Leann Munro of Rio Linda, Calif., had a tough time keeping her adventurous cat, Pebbles, inside the house. It wasn’t until he ventured 15 miles by way of a car engine that she truly appreciated the value of implanting microchips in her pets. While Leann was out of town for the weekend, Pebbles managed to sneak out of her house and wound up in the engine of a car destined for Carmichael, Calif., about 15 miles away from Leann’s home. Luckily, a good Samaritan found the injured feline in his shed and immediately dropped Pebbles off at a local veterinary emergency hospital to treat his wounds.
The emergency veterinarian was able to easily track down Leann through Pebbles’ microchip, and, upon hearing the news, she rushed to the hospital. When Leann arrived, she was horrified by the injuries Pebbles sustained during the car ride. “Pebbles had been caught in the car’s alternator belt and had a broken jaw and several deep lacerations,” said Leann.
Pebbles was stabilized and received pain medication to help him through the night, before being transferred to his regular veterinarian in the morning for surgery on his jaw.
“The emergency veterinarian congratulated me on two things before I left the hospital,” explained Leann. “First, that I had implanted a microchip; otherwise Pebbles may have been euthanized. Second, that I had VPI Pet Insurance, which enabled me to provide the veterinary care that Pebbles required. The cost of the treatment without pet insurance would have seriously threatened my budgetary constraints.”
Unfortunately, Pebbles’ regular veterinarian determined that Pebbles was not yet strong enough for jaw surgery, so Leann dropped him off at her veterinary hospital each morning until the veterinarian was confident that Pebbles would be able to withstand the rigors of the surgical procedure. After a few days of close monitoring, Pebbles underwent surgery, which included inserting a wire to stabilize his jaw, and sutures to assist the healing of all of his deep lacerations.
“I knew Pebbles was a tough cat,” said Leann. “The veterinarian was so great to us. Pebbles was kind of a ‘pet’ project for the veterinarian, as she had never seen anything like this and Pebbles had so many different injuries.”
In addition to the excellent medical treatment Pebbles received, Leann is very thankful that she decided years ago to implant microchips in all of her pets. “Without the microchip, we likely never would have known what happened to Pebbles,” said Leann. “He has been through a lot, but he is doing great.”
“Incidents like this illustrate the benefits of planning for unexpected events,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for Veterinary Pet Insurance. “Microchips help alleviate some of the concern pet owners have if their pet is lost, and pet insurance helps give pet parents peace of mind that they can provide their pets with optimal medical care should something bad happen.”
Although Pebbles is still in the process of rehabilitating, Leann is thankful that pet insurance has assisted her through this difficult experience. “All of my animals have pet insurance because they are members of my family,” said Leann.