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Meet Noodle, a Brussels Griffon, and His $16,569 Nosebleed

After a simple nosebleed turned into life-saving surgery, Noodle's owners faced a giant bill.

 |  Feb 3rd 2014  |   9 Contributions


One of the great things about pet insurance it is that you don't have to focus on your bank account when you bring your dog into the hospital. You get to focus on your dog. 

One night some time ago, Noodle, a Brussels Griffon who lives in Manhattan, developed a bloody nose. His owners, Brian Orter and Michael Di-Martino, didn't think much of it at first -- but the nosebleed never stopped. They spent a sleepless night wiping up "a never-ending drip of blood from his nose and beard." Eventually, things took a turn for the worse. The little dog nearly died in his owner's arms, his blood levels so low he could no longer get oxygen to his brain. 

He was rushed to the emergency vet, and Orter was peppered with questions about Noodle’s treatment. Fortunately, he had insurance, so he told them to do whatever they had to. 

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“I received a crash course in veterinary medicine and our options. I did not have time nor head space to wonder what Trupanion covered so I made my decisions based on one thing: What’s best for Noodle?” Orter said.

Noodles underwent surgery for nasal arterial bleeding, lifesaving surgery, and he came out better than ever. Orter paid for it all up-front. His bill? $16,569.42.

Fortunately, his carrier, Trupanion, the nation’s largest pet insurance provider, covers 90 percent of costs for diagnostic tests, surgeries, medications, hospital stays, and alternative therapies for accident and illness.

“I paid for everything up-front hoping that Trupanion would help, and am grateful that I could afford to do so," he said. "When the dust settled and I looked at the bill I called Trupanion and was shocked to hear most of the expenses were covered.”

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Orter is now a huge fan of pet insurance, and he's become an advocate for it, even offering coverage to his employees at Brian Orter Lighting Design in Manhattan, and providing a year’s worth of coverage as gifts to his friends who can’t afford plans. 

“Trupanion’s vision and support help ensure that I will never have to make the decision to let my dogs die simply because it’s too expensive," he said. "What an awful thing to have to deal with.”

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