Terrier’s race against clock to beat closing garage door among unusual pet-insurance claims

Keryn Anderson called it her Jack Russell terrier’s “Indiana Jones” moment. The 15-year-old dog’s attempt to run under a closing garage door, however, didn’t have an action hero ending.
“We had just pulled our car into the garage,” said Keryn of Mount Pleasant, Michigan. “Our dogs had come out, excited to see us. I started to head inside the house and had pushed the button for the garage door to close. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that Teuer had gone out onto the driveway. I think he must not have heard the door closing until it was too late. I saw him do his best dive under the door, but it came right down on his back, pinning him to the ground.”
Teuer let out a yelp, and Keryn pushed the garage door button to send it going back up. “I didn’t realize this,” Keryn said, “but when you do that, the door stops completely, so Teuer was completely trapped.” Keryn pushed the button again, and the door finally began to rise. “I picked Teuer up, and he was shaking and making little grunting noises. I took him to our veterinarian right away.”
Fortunately for Teuer, the garage door hadn’t caused any serious injuries. The veterinarian performed X-rays and used a catheter to check for internal bleeding; both came back negative. Teuer was sent home with muscle relaxants that also helped him sleep through the night.
“Oh, Teuer’s fine today,” Keryn said. “The whole thing just really draws attention to how you have to watch your little doggy friends– especially when they come through the garage door.”
Keryn’s claim for Teuer’s garage door incident was one of more than 80,000 claims received in the month of February by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance. Keryn’s claim was considered along with other uncommon medical claims submitted in February and selected by VPI as the most unusual of the bunch.
As the most unusual claim submitted in February, Keryn’s claim will be placed in the running for the 2011 VPI Hambone Award. Each month, VPI employees nominate the most interesting claim submitted, and in September 2011, the company will ask the public to vote for the most unusual claim of the year. The VPI Hambone Award is named in honor of a VPI-insured dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while waiting for someone to find him. The dog was eventually found with a licked-clean ham bone and a mild case of hypothermia.
Honorable mentions in February included a domestic shorthair cat that swallowed a six-inch piece of plastic, a standard poodle that had a wedding ring removed from its stomach, a Labrador retriever that pigged out on pizza and calzones, a German wirehaired pointer that was kicked by a moose, and a domestic shorthair cat in Hawaii that suffered eye irritation from volcanic fog. All pets considered for the award made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.

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