Pets will do the strangest things. If you’re reading this, I’m sure I don’t have to work hard to convince you. After all, every pet owner has a strange tale or two to tell about something odd their pet did, ate, coughed up, ran into, vomited, and/or pooped out. Such is the life of a doting pet lover who elects to share a home with our often-perplexing animal brethren. 

Which is why I enjoy providing a forum for all that pet health-related entertainment. To that end, I offer you this: A contest sponsored by Veterinary Pet Insurance titled the "VPI Hambone Award."

Inspired by the dog whose insurance claim referenced his loose and free way with a holiday ham while accidentally trapped within the belly of the family fridge, the Hambone Award is all about the oddities our pets are wont to get away with — often to the detriment of their health (and our wallets).

Hence the need for pet health insurance, which I champion as a useful financial tool to make pet care an affordable thing when pet care gets crazy expensive (which it’s wont to do) and in times of financial stress.

"The purpose of the VPI Hambone Award is to remind pet owners of the unpredictable nature of pet injuries," said Dr. McConnell, Vice President and Chief Veterinary Medical Officer for VPI. "While not every pet will jump through a window, eat a beehive, or bite a chainsaw, our Hambone Award nominees illustrate that these things do happen, and treating such injuries can be expensive."

This year’s candidates include a tortoise with carapace issues (the "shell" he wears somehow managed to scalp him), a dog whose misplaced aggression towards a chainsaw led to a bloody fight he was never going to win, and another whose hatred of a mail carrier led to an adverse interaction with a plate glass window (when he sailed through it).

God, our pets can be weird. Good thing we’re here to fix ‘em up. And I'm so sorry we’re so expensive (really, I am), but the good news is right here: you can afford high quality care. All you have to do is plan for the inevitable through pet health insurance, a pet health savings plan, or dedicated room on your credit cards.

OK, so now it's your turn: What was the strangest, most expensive injury you've ever heard about? For my part, I'll be nominating one of my boyfriend's patients from last year: the dog who decided to lick the paper shredder while it was running and managed to lose two-thirds of his tongue in so doing. Beat that!

Dr. Patty Khuly

Pic of the day: "Hambone Award" Courtesy of Veterinary Pet Insurance