Miniature Dachshund Meddles With Malicious Muskrat, Miraculously Survives

Robert and Michele Bashore of Pittsburgh, Penn., have been VPI policyholders for the past 22 years, but in more than two decades they have never submitted a claim quite like this. After a backyard brawl with a vicious muskrat at their vacation home in Michigan, the Bashores weren’t sure whether their miniature dachshund Nathan would pull through. The courageous canine’s confrontation caused a severe bite wound dangerously close to his jugular; an incident that has earned him the title of “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI).

“Around 11 p.m., my wife opened the back door to let the dogs out. As soon as she opened it, all four of our dachshunds went tearing outside, and they were all barking,” said Robert. “She quickly followed them to the corner of the yard and realized they were attacking a muskrat. Luckily, she was able to pull the dogs off and get them back in the house. When she got back inside, she saw Nathan lying on the carpet with a pool of blood collecting around him.”

Nathan had suffered a significant puncture wound on his neck, which caused him to bleed profusely. Fearful for Nathan’s survival, his owner applied pressure to the wound and rushed him to the nearest emergency animal hospital. According to Robert, the attending veterinarian didn’t think the miniature dachshund would make it. Fortunately, a surgeon on staff was able to operate on the injured vein to prevent further bleeding. Though Nathan was brought to the hospital in critical condition, the Bashores are happy to report that he has since made a full recovery.

“It’s important to remember that a wild animal attack on your pet can happen anywhere, whether you live in a remote area or on a quiet suburban street,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Take extra precaution when a pet is exposed to wildlife, especially at night.”

Though the experience was a frightening one, the Bashores took comfort in knowing they had VPI Pet Insurance to help protect Nathan. “When your veterinarian is standing there telling you what needs to be done to save your dog’s life, the last thing you want to worry about is how much it will cost,” said Robert. “I’ve been with VPI for 22 years now and the best advice I could give to another pet owner would be to always buy pet insurance. In those difficult moments, it’s nice to have that peace of mind.”