Lymphadenopathy

Twinkie-Miniature-SchnauzerTwinkie - Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer has rare metabolic disorder
Vet Bill: $6,179.06
Location: Azusa, CA
Date: August 2009-December 2009
View Claim Refund

Background

Molly wanted a companion for her Yorkie, and she knew she wanted a schnauzer. She was initially looking to rescue her schnauzer, but she found Twinkie through an AKC registered breeder in May 2007. It was love at first sight.

Molly took out a policy with Embrace when Twinkie was about 1 year old. Her vet encouraged her to obtain insurance for Twinkie since she is a purebred miniature schnauzer and therefore more at risk for hereditary health problems. Molly shopped around and looked at different companies, but she liked that Embrace gave the option to cover genetic conditions, which many other pet insurance companies didn’t cover. She also liked the straight-forward policy and terms, and the ease of the billing/payment process.

A few months after insuring Twinkie with Embrace, Molly started noticing changes in Twinkie's appetite and behaviors. She became lethargic and looked stiff when she walked. Her abdomen also seemed to increase in size despite a healthy diet and daily walks. She seemed to not want to play with Molly’s other dog as much. Twinkie also seemed unable to jump and lacked strength in her hind legs.

Molly took Twinkie to her regular vet at Altadena Animal Hospital in Altadena, California, to have tests done. X-rays and bloodwork suggested something might be wrong with Twinkie’s heart and/or liver. Molly loaded up Twink in her car-seat and took her all over Los Angeles to a series of specialists.

A cardiologist at California Animal Hospital ruled that Twinkie's heart was healthy but that there was a serious problem with her endocrine system and muscles on a metabolic level. Molly was referred to a canine neurologist at VetSurg & Neurology in Woodland Hills, California. After more extensive tests, Addison's and Cushing's were ruled out.

Twinkie's biopsies showed that she has a rare form of metabolic disease resulting in neuropathy. Her results were sent to a specialist in as-yet-unclassified canine diseases who gathers information and research at the University in San Diego, who, along with Twinkie’s team of vets, developed a medication and treatment plan for Twinkie.

After beginning treatment with thyroid medications, supplements, a new diet and exercise schedule, Molly has seen great improvements with Twinkie. She is a happier, healthier dog. She hops often and runs without mechanical movements. She is less lethargic, plays with Molly's other dog and enjoys walking in the park. Twinkie is very loving and loves to cuddle with Molly and her favorite toy, a stuffed strawberry.

Molly says:

"The representatives at Embrace always responded in a timely manner and were thoughtful and compassionate. If we didn’t have insurance for Twinkie, we would not have been able to provide her the level of care she has received and therefore not be able to give her the health and quality of life she deserves. Words cannot express how grateful we are for the help with our Twink.

I had read and heard horror stories about pet insurance and how some of the companies didn’t cover anything and constantly denied claims, and what a hassle it was to receive reimbursement. This has not been the case with Embrace. I have had a wonderful experience with them, and look forward to a long partnership with them in caring for Twinkie as well as our future pets."

Twinkie's Policy

Twinkie received extensive testing and surgeries, all covered by Embrace. She has an annual maximum of $10,000 for each policy term, allowing Molly to give Twinkie the treatment she needs without having to worry about large vet bills. She has around 15 claims spanning two policy terms.

Twinkie's Claim Refund

Twinkie's Claims for Diagnosis and Treatment
Term 1 Term 2
Actual Vet Bills $4,030.57
$2,148.49
Covered Charges $3,927.03
$2,148.49
Deductible Remaining -$500.00 -$500.00
10% Co-pay -$342.70 -$164.85
Total Embrace Reimbursement $3,084.33 $1,483.64