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A trip to upstate New York was going be the perfect birthday weekend getaway for Courtney Mikos of Keyport, New Jersey. But things took an unexpected turn when Courtney’s dog, Frank, encountered a porcupine—earning the Rottweiler a nomination for the 2019 Hambone Award, honoring the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year.
Thinking back to the incident, Courtney pieced together what may have happened,.“Frank grew up in a beach town, so porcupines aren’t something that he sees all the time,” she chuckles. “We were just walking around the property, and we have a lot of cats in our house. So, I don’t know if he thought it was a cat, but he sniffed the porcupine.”
When Courtney and friends first saw Frank appear, they didn’t think much of it. “Frank came out of nowhere and we didn’t think anything happened, but when we looked closer we were like ‘Oh no, he touched the porcupine,’” she recalls.
Unsure of what to do, Courtney tried to remove the quills herself but was unsuccessful. Knowing how painful this was for Frank, Courtney cancelled her plans and drove an hour south to the closest 24-hour emergency animal hospital. Fortunately, the doctors at Newton Animal Hospital were able to sedate Frank and remove all the porcupine quills. He was sent home a few hours later and has since made a full recovery.
“Luckily, Courtney took Frank to a veterinary hospital right away to be sedated, so the porcupine quills could be removed safely before they caused any further damage,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide.
For Courtney and Frank, pet insurance from Nationwide is a must. “I’m a big advocate,” says Courtney. “You just never know what life is going to throw at you or what your dog is going to get into. This is a small ticket item, but the big ticket items will hit you a lot harder—you don’t want to be in a position where you have to turn away medical treatment because you can’t afford it in the moment.”