Petplan Warns that Storm Flooding Can Pose Greatest Health Risks to Pets

Pets in the path of Hurricane Harvey could face ongoing health risks for weeks or even months after the storm clouds clear, according to Petplan pet insurance. The pet insurance provider says widespread flooding poses perils many pet parents may be unaware of, so they set up a 24/7 Disaster Helpline at 800.240.1868 for policyholders who were impacted by Harvey and have questions about their pet’s health and well being or have policy or account concerns.

“We are estimating that thousands of our policyholders may be impacted by Harvey before it’s all said and done,” says Natasha Ashton, co-founder and co-CEO of Petplan. “We want to make sure they know we are here for them to answer any questions about their pet’s well being. Pet parents should also be aware of the hazards that still may lay ahead and be cautious with pets over the next few months.”

To help raise awareness about post-storm pet health dangers, Petplan is warning pet parents to be vigilant about the following:


An animal struggling against a rising flood can easily aspirate water. This inhaled water can cause pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), resulting in respiratory distress or cardiac arrest. This is what veterinarians call dry-drowning.

“Pets who have near-drowning accidents can succumb to fluid buildup in the lungs as much as 48 hours after the event,” warns Petplan Staff Veterinarian Dr. Kim Smyth. “If your pet struggled to evacuate through flood waters, keep a close eye on his condition for the next few days, even if he seems normal.”


Debris from destroyed structures, downed trees and trash can hang around long after floodwaters recede. Never let pets climb on debris or nose through trash, as they can suffer lacerations, abrasions…

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