Pets are amazing - in the weirdest and most wonderful ways.

Blankets, sewing needles and hair ties aren’t what comes to mind when you think of a typical pet’s diet. Yet in 2018 Southern Cross Pet Insurance found a few of their canine and moggy friends insured on PetCare plans decided to put this to the test.

Here are the most purrplexing 10 PetCare claims* we had in 2018:

10
A German Shepherd accidentally shut itself in a room with two cats. The cats attacked the dog, which then impaled its hind leg on a metal shoe rack. This seriously damaged the flexor tendon and required two surgeries with post-operative care.
Vet Bill: $8,437
9
A Labrador Retriever required surgery to remove pieces of the blanket it had eaten.
Vet Bill: $6,000
8
A Beagle ate a home-made fruit cake and experienced renal failure due to raisin toxicity. The dog was medicated and put on a drip to flush its kidneys.
Vet Bill: $2,990
7
A Miniature poodle ate an entire chicken skewer, which had to be removed endoscopically. “Amazingly, it came out whole,” the owner said.
Vet Bill: $3,197
6
A Border Collie ate a compact make-up mirror, so the veterinarian induced vomiting to have the dog regurgitate the shards.
Vet Bill: $395
5
A female Domestic Short-Hair cat underwent surgery to remove a tumour. It was in fact an interstitial (testicular) tumour, caused by a retained testicle. The veterinarian said it was the first intersex case they had seen in 13 years of practice.
Vet Bill: $2,531
4
Domestic Long Hair cat swallowed a sewing needle, which required surgical removal.
Vet Bill: $1,968
3
A French Bulldog rummaged through a visitor’s bag and ate a whole roll of dental floss. The roll was found in the dog’s stomach but had unravelled through its intestines, requiring multiple incisions for removal.
Vet Bill: $2,873
2
A Devon Rex cat ate 46 hair ties, which were surgically removed.
Vet Bill: $2,019
1
A Shetland Sheepdog ate a dish cloth in June and ate another two months later. In the first instance it was given antibiotics and lactulose to help pass the cloth naturally. The second time it was given apomorphine so it would throw up the cloth.
Vet Bill: $222

"Most of the claims we process each year are for fairly typical illnesses and routine checks, but we also receive some that surprise us", says Southern Cross Pet Insurance General Manager Anthony McPhail. "While claims such as these are sometimes amusing, they can require a serious procedure, such as surgery, which is stressful for both the pet and their owner."

* According to the Companion Animals in New Zealand 2016 report.

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