Pet insurer reports spike in claims consistent with recall dates

October 16, 2007

At a time when the media is back to reporting “dozens of deaths” instead of the thousands of pets made sick or killed by tainted pet foods last spring, an analysis of claims from Veterinary Pet Insurance provides a necessary reality check. From the company:

Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, reported a significant rise in the diagnosis of kidney conditions in the month of March – the same month Menu Foods recalled 60 million cans and bags of tainted pet food. VPI, which insures more than 450,000 pets nationwide, has examined claims data to assess whether the recall had an effect on policyholder behavior and the diagnosis of kidney conditions. The company found that health testing increased by 37 percent in March and initial diagnosis of kidney conditions increased 33 percent for dogs and 46 percent for cats compared to expected seasonal averages.


At the time of the recall, VPI saw a rise in phone calls from concerned pet owners, but could not determine whether more pet owners were visiting the veterinarian, since policyholders may submit claims several months after treatment. A possible link between the recall and an increase in testing and diagnosis of kidney conditions became more apparent as claims were subsequently received and processed. Claims submitted for treatment of uremia, an excess of metabolic waste products in the blood, showed the largest spike, increasing 141 percent for dogs and 152 percent for cats in March.

The rest of the news release isn’t up on their site yet, but I’ll link to it when it is so you can read the whole thing. Here’s the rest.


Update: Other pet insurer notes … the ASPCA’s branded pet-insurance is a year old, according to their news release. The AKC’s isn’t much older, and Embrace also came on the scene not too long ago. Seems after struggling for a foothold for many years, the pet insurance industry is finally gaining as a viable idea in the minds of pet-owners.

Filed under: pets, connected,recalls,veterinary medicine — Gina Spadafori @ 7:38 am


  1. Gee, once the link is up I might have to send that to PFI. They are having their conference yesterday and today, I wish someone could read this in front of everyone and see what kind of b.s. they can spew afterwards…..wasnt Duane one of the many that said it was only a few pets affected and pet parent or bloogers were over the top?

    Gina, do you know if we will find out anything from the Pet Food Institute meeting? Not that it will amount to much other than patting each others backs for a job well done.

    Comment by Sandi K — October 16, 2007 @ 8:10 am

  2. I also wonder if VPI has any records that show increases in claims in Nov, Dec or earlier that went unnoticed..

    Comment by Sandi K — October 16, 2007 @ 8:22 am

  3. So, what do you say now, FDA? Try to deny it!

    SANDI K SAID: “I also wonder if VPI has any records that show increases in claims in Nov, Dec or earlier that went unnoticed..”

    I’d like to know this, too.

    Comment by petlover — October 16, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

  4. SANDI K SAID: “I also wonder if VPI has any records that show increases in claims in Nov, Dec or earlier that went unnoticed..”

    I’d like to have stats from August & September when our dog became ill and had to be euthanized due to kidney/organ failure of unknown cause.

    Comment by Nadine L. — October 16, 2007 @ 4:43 pm


    Lab Tests Again Find Acetaminophen in Pet Food
    More evidence melamine is a ‘red herring?’
    Menu Foods, FDA don’t respond to cries for help
    By Lisa Wade McCormick

    October 18, 2007
    It’s happened again. New laboratory tests have detected the pain killer acetaminophen in yet another brand of pet food, has learned.

    Link Above !!!!!!

    Comment by William Kanitz — October 20, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

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