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Accidental grape feeding sends Rosie the Lab to the ER

By Christy True
published: October 22, 2019 - updated: June 9, 2022 • 3 min. read
yellow lab in grass

Rosie the lab and pet parent Bettina.

Diagnosis: Grape ingestion

Reimbursed:  $1,702 | Claim: $2,713

Coverage: 80% | $250 deductible

Rosie, a 6-year-old yellow Labrador who has been trained as a service dog, is perfectly behaved. She will stay when told, can ring a bell to be let out, can open and close cabinets on command, and she will even fetch a phone in an emergency without being instructed. Rosie also knows not to pick anything up off the floor to eat. So, pet parent Bettina of Newport Coast, Calif. thought she was pretty safe from eating the wrong thing.

Unfortunately, Bettina’s husband is not as well-trained. He had never owned a dog before and liked to treat Rosie with frozen blueberries. One day, he thought he’d mix it up and gave her some grapes, which she gobbled down.

“Next thing you know, he is telling me how much Rosie loves  grapes, not realizing they are toxic to dogs!  Thank goodness he told me, or this episode could have had a tragic ending,” Bettina wrote in.

Rosie the labThey rushed Rosie to the neighborhood vet where Rosie was given an injection to make her vomit up the grapes. When that didn’t work, an IV was placed in Rosie and they were referred to a specialty veterinarian with expertise in poison and toxins. The hospital charged up front for the expected cost of treatment and Bettina maxed out her credit card to cover it.

After two days and nights in the hospital on round-the-clock IV fluids, Rosie was ready to come home.

“She’s back to eating blueberries and my husband has learned a valuable lesson,” Bettina said. “I count my blessings that Rosie can still play on the beach, catch balls, eat frozen doggy treats, go everywhere with me, and bring joy to everyone she meets.”

And Bettina’s finances are back in order after she filed a claim with Healthy Paws and received a quick resolution.

“Thank you Healthy Paws for a positive experience,” she wrote. “Customer Service was a pleasure and the claim was handled promptly.”

As Rosie was being examined at the emergency vet, Healthy Paws customer service was already on the phone getting details of the claim.

“That is one of the best parts of using Healthy Paws, once you tell your vet you have insurance, they do all the filing and follow up directly with Healthy Paws, sparing you the hassle of multiple phone calls with multiple people without ever getting your question answered and finding all of the paperwork dealing with the medical side of your dog’s treatment. You just send in your bills and Healthy Paws reimburses you for all the things that are covered in the policy – like emergency vet care,” Bettina said.

Bettina had Healthy Paws insurance for five years and never filed a claim until the grape incident. She almost cancelled it, but was thankful she hadn’t when something unexpectedly did go wrong.

The claim scenarios described here are intended to show the types of situations that may result in claims. These scenarios should not be compared to any other claim. Whether or to what extent a particular loss is covered depends on the facts and circumstances of the loss, the terms and conditions of the policy as issued and applicable law.

Insured people providing testimonials in this report have not received compensation for their statements.

If you are a Healthy Paws pet parent with a recovery story to tell, we’d love to hear it! Send your pet’s story along with photos of your four-legged family member to happytales@healthypaws.com

If you’re not sure what to share, Healthy Paws has a great list of foods that are safe and not safe for dogs; Pets at WebMD has a thorough list of no-no’s for cats.

Christy True and Tomas
By Christy True

Christy has been writing about pets for Healthy Paws for 28 dog years. She previously worked in journalism, hence her penchant for writing about offbeat animal studies and the latest viral pet trends. She has been owned by several dogs, and right now, Tomas, a Mexican street dog rescue, is staring at her because he wants a walk. Outside of work, she can usually be found sliding down a mountain near her home in Bend, Ore.

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