Our dogs are really special to us. They quickly become part of the family, until you can’t remember what life was like without them! That’s one reason why it’s so worrying if they seem unwell. Lisa Jaffray got in touch with us at The Insurance Emporium recently to tell us about her experience when her two dogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lucie and, Benji, a Lhasa Apso Maltese cross, developed medical conditions. Read on to hear about their symptoms, diagnosis, and how they’re getting on!

Lucie the Kind Charles Spaniel, and Benji, a Lhasa Apso Maltese cross in their dog bed.


Lisa first noticed that something was wrong with three-year-old Benji when he began experiencing sickness and diarrhoea, which led to tiredness and dehydration. After taking him to see their vet, Lisa told us, “he was kept in for the day on fluids and steroids, but after coming home his condition began to decline again.” After scans and blood tests, he was diagnosed with chronic IBS.


Shortly after Benji became unwell, seven-year-old Lucie followed suit. She began exhibiting “strange behaviour, and at times I wondered if it was the onset of dementia.” At the vets, x-rays showed she had developed arthritis in her back leg. Syringomeylia, a condition where fluid pockets develop within the spinal chord was diagnosed, because of her symptoms, which included limping and difficulty standing on her back leg. She was also ‘fly catching’, which is when a canine compulsively licks towards their nose or biting at air, and can be a sign of illness or distress.



Both dogs, Lisa says, have responded really well to treatment. “Benji will be on steroids for life, but it will keep his condition under control. Lucie is taking Gabapentin, which has helped reduce her symptoms. The two dogs’ conditions have become easy to manage since their diagnosis.” Unfortunately Syringomeylia is a progressive condition, but Lucie at present has “a good quality of life.”

Beloved pets

Speaking to Lisa, she said that “Lucie was the dog I always wanted – a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel!” After intending to get a boy, she was won over instantly by Lucie, a “mad, energetic, funny little girl, with spots like a Dalmatian!” Benji, the younger pup, Lisa picked out because, compared with his brothers, he looked like a “little teddy bear”!

Lucie outside among the dandelions.

Counting costs

The vet’s fees for Benji and Lucie’s conditions weren’t cheap, and Lisa told us she was, “scared what would happen to myself and my children if the rent wasn’t met.” Fortunately, Lisa had taken out dog insurance with The Insurance Emporium, and one day whilst walking her two dogs, received confirmation that her claim for their treatment had been accepted. Lisa told us “the claim process was very quick. The representative I spoke to went out of her way to help!”  

We’re so glad that we were able to offer a helping hand to Lisa, exceeding her expectations and providing welcome relief from the stress of dealing with vet’s fees. More than that, we hope that both Benji and Lucie continue feeling fit and healthy in the future!

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