Obesity-related conditions cost pet insurance policyholders US$34 million in 2012

obese dogVeterinary Pet Insurance Co. recently sorted its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat obesity-related health conditions in 2012. With the epidemic of pet obesity rising, the company says its policyholders filed more than US$34 million in claims in 2012 for conditions and diseases that can be caused or made worse by excess weight.

The most common obesity-related condition for dogs was arthritis, for which more than 34,000 claims were filed at an average fee of US$300 per pet. For cats, bladder/urinary tract disease was the most common condition, for which the company received more than 4,200 medical claims at an average cost of US$415 per pet.

Other top obesity-related conditions, in order, in dogs were: bladder/urinary tract disease, undiagnosed limp, low-thyroid hormone, liver disease, torn knee ligaments, diseased disc in the spine, diabetes, heart failure and chronic kidney disease. For cats, these were: chronic kidney disease, diabetes, asthma, liver disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, undiagnosed limp, heart failure and gall bladder disorder.

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