Ill-Fated Escalator Excursion Inflicts Travel Woes for Shiba Inu Jetsetter

For Scott Thisdale of Wadsworth, Ill., his dogs are an extension of his family, which is why he did not hesitate to bring his two shiba inus on a recent vacation to Toronto, Canada. Scott and his 7-year-old canines, Kei and Midori, were en route to a local park when a minor misstep on the subway led to a major detour to a local animal hospital, subsequently earning Kei the title of “Most Unusual September Claim” by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI).

“We took the escalator to the subway platform and when we got to the top, Kei’s paw got caught on the grates,” said Scott. “He didn’t yelp or cry, even though it must’ve been painful. I didn’t realize anything had happened until he started licking his nails. That’s when I noticed he was bleeding, so I picked him up and rushed him to the closest animal hospital.”

Fortunately for Scott and Kei, a woman outside of the subway noticed his distress and guided him to the nearest emergency animal facility. The attending veterinarian sedated Kei in order to tend to his wounds, which included nail bed avulsions and lacerations on the pad of his left, hind paw. The veterinarian cleaned his remaining nail bed vessels (“quicks”), cauterized them and stitched up the lacerations on his pad. After about six hours at the animal hospital, Kei was released to enjoy the rest of his vacation.

“There are many factors pet owners should consider when traveling with a pet,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “For example, it’s important to compile a list of veterinary practices and emergency animal hospitals in the area that you’re visiting before you go. One of the great things about a VPI Pet Insurance policy is that, if an emergency does occur, you can visit any licensed veterinarian anywhere in the world. No matter where you go, your coverage travels with you.”

Kei's VIP transportation after the escalator incident

Being in an unfamiliar place, Scott considers himself very lucky to have met the woman who led him to the animal hospital. “She was Kei’s guardian angel,” said Scott. “After I picked up Kei several hours later we ran into her again, which was very peculiar. The whole incident was one I never could’ve imagined.”

According to Scott, the experience has made him more aware of his pets’ environment – regardless of whether they are at home or on the road. “You have to be mindful of everything your pet comes into contact with, even the things you don’t expect to be a threat,” said Scott. “That’s why it’s so important to have pet insurance: to prepare for the unforeseen.”

Is your pet a jetsetter like Kei? We’d love to hear your travel stories in the comments section below.

For more travel tips, from a basic travel checklist to flying with Fido, visit the VPI Pet HealthZone.