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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Are these the world's stupidest animals? Pug who ate 100 rocks and mastiff kicked by mule contenders for craziest pet insurance claim

By Daily Mail Reporter

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Plugged-up pug: Harley ate 100 rocks while he was boarded at his veterinarian's office. Luckily, he made a full recovery

From the pug ate 100 rocks to the Chihuahua who survived being kidnapped by a hungry owl, to Moose the mastiff, who was kicked in the head by an angry mule - these pet insurance claims are in a league all their own.

Meet the nominees for the Hambone Award - for the most ridiculous claim filed at Veterinary Pet Insurance.

Bosses at VPI narrowed down the list to 12 after reviewing tens of thousands of quirky claims that come in each month over the course of a year.

Hungry hound: Labrador retriever Stella Artois got hew lower jaw stuck in a can of green beans

For Chico the Chihuahua, being nominated came at the cost of almost becoming dinner.

The three-year-old pooch's owner Dana Kalomiris describes on the contest website how her husband took the dog out for a walk on a snowy January morning near their home in Crystal Lake, Illinois, when suddenly Chico began to whimper.

Out of the darkness, a Great Horned Owl silently swooped down and snatched Chico in its talons, dragging him through the snow.

Fortunately, George Kalomiris kept a firm hold on the leash, and spooked the menacing bird away.

The owl’s talons caused a small puncture wound just behind Chico's right foreleg; luckily, he made a full recovery.

Then there is Harley, a pug from Manville, Rhode Island who has an interest in eating things he shouldn't, according to the website.

His owner, Lori Lavediere, describes how during a boarding stay at his veterinarian's office, Harley ate 100 rocks in less than ten minutes.

'When we got home, I took him for a walk and he started pooping out rocks. Nothing else, just rocks,' she said.

Reindeer games: Two-year-old Labrador retriever named Gus ate five pounds of chocolate and sweets while his owners were away while Eddy the cat leaped onto a hot stove, burning all four of his paws

Scrappy: Chico the Chihuahua survived being kidnapped by a hungry owl, while Harley the dachshund was attacked by a seagull

Harley was taken to an emergency animal hospital where doctors took X-rays of his stomach, which showed his intestines were packed with pebbles. Fortunately, they were small enough for Harley to pass without surgery.

Cathy Timmons thought that pet insurance would be a good idea when her Labrador Stella ate a rock and needed surgery at six months old. It turned out be a good decision when Stella got her lower jaw stuck in a can of green beans in April.

'I was more panicked than she was,' Ms Timmons said. 'I was worried that she wouldn’t be able to breathe, but she was staring back at me like nothing was wrong. I tried to take the can off, but I was worried that the lid would dig into her skin, so we went to the veterinarian.'

But the Hambone Award isn't all for the dogs.

Sherri Johnson of Belmont, Massachusetts had concerns about how her cats would handle the wood stove in her New Hampshire vacation home, according to VPI. Her husband assured her that Eddy and Bella would sense the heat from the stove and stay away, and he was right - until the flies came.

Look at that face! Lindsay and Anna King's five -year-old English mastiff Moose was kicked in the head when he got too close to a mule

Ouch! Three-year-old Golden retriever, Sadie, was bitten on her snout by a 20lb otter
Her husband caught their cats Eddy and Bella chasing a fly around the house, and worried one of them might fall over the railing so he shooed the bug into the livingroom. Eddy followed the fly, jumped in the air and came down with all four paws right on top of the hot wood stove, burning at a scalding 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

The next day, Eddy’s paws were covered in blisters; he received bandages on all four paws and antibiotics to prevent infection of any broken blisters.

'He was walking like a mummy for about a week, but he’s doing better now,' Mrs Johnson said.

Then there is Harley the dachshund, who was attacked by a seagull in Ventura California; Gus, the two-year-old Labrador who downed one-eighth of his weight - a total of five pounds - of chocolate and cookies while his owners were away; and Sadie, a three-year-old Golden retriever was bitten on her nose by a 20lb otter in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Balboa the three-year-old pug was nearly blinded after he was sprayed with venom from a Southern Walking Stick after sneaking into a bush in Metarie, Louisiana; Tobey, a seven year-old Labrador retriever, accidentally swallowed a sprinkler head after a botched attempt to slurp a mouthful of water; Keryn Anderson's Jack Russell terrier, 15-year-old Teuer, landed at his veterinarian's office after his attempt to dodge under a closing garage door ended with the pooch pinned to the ground; Lindsay and Anna King's five -year-old English mastiff Moose was kicked in the head when he got too close to a mule.

Howie the toy poodle is a regular at his veterinarian’s office, according to VPI.
His latest visit came courtesy of an acorn in his owner's backyard - after he scooped it up, tilted his head back, and let the acorn slide down his throat, it obstructed his airway. Heather Skinner of Monroe, New York remembered: 'My husband is a police officer and knows the Heimlich maneuver. He tried it on Howie, but it didn’t work.'

All nominees considered for the award are pets that have made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.

But the 12 contenders have quite the legend to live up to.

The Hambone Award is named in honour of a VPI-insured dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while waiting for someone to find him, according to the company website.

The dog was eventually found, with a licked-clean ham bone and a mild case of hypothermia. He also recovered.

The top pick will receive VPI’s Hambone Award and designation as the most unusual claim of the year.

Watch video here



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