VPI Reveals Top 10 Pet Disorders

You think you have problems? So do dogs and cats.

Dogs and cats have a few things in common when it comes to the need for veterinary care.

Isabelle Francais/I-5 Studio

Dogs are like people. Or is it the other way around?

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. of Brea, Calif., reported today that skin allergies were the most common ailment that sent dogs to their veterinarian in 2014.

On the human side, a Mayo Clinic study published in early 2013 identified skin disorders as the No. 1 issue that led people to schedule a doctor’s appointment. Joint disorders were the second more frequent complaint of human patients compared with a ranking of fifth among dogs.

VPI’s chief veterinary medical officer, Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, repeated the type of advice that people often receive about their own health.

“The majority of conditions on our top 10 list can be successfully managed if treated promptly,” Dr. McConnell said. “Early detection can prevent many of these issues from becoming severe and making treatment more costly.”

VPI found that canine skin allergies led to insurance claims averaging $189.

The most common issue requiring veterinary assistance in cats was bladder or urinary tract disease, for which the average cost was $425.

The pet health insurer analyzed its database of more than 525,000 insured pets to determine the top medical conditions in 2014 that resulted in veterinary visits.

  Dogs Cats
1 Skin allergies  Bladder or urinary tract disease
2 Ear infection  Periodontitis/dental disease
3 Non-cancerous skin mass Chronic kidney disease
4 Skin infection Vomiting/upset stomach
5 Arthritis Excessive thyroid hormone
6 Vomiting/upset stomach Diarrhea/intestinal upset
7 Periodontitis/dental disease Diabetes
8 Diarrhea/intestinal upset Inflammatory bowel disease
9 Bladder or urinary tract infection Upper respiratory infection
10 Bruise or contusion  Lymphoma

Non-cancerous skin masses were the most costly canine medical condition at an average price tag of $339 per dog. The most expensive feline medical condition, VPI reported, was lymphoma at just under $2,000 per cat.

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