Petplan Pet Insurance Reveals Top 10 Pet Health Conditions of 2011

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Both commonplace and complicated conditions top this year’s list, according to America’s No. 1 pet insurance provider

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Clearly, cancer is the very definition of an unexpected disease, and one that appears to be representing an increasing proportion of Petplan’s claims

Vomiting and diarrhea, allergies, ear infections; pet parents may think that such commonplace conditions occur fairly frequently for our furry friends. And according to data from No. 1-rated Petplan pet insurance, they’d be right. Those conditions, and others, were among the top 10 health conditions for dogs and cats last year.

According to Petplan claims data, the following conditions topped the charts for 2011:

1. Vomiting and Diarrhea
2. Cancer
3. Lameness
4. Skin infections
5. Allergies
6. Ear infections
7. Cruciate (knee ligament) injuries
8. Foreign body ingestion
9. Urinary tract infections
10. Periodontal disease

But commonplace conditions can still be costly. In fact, the cost of care for gastrointestinal issues – vomiting and diarrhea, the top condition of 2011 - averaged over $400, with costs reaching as high as $6,700 for one unlucky pet with a seriously upset belly.

Cruciate ligament injuries (analogous to ACL injuries in humans) by contrast, saw the greatest average per-treatment cost in the year’s top 10 list, with average payment coming in close to $2,000 per treatment, and reaching as high as $6,000.

Nine of the 10 conditions are making a repeat appearance on Petplan’s second annual top-10 list. However, making its debut this year is periodontal disease, which moved up six places from 16 to 10 to make its way onto this year’s list.

And while cancer – which includes types ranging from osteosarcoma to lymphoma to mast cell tumors – comes in second on Petplan’s list for a second year in a row, a closer look at the data shows that within the category, incidences of cancer are on the rise.

“Clearly, cancer is the very definition of an unexpected disease, and one that appears to be representing an increasing proportion of Petplan’s claims,” says Dr. Jules Benson, VP of Veterinary Services at Petplan. “In 2011, the various forms of cancer as a proportion of all Petplan claims increased by almost 14% over our 2010 claims. In particular, we saw relative increases in the reporting of some of the more aggressive forms of cancer like lymphoma (33% increase) and osteosarcoma (38% increase). It’s my belief that this increase in reporting of cancer is due in part to the assiduous work of U.S. veterinarians in recognizing cancer earlier and with greater accuracy than ever before.”

For more information on these and other conditions that Petplan covers, including hereditary and chronic conditions, visit

Top-rated pet insurance provider, Petplan, is the only pet insurance company to have been included on Inc. Magazine’s list of 500 fastest-growing, privately held companies in America. Petplan’s fully customizable policies provide coverage for all hereditary and congenital conditions for the life of the pet as standard, and meet the coverage requirements and budget for pets of all/any age. Petplan policies are underwritten by AGCS Marine Insurance Company, a member of the Allianz Group, rated A+ by A.M. Best (2010). For information, about Petplan pet insurance, visit or call 1-866-467-3875.

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Bill Tierney
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