Screened Out: Cocker Spaniel Takes Two-Story Plunge, Survives

Monique Johnson of Cumberland, R.I., was accustomed to her two American cocker spaniels, Heidi Elizabeth and Abby Marie, running upstairs and looking outside as she left the house. Unfortunately, last month, as Heidi attempted to get a better view of her departing owner, she pushed on the window screen hard enough to send the screen – and herself, out of the second-story window.

The accidental plunge resulted in a trip to the veterinarian where Heidi was examined for internal and external injuries and treated for soft tissue trauma, earning her the title of September’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI).

“I was leaving to go shopping with my daughter,” explained Monique. “I said goodbye to Heidi and Abby like I always do and they ran upstairs to go look out the window. Unfortunately, Heidi jumped onto the back of the couch and pushed just hard enough on the screen for it to fall out of the window. Heidi then went tumbling out of the window and landed at my feet in the driveway.”

Immediately following the plunge, Heidi tried to walk back into the house, but her paws bore the brunt of the fall and she was in too much pain to walk or stand, so Monique quickly took her to the animal hospital.

“The veterinarian immediately brought Heidi into one of the examination rooms and checked her for external injuries,” said Monique. “The only visible injury was a cut on her lip where she probably bit down during the fall. Next, she was brought into a separate room where the staff took X-rays of her paws and bones and checked her for internal injuries. The veterinarian found some swelling but could not believe that she had no signs or symptoms of any more serious internal or external injuries. They literally called it a ‘miracle’ that nothing more serious happened to her.”

“Heidi Elizabeth is a very lucky dog,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “She is very fortunate that she didn’t sustain any internal injuries as a result of the fall. What’s even more amazing is that despite landing on her paws, Heidi did not suffer from any bone, tendon or ligament injuries. This incident illustrates the unpredictable nature of pets, despite everything we do to protect them.”

Heidi was treated with pain medication and limited activity for a few weeks, and she has since made a full recovery devoid of any long-term or lingering injuries. The terrifying incident has made Monique more appreciative of her decision to purchase VPI Pet Insurance for Heidi Elizabeth and Abby Marie.

“It’s important to have pet insurance for everyday illnesses and injuries, but it’s also very useful for unexpected accidents that can occur at any time,” said Monique.



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