A local pet insurance company paid owners of dogs and cats more than $30 million in claims in 2009 on the 10 most common health conditions requiring surgery for each species.
In fact, 1 in 20 insured dogs and cats required surgical treatment for these conditions. A leading provider of pet health insurance recently examined its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat surgery claims submitted to the company last year. Following are the results:
|Top 10 Conditions Requiring Surgery|
|Canine Conditions||Feline Conditions|
|1. Benign Skin Mass||1. Tooth Extraction|
|2. Skin Abscess, Inflammation, or Pressure Ulcer||2. Skin Abscess, Inflammation, or Pressure Ulcer|
|3. Tooth Extraction||3. Benign Skin Mass|
|4. Torn ACL or Cartilage||4. Bladder Stones|
|5. Malignant Skin Mass||5. Cancer of the Abdominal Wall|
|6. Cancer of the Spleen||6. Malignant Skin Mass|
|7. Cancer of the Eyelid||7. Multiple Bite Wounds|
|8. Bladder Stones||8. Cancer of the Liver|
|9. Cancer of the Liver||9. Cancer of the Mouth|
|10. Auricular Hematoma (swollen, fluid-filled ear)||10. Cancer of the Nasal Cavity|
The most common surgical claim for dogs on the list, benign skin mass, cost VPI policyholders an average of $999 per claim. The least common, auricular hematoma, cost an average of $296 per claim. For cats, the average per claim for the no. 1 condition requiring surgery on the list, tooth extraction, was $924, while the least common (cancer of the nasal cavity), cost an average of $927.
Veterinary medicine has made considerable advancements in recent years, providing pet owners surgical options that weren’t available to them even five years ago. While this is certainly good news, pet owners are often unaware of the cost of these surgeries. Surgical claims are typically some of the most expensive, with the average claim routinely costing thousands of dollars. It’s not only important for pet owners to realize the surgical choices open to them but to take steps to be financially prepared should their pet require surgery.