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Vets Choice Customer Story - Vegas the Lab


Meet Vegas! This lovely girl is an 8-year old chocolate Lab Kelpie mix, and in May 2020, she and her owner Sarah went through quite a stressful time, to say the least.

After moving into a new house, Vegas found herself loving the big garden lined with big palm trees – and what dog wouldn’t? One day after a leisurely frolic in the yard, she seemed lethargic and was acting out of character. Concerned, Sarah whisked Vegas off to the emergency vet. On arrival, the emergency vet told Sarah that she could leave Vegas overnight for observation, which would cost $1,200, or wait until morning to take her to the local vet to undergo testing.

After going to the clinic, and a very anxious wait outside the clinic due to COVID-19 restrictions, the vet gave Sarah the news. Multiple rounds of blood needed to be tested, because the toxicity levels were so high, the machines couldn’t read them. Vegas’ blood had to be diluted just to get a valid reading. The situation was so severe that she was close to liver failure, with Sarah being told that her beloved companion only had a 50/50 chance of survival.

This was so alarming for Sarah it almost felt unbelievable – Vegas didn’t seem that ill, just a bit lethargic. Sarah called Vets Choice straight away, speaking with a representative named Ella.

“Ella from Vets Choice was super helpful; she really took the time to explain in detail what everything that vet told me meant, simplified the language and gave step-by step guidance”

The local vet told Sarah that Vegas would need 24/7 care, advising her to check Vegas into the emergency clinic.

On arrival back at the emergency clinic, Sarah was informed that care would cost $2,400 per 24 hours, predicting that Vegas would need to be in there for seven days. Ella then called the clinic to arrange pre-approval for Vets Choice to pay the clinic directly, rather than Sarah paying and then being reimbursed. After this was arranged, the clinic promptly put Vegas on a 24/7 drip and commenced treatment for her liver.

Altogether, the emergency visit ended up costing $9,500 – but Sarah only had to pay the $200 excess with Vets Choice, plus the initial vet visit bill.

So, what possibly could have resulted in such an acute poisoning case after a simple romp in the yard?

It turned out that Vegas had ingested palm tree berry, which is highly toxic to dogs – and she must have eaten quite a lot of them to have the blood toxicity levels that she did upon presenting to the clinic.

Thankfully, Vegas has since made a full recovery, only requiring a blood test six months after the incident to make sure her blood toxicity levels were all ok.

It’s stories like these that show why we do what we do. We exist to help pets everywhere get the care they deserve, as our customers shouldn’t need to worry about the treatments their pets need in the most crucial moments. So thank you, Sarah, for entrusting us to help Vegas and for sharing your remarkable story.

To see more on how we can help your four-legged friend, visit our dog and cat insurance pages.