Pawful Thoughts: Common Medical Conditions that Prompt Vet Visits Pinpointed

Pets require routine medical attention just like their human counterparts, and while common issues such as ear infections and skin allergies are rarely life-threatening, they can be unexpected and expensive. Last year, Nationwide members spent more than $96 million to treat the 10 most common medical conditions affecting dogs and cats. The nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance analyzed its database of more than 650,000 insured pets to determine the top medical conditions that prompted veterinary visits.

Below are the results:

Dogs

Cats

1.   Skin Allergies

1.    Bladder or Urinary Tract Disease

2.   Ear Infection

2.    Dental Disease/Periodontitis

3.   Non-cancerous Skin Mass

3.    Vomiting/Upset Stomach

4.   Skin Infection

4.    Chronic Kidney Disease

5.   Diarrhea/Intestinal Upset

5.    Diarrhea/Intestinal Upset

6.   Vomiting/Upset Stomach

6.    Excessive Thyroid Hormone

7.   Arthritis

7.    Upper Respiratory Infection

8.   Dental Disease/Periodontitis

8.    Diabetes

9.   Bladder or Urinary Tract Infection

9.    Skin Allergies

10. Anal Gland Inflammation/Infection

10.  Valvular Heart Disease or Murmur

Skin allergies were the most common health issue among Nationwide insured canines with more than 140,000 individual claims at an average cost of $255 per dog. Bladder/urinary tract disease accounted for the most common medical condition among Nationwide insured felines with more than 5,800 claims received at an average cost of $495per cat.

Dental disease accounted for the costliest canine medical condition on the list with an average expense to treat of $400per dog. The most expensive feline medical condition on the list was diabetes, which carries a significantly higher cost of $889 per cat.

“Pet owners are encouraged to schedule regular medical checkups as recommended by their veterinarians to prevent many common, yet problematic medical conditions,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide. “The majority of medical conditions on the top 10 list can be successfully managed if treated promptly by a veterinarian. Early detection can prevent many of these issues from becoming severe.”

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