Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Reveals Most Common Causes of Veterinary Visits
An ear infection, stomach ache or cough can prompt a visit to your doctor and the same holds true for our pets. While the majority of these conditions are curable, they can become chronic and expensive to treat. Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) policyholders spent more than $46 million in 2011 treating the 10 most common medical conditions afflicting their pets. VPI, the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, recently sorted its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat medical conditions in 2011. Below are the results:
1. Ear Infection 1. Bladder Infection
2. Skin Allergies 2. Chronic Kidney Disease
3. Skin Infection 3. Overactive Thyroid
4. Non-cancerous Skin Growth 4. Upset Stomach
5. Upset Stomach 5. Periodontitis/DentalDisease
6. Intestinal Upset/Diarrhea 6. Diabetes
7. Arthritis 7. Intestinal Upset/Diarrhea
8. Bladder Infection 8. Ear Infection
9. Bruise or Contusion 9. Skin Allergies
10. Underactive Thyroid 10. Lymphosarcoma(Cancer of Lymph Node)
“The large number of claims received for these medical conditions attests to their common, often repetitive, and sometimes chronic nature,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “While many pet owners fear major accidents and illnesses, which can cost thousands of dollars to treat for a single incident, repetitive and chronic conditions can be just as detrimental to a pet’s quality of life and financially burdensome to the pet owner.”
In 2011, VPI received more than 62,000 canine claims for ear infections, the most common cause for taking a dog to see a veterinarian. The average claim fee was $98 per office visit. For cats, a bladder infection was the most common reason to take your kitty to the veterinarian. VPI received more than 3,800 medical claims for this ailment – with an average claim amount of $233 per office visit.
The most expensive canine condition on the list (non-cancerous skin growth) cost an average of $220 per visit, while, for cats, the most expensive condition (lymphosarcoma) cost an average of $426 per visit.
Pet owners should familiarize themselves with their pets’ daily routine in order to identify abnormal behaviors that might indicate an injury or illness. In addition, regular semiannual physical examinations by a veterinarian can help prevent and identify certain conditions before they become serious or costly.
About Veterinary Pet Insurance
With more than 485,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency is the No. 1 veterinarian-recommended pet health insurance company and is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies. Providing pet owners with peace of mind since 1982, the company is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers and an advocate of pet health education. VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Optional CareGuard® coverage is available for routine care. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 2,700 companies nationwide offer VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and in all other states by National Casualty Company, an A+15 rated company in Madison, Wisconsin. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.