Toy Schnauzer Suffers from Portosystemic Shunt

Molly's diagnosis was so rare that only one other case has been documented in veterinary literature.

Vet Bill: $8,482

Molly - Toy Schnauzer

Background

Just a 10-month-old puppy, Molly's illness started out as so many do - simple vomiting and lethargy. But when her blood work came back, it was obvious that there was something much more serious going on. Thankfully the team at NC State University Veterinary Health Complex took a chance on a risky surgery that saved Molly's life.

Molly's pet parent, Theresa M. shares her story:

"When we went to pick up Molly, a Toy Schnauzer, we took her straight to Dr. Hunt at University Animal Hospital in Greensboro, NC. We asked what insurance we should buy and she suggested Embrace. So, we signed up both our new puppy and my 15 year old cat. We are so glad that we made that decision!

At just 10 months of age, Molly suddenly became sick. She started vomiting and was lethargic. We took Molly to a local veterinarian just a few days before Thanksgiving. The veterinarian on duty gave Molly anti-nausea medicine and Clavamox. The next day she was not better and I took her back. The vet thought that Molly was possibly having a reaction to the antibiotic, so she chose another antibiotic and again we went home. Three hours later we were back with the additional symptom of disorientation. At that visit, blood work was done. The vet stated that Molly’s lab values were unlike any she had seen and she suggested that Molly go to the emergency hospital in Wilmington.

I took Molly straight to the hospital, where she stayed for one week. Her bile acid test revealed high levels of ammonia in her blood that led eventually to a diagnosis of a liver disorder. She could not even maintain her body temperature and the staff worked mightily to stabilize her. After Molly was stabilized, we brought her back home. We came home with 6 different medicines.

At our primary vet’s direction, we made an appointment at NC State Vet School in Raleigh, NC. On our first trip to NC State, Molly was diagnosed with a rare anomaly called porto-intra-thoracic hepatic shunt. Molly’s blood was not being filtered through the liver because a shunt had formed that bypassed the liver. Most of these shunts, we were told, are located within the abdominal cavity and can be seen on ultrasound. However, in Molly’s case, the shunt was dumping the unfiltered blood, rich with ammonia, into Molly’s chest cavity. Molly’s condition was so rare that only one other case has been reported in veterinary medical literature. The NC State surgical staff worked as a team to decide if surgery was too risky or worth trying. Molly remained stable and, thankfully, the surgeons decided to do surgery on Molly on December 31st.

Molly made it through the very risky surgery and today she is a very active and healthy little Toy Schnauzer! She is now down to 2 medications from the six that she was on before surgery. So rare was Molly’s condition that the medical resident that Molly was assigned to did her senior presentation on Molly’s condition and outcome.

Needless to say, Molly’s medical expenses were daunting. Without Embrace, we would have struggled to pay for such top-notch veterinary intervention. Had we not had access to that care, it is our belief that Molly would not have survived. We are thankful to all the veterinary hospitals that participated in Molly’s care and recovery and to Embrace for covering 80% of Molly’s treatment. Thank you Embrace, from the bottom of my heart!"

Molly's Claim Refund

Claim Details Amount
Actual Vet Bill $8,482.00
Covered Charges $8,412.00
Annual Deductible -$236.70
20% Co-pay -$1,635.06
Total Embrace Reimbursement $6,540.24
Part of Molly's $500 annual deductible was met on previous claims.
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