A vet holds a dog at the clinic

Southern Cross Pet Insurance reveals most unusual pet insurance claims of 2022

Friday , 2 December 2022 by Nicole Gray

While fur babies can bring plenty of joy into our lives, pet ownership can also have its unexpected moments, as Southern Cross Pet Insurance’s annual round-up of unusual pet insurance claims shows.

Dogs again made up the vast majority of unusual claims in 2022, often for ingesting items that shouldn’t be eaten. They certainly had a range of acquired tastes.

A Japanese Spitz needed to visit the vet to vomit up beanbag beans, while a Labrador Cross required treatment after eating rocks and 17 socks.

Labradors seemed particularly keen on eating items they shouldn’t this year, with one munching on a blanket tie, rope, tea towel, and blanket all within the first eight months of his pet insurance policy. Treatment costs for his eating exploits totalled $6820.

Another hungry Labrador also racked up nearly $2000 in vet bills after eating the face off a cuddly toy, causing an obstruction that needed to be surgically removed.

Meanwhile, a German Shorthaired Pointer cross was taken to the vet for vomiting in August and wound up needing 1kg of grass removed from his stomach – at a cost of more than $4000. Was he trying to help with the lawn mowing? We’ll never know, but at least he’s better now.

Other items gobbled up by Southern Cross Pet Insurance-insured pets included ibuprofen tablets, hard plastic gloves, stones, fishhooks, and a pill box.

But it wasn’t just eating unusual things that caused pets harm this year.

A Miniature Schnauzer needed treatment for hypothermia (and presumably a good bath) after falling into an effluent pond, while another dog picked a fight with the wrong cat and wound up with injuries to his ear and shoulder area.

While dogs made up most of this year’s unusual pet insurance claims, one cat did make the list after licking a driveway cleaning product off the ground and blistering its mouth.

Southern Cross Pet Insurance CEO Anthony McPhail says these claims show the unexpected can often be just around the corner when it comes to pets.

“Our pets can find themselves in some very unusual predicaments and those often result in some very expensive vet bills,” he says.

“While some of these claims might seem amusing, it can be very stressful when our pets become unwell - but pet insurance can be a great reassurance in those moments.

“We hope that New Zealand’s pets live their best lives in 2023, and we’ll be there for our customers should they need to make a trip to the vet of an unusual kind.”