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Top 10 Reasons Why Pets See a Veterinarian

Top 10 Reasons Why Pets See a Veterinarian
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of chronic pain in dogs. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Skin conditions, stomach issues, and ear infections are the top three reasons dog owners bring their pets to the vet, and stomach issues, urinary tract infections, and skin conditions top the list for cat owners, according to Healthy Paws Pet Insurance’s third annual Cost of Pet Health Care 2018 report. The annual report ranks the top 10 ailments for both dogs and cats that triggered a visit to a veterinary clinic. The data is based on almost 500,000 claims the company received over a one-year period (June 2017 – June 2018). In addition to listing the 10 most common conditions for dogs and cats, the report details their corresponding veterinary costs, symptoms, treatment, and case studies.

The report notes that the top reasons for a pet parent to bring their pup to the vet have remained almost the same over the past three years, though there were more cancer claims than in the past. Canine pet owners sought treatment for a variety of skin problems, including skin infections, dermatitis, hot spots, yeast infections, folliculitis, impetigo, dandruff, mange, ringworm, alopecia, flea reactions, stings, bites, and wounds. Stomach issues include stomach flu, accidental poisonings, and parasitic infections. Parasites (like mites), allergies, overactive yeast in the ear canal, and hormonal issues that contributed to ear infections prompted pet owners to bring their dog to the vet.

The following top accident and illness claims for dogs are:

1) Skin conditions (22% of all dog claims)
2) Stomach issues
3) Ear infections
4) Eye conditions
5) Pain
6) Growths
7) Urinary tract infections
8) Allergies
9) Cruciate ligament tears and surgery
10) Cancer

According to Healthy Paws Pet Insurance’s incident data, cats have a couple new frequent ailments including allergies and foreign body surgeries. Stomach issues, the No. 1 reasons cat owners bring their kitty to the vet, can include food intolerance, abdominal obstruction, pancreatitis, and bacterial infections. UTIs ranked second on the feline list, and are most commonly found in cats between the ages of 1 and 4. Skin conditions can include obsessive grooming, hair loss, parasite problems and abscesses from an injury.

The following top accident and illness claims for cats are:

1) Stomach issues (29% of all cat claims)
2) Urinary tract infections (13%)
3) Skin conditions (12%)
4) Cancer (12%)
5) Eye conditions (11%)
6) Ear infections (8%)
7) Pain (6%)
8) Growths (4%)
9) Foreign body obstruction (3%)
10) Allergies (2%)

“Every year, we see pet parents spending more and more at the vet,” said Rob Jackson, CEO of Healthy Paws Pet Insurance. “We know it’s a combination of urgent care, advanced technology and treatment options, as well as a firm commitment to keep our pets healthy.”

The report notes that the cost of veterinary care varies depending on geographic location, what medical condition is being treated, and the level of care the client seeks for their pet. After culling its own claims data, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance discovered that its pet parents spent more than $173 million on vet care last year. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) reports that in 2017, we have spent more than $17.1 billion at the vet, and it’s estimated to grow to $18.3 billion for 2018.