VetNetwork Blog

Ear Infections, UTIs Lead Top Pet Medical Conditions In 2008

0 Comments Posted by Alyssa Noonan in Pet Trends, What Your Clients Are Reading on Tuesday, March 24th, 2009.

Clients are more concerned about fees than ever before. In fact, you may be finding even some of your best clients are putting off non-emergency treatments for things like chronic conditions until they’ve got more cash in their coffers. Ignoring chronic conditions may end up costing them more in the long-run, though. Veterinary Pet Insurance just released its list of the top 10 pet medical conditions of 2008 and, not surprisingly, chronic conditions like hypothyroidism, diabetes, skin allergies and ear infections all have prominent places on the list.

The list was compiled based on the medical claims VPI received in 2008. According to the pet insurance provider, these conditions accounted for almost 340,000 of all the dog and cat medical claims received last year.

The top 10 conditions for dogs are:

  1. Ear Infections
  2. Skin Allergies
  3. Pyoderma/Hot Spots
  4. Gastritis/Vomiting
  5. Enteritis/Diarrhea
  6. Urinary Tract Infections
  7. Benign Skin Tumors
  8. Osteoarthritis
  9. Eye Inflammation
  10. Hypothyroidism

For cats, the top conditions are:

  1. Lower Urinary Tract Disease
  2. Gastritis/Stomach Upsets
  3. Chronic Renal Failure
  4. Enteritis/Diarrhea
  5. Diabetes Mellitus
  6. Skin Allergies
  7. Hyperthyroidism
  8. Ear Infections
  9. Upper Respiratory Virus
  10. Eye Inflammation

Putting off treatment in the short term may save clients a few hundred dollars, but if the problem persists (or grows worse), expenses may skyrocket over time. According to VPI, benign skin tumors were the most expensive canine condition to treat, with an average fee of $340, while renal failure was the most costly condition to treat in cats, with an average cost of $267.

As times get tougher, you can be sure clients will continue making adjustments to what they spend on their pet’s veterinary care (you can see our previous posts about how economic woes are intersecting with veterinary medical care here). We want to hear from you – what are the common conditions you’re seeing at your practice? And how do you help clients balance their economic realities with caring for their pet’s chronic conditions?

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