Aseptic Meningitis in a Mixed Breed Dog

Kalinka's pet parents discovered that her struggle with meningitis would be a life-long battle.

Vet Bill: $9,174

Kalinka - Mixed Breed Dog


When a young pet becomes unexpectedly ill, you hope that it's a one-time occurrence - a fluke. That was the case for 1-year-old Kalinka's pet parents when she was diagnosed with meningitis after refusing to go for walks and struggling to eat. However, when the symptoms came back a few months later, a battery of tests showed Kalinka was suffering from aseptic, or sterile, meningitis, a form of the disease she'll live with the rest of her life.

Kalinka's pet parent, Caitlin, shares more of her story:

"I remember when my husband and I first adopted six-month-old Kalinka, a beagle mix, from a local pet rescue. She was sweet and bouncy and I had great plans for all the runs, hikes, and adventures we'd take her on. But I'm also the daughter of two veterinarians and I spent years watching the worst case scenarios come through my dad's practice. So I explained to my husband that we'd get pet insurance "just in case." Of course, I was sure it would be money just thrown away, but I wanted to feel reassured. My husband was less excited about the insurance plan, but I gave him enough "just in case" examples and he relented. We did our research and we chose Embrace because we're a military family and Embrace said they'd cover Kalinka overseas. Apparently I even clicked the "cover prescriptions" option and, man, six months later we were so glad I did.

Kalinka, our dear, sweet, bouncing puppy was suddenly refusing to walk and couldn't bend her neck to eat her food. This happened overnight and was shocking. We took her to the ER, followed by specialists in internal medicine and neurology. We initially chose to be minimally invasive and she responded to treatment for meningitis, so we treated her, she got better, and we hoped that was the last of it.

Fast forward a few more months and the symptoms reappeared, just as we're preparing for an international move. At this point, we wanted definitive answers and we did numerous tests to ensure that she didn't have a bone spur, a bacterial or viral infection, or cancer. This meant an MRI and a cerebral spinal fluid tap. We were lucky, the tests all came back with "positive" results. Our pup had sterile meningitis. It's a condition she'll have to live with forever, but one that, if managed, allows her to continue being her normal happy-go-lucky self. It does, however, require ridiculously expensive medication. And you know what? Embrace covered EVERYTHING. The specialists, the ER visits, the MRI, the CSF tap, and the long-term prescription requirements. Our "just in case" pet insurance became a financial godsend.

My husband and I can't say enough good things about Embrace and their coverage and professionalism. Having a sick pet is stressful enough, so it is wonderful that Embrace eased the stress instead of adding to it. We're glad we are continuing our coverage with Embrace overseas, but we are definitely hoping Kalinka doesn't have to use it!"

Kalinka's Claim Refund

Claim DetailsAmount
Actual Vet Bill$9,174.01
Covered Charges$9,174.01
Annual Deductible$500.00
Total Embrace Reimbursement$7,806.61