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Turtles, Tails and Tea Lights

Sugar July 2008

Most people’s diets contain too much sugar. But for Sugar, the Jack Russell terrier, the problem was too much turtle. After meeting a wild turtle in the back yard, Sugar decided to have her new friend for dinner. Sugar’s method for disposing of the turtle’s shell – eating it – left her with a small piece of the shell lodged in her nasal cavity. After weeks of respiratory difficulty and inconclusive X-rays, veterinarians performed surgery and found the piece of shell, which Sugar’s owner, Ginger Reynolds, now has in a small glass tube.

“She started having trouble after eating the turtle, but we really didn’t think that part of the shell was stuck in her nose!” said Reynolds. “The veterinarians had never seen anything like it, and they did an amazing job given the unusual circumstances. Thanks to them Sugar is back to normal.”

Reynolds’ claim for Sugar’s surgery was one of more than 80,000 claims received in the month of July by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance. A veterinarian’s note included with the claim caught the attention of VPI’s claims department: “Sugar was caught red-pawed eating a turtle.” The claim was considered among other unusual medical claims submitted in July and, at the end of the month, VPI employees voted Sugar’s claim the most bizarre of the bunch.

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