Top Cause of Vet Visits? Ear Infections

Pet insurance company releases a list of the 10 most common causes of vet visits in 2010.

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. policyholders shelled out nearly $43 million last year treating the 10 most common medical conditions in their pets, the Brea, Calif.-based company reports.

The most common afflictions treated in dogs, according to the company’s database? Ear infections, followed by skin allergies, skin infections (hot spots), vomiting and diarrhea.

VPI’s top-10 medical conditions in dogs:

1. Ear infection 
2. Skin allergy 
3. Skin infection/hot spots 
4. Gastritis/vomiting 
5. Enteritis/diarrhea 
6. Arthritis 
7. Bladder Infection 
8. Soft tissue trauma 
9. Noncancerous tumor 
10. Hypothyroidism 
VPI received a whopping 61,555 claims for canine ear infections last year, with an average claim fee of $95 per office visit.

Carol McConnell, DVM, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI, recommends pet owners familiarize themselves with their pets’ daily routine in order to identify abnormal behaviors that may indicate an injury or illness. Regular semiannual physical examinations by a veterinarian can help prevent and identify certain conditions before they become serious or costly, she says.

“Even the healthiest pet may eat something resulting in an upset stomach or have itchy ears potentially indicating an undiagnosed ear infection,” McConnell says. “Having a pet insurance plan in place can be just as important for these kind of unexpected medical conditions as it is for emergencies and chronic illnesses.”



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