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Teacup Yorkie Comes Back from the Brink of Death

By Christy True
published: January 30, 2024 • 3 min. read
Zoey, a teacup yorkie

Diagnosis: Pneumonia
Cost: $4,969 Healthy Paws reimbursed: $3,348
Coverage options: 80 percent reimbursement | $250 deductible

Zoey is a four-year-old teacup Yorkie who is like a baby to her pet parents, Michael and Darlene. She sleeps with them and has her own stroller, carrier, and car seat. She has a toy box filled with more toys than you could imagine, Michael said.

Zoey, a teacup yorkie

She even throws tantrums, much like a toddler. This is especially true when they try to dress her.

“She hates clothes and bows in her hair and even though she is groomed monthly, will not wear them. She just pouts and lays down and won’t walk or do anything as long as they are on her,” Michael said.

Zoey loves to go anywhere with her pet parents and loves attention. Michael said that she is so attached to them that she’s not too interested in other people.

“She is very loving, very communicative – woofs to get your attention and get you to do what she wants or needs. She is very playful and loves to fetch,” he added. “She is a big-time mommy’s girl, she loves her dad, but mommy is the go-to – even though daddy spoils her with food and treats.”

Zoey collapses suddenly

One day in the summer of 2020, Zoey suddenly fell ill in the car as they were driving. She could not stand, would not drink water, and her eyes were white. Her heart was racing, and her breathing was labored.

They rushed to the nearest veterinary office, where they performed an X-ray but said they could not determine a cause or treatment. The vet recommended the nearest emergency vet – about 40 minutes away – but warned that Zoey may not make it that long.

They made it to the emergency vet quickly, talking to her in the car to keep her awake and breathing. They performed blood work, took more X-rays, started intravenous fluids, and isolated her in an oxygen room. The couple checked into a hotel. Zoey was not much better the next day – she still could not walk and seemed out of it. She was diagnosed with pneumonia.

“It was like we were losing her. For three days we stayed and visited when we were allowed. Anxious and worried, we sat and waited, calling every couple of hours. I know we got on their nerves,” Michael said.

For the first two days, whenever they took her off the oxygen, her levels dropped to the point she almost passed out.

“My wife and I were so scared that we might not leave with the thing we love most in life alive,” Michael said.

Finally, on the third day, they took her off oxygen, and her levels stayed steady. After 12 hours, with her breathing stabilized, they were able to take her home.

But Zoey was still not well. With the help of their local vet, she slowly improved but it took two weeks for her to be herself again. They never did learn why she had developed pneumonia, so the couple watches her carefully. She is prone to stomach upset and she sometimes reverse sneezes.

“She has a tendency to backwards sneeze when she gets excited or nervous and sometimes just out of the blue with no rhyme or reason as to why. Usually, I can pick her up and gently rub her trachea, and it calms her down,” he said.

Protect your pet

How is Zoey doing now?

Despite the continued wheezing and occasional stomach issues, Zoey appears to be healthy and happy. Since they still don’t know what caused the episode, the couple plans to be vigilant and get her checked if anything appears out of the ordinary.

Zoey, a teacup yorkie

How pet insurance helped 

Michael and Darlene signed up for pet insurance shortly after adopting Zoey as a puppy. Just a week after adopting her, she came down with an infection. With vet treatment, it cleared up quickly. Then later, Zoey contracted worms in her digestive system, which they saw in her stool. The vet was able to cure it with a shot.

Michael has worked in the warranty and insurance business, so he thought getting pet insurance to help with the mounting vet bills was a wise decision. After doing some online research, he enrolled with Healthy Paws. He’s been pleased with the claims that have been paid and the customer service.

“Healthy Paws is very personable and responsive. Customer service in today’s world is not the norm but I can honestly say you guys are excellent. Any claims I have had have been handled very professionally and quickly. For that, I am very thankful,” he wrote. “We will never use another company because we know we can trust this one so much.”

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 and manages the Healthy Paws Foundation. 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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