Pets Arthritis Claims on the rise – Which breeds are the most affected?

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Animal Friends insurance finds that claims for arthritis in pets is rising in both cats and dogs.

New figures from Animal Friends Insurance show that arthritis and other degenerative conditions in cats and dogs is one of the main sources of new claims.

Animal Friends saw more than 4700 claims for arthritis related conditions including degenerative osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis and immune mediated arthritis in the last two years. Of these claims, 94% were for dogs, with over 60% being more likely to be male and aged eight years or older.

Breeds such as German shepherd’s, Golden retriever’s, Boxer’s, Rottweiler’s and Labrador retriever’s tend to be the most common breeds for Arthritis. Once a condition of arthritis has been identified the average number of claims is 5.8 per household with some up to as many as 28 individual claims.

Tara Hughes (VRN), Veterinary Claims assessor from Animal Friends said: “Unfortunately once this condition has taken hold of our animal companions, like humans it is irreversible, only manageable. This condition is exasperated through over exertion on specific joints, weight management is a huge contributor to this disease. There are multiple medications, supplements and therapies out on the market, which all have their positive and negative points. The main factor to keep in mind is what works well for owner and pet. Ensuring that pain management is kept under control and our animal companions can still get up to mischief”

Arthritis is inflammation of a joint, also known as Degenerative Joint Disease and is more common in larger, heavier breeds as they tend to exert more pressure on their active joints and muscles through physical exercise, more so than sedentary breeds.

Obesity in dogs can also play a large role in future arthritic conditions, another reason to ensure your dog is fit and healthy.

With a variety of different policy options Animal Friends is able to provide cover for the majority of breeds. Their top level policies also include cover for on-going conditions, such as arthritis, year after year up to a set condition limit and annual policy limit. If your pet has a pre-existing condition prior to taking out your insurance it is important to let your insurer know as pre-existing conditions won’t be covered.

"Animal Friends provides competitive insurance which includes cover for older pets because we understand the factors and requirements they have as they age. We offer seven different policy options to ensure we can provide cover for a wide range of breeds with no upper age limit," said Stuart Macmaster, Sales Manager at Animal Friends Insurance.

Animal Friends Arthritis Claims Statistics

Total number of claims from July 2012    - 4716    
Pets Under 8 years old - 1632 or    34.61%
Pets Over 8 years old    - 3084 or 65.39%
Total No. of Dogs - 4415 or    93.62%
How many dogs over 8? - 2815 or 63.76%
Male Dogs - 2598 or 58.84%
Female Dogs - 1817 or 41.16%
Total No. of Cats - 301 or 6.38%
How many cats over 8? - 269 or 89.37%
Male Cats    - 170    or 56.48%
Female Cats - 131 or     43.52%
Avg no. of claims per household - 5.8
Most Common Breeds - German shepherd; Golden retriever; Boxer; Rottweiler; Labrador retriever

Notes to Editors
Animal Friends is a pet insurance specialist, founded by Elaine Fairfax in 1998 with the sole aim of providing pet insurance as a means to help support animal welfare charities. Our ethos, aims and values have enabled us to become one of the UK’s top five pet insurance providers. Animal Friends Insurance is now one of the largest independent pet insurance providers in the UK.

For more information on Animal Friends please contact 0844 55 70 300.

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Matthew Norman
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