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Pet Insurance Allowed Lilo to Live Better, Longer

By Christy True
published: October 28, 2022 - updated: January 20, 2023 • 3 min. read
Lilo, mixed breed dog

Diagnosis: Cruciate ligament tears, cancer
Cost:  $13,274 | Healthy Paws reimbursed: $9,658
Policy options:  80 percent reimbursement | $250 deductible

Pet parent Samantha rescued her mixed-breed dog Lilo from a shelter in 2018, and she knew they were soulmates immediately. Lilo ran right up and started kissing her as soon as they met.

They continued to bond for the next four years. Samantha loved her like a child.

“Her favorite place was right on top of my lap. Lilo loved me unconditionally,” Samantha said. “She loved to cuddle with me on the couch and curl up close to me in bed at night. Every day when I would get home from work, she would greet me with a toy and a massive tail wag. She loved to go on walks and when she smiled, she irradiated sunshine and joy.”

Sadly, Lilo was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer last summer and died a few weeks later. Nevertheless, Samantha reached out to Healthy Paws to say that she was so grateful to have pet insurance that allowed Lilo to live the fullest, happiest, and healthiest life possible, despite her life being cut short by the deadly cancer.  

Two cruciate ligament surgeries

Lilo, a mixed breed dog.

During the four years that Samantha and Lilo were together, Lilo underwent two major cruciate ligament (similar to an ACL injury in people) surgeries – one in 2019 and another two years later. Each surgery required about two months of intensive recovery and an additional four months of continued rehabilitation.

When Samantha first heard what the surgery would cost (about $4,000) she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to afford it, even with pet insurance. 

“When I submitted my claim to Healthy Paws, my reimbursement check was in my mailbox less than five days later,” she said.

When other health problems surfaced, Samantha wanted to try acupuncture, which she had found helpful herself. She found a veterinarian who specialized in acupuncture and got several treatments for Lilo, which her policy covered.

“Not only did it help to stabilize her health tremendously, but she also LOVED the treatment. The vet said she was one of their favorite clients to treat because she responded so well to it,” she wrote.

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A devastating cancer diagnosis

Last summer, Lilo was diagnosed with cancer but the vets could never identify the type.

Samantha exhausted all avenues to discover what kind of cancer Lilo had and whether it was treatable. In the last few weeks, she pursued a range of diagnostics.

Lilo, a mixed breed dog on the beach.

Tests showed that Lilo had diffuse nodules throughout her lungs that aggressively spread over a month. The week before she passed, the veterinarian identified two small nodules on her kidneys during an ultrasound. They decided against a biopsy since there was a high risk she would bleed out under anesthesia.

Healthy Paws covered all the tests, and when the cancer progressed too rapidly to treat, it also covered her euthanasia.
“I truly couldn’t have asked for more incredible, supportive, and loving care for Lilo. Healthy Paws took away my financial concern and worry and allowed me to pursue the care my dog needed up until her last breath. I could focus my full attention on loving and caring for her instead of worrying about finances,” Samantha said.

Pet insurance allowed Lilo to have a longer, healthier life

Even though Lilo’s life was cut short, Samantha believes having pet insurance allowed her to live a longer and healthier life than she would have otherwise.

“Up until her last day, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance covered any and all medical expenses I ever had for her. I was able to love her at her fullest, happiest, and healthiest life because of the coverage she had. Every time I ever had to contact Healthy Paws regarding a question on coverage or a claim, I was greeted with understanding and kindness,” she wrote.

Samantha enrolled in pet insurance after witnessing a few friends go through expensive medical procedures with their pets and having to pay out of pocket, which resulted in hard decisions. She chose Healthy Paws after extensive research because of the high customer satisfaction ratings

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

Christy True and Tomas
By Christy True

Christy has been writing about pets for Healthy Paws for 28 dog years. She also coordinates media requests. A background in journalism may be why she enjoys writing about offbeat animal studies and the latest viral pet trends. She has been owned by several dogs, and she volunteers with a local dog rescue. Outside of work, she can usually be found sliding down a mountain near her home in Bend, Ore.

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