Dogs and cats visit the veterinarian for a number of reasons. In 2011, the top 10 reasons owners brought pets to the vet included common curable conditions and more serious issues like cancer. The Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) recently sorted data from more than 485,000 insured pets to determine which conditions are causing the most vet visits.
For dogs, ear infections, skin conditions and upset stomachs or diarrhea topped the list. Canine arthritis, bladder infections, bruises and underactive thyroids were also on the list. Bladder infections topped the list for the reasons owners bring their felines in for a vet visit. Chronic kidney disease, overactive thyroids, upset stomachs, dental disease, ear infections, skin allergies and cancer of the lymph nodes followed. Diarrhea in cats and feline diabetes were also on the list.
While most of the conditions are treatable, many are chronic or require the animal to be on medications for the rest of its life, which can add up in cost. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, it costs between $420 and $780 per year to own a dog, and that's when the pooch is healthy. Cats can cost as much as $500 per year. VPI reports that its policy holders spent more than $46 million in 2011 treating these common pet ailments, so owners may want to have a special fund set aside for their pet's costs and consider pet insurance.