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Top 10 Conditions for Dogs and Cats

Below are the top 10 claims for dogs and cats as submitted by customers of VPI. The following data is based on claims submitted by VPI policyholders:

Top 10 Canine Claims Top 10 Feline Claims
1. Ear infections 1. Lower urinary tract diseases
2. Skin allergies 2. Stomach upsets/gastritis
3. Pyoderma (hot spots) 3. Renal failure
4. Stomach upsets 4. Intestinal inflammation/diarrhea
5. Intestinal inflammation/diarrhea 5. Skin allergies
6. Bladder diseases 6. Diabetes
7. Eye infections 7. Colitis/Constipation
8. Arthritis 8. Ear infections
9. Hypothyroidism 9. Upper respiratory virus
10. Sprains 10. Hyperthyroidism

Above are the top 10 claims for dogs and cats as submitted by customers of VPI. In reference to the canine claims, ear infections being number 1 is no surprise. Ear infections can be caused by a multitude of factors, including the following: conformation (heavy ear flaps – think Cocker Spaniels), underlying allergies, parasites or frequent swims. The environment in the ear is already dark and warm, adding extra moisture makes it the perfect spot for pathogens to grow and thrive. Signs of ear infections can include a smell coming from the ear, the dog scratching at the ear, shaking the head and whimpering when the ear is touched. Severe infections can even cause your dog to walk in circles because the balance center is being affected. Your dog’s veterinarian can discuss the possible causes in your dog’s case, and your dog’s vet will guide you in the proper treatment and prevention protocols.

The number one cause for cats to visit the vet is lower urinary tract disease. It is very important to make sure your cat is using the litter box regularly. With male cats, it is always important that they are urinating. They have a small urethra, which can get clogged. This leads to an obstruction, which is a life-threatening medical emergency. Signs of this would be howling from the litter box, excessive time in the litter box, lethargy and tense abdomen. If any of these signs develop, contact your cat’s veterinarian right away. Both male and female cats can also develop stones in their bladder. Urinary tract infections can happen as well, and are much more common in females than males (males tend to get a sterile cystitis more commonly). Signs of any lower urinary tract problem are very similar and include difficulty urinating, frequent urinating, bloody urinating, and urinating outside the litter box and tense abdomen. Sterile cystitis can have many of the similar signs mentioned for the previous issues, and your cat’s veterinarian will be best at diagnosing the problem. Sometimes a particular diet and environmental changes are needed to resolve clinical signs.

Remember whether you have a dog or a cat, it is important to watch your pet closely for anything that is out of the normal for them, and always consult your pet’s veterinarian if you are concerned.

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Veterinary Technical Services Department

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