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Your Pet Ate What?!

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(SOURCE: Veterinary Pet Ins, 12-14-2011)

BREA, Calif., Dec. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --  may have captured the 2011 when he ate more than 100 rocks, but he wasn’t the only pet with an unusual appetite this year. , the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, received more than 6,500 foreign object ingestion claims from January through November. While many pets opted to snack on commonly ingested items, such as socks and underwear, others chose to explore inanimate objects of a different variety.

Following is a list of notable items that passed the lips of VPI-insured dogs and cats in 2011. All pets made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.

about 100 rocks

box of razor blades

foot-long metal hanger

cholla cactus

130 fish oil capsules


14 hair bands

cinnamon scented pine cone

15 vanilla votive candles

clothing and rat poison

two baby bottle nipples

deer antlers

two plastic baggies and a bottle cap

dental floss

three sewing needles

an entire tube of doggie toothpaste

five pounds of trash and a scrub brush

artificial finger nails

62 vitamin D soft gels

glass ornament

5-inch skewer

golf ball skin



cell phone case

G.I. Joe


hot chili peppers

dirty diaper

human feces

fish hook and line


lobster shell


makeup sponge

dental retainer

marijuana cookie

pennies and thumb tacks

package of fluorescent light bulbs

pepper spray


poison ivy

dead porcupine

ribbons and wrapping paper

burrito wrapped in foil

hemorrhoid suppositories



tent stake


wedding ring

rat (swallowed whole)

aluminum can



the corner of the bed

head of stuffed animal, long leather lace and multiple hard plastic pieces

two plastic eyeballs and a bunch of broccoli stems

adhesive bandages


VPI policyholders spent nearly $5.2 million treating pets that ingested foreign objects in the eleven-month period. Surgery to remove foreign objects from the stomach of a pet cost an average of $1,472; while surgical removal from the intestines was $1,910 on average. Symptoms of include depression, a reluctance to eat or drink, vomiting and occasionally diarrhea. If a pet owner suspects foreign object ingestion, the animal should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

To prevent costly emergencies, VPI recommends closely monitoring pets’ behaviors and environment. Items small enough to be swallowed should be placed safely out of reach. Pet parents should also be careful to select toys that are appropriate for all animals in the home and to monitor the items for small pieces that may have been eaten. While preventative measures are essential for pet safety, the 2011 list of unusual ingestions is proof that pets – and their appetites – are often unpredictable.

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

With more than 485,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency is the No. 1 veterinarian-recommended pet health insurance company and is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies. Providing pet owners with peace of mind since 1982, the company is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers and an advocate of pet health education. VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Optional CareGuard® coverage is available for routine care.

Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 2,500 companies nationwide offer VPI Pet Insurance as a voluntary employee benefit. Policies are underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and in all other states by National Casualty Company, an A+15 rated company in Madison, Wis. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on or follow . For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit .

SOURCE Veterinary Pet Insurance


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