Top 10 Pet-Attacking Animals

A few weeks ago I reported the sad news about Ozzy Osbourne's pup Little Bit getting attacked and killed by a coyote. Veterinary Pet Insurance...

A few weeks ago I reported the sad news about Ozzy Osbourne’s pup Little Bit getting attacked and killed by a coyote.

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) just released a report on the top 10 wild animals that attack pets, coyotes came in at number two.

The information was compiled from more than 500 laceration/bite wound claims received by VPI in 2008.

In addition to the usual suspects–snakes, coyotes and raccoons–VPI received claims for pet injuries caused by a squirrel, scorpion, javelina, porcupine, ground hog, skunk, rat, goat, beaver, woodchuck, black bear, mountain lion, hawk, rabbit, sea urchin, and jellyfish.

Following are the 10 animals aside from dogs and cats that were most responsible for pet injury claims in 2008:

Top 10 Animals To Attack Pets:

1. Snake

2. Coyote

3. Raccoon

4. Squirrel

5. Scorpion

6. Javelina

7. Porcupine

8. Ground Hog

9. Skunk

10. Rat

Wild animal attacks typically result in pet insurance claims for treatment of lacerations, bite wounds, puncture, and soft tissue trauma. Snakebites may require antivenin and scorpion stings may cause allergic reactions requiring antihistamines. Treatment protocols vary depending on the severity of the attack and costs can range from hundreds of dollars for bandages or stitches to thousands of dollars for surgery for damaged organs or broken limbs.

Though animal attack claims came from all areas of the country, javelina and scorpion claims were exclusive to the state of Arizona. Javelinas, or peccaries, are feral pig-like omnivores native to the southwestern United States. They have been known to viciously attack both pets and people.

“Whether in urban or rural areas, pet owners should be aware of the danger posed by wild animals,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “VPI’s data reveals that not all members of the animal kingdom observe backyard fences, or appreciate the curiosity of a pet that may enter their territory. Always make sure that a pet’s rabies vaccine is up to date and if you know that potentially dangerous wild animals are present, or you’re in an unfamiliar area, take extra care to keep your pet close and secure.”

Since we’re in the Atlanta, GA. area we can at least cross a few of them off our list. Definitely good information to know regardless of where you live.

* Toby being attacked by the well-known lime green garden snake, luckily he has it under control.

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