Miniature Australian Shepherd with Herniated Disk

Vet Bill: $8,151

Australian shepherd recovers from herniated disk surgery


Duke's mom, Lisa N., knew what it was like to suffer from a spinal injury, so when Duke began having a hard time walking and showing signs of paralysis, she rushed him to an emergency appointment. A few months earlier, she'd enrolled him in Embrace, and was so glad that she had. Lisa shared Duke's experience with us.

"We lost our 10-year-old Border Collie Mix to cancer for which I had no insurance. I decided it was time to get pet insurance for Duke, our seven-year-old miniature Australian Shepherd, to help safe guard him for any potential future health issues. I reviewed websites for top pet insurance companies, and Embrace was one of them. I narrowed it down to three companies and downloaded and reviewed each of their Terms and Conditions and prices -- this took me quite some time to do. After seeing Embrace's contract and prices, they had the best coverage contract and best prices. I signed up and made an appointment Duke's check-up, and to get the Orthopedic Exam Report Card filled out, and we were all set.

Around the Christmas holiday season, Duke began to have difficulty walking with his back legs and front left leg -- almost like he was paralyzed. I'm a five-time surgery patient of ruptured discs in my spine and knew immediately this was urgent and that he must have somehow injured his spine or ruptured a disc. I took him to an emergency appointment where an x-ray confirmed a herniated disc. We were referred to a neuro-surgeon at Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Sorrento Valley.

Initial observation with the specialist confirmed the diagnosis and I was quoted between $7,000 - $8,000 for the surgery. I asked VSH if they could assist me with the necessary paperwork for insurance purposes and they asked who Duke was insured with. When I told them Embrace, they said, "oh they are one of our favorite insurance companies to deal with.'

Although I was not required to do so, I went ahead and downloaded the Embrace pre-certification form which VSH immediately filled out and sent over. This typically takes Embrace 7-10 days to complete, but when I called into the customer service center and told them about the urgent nature of Duke's need for immediate surgery, the representative said, "Let me see what we can do about rushing this for you.' Twenty-four hours later, the pre-cert was approved! I was ecstatic about how quickly they did this -- I made many phone calls to Embrace during this process and each time was greeted with friendliness, professionalism, and sincere concern for Duke.

Duke was sedated, had his MRI, and then was straight into surgery. He ended up having one ruptured/herniated disc and two bulging discs. The herniated disc was compressing his spinal cord causing the paralyzing effects on his legs. He came home two days later, and I am happy to report he has 100% healed from his spine injury."

Duke’s Claim Refund

Claim Details Amount
Actual Vet Bill $8,150.96
Covered Charges $8,010.34
Annual Deductible $750.00
Copay $726.03
Total Embrace Reimbursement $6,534.31