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Snapping Turtle Gets Snippy with Sniffing Retriever

According to Susan Burr of Rocky Hill, Conn., her 7-year-old golden retriever Ginger has had her share of run-ins with wildlife. Though Ginger’s inherent curiosity has lead to some close calls with skunks, chipmunks and other animals, not one has become quite as aggressive as the temperamental turtle she encountered last month.

“Ginger is a golden retriever, so she sniffs absolutely everything,” said Susan. “We were outside one morning and before I knew what was happening, she took off running towards a giant snapping turtle in our yard. She didn’t even bark, she just stuck her nose at the turtle, and the turtle chomped on her. Ginger jumped about 6 feet in the air and let out a loud yelp. The turtle’s fast reaction came as a surprise to us both.”

Although the notoriously sluggish animal has no teeth, its strong, powerful jaw and sharp beak did some damage to Ginger’s muzzle. Startled by the incident and the bloody lacerations on her companion’s nose, Susan rushed Ginger inside and called her local emergency veterinarian. The staff recommended that she bring Ginger in for an examination and Susan didn’t hesitate to comply.

“I wasn’t sure what to do,” said Susan. “I’ve had dogs my entire life and never worried that one would be bitten by a turtle.”

Fortunately, the wounds were superficial and Ginger was able to make a full recovery with the help of some prescribed antibiotics. After the incident, Susan warned her neighbors with small children to beware of snapping turtles coming into their yard, and she advises pet parents to take equal precaution.

“Ginger is a member of our family,” said Susan. “That’s why it’s important to me to have VPI Pet Insurance; I want what’s best for her and I want to be able to afford it.”

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