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Lab Breaks Leg but Bounces Back from Bicycle Attack

While exercise is vital in maintaining the health of our pets, as Lesli Miller of El Cajon, Calif., and her 14-year-old son recently found out, it’s best to take a more conventional approach to taking our furry friends on walks. Lesli’s son enjoys riding his bicycle and frequently took his nine-month-old Labrador retriever, Macie, with him. Unfortunately, those days are over after an accident in January in which the dog’s leash got caught on the front tire of the bicycle causing it to run over and injure Macie’s rear left leg. The incident resulted in a trip to the emergency animal hospital and surgery to repair four fractured metatarsal bones, earning Macie the title of January’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI).

During the walk, Lesli’s son was holding the leash on his bicycle’s handlebars when Macie spotted another dog across the street and suddenly began running to greet it. As Macie started to dart in front of the bike, the leash prevented her from running past it, causing Macie to enter the path of the bicycle tire, resulting in her left rear leg getting run over.

“I received a call from one of our neighbors explaining to me what happened, and that my son was very upset,” recalled Lesli. “He told me that Macie’s leg was severely injured. I was really concerned and rushed home to take her to the veterinarian.”

At the emergency animal hospital the veterinarian took X-rays that revealed Macie had fractured all four of her left metatarsal bones during the bicycle accident. The injured leg was immediately placed in a splint and Lesli was notified that surgery would be required to the repair the broken bones. After a few weeks, Macie had the splint removed from her injured leg and has regained most of her strength. Although she still limps around the house, Lesli expects to have her rambunctious retriever back to her old self by April.


“I can tell that Macie wants to get back to normal and play like she did before the injury,” said Lesli. “Like most Labs, she is very friendly and loves being around people. Once she’s made a full recovery, we’ll use a more conventional way of getting her exercise, however.”

“Whether you’re on the bike trail, city streets, or walking around the neighborhood, it’s important to hold your pet’s leash firmly while surveying your surroundings for unpredictable activity.,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Despite a pet owner’s best intentions, injuries can still happen to a pet on a leash, so maintaining a solid footing at all times is imperative.”

When she first brought Macie home as a new pup, Lesli decided to purchase pet insurance to protect against any high veterinary bills that may arise.

“I’m happy we chose to get VPI Pet Insurance when we first adopted Macie,” said Lesli. “Even though she’s still a puppy, Macie has had her share of unexpected injuries and illnesses and VPI has really helped us lower the costs of keeping her healthy.”

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