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Outrageous items your dog swallows when you’re not looking

‎06-09-2014 11:34 AM

dog that swallowed a fishing pole

… And What It Costs to Get Them Out.



Dogs will be dogs, and chewing is typical. But when your dog swallows a foreign object it could be dangerous and require costly surgery. We spoke with veterinarians to learn the most unusual items they’ve seen dogs swallow – and what it costs to remove them.  






X-ray of a six-month-old Labrador that swallowed a fishing pole


 pet insurance 1-9 images


How did the dog swallow the fishing pole?

Pet Insurance


Due to the rising costs of pet ownership, the USAA Insurance Agency now offers pet insurance through Embrace Pet Insurance.


Embrace is A+ rated by AM Best and offers a military discount and a 15 percent discount for USAA members.


Six-month-old Labrador Bailey was in distress when he visited Dr. Gary Sloniker of the Spooner Veterinary Clinic in Spooner, Wisconsin. Dr. Sloniker pressed around Bailey’s ribcage and felt something protruding. The X-ray revealed an 18-inch ice-fishing pole.


“I could see the line guides on the pole going right up almost to the back of the mouth,” Dr. Sloniker says.  


It is common for your pet to swallow items they shouldn’t. Vets call them foreign objects.   


Chew on This – The Rising Cost of Pet Care


Dog owners spend an estimated $19 billion every year on veterinary services, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association1 (AVMA). Most pay directly as only 6 percent of U.S. dog owners have insurance. 


Dog-owning households spend an average of $378 per year on vet bills, according to the AVMA, mostly for routine matters, like vaccinations and physical exams. 


Often, when a dog swallows a foreign object, emergency surgery will be required. Then, the owner can expect to spend nearly $1,500 to have the object removed, according to figures from the American Animal Hospital Association. 


pet insurance factoidsCost of Identifying and Extracting a Foreign Object

It’s hard to put a cost on an owner’s love for their pet. However, man’s best friend can be expensive.*


Examination for a sick pet: $47

Lab/blood collection: $32

Complete blood count with 8-12 chemistries: $97

Abdominal radiographs, two views: $125

Abdominal exploratory surgery: $355-$397 (depending on dog’s weight)

Gastronomy, foreign-body removal: $431-$471 (depending on dog’s weight)

Anesthesia: $154 (Estimate based on numerous options and variations.)


Total:  $1,323


*Average costs from the American Animal Hospital Association for accredited and non-accredited veterinary hospitals in the U.S. All figures pertain to canines.


Not Just Kibble

The cost of caring for dogs grows every year.


Total veterinary expenditures in billions for dog-owning households

1991:  $4.9

1996:  $7.0

2001:  $11.6

2006:  $16.1

2011:  $19.1




1Source: 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook. 


Use of the term “member” or “membership” does not convey any eligibility rights for auto and property insurance products, or legal or ownership rights in USAA. Ownership rights are limited to eligible policyholders of United Services Automobile Association.


USAA Insurance Agency means USAA Insurance Agency, Inc. or USAA of Texas Insurance Agency. CA Lic # 0D78305, TX Lic # 7096. 9800 Fredericksburg Road, San Antonio, TX 78288. The Agency represents third party insurers that are not affiliated with USAA, and provides services to you on their behalf. It receives a commission on the sale or renewal of third party insurance products, and may receive other performance based compensation from them. Purchase of third party insurance products does not establish eligibility for or membership in USAA property and casualty insurance companies. Product availability may vary in some locations.




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