Pet health insurance

Pet Health Insurance, should you have some?

July 5, 2014

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A question asked by many pet owners is “Should we have pet health insurance?” There is a simple answer and that is, if your pet fell seriously ill, would you take it to a vet? If the answer is “yes”, then you probably need pet health insurance.

Unlike humans who can tell you what is wrong, pets cannot speak for themselves and this means pet owners are often inclined to schedule a visit to the vet for even a minor ailment in their dog or cat. And while the majority of conditions afflicting pets are quite treatable, left unattended they can become chronic and expensive to treat.

In Australia in 2012, over $3 billion was spent in vets on general vet services, surgery, dentistry and other treatments.

The majority of that expenditure and bulk of the claims were met by the pet health insurance industry. This resulted in list of the 10 most common ailments found in cats and dogs. They are:

Common ailments in dogs for pet health insurance claims

1.   Ear Infection

2.   Skin Allergies

3.   Skin Infection

4.   Non-cancerous Skin Growth

5.   Upset Stomach

6.   Intestinal Upset/Diarrhoea

7.   Arthritis

8.   Bladder Infection

9.   Bruise or Contusion

10. Under-active Thyroid

Common ailments in cats for pet health insurance claims

1.   Bladder Infection

2.   Chronic Kidney Disease

3.   Overactive Thyroid

4.   Upset Stomach

5.   Periodontitis/Dental Disease

6.   Diabetes

7.   Intestinal Upset/Diarrhoea

8.   Ear Infection

9.   Skin Allergies

10. Lymphosarcoma (Cancer of Lymph Node)

The large number of pet health insurance claims received for these conditions attests to their repetitive and sometimes chronic nature, and while many pet owners fear that a major accident or illness will befall their pet and cost thousands of dollars to treat, it’s the repetitive and common conditions listed above that can not only be detrimental to a pet’s quality of life, but also be financially burdensome to the pet owner.

One of the most common ailments, an ear infection in dogs, is responsible for the bulk of pet health insurance claims, with an average claim cost of around $100. A bladder infection in cats was the most common ailment with an average pet health insurance claim amount of over $200 per vet visit.

The most expensive canine condition – a non-cancerous skin growth – cost an average of over $210 per visit, while for cats the most expensive condition – cancer of the lymph node – cost an average of over $400 per visit.

What you can do?

Pet owners should always familiarise themselves with their pet’s daily routine in order to readily identify abnormal behaviours that might point to an injury or an illness. In addition, regular examinations by a qualified vet can help prevent and identify conditions before they become serious or costly.

If you want to find the top pet health insurance providers, then Total Pets can help.

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