Top 10 Cat Health Conditions For 2012
The 10 Things That Most Often Brought You And The Cat To The Vet's Office
Actuaries at Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) worked pretty hard sifting through their database of some 485,000 insured pets to categorize claims into a report on what brought cat owners to vet clinics in 2012.
Actually, the report is probably generated in 0.09 seconds after a handful of keystrokes, but we’ll let the actuaries think we believe they worked very hard at it. VPI didn’t become the largest pet insurance company in the U.S. by slacking off, that’s for sure. Being part of the Nationwide Insurance family probably helped a little, too.
- Top 10 Dog Health Conditions For 2012
Does your vet find your dog to be one in a million or just one of the crowd? Here are the top 10 health issues that generated vet visits, according to Veterinary Pet Insurance of Brea, CA
There are more life threatening conditions on the cat list than the dog list (see sidebar at right), but even the seemingly minor conditions, if untreated, can escalate into serious conditions or chronic ones that become expensive to treat.
Some of the conditions on the list can be attributed to the cat’s natural aging process, but many of them can happen to any pet.
Other Interesting Cat Hubs
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- What To Do When Your Cat Won't Eat
To a veterinarian it's feline anorexia and cause for alarm. Twelve hours without food can kill a kitten; 24 hours without food can kill an adult cat. Learn why this life-threatening condition can be a symptom of something much less dangerous.
- How To Watch Your Cat Speak To You
Cats signal their mood and pending actions by subtle body language. Here's how to read some of those signals.
- How Cats And Dogs See The World
Our dogs and cats may not have the optic super powers we think they do. But some aspects of the visual abilities of animals are pretty impressive, as you'll learn from this article.
- Cat Urinating Outside The Litter Box? What To Do!
The professional term is "inappropriate elimination" and what cat owner hasn't dealt with it? It's a frustrating problem that, unfortunately, can lead to relinquishment. Here's some information that may prevent you from reaching the end of your rope.
And The Envelope, Please
I was a bit surprised to learn that BLADDER INFECTION was the Number 1 cause for taking the cat to the vet. In my frequent dealings with pet owners, the cat’s urinary tract problems were fairly common, though.
And in 2012, VPI processed more than 4,000 claims for bladder infections. The average claim fee was $251.00 per office visit.
It comes as no surprise that PERIODONTITIS/DENTAL DISEASE was the Number 2 cause for vet visits. By age 3, some 80% of cats show signs of periodontal disease. That’s 10 points higher than it is for dogs by the age of 3 (70%), and I’ll bet the main culprit is wet food. We used to sell much more canned cat food than canned dog food at my store.
Number 3 is OVERACTIVE THYROID. Who’da thunk? I probably wouldn’t have guessed that in a million years. Nor would I have guessed Number 4, CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE.
Taking us away from the heavy duty conditions is Number 5, UPSET STOMACH/VOMITING. I can see you all shaking your heads in agreement. Most cat owners deal with this frequently. Occasionally, though, they can swallow something toxic and be in real trouble. Curiously enough, this condition is also Number 5 on the dog list.
Number 6 is DIABETES which isn’t much of a surprise. My guess is that this stems from the pet obesity problem that exists, at least in the U.S. Is it just me, or do we tend to see more diabetic cats than dogs?
I’m not surprised at Number 7, INTESTINAL UPSET/DIARRHEA, but I would have expected to see it ranked higher. My observation is that cat owners give a wider variety of foods, especially canned flavors. Dog owners tend to feed more stable diets. I wonder if there’s a connection. And in another curious coincidence, this same condition occupies the 7 slot on the dog list, as well.
Number 8 is SKIN ALLERGIES. That was Number 1 on the dog list, but you don’t see it as often in cats. My cat was subject to feline acne, but never had a diagnosis of skin allergy. Fleas seem to bother cats more than dogs, too.
But back to the serious stuff. Number 9 is; LYMPHOSARCOMA, or cancer of the lymph nodes. At an average cost of $415.00 per visit, this condition was the most expensive to treat on the cat list, compared to the dog list where the most expensive condition to treat was arthritis at an average cost of $258.00 per visit.
And rounding out the list at Number 10 is UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTION. This condition didn’t even appear on the dog list. It makes one wonder; what is it with cats that make them more susceptible to URIs than dogs.
I have a theory. Multi-cat households are more common than multi-dog households, and cats engage in more direct contact with each other. They groom each other, snuggle with each other, and roughhouse with each other more than dogs do.
A strain of herpes virus and the calicivirus are the most common causes of feline URIs, and are easily spread from cat to cat. In addition, cats can become carriers for life and, although they don’t show clinical signs themselves, can still infect other cats. Just a theory.
Anyway, a good piece of advice comes from Dr. Carol McConnell (bunches of letters alert), DVM, MBA, VP/CVMO at VPI: “Regardless of the age or breed of the dog or cat, pet owners should familiarize themselves with the pets’ daily routine in order to identify abnormal behaviors that might indicate an injury or illness. Amen to that.