012. It took months to have Ozzie accurately diagnosed and, in the meantime, she would face additional expenses and devastation when her other dog, Mysha, passed away. 

Embrace staff gets no special treatment when it comes to filing claims. We are held to the same policy terms and conditions as any of our customers along with an additional review by our underwriters. Below, Chris shares her story about the journey that took Ozzie to death's door and back:

"I’m the type of pet parent who will go to the ends of the earth if I know it can help my fur kids and I’ve been in the extremely difficult situation of not having an insurance policy when my fur kids got sick. This was well before Embrace and I will never be without Embrace insurance again.

Ozzie, my youngest at the time, is an amazing dog. He can jump a 4 foot wall from a standstill and is always so full of energy, but in May, Ozzie had something so simple turn into a life threatening condition and I’ll never forget the words of the surgeon, “Mrs. Wrona, I need to let you know Ozzie’s prognosis is guarded and most of the pets who experience this don’t make it.

Ozzie began licking his rectum in May. The vet diagnosed Ozzie with anal sacculitis and, though I wasn’t convinced, I decided to follow the treatment protocol. Just a couple of days into the treatment Ozzie began bleeding from the rectum. We took a trip to the emergency room and changed the treatment protocol but were warned to make a recheck appointment if he didn’t get better. Ozzie did great on this new treatment until it stopped, then it all came back. Off to the Internal Medicine Specialist we went!

The Internal Medicine Specialist changed the treatment protocol again and warned me that if this didn’t work we would need to do further diagnostics including colonoscopy. The new treatment didn’t do anything to help Ozzie and a day of diagnostics was scheduled. Ozzie had to stay at the hospital for almost two days.

Ozzie was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Disease and 3 days after he came home, my little girl, Mysha, became seriously ill. A minor cough turned into a major one and we were into the vet immediately. Despite their best efforts, they couldn’t save her. Ozzie came home on Tuesday and Mysha crossed the rainbow bridge the following Sunday. Ozzie’s diagnostic expenses were $2,500 and Mysha’s expenses were $2,600. It’s never about money when it comes to my babies' care but knowing we didn’t have to worry about the financial side let me mourn my little girl and focus on Ozzie’s care.

Unfortunately, Ozzie wasn’t out of the woods yet. His treatment for the Irritable Bowel Disease did more harm than good. I watched my beautiful boy waste away to nothing. He was lethargic and lost all of his muscle mass. He didn’t play anymore and my baby who once gave me kisses any chance he could, stopped giving me kisses. I consulted with the vet weekly and continually pressured to change the treatment. I was finally able to get a second opinion near the middle of August and the new Internal Medicine Specialist changed his treatment. After only two days on the new treatment, Ozzie was more alert and wanted to play. He even gave me kisses again.

The next day he was playing and doing so much better but then Ozzie vomited at 3:00 am on a Sunday morning. Later that morning, he was worse and didn’t want to eat. We rushed to the emergency room again. The vets were suspicious of a foreign body but due to the treatment of Irritable Bowel Disease, he was not a good candidate for surgery. I decided to go home because I couldn’t stay with him and I would just wait for the vet’s update. I hadn’t been home for 15 minutes when I got the call - Ozzie's stomach had ruptured and they needed my authorization to rush him to emergency surgery. I rushed back to the hospital and meet the surgeon who reviewed all of the details with me including the uncomfortable topic of expense. I think he actually breathed a sigh of relief when I told him Ozzie was insured. Over 4 hours later, the surgeon emerged to let us know that Ozzie did well through surgery but the prognosis was bad. He had ingested 5 socks and a bandana but the surgeon felt this isn’t what ruptured his stomach. This is when he let us know that Ozzie chances of survival were slim but he was going to do the best he possibly could.

My strong boy amazed everyone and not only pulled through but exceeded expectations. He has since gained most of his strength back and returned to the hyperactive boy he was before this whole ordeal. His Irritable Bowel Disease is maintained and we are weaning him off all treatments. We found out that his stomach was the perfect storm. He was immune-compromised due to the treatment of the Irritable Bowel Disease and he developed an overgrowth of bacteria that caused an ulceration in his stomach. Plant material was found on the biopsy of the tissue so we can only speculate that he ate a piece of hard plant material that punctured the weak spot causing it to rupture.

As an Embrace employee, it’s difficult to tell people about my claim stories because many feel that employees get special treatment; however, this is far from the truth. Employees undergo a much more strict claim review than our non-employee pet parents. Our claims are processed according to the same policy terms and conditions but there is an additional review by our underwriters to ensure there’s no funny business.

There’s no way I could save up to pay for the $12,000 in bills that piled up in just 4 months. I’m so very thankful to have my boy with me today and thankful to Embrace for being the company they say they are. Ozzie sends you many puppy kisses for helping to save his life!

Ozzie's Claim Refund

Ozzie's Claims (5/2/2012-8/26/2012)
Amount
Actual Vet Bill $11,151.11
Covered Charges
$10,955.18
Annual Deductible
-$500.00
10% Co-pay -$1,045.53
Total Embrace Reimbursement $9,409.65