Labrador Retriever Left Feeling Sheepish After “Chance” Encounter with Neighbor’s Goat

As Curtis Engle of Clovis, Calif., was coaxing his neighbor’s escaped goats back to their pen, Chance, his curious Labrador retriever walked up for a closer look at the livestock. Before Curtis knew it, Chance was broadsided by one of the exuberant goats and sent crashing into the pen’s fencing. The incident landed the four-year-old Lab in the veterinarian’s office and also earned him the title of “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI).

“Chance came walking by at the wrong time,” explained Curtis. “Goats like to head butt and Chance was smacked in the rib cage by one of the goats and fell into the fencing. Chance yelped but looked no worse for wear other than perhaps feeling a bit embarrassed.”

It wasn’t until a few days later that Curtis noticed Chance was walking with a limp and licking his foot. Upon inspection, Curtis determined that Chance’s foot had become inflamed after getting snagged on the fencing when he was struck by the goat. The next day, the veterinarian examined Chance’s foot and provided an antibiotic and fungicide to clear up a fungal/bacterial infection at the base of his toenail.

Even though the Engle residence is bordered by goats and other livestock, this was the first incident between Chance and any of the nearby animals. “There are goats in the area but we never see them on our property,” said Curtis. “We were worried about Chance after he was hit, but we don’t blame the goats. Goats head butt each other all of the time, it’s what they do.”

“Pet owners should always be aware of the potential dangers in their pet’s environment,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “While interacting with other animals, it is common and natural for some dog breeds, even herding dogs, to not know to be cautious around livestock. As Chance’s claim illustrates, altercations with other animals can result in a wide variety of injuries that may not be immediately apparent.”

Although Chance recovered quickly from the goat incident, Curtis recognizes the importance of having pet insurance, should a more serious accident or illness arise. “Veterinary bills can be expensive,” said Curtis. “VPI Pet Insurance allows Chance to have the best treatment and helps reduce my expenses.”


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