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6 Most Common Pet Insurance Claims (2024 Update)

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

Beagle dog at the veterinarian

Pet healthcare is costly. Sudden accidents and illnesses can cost thousands of dollars. Luckily, pet insurance can help cover some of these costs. Those with pet insurance make thousands of claims yearly, and some of those claims show up far more often than others. The top pet insurance claims probably aren’t what you think they are.

Look at some of the most common pet insurance claims over the last few years.

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The 6 Common Pet Insurance Claims

1. Skin Problems

Allergic skin diseases in domestic cat
Photo Credit: eremeevdv, Shutterstock

Pets can get all sorts of different skin problems. These conditions are more common than you may think, and the odds are that your pet will end up with one eventually. Luckily, these are extremely treatable with veterinary care, though it can get expensive. Sometimes, the condition can be chronic, leading to several vet visits.

Many pet food allergies lead to skin issues. However, even pollen and regular seasonal allergies can lead to skin issues. The feet and ears are the most common areas for this skin issue. Discharge and scabbing may occur and sometimes, the problem can persist as the dog scratches and bites the sores. Veterinary care is required, which may become a serious issue.

Ringworm is a very contagious condition that is also pretty common. Despite the name, this is a fungal infection that requires oral treatment or medicated shampoo. Your vet will need to prescribe these medications.

Fleas can cause skin issues and don’t necessarily require veterinary care. However, you may want vet-strength medications to deal with serious flea problems. Furthermore, oral antihistamines can help reduce symptoms while your pet is recovering.

The average cost of skin treatments is typically less than $1,000. However, chronic conditions can lead to higher vet bills, as your pet may need multiple visits.

2. Stomach Problems

Stomach problems are reported almost as commonly as skin problems. There are many different stomach problems, with some being more common than others. Your pet eating something they shouldn’t is the leading cause of stomach problems claim. For instance, if your dog eats table scrapes and accidentally eats something toxic (like an onion), it would fall into this category. Eating inedible foods would also fall into this category.

Pancreatitis is caused by serious inflammation. It can be triggered by eating too much fat and by medications. Sometimes, it occurs without any cause at all.

Parasites and worms are extremely common. If your pet is infected, they’ll need deworming medication from your vet. Sometimes, vets recommend deworming dogs regularly, as many have parasites.

Different bacteria and viruses can cause stomach problems, too. Parvovirus is a serious condition that is transmitted via fecal matter. Furthermore, E. coli and Salmonella can cause stomach problems, too.

3. Seizures

veterinarian examining a sick Rhodesian ridgeback dog
Photo Credit: Zontica, Shutterstock

Sadly, seizures aren’t as uncommon as you might think. They can occur for all sorts of reasons. For instance, heatstroke and any head injury can lead to seizures. Ingesting toxic substances can also cause seizures while some breeds may develop seizures for almost no reason. Medications and human foods can lead to seizures in some cases.

Several breeds are prone to epilepsy, including:

Luckily, seizures are less common in cats. However, the next condition is extremely common in felines.

4. Urinary Tract Infections

All animals can get UTIs, but cats are extremely prone to them. Cats don’t have the same thirst mechanic that humans and dogs do. Therefore, they’re prone to dehydration, which can cause UTIs. Older cats are most prone to UTIs, though they can occur at any age.

UTIs often require antibiotics. While these aren’t extremely expensive, testing and vet visits may accompany the treatment. Therefore, you can easily spend a few hundred dollars on treatments and testing.

Animals that get one UTI are also prone to getting many UTIs. Therefore, you may find yourself at the vet’s office over and over again if your cat ends up with a UTI. Having pet insurance can help counteract some of these costs, though.

5. Ear Infections

vet checks the ear of a cavalier king charles spaniel dog
Photo Credit: Nestor Rizhniak, Shutterstock

Both cats and dogs are prone to ear infections. There are several different types of ear infections and potential causes. However, certain breeds are more likely to get ear infections than others. Dogs with floppy ears tend to get moisture and dirt caught up in their ears, causing ear infections. Keeping your dog’s ears clean is vital to preventing ear infections, but some may still occur.

If ear infections go untreated, it can cause permanent hearing damage or even neurological issues. A lot of an animal’s balance comes from their ear, which can potentially mess with their ability to walk.

Simple ear infections may only cost a hundred dollars or so for treatment. However, extreme conditions can cost thousands of dollars—not counting any complications from the infection.

6. Kidney Problems

Kidney problems often occur as a complication of another condition. Cats are prone to kidney issues, which can occur after a serious UTI. Dogs can also have kidney problems after ingesting a toxin or causing spinal damage. Some breeds are more prone to kidney issues than others.

The main issue with kidney problems is that they are chronic in most cases. Therefore, your pet will have kidney problems forever after being diagnosed. Dietary changes and medication may be required for the rest of your pet’s life to help manage the damage. Surgeries can be more complicated with kidney issues, as well. Complications from other conditions may occur more likely when kidney issues are present.

Therefore, the total cost of kidney problems can be quite high. It may cost thousands over your dog’s lifespan to help manage kidney damage and treat complications that arise.

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Final Thoughts

Dogs and cats can get sick for all sorts of different reasons. However, the most common pet insurance claims are skin and stomach issues. UTIs are extremely common in cats, as well. Ear infections and kidney problems are also somewhat common. Luckily, with pet insurance, you may not have to pay the full price for treating these conditions. In this way, you can save a bit of money and may not find yourself out thousands of dollars due to a sudden illness or accident.

Vet bills can be expensive. Luckily, many of the most common conditions aren’t super expensive in most cases. The cost can seriously go up if any complications occur, however.

Featured Image Credit: Beach Creatives, Shutterstock

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