Your Pet Ate What?!? 2013’s Most Unusual Ingestion Claims

If you’re a loyal reader of the Hambone Nation Blog, you’re likely already aware of the unusual claim submissions we receive for our furry friends each month. Some of the quirky claims are for pets scrapping with other animals, others are for strange and scary incidents like a cat getting stuck behind a refrigerator or a cocker spaniel falling out of a two-story window, but the majority of the interesting claims VPI receives each month are for pets ingesting objects they should have kept their paws (and mouths) away from.

VPI has received more than 6,700 foreign object ingestion claims so far this year. While the majority of the claims are for commonly ingested items (socks, ribbon, string, chew toys, sticks, etc.), we received dozens of unique ingestion claims worthy of recognition. From a television remote control to a pig skull, below are some of the more interesting ingestion incidents we have received in 2013. All of the pets made full recoveries and received reimbursements for eligible expenses.

  • Loaf of bread, eight hamburger buns and six hot dog buns
  • Eight jumbo crayons
  • TV remote control
  • 4-year-old’s underpants
  • Bed sheets
  • Gardening gloves
  • Bar of soap
  • Pound of raisins
  • Sock, some hair, a small plastic cup and a fully intact dollar bill
  • Two pounds of frozen onion rings
  • Pod of detergent
  • Mint cookies, box of macaroni & cheese, crackers and Pop Tarts
  • More than three pounds of rancid meat
  • Two pounds of leaves and grass
  • Shoe sole
  • Toothbrush
  • Bible
  • Pound of grapes
  • Golf ball
  • Bottle of Beano
  • One pound of turkey, one pound of salami, and a half-pound of cheese
  • Hairbrush
  • Diaper, baby book, butt paste and lotion
  • Ear of corn
  • Pig skull
  • Fire starter log
  • 100 pills of Vitamin D, one pound of pistachio nuts, five mini Snickers, and 3.8 oz of plain M&Ms
  • Bag of 115 chocolates
  • Acorn
  • Razor blade
  • String of Halloween lights
  • Battery

Through November, VPI policyholders have spent nearly $5.6 million on foreign body ingestion claims in 2013.  Surgery to remove a foreign body from the stomach has had an average claim amount of $1,387 per pet, while surgery to remove a foreign body from the intestines has had an average claim amount of $1,990 per pet.

Symptoms of foreign body ingestion 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. For telltale signs your pet has ingested a foreign body and information about what to do if your pet swallows a foreign object, visit VPI’s article on household item ingestion.