The 2011 Hambone Award Goes To...


It’s that time of year again! No, not tax time; it’s time for the 2011 VPI Hambone Award Winner! Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) receives over 1 million claims a year for sickly or injured pups. Out of those claims, VPI picks 12 nominees for the public to choose for the Hambone Award. With more than 4,000 votes cast, the nominees picked are among the most unusual and uncommon medical claims, but there could only be one victorious corky fur ball.

Apparently the Hambone Award from VPI got its name from a dog that decided to help himself to an entire holiday ham, bone and all. He also happened to get trapped in the refrigerator where said ham was. And thus the Hambone Award was born…to honor animals that have a quirky accident story. Don’t worry, all animals that are nominated have made full recoveries and have been reimbursed for all eligible medical expenses through VPI.

So, which pooch won this year’s coveted Hambone award? None other than Harley, a pug with one rocky appetite. This silly pup ate and of course, passed more than 100 rocks. When his owner Lori Laverdiere of Manville, R.I., came back from an out of town trip, she noticed that Harley’s stool consisted entirely of rocks.

Among hopes that the pile of rocks would be the passing of Harley’s condition, Lori was stunned to find out that his condition actually worsened. Harley could no longer eat or drink without vomiting and she could still feel several small stones in Harley’s stomach.

Lori did what every responsible pet parent would do and whisked Harley off to an emergency animal hospital. X-rays came back to show the exact cause of Harley’s rocky condition. He had eaten more than 100 small rocks! He rocks clogged up Harley’s entire intestinal tract and filled half of his stomach.

The hospital kept Harley overnight and with the help of a few doggy safe laxatives, Harley successfully passed all 100 stones.
Harley made a quick and fast recovery. Lori stated that Harley had been her beloved companion for 6 years and had never done that before. Even though it was unusual for Harley to eat rocks, the incident did score Harley the VPI Hambone Award, a bronze trophy in the shape of a ham, a swag bag filled with toys, treats, and an emergency pet kit. Hopefully with those goodies, Harley can keep his mouth on his new toys and away from the rocks.

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