The Top 10 Reasons Pets Visited the Vet in 2013

Share Article

Petplan reveals the most common health conditions that had pets feeling sick as a dog.

News Image

Before closing the door on 2013, Petplan, America’s best-loved pet insurer, pawed through a year’s worth of claims to sniff out the 10 most common health conditions for dogs and cats in 2013. For the third year in a row, tummy troubles topped the list, followed closely by cancer and lameness. The biggest mover on the list, though, is periodontal disease – Petplan saw a 50% increase in the number of claims received in 2013.

According to Petplan claims data, these conditions clawed their way to the top of the chart as the most common in 2013:

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

All 10 conditions are making repeat appearances on Petplan’s annual top 10 list. However, periodontal disease jumped up four places this year from 10 to six – proof that pet parents are brushing up on how to care for their furry friends chompers.

"As pet parents become more educated about dental disease, and more vet clinics are able to practice a high level of dental treatment, the cost – and number of claims we receive – has increased accordingly,” says Dr. Jules Benson, Vice President of Veterinary Services at Petplan. “Veterinary dentistry is an area that’s really seeing a huge growth in sophistication, and we see that reflected in the claims that we pay. Reflecting the increasing level of therapy we can provide for periodontal disease, the average cost of treatment for affected cats has risen 39% since 2009, compared to 26% for dogs."

Digging deeper into the data, Petplan found that even the most commonplace conditions can be costly (to the tune of a $20,000 stomach-ache!):

  •     Tummy troubles: The cost of care for gastrointestinal issues – vomiting and diarrhea, the top condition for the past three years – averaged over $500 per affected pet, with reimbursements reaching as high as $20,000 for a 4-year-old mixed-breed pup with a seriously upset belly.
  •     Ligament laments: Cruciate ligament injuries (similar to ACL injuries in people) saw the greatest average per-pet cost on this year’s list, with average reimbursement coming in close to $2,500 per pet, and reaching as high as $14,915 for one furry policy holder, a 6-year-old Newfoundland.
  •     Itching for relief: Non-stop scratching can be the tell-tail sign of either allergies or ear infections. Similar to their two-legged counterparts, these conditions are extremely common in pets – numbers five and seven on the list, respectively – although they may not always be easy to treat. One 5-year-old Boxer with skin allergies has needed more than $16,580 in treatment to date to manage his scratchy symptoms.

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


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. In February 2013, Petplan pet insurance was at No. 34 on Forbes annual ranking of America’s Most Promising Companies – a list of 100 privately held, high-growth companies with bright futures. Petplan’s fully customizable dog insurance and cat insurance 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 pet insurance policies are underwritten by AGCS Marine Insurance Company in the U.S. and by Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company in Canada. The Allianz Group is rated A+ by A.M. Best (2012). For information, about Petplan pet insurance, visit, read the Petplan “Vets for Pets” Blog, or call 1-866-467-3875.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Morgan Jones
Brian Communications
+1 (484) 385-2953
Email >
Visit website