For Leap Year: Pets who took a leap … and lived!

Yesterday I was interviewed by a reporter from a major media outlook who’d been “hooked” on a clever premise thought up by our communications team. As Nationwide’s Chief Veterinary Officer, I use these opportunities to talk not only about pet health insurance, but also about the importance of good veterinary care.

The combination was easy this time.  For Leap Year, our communications team asked our colleagues in claims to find some compelling stories of pets who took a leap that could have killed them. Thanks to veterinary care (yes, and pet health insurance!), they all survived:

  • Stark, a mixed-breed cat from Naples, Fla., lived up to his “Iron Man” inspired name when he attempted to fly off his cat tree. The big leap got Stark caught in the window blinds, hanging by his tail. After being rescued and undergoing medical treatment, Stark’s tail was saved, and he has since made a full recovery.leap_year_pet
  • As her owners pulled out of their driveway, Heidi Elizabeth, a Cocker Spaniel from Cumberland, R.I., attempted to get a better view by using the back of the couch near a second-story window. However, the spaniel misjudged her leap to the top and crashed through the window, falling to the concrete driveway below. Luckily, Heidi Elizabeth avoided any long-term injuries.
  • Shayna, a Labrador Retriever from Holiday, Fla., jumped off a sea wall into a canal. Because of the low tide, the pup fell onto a bed of sharp oysters, leading to treatment for multiple lacerations. She made a full recovery and now enjoys dips in the family pool

In 2015, soft tissue trauma was the most common injury related to leaping accidents among Nationwide-insured pets. More than 20,000 individual cases carried an average cost of $230 for treatment.

While a “leap year” story isn’t possible every year, pets will keep jumping into danger.  I’m proud to be part of the veterinary community and the pet health insurance industry: Both there to help put these pets safely back on solid ground.