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Young Golden Retriever Suffers Four Emergencies

By Christy True
published: June 8, 2023 - updated: June 9, 2023 • 4 min. read
Lancer, a Golden Retriever

Diagnosis: Multiple issues
Cost: $3,966 | Healthy Paws reimbursed: $2,673
Coverage options:  80 percent reimbursement | $250

Some people believe they don’t need pet insurance when their pets are young because they are not likely to have many health issues in the first few years of life.

Lancer, a Golden Retriever with owner Alan

Lancer, a two-year-old Golden Retriever who lives in Kentucky with pet parent Alan, is a prime example of the advantages of getting insurance when your pet is still young. Not only did Lancer have several medical issues as a young dog, but they were all covered by his Healthy Paws plan because he was enrolled as a puppy and had no pre-existing conditions. 

Lancer and Alan have a strong bond. 

“Lancer is my best friend, my confidante, and my shadow,” Alan says. “He is also a goofy doofus. He’s gentle and loving, friendly and happy, but most of all, he’s a sucker for a good belly rub and just being around the people he loves. Give him a ball to chase and a person he loves throwing it and he’s a happy boy.”

As long as he’s with his loved ones, Lancer enjoys just about any activity whether it be lying on the couch, fetching a ball or going for a ride in the truck with Alan.

Four emergencies in one year

Lancer, a Golden Retriever
  • Metal cable ingestion: Lancer’s first emergency cropped up in April 2022 when he was at his doggy daycare, and he ate through a metal cable that kept his dog door closed.  It seems that Lancer wanted to go out and play when it was not playtime.

    “Staff came back from lunch, and there Lancer was, just hanging out in the play yard.  They found his cable had been chomped and thus off to the vet we went, where x-rays confirmed he had small metal threads in his digestive tract,” Alan said.

    Fortunately, surgery was not required, but a few harrowing days passed waiting to see if Lancer would poop them out. Finally, multiple X-rays indicated the metal was gone and there was no intestinal damage.
  • Limping: Just a month later, Lancer started limping suddenly. After some x-rays, it turned out he had just run his leg sore because he was playing too hard and all that was needed was some pain relief. 
  • Gastritis: After dinner one evening in December 2022, Lancer started to dry heave and attempt to vomit. Nothing was coming up, despite a large meal just a half hour earlier. When Alan called the emergency vet hospital and described the symptoms, they advised him to get to the hospital as quickly as he could. It was possible that Lancer was suffering from bloat or torsion, which are life-threatening. Lancer spent the night at the hospital to be monitored and, fortunately, it turned out he just had an exceptional amount of gas and no further treatment was needed.
  • Laceration: Just recently in March, Lancer was again at his daycare when a German shepherd charged his kennel. When Lancer jumped up, his paw went through the chain link fence, and the shepherd bit his paw. “And thus began another trip to the emergency vet, requiring sedation, stitches, and an overall sad and loopy boy,” Alan said. Alan stayed home for two weeks while Lancer recovered, and he healed up nicely. Luckily, the experience didn’t affect Lancer’s love of people and other dogs.

Besides these emergencies, Lancer also developed less urgent conditions in the past couple of years – a urinary tract infection (UTI), an ear infection and cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), treatments that his Healthy Paws plan covered.

Lancer, a Golden Retriever
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How Lancer is doing now

Lancer has fully recovered from all his maladies.

“Lancer is healthy, happy, and the most loving, sweet boy I have ever met. He is a gift that I treasure on a daily basis and the bright spot of my life,” Alan said.

How pet insurance helped

Alan, whose job includes risk management and crisis oversight, has a unique perspective on pet insurance because of his background and personal experience.  He has seen how people facing impossible decisions, complicated by financial realities and the pressure to make a quick decision, agonize over it.

He didn’t want to be in that position when it came to his beloved pet, so he signed Lancer up for pet insurance as soon as he adopted him. He knew he would do anything to save him or take his pain away and did not want to hesitate because of finances.

“The best thing about all of it was that I never had to make a decision about whether or not we should go to the vet because of the financial impact. Healthy Paws provides something far more valuable than financial reimbursement. They provide peace of mind,” Alan said. “Between Lancer and his predecessors, I haven’t had to worry about choosing between their life or my financial future. I know what choice I would make, as I’m sure all pet parents would, but that decision is thankfully unneeded.”

Lancer has his own Instagram account. You can follow him here:

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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