Pet Medical Conditions: A Year in Review

Adoptable Puppies / SpokanimalCAREDid your pet experience any health problems this past year? If they did, they were probably not alone. Recently, the Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) analyzed dog and cat medical claims from 2008 to see if there were any significant commonalities. Their analysis resulted in compiling a list of the top 10 conditions that cats and dogs were treated for last year.

According to VPI’s research, the number one medical claim for dogs was ear infections, and it was lower urinary tract disease for cats. These are not unusual health problems that you have never heard of, and it’s possible that you or someone you know has been treated for these issues. While these health problems can be treated, they can cause more problems if not immediately addressed.

Everyone hopes that his/her pet doesn’t get sick but unfortunately it happens. Whether your pet has a skin allergy or upset stomach, it’s important to get it checked out if it continues and not wait until it evolves into a more serious illness. The new year has brought financial stress on many families, and one of the worst moments to experience is not having enough funds to properly treat your pet in order to save its life. This is why prevention is key in order to maintain your pet’s health and prevent high pet expenses in the future. So how can you tell when your pet is sick?

It’s important to perform weekly physicals at home on your pet. For example, monitor their bathroom habits to make sure they are going regularly but not excessively. Changes in bathroom behavior can alert you of a urinary tract infection. Also, when you groom them, look for changes in their skin and eye coloring as well as any abnormal eye or ear discharge. Annual visits with your veterinarian are beneficial, but since you see your animal everyday, it’s essential that you know what is normal for your pet so you can detect abnormalities. Sometimes you can even tell that your pet isn’t feeling well when you see changes in their personality.

Another option is to invest in pet insurance, but it can be costly if you live on a tight budget. However, it’s definitely worth checking into, because you might be able to put your pet on a plan that saves you more money in the long run. In the case that you don’t have pet insurance but need to treat your animal, contact local humane societies and animal clinics. These organizations may be able to work out a payment plan or know of veterinarians who do this. Pet care can put a hole in your wallet, but you may be able to make monthly payments.

Last year shows that dogs had more ear and skin issues while cats had more urinary and digestive problems. By taking these points into consideration, you increase your awareness and are better equipped to determine when your pet needs medical attention. Plus, it can help you save money and prompt you to start saving up ahead of time for potential pet care expenses.

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