Top 10 Reasons Pets Go To The Vet

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“Top 10 Reasons Pets Go To The Vet”

Contributed by Dr. Melissa Brookshire, DVM

Did you take your pet to the vet last year? If so, you are in good company. More than 75% of pet owning households take their pets to the vet every year. About 1/4 of pet-owning households go to the vet four or more times per year. Routine veterinary checkups and vaccinations are the most common reason that pets go to the vet each year.

I have 3 dogs – Frog, Hank and Sophie. I was curious about the most common reasons that pets go to the vet so I did some checking and what I found was pretty interesting.

According to the Veterinary Pet Insurance Company, their policyholders visited the vet in 2008 for various reasons. They made a top ten list for dogs and cats, not including routine veterinary care. The top reason for dogs was ear infections and the top reason for cats was lower urinary tract diseases.

So, how did my own dogs fare according to the veterinary top ten? Well, one of my three dogs did have an ear infection, number 1 on the list. I did not fare so well with numbers 4, 5, 6 and 7 on the list: 4. gastritis/vomiting, 5. enteritis/diarrhea, 6. urinary tract infections and 7. benign skin tumors.

My old lady Beagle, Frog, was the queen of 4, 6 and 7. She had to be treated for persistent vomiting (caused by number 6, urinary tract infection) and also had a benign skin tumor removed from her leg.

My big yellow Lab Hank was treated for 4 & 5 due to consumption of the stuffing from his bed. Oops!

The newest addition, our stray Lab mix Sophie did the best. She did have to get her vaccinations and get spayed, but (knock on wood), has not been treated for any illness since she came to live with us.


Top Canine Claims Top Feline Claims
1.  Ear Infections 1.  Lower Urinary Tract Disease
2.  Skin Allergies 2.  Gastritis/Stomach Upsets
3.  Pyoderma/Hot Spots 3.  Chronic Renal Failure
4.  Gastritis/Vomiting 4.  Enteritis/Diarrhea
5.  Enteritis/Diarrhea 5.  Diabetes Mellitus
6.  Urinary Tract Infections 6.  Skin Allergies
7.  Benign Skin Tumors 7.  Hyperthyroidism
8.  Osteoarthritis 8.  Ear Infections
9.  Eye Inflammation 9.  Upper Respiratory Virus
10. Hypothyroidism 10. Eye Inflammation