Curiosity almost killed the cat… or dog: the 10 most unusual pet insurance claims of 2017…

Southern Cross Pet Insurance in New Zealand released its 10 most unusual claims of 2017, with the list dominated by dogs that have an appetite for everything from gloves and cotton buds to duvets and even dead pets.

The collection of claims highlights how ordinary household items can be dangerous to our furry friends — and how costly it can be.

For example, a Retradoodle rummaged in a rubbish bin and ate a disposable razor blade, which required surgery. The dog then destroyed its Elizabethan collar and needed a muzzle and calming medicine to ensure the wound healed. The debacle resulted in a vet bill which cost more than NZ$2,000 (R17,050).

Another claim involved a Miniature Schnauzer that fell hook, line and sinker for a fish hook while swimming one morning. The poor pooch wasn’t the only dog to get snagged by a fish hook in 2017 either.

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Weird claims

“Weird claims are pretty common for our team because pets can get up to all sorts of mischief,” says Southern Cross Pet Insurance General Manager Anthony McPhail. “The fact is, a lot of these strange situations can be very costly and stressful for the animal and the owner.

“Pets give their owners a lot of joy but it’s important not to underestimate just how much vet bills can cost. There’s no equivalent of a public health system for pets so if you don’t have pet insurance it’s best to put some money aside in case they get up to no good and hurt themselves.”

Southern Cross Pet Insurance’s most unusual claims of 2017, including the claim cost:

  • A Swiss Shepherd dug up a dead pet in the garden, which had recently been euthanised, and ate some of it. This caused pentobarbitone toxicity because of the euthanasia drug. The vet induced vomiting ($700 or R5983).
  • A Labrador Retriever ate 100 cotton buds, including the plastic packaging, and a pair of underwear, which the vet removed from its stomach ($1,863 or R15,925). The dog was taken to the vet again for surgery to remove a bra strap and clips from its intestine ($1,971 or R16,849).
  • A Ragdoll cat ate foam nail painting separators and required treatment to ensure no blockage resulted ($533 or R4,556).
  • A Retradoodle (Labrador Retriever cross poodle) ate a disposable razor blade head from the rubbish bin and needed surgery to remove the pieces of blade. After destroying its Elizabethan collar, the dog needed a muzzle and calming medication so the wound could heal ($2,615 or R22,354).
  • A German Shepherd ate a duvet cover and stuffing from the liner, causing intestinal blockage ($1,824 or R15,592).
  • A Miniature Schnauzer went swimming one morning and was later taken to the vet by its owners to remove a fish hook caught in its skin ($473 or R4,043).
  • A Fox Terrier found and ate a latex kitchen glove after getting into a rubbish bag, and needed surgery ($1,431 or R12,232).
  • An owner fell on their Miniature Poodle while chopping down a tree, which caused hip dislocation. Surgery was required to fix hip back into place ($7,071 or R60,446).
  • A Border Collie ate the metal teeth off a hairbrush so the vet had to induce vomiting ($395 or R3,376).
  • A Great Dane chomped into an inhaler which exploded and caused Tachycardia (rapid heart rate) and bruising around its mouth ($1,307 or R11,172).

* According to the Companion Animals in New Zealand 2016 report.