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When Laura Santagata of Dublin, Ohio, and her family decided last year that their miniature schnauzer, Leo, needed canine companionship, they knew exactly what they wanted to look for: Two German shorthaired pointer puppies. They fell in love with two sweet sisters from a litter of eight, and brought them home. Inspired by their love of being outdoors, the family decided to name the girls Skye and Luna, and they’ve been a perfect fit for the family ever since. However, things went sour when one normal day of play landed Skye in the emergency room. Skye’s unexpected tennis court collision and quick recovery have earned her the title of December’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance.
The incident came four months after the “pointer sisters” joined the family. It also happened to be Laura’s birthday. She and her three dogs are no strangers to the neighborhood tennis court, but this day was a little different. With the tennis court net removed, Skye, Luna and Leo had more space to run around and cause chaos.
“I was playing fetch with them inside the tennis court, but they soon became bored,” said Laura. “Once they were tired of playing fetch they began to chase each other’s tails.”
Their new game of tail-chasing started with Skye racing after Luna in the tennis court at full speed, following her every move and determined to catch Luna’s tail. Everything seemed to be going well until the terrifying moment when Luna was running straight for one of the poles that was used to hold up the net.
“At the very last second, Luna quickly zigzagged away and successfully avoided running into the pole,” said Laura. “Skye unfortunately, was not as lucky and slid sideways into the pole at full force. She hit the pole so hard that I thought she was a goner.”
With Leo in hand, Laura moved as quickly as possible to be by Skye’s side. Laura tried her best to give all her attention to Skye, but was met with some difficulty dealing with all three dogs at once.
Things suddenly took a turn for the worse when Skye started foaming from the mouth and breathing heavily. With no phone, Laura immediately started screaming for help in hopes that someone would hear her. Moments later, Laura’s neighbor Dennis pulled up and hurriedly helped Laura gather all the dogs into his car and rushed them to the closest veterinarian, just minutes away.
Skye was presented to Animal Care Unlimited of Columbus, Ohio where they able to provide her with pain medication and perform an X-ray, which showed two broken ribs and air around her lungs. Following the test results, the staff at Animal Care Unlimited referred Skye to a nearby specialty hospital for further treatment.
Laura, Dennis and the dogs quickly got back into the car and drove off to the specialty hospital, Med Vet in Columbus. Upon their arrival at the hospital, Skye was immediately treated by the veterinary team.
“Skye was still having difficulty breathing when we arrived at Med Vet, so the staff put her on oxygen right away,” said Laura. “They then performed a thoracentesis which was to help remove the air [from the free space around] her lungs. After that it was a matter of waiting to see how she would pull through by keeping her comfortable and keeping a close eye on her.”
Luckily, Skye’s one tough pup and was able to return home three days later with expectations of a full recovery.
In the two months following the incident, Skye has worked her way back to her playful self, although it hasn’t been an easy transition. With two broken ribs, Skye’s movement and playtime were restricted in order for her ribs to heal. Fortunately for Skye, she has a patient and caring family that worked together to ensure a speedy and healthy recovery.
“The staff at Med Vet was excellent,” said Laura. “They immediately took Skye in and treated her as an emergency visit. They were very patient and were able to answer all my questions. I’m so glad we purchased pet insurance from Nationwide. It gave us the ability to take care of Skye without having to worry about the cost.”