March 14, 2018

Top 10 Medical Conditions for Veterinary Visits in 2017

Nationwide outlined the most common most conditions dogs and cats were treated for in 2017.
By Kerry Lengyel
Patients are brought to your veterinary practice with a variety of ailments, and you’re tasked with providing clients with the help and advice needed to put their pets back on the track towards optimal health. From swallowed doll shoes to rashes, you’ve seen it all.

New data from Nationwide, the nation’s largest provider of pet health insurance, can help you better understand which medical conditions you’re most likely to diagnose. After analyzing its database of over 650,000 insured pets, Nationwide determined the top 10 medical conditions that prompted veterinary visits this past year for dogs and cats.

"The majority of medical conditions on the top 10 list can be successfully managed if treated promptly by a veterinarian,” Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide, said. “Early detection can prevent many of these issues from becoming severe."

All in all, pet owners spent more than $96 million to treat these 10 most common medical conditions.
 
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

Topping the chart for our canine counterparts was skin allergies, with more than 140,000 claims at an average cost of $255. For cats, bladder or urinary tract disease was the most common, with more than 5800 claims at an average cost of $495 per cat.

When it comes to cost, dental disease was the most expensive for dog owners, hitting them with an average price tag of $400 per treatment. For cat owners, diabetes carried the heaviest financial load, amounting to $889 per cat.

Compared with results of research from Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation, this list has no mention of eye conditions being a top medical condition for dogs, which Healthy Paws listed as the fourth most predominant ailment among their group of insured pets.

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Data from these lists can help you as a practitioner better prepare yourself and your staff for what they are most likely to diagnose each day at the practice.

"Pet owners are encouraged to schedule regular medical checkups as recommended by their veterinarians to prevent many common, yet problematic medical conditions," Dr. McConnell said.

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