Media releases 2018

Media medium

Southern Cross welcomes media inquiries about any health related topics. Contact Jo Lawrence-King: 021 413 502; jo.lawrence-king@southerncross.co.nz or Campbell Gibson: 021 051 2667; campbell.gibson@southerncross.co.nz

Customer and other enquiries should be directed to 0800 800 181                                        

May
14

Curiosity almost killed the cat - 10 unusual pet insurance claims

Monday, 14 May 2018 by Campbell Gibson

Southern Cross Pet Insurance has released its 10 most unusual claims of 2017, with the list dominated by dogs who have an appetite for everything from gloves and cotton buds to duvets and even dead pets.

The collection of claims highlights how ordinary household items can be dangerous to our furry friends — and how costly it can be.

For example, a Retradoodle rummaged in a rubbish bin and ate a disposable razor blade, which required surgery. The dog then destroyed its Elizabethan collar and needed a muzzle and calming medicine to ensure the wound healed. The debacle resulted in a vet bill of more than $2,000.

Another claim involved a Miniature Schnauzer who fell hook, line and sinker for a fish hook while swimming one morning. The poor pooch wasn’t the only dog to get snagged by a fish hook in 2017 either.

“Weird claims are pretty common for our team because pets can get up to all sorts of mischief,” says Southern Cross Pet Insurance General Manager Anthony McPhail. “The fact is, a lot of these strange situations can be very costly and stressful for the animal and the owner.

“Pets give their owners a lot of joy but it’s important not to underestimate just how much vet bills can cost. There’s no equivalent of a public health system for pets so if you don’t have pet insurance it’s best to put some money aside in case they get up to no good and hurt themselves.”

Although New Zealand has the second highest pet ownership rate in the world*, insurance rates here are low compared to other pet-loving nations.

Southern Cross Pet Insurance’s most unusual claims of 2017, including the claim cost:

  • A Swiss Shepherd dug up a dead pet in the garden, which had recently been euthanised, and ate some of it. This caused pentobarbitone toxicity because of the euthanasia drug. The vet induced vomiting ($700).
  • A Labrador Retriever ate 100 cotton buds, including the plastic packaging, and a pair of underwear, which the vet removed from its stomach ($1,863). The dog was taken to the vet again for surgery to remove a bra strap and clips from its intestine ($1,971).
  • A Ragdoll cat ate foam nail painting separators and required treatment to ensure no blockage resulted ($533).
  • A Retradoodle ate a disposable razor blade head from the rubbish bin and needed surgery to remove the pieces of blade. After destroying its Elizabethan collar, the dog needed a muzzle and calming medication so the wound could heal ($2,615).
  • A German Shepherd ate a duvet cover and stuffing from the liner, causing intestinal blockage ($1,824).
  • A Miniature Schnauzer went swimming one morning and was later taken to the vet by its owners to remove a fish hook caught in its skin ($473).
  • A Fox Terrier found and ate a latex kitchen glove after getting into a rubbish bag, and needed surgery ($1,431).
  • An owner fell on their Miniature Poodle while chopping down a tree, which caused hip dislocation. Surgery was required to fix hip back into place ($7,071).
  • A Border Collie ate the metal teeth off a hairbrush so the vet had to induce vomiting ($395).
  • A Great Dane chomped into an inhaler which exploded and caused Tachycardia (rapid heart rate) and bruising around its mouth ($1,307).

ENDS

* According to the Companion Animals in New Zealand 2016 report.