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Crazy Rocklin Dog Ingests London Broil and Survives


With the anticipation of a tasty family dinner later that evening, John Young of Rocklin, Calif., spent the day marinating nearly five pounds of London broil before placing it alongside a loaf of bread in the middle of his kitchen counter while he picked up his children from softball practice.

While John thought the food was out of the reach of Cali, his 5-year-old golden retriever, he returned home a few minutes later to find his pooch had devoured the entire meal.

The London broil led to tummy turmoil for Cali, resulting in a trip to the emergency animal hospital, earning her the title of November's "Most Unusual Claim of the Month" by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI).

"I made a concerted effort to place the dish in the middle of the island in our kitchen, so it would be out of the reach of our little scavenger," explained John. "When I returned home five minutes later, the first thing I saw was the bread bag on the kitchen floor and Cali laying by the couch with 'that look' in her eyes. I thought she had just eaten the bread until I looked at the island and saw the dish sitting on the edge of the counter void of almost five pounds of meat."

Wanting to make sure that she would not become ill, John took Cali to the veterinary hospital where they took X-rays and induced vomiting. After nearly two hours at the hospital, Cali was sent home and put on a strict diet for a couple of days.

"Mr. Young was wise to seek medical attention for Cali," said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. "Sudden changes in diet and extreme overconsumption of rich foods can cause pancreatitis. It's always important to keep your pet on his regular, veterinary-recommended diet. Double your vigilance during the holidays: That's when people tend to do more cooking, and a guest in your home might not be as careful to keep their food from your pets. Both of these scenarios create the opportunity for counter-cruisers, like Cali, to take advantage and help themselves!"

John purchased VPI Pet Insurance through his employer, Southwest Airlines, which is one of the more than 3,600 organizations and associations nationwide to offer VPI as a voluntary employee benefit. As a policyholder for just under a year, John was delighted to receive nearly a 98 percent reimbursement for Cali's London broil ingestion claim. 

"One of the main reasons I purchased pet insurance for Cali was because she has a healthy curiosity for getting into things she shouldn't," explained John. "We have taken extra precautions to ensure we keep harmful items away from her, but I'm glad we have VPI in case we are faced with another unexpected incident."

Cali's incident was one of more than 80,000 claims received in the month of November by VPI, the nation's first and largest provider of pet health insurance, and was selected by VPI employees as the most unusual of the bunch. Honorable mentions in November included a cairn terrier who was hit by a dune buggy, a mixed-breed pooch who swallowed an acorn, and a Labrador retriever who suffered broken bones when his paws got stuck in a coyote trap.

All pets considered for the award made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.

As the most unusual claim submitted in November, Cali will be in the running for the 2014 VPI Hambone Award. Other nominees include Pierre the French bulldog who took an unplanned dip in the swimming pool at a Fourth of July party, Heidi Elizabeth the American cocker spaniel who survived a two-story plunge out of her owner's home, and Roxy the German shepherd who crashed into and shattered a sliding glass door. 

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