Pet insurance: Goose by name, goose by nature

23 Jun 2021
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Goose is a two-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier who seems to have boundless energy! However, one morning his owner Ben noticed that Goose seemed quiet, and had vomited multiple times overnight. Goose didn’t want breakfast but did eat a small treat, which he then vomited up a short while later, along with some water.

Ben realised that Goose was very unwell, and promptly booked him in for a check-up with his regular veterinary clinic. On examination, Goose was found to be quite dehydrated, with a sore tummy. The vet questioned Ben about whether Goose could have eaten anything he shouldn’t have. Ben remembered that in the last few days, Goose had been chewing an old rubber toy that he had found in the garden.

Goose was admitted into the vet hospital for abdominal x-rays, as well as intravenous fluid therapy for rehydration and pain relief for his sore belly. Ben also agreed to basic blood tests to ensure there weren’t any problems with Goose’s liver or kidneys.

While Goose’s blood tests indicated no issues other than dehydration, his abdominal x-rays unfortunately showed a likely gut obstruction. The veterinarian advised Ben that Goose should undergo exploratory laparotomy – an abdominal surgery to locate and remove foreign objects from the intestines.

Ben was grateful that he had taken out pet insurance with Vets Choice when Goose was a puppy, as he didn’t have the money for this unexpected surgery in his savings. Goose’s Vet Choice Pro policy covered emergency procedures due to the ingestion of a foreign object, so Ben was able to comfortably consent to the surgical treatment that Goose urgently needed, knowing the costs would be covered.

Goose was put under general anaesthetic, and taken to surgery for an exploratory laparotomy. He was found to have a hard object stuck in his small intestine. Unfortunately, this object had caused serious damage to one area of his gut, necessitating the removal of the damaged portion. Ben’s veterinarian informed him afterwards that a small part of Goose’s damaged intestine had appeared close to breaking down and was leaking bacteria-filled gut contents into the rest of the abdominal cavity. This is a complication that can lead to peritonitis, a potentially fatal condition.

The object removed from Goose’s intestine appeared to be a large, brittle piece of the old toy that he’d been chewing. The total cost of his treatment, including aftercare medications and rechecks, was $3,289.

Goose stayed overnight in the hospital on intravenous fluids, antibiotics and pain relief. He recovered smoothly and was able to return home the next day. Ben was relieved to have his best mate back home safe and well again.

Ben now closely monitors what Goose chews, and doesn’t allow him to play with anything that could be potentially dangerous. Goose unfortunately has not learnt his lesson about swallowing silly things, and would probably do it again if given the opportunity.

Because there is no Medicare equivalent for our pets, pet owners face the full cost of veterinary care. Vets Choice is a pet insurance product endorsed by vets for pets, and is backed by a 20-year partnership between Guild Insurance and the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA). With a range of features and benefits to cover your pet, Vets Choice will give you peace of mind.

Click here for more information about Vets Choice insurance for your pet.

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