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Woodrow, a 7-month-old French bulldog, is best described as a rambunctious and curious bundle-of-love by Lauren Hafner and her fiancé, Ian, of Yardley, PA. Woodrow’s perilous puppy attitude had already landed him at the veterinary hospital more than once during his young life. However, none of his previous mishaps could have prepared Woodrow’s pet parents for his latest blunder, after he managed to swallow the identification tag off the collar he was wearing, requiring surgery to save him. Woodrow’s flabbergasting feast and heartening recovery have earned him the title of April’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance.
On the weekend of Woodrow’s metallic meal, the young pup was staying with Ian’s mother while the couple was away at a wedding. This was the first time Woodrow had been away from his parents, but he didn’t seem to care as he loved going to his grandma’s house to play and soak up the attention. The weekend was going great, until his I.D. tags mysteriously went missing. After searching throughout the house with no success, Ian’s mother called Lauren to report the vanished tags.
“At first we didn’t think much of it,” said Lauren. “We thought maybe they had just gotten caught on something and fell off. His collar was still on and looked normal so it didn’t appear too suspicious, but with his track record, there’s always a possibility that something strange could happen.”
After picking up Woodrow on Sunday, Lauren noticed he was acting a little sluggish, but figured it was due to his exciting weekend and decided to let him rest. Woodrow went to sleep as usual Sunday night, and slept through the night without a murmur. However the next morning, Lauren discovered that he had vomited in his crate and looked to be in great discomfort.
“I knew something was wrong as soon as I saw him and knew he needed medical attention right away,” said Lauren. “We had no idea it was tied to the missing tags, but we knew from experience that he had most likely eaten something he wasn’t supposed to. Situations like this are why we have Nationwide, and with Woodrow’s bad habits, it has definitely paid off.”
Lauren rushed Woodrow to the Center for Animal Referral and Emergency Services of Langhome (PA) for immediate treatment. The veterinary staff decided to take X-rays, to see if Woodrow had ingested anything. As Lauren was waiting in the lobby she heard one of the staff members yell, “We found it!” Sure enough, the X-rays revealed that Woodrow had indeed swallowed one of his I.D. tags and the tag ring, which were now lodged in his intestines. The veterinary staff induced vomiting, but the tag wouldn’t surface. Eventually it was determined that endoscopic surgery was required to remove the tag. The procedure was a success and within a day Woodrow was back home recovering.
“Puppies are very curious and like to chew on almost anything they can get in their mouth,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, Vice President and Chief Veterinary Officer for Nationwide. “Woodrow is lucky that he has such attentive pet parents, who wasted no time getting him treatment. If the tag was stuck in his intestines for a longer period of time, it could have caused more serious damage.”
After a short recovery, Woodrow was back to his happy-go-lucky self in no time. Lauren still isn’t sure how Woodrow managed to get the tag off his collar or why he decided it was a suitable treat. She’s just happy that her four-legged fur child is healthy and happy.
“Woodrow is our first dog together, and he means the world to us,” said Lauren. “We’re so grateful for the veterinary care that he received, and we’re thrilled with the support from Nationwide. Woodrow is the first pet I’ve ever had insured with Nationwide, and I’m now a firm believer that every puppy owner should have it.”