While seemingly minor ailments in pets such as an ear infection, skin problems, stomach ache or a cough are rarely life-threatening, they can prompt a visit to the veterinarian before they become chronic and expensive to treat. Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) (www.petinsurance.com) policy holders spent more than $66 million in 2013 treating the 10 most common medical conditions affecting their pets. VPI, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, recently sorted its database of more than 500,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat medical conditions in 2013. Below are the results:
“To prevent some of the discomfort that so many pets experience from common diseases, the place to start would be by checking them regularly for developing problems,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Many of the conditions on our Top 10 list each year can be stopped early or successfully managed in partnership with a veterinarian.”
In 2013, VPI received more than 77,000 canine claims for skin allergies, the most common cause for taking a dog to see a veterinarian. The average cost per pet was $187. For cats, urinary tract diseases were the most common reason to take your kitty to the veterinarian. VPI received more than 4,600 medical claims for this ailment – with an average cost per pet of $422.
The most expensive canine condition on the list (non-cancerous skin mass) cost an average of $342 per pet, while, for cats, the most expensive condition (lymphoma) cost an average of $2,004 per pet. In addition to familiarizing themselves with their pets’ routine and behavior, pet owners should schedule their pets’ semiannual veterinary examinations on a regular basis to help prevent and identify certain conditions before they become serious or costly.
About Veterinary Pet Insurance
With more than 500,000 pets insured nationwide, Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI) is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies and is the first and largest pet health insurance company in the United States. Since 1982, VPI has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.
VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. CareGuard® coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2012); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2012). 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.