Insurance Group Lists Top 10 Surgery Reasons for Cats and Dogs

Tooth trouble tops VPI's ten medical conditions requiring surgery for cats.

Posted: October 22, 2010, 3 a.m. EDT

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Vet checking cat's teeth -- tooth extraction No. 1 reason for surgery in cats
Tooth extraction was the No. 1 reason for surgery in cats last year, according to a new poll.

Benign skin mass was the top medical condition requiring surgery for dogs last year and tooth extraction was the top for cats, according to Veterinary Pet Insurance of Brea, Calif., which analyzed its database of more than 485,000 insured pets.

Feline conditions following cat tooth extraction: skin abscess, inflammation or pressure ulcer; benign skin mass; bladder stones; cancer of the abdominal wall; malignant skin mass; multiple bite wounds; liver cancer; mouth cancer; and cancer of the nasal cavity.

Canine conditions following benign skin mass: skin abscess, inflammation or pressure ulcer; tooth extraction; torn anterior cruciate ligament or cartilage; malignant skin mass; cancer of the spleen, cancer of the eyelid; bladder stones; cancer of the liver; and auricular hematoma.

“Veterinary medicine has made considerable advancements in recent years, providing pet owners surgical options that weren’t available to them even five years ago,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “While this is certainly good news, pet owners are often unaware of the cost of these surgeries.

“Surgical claims are typically some of the most expensive received at VPI, with the average claim routinely costing thousands of dollars. It’s not only important for pet owners to realize the surgical choices open to them but to take steps to be financially prepared should their pet require surgery.”

The most common surgical claim for dogs on the list, benign skin mass, cost VPI policyholders an average of $999 per claim. The least common, auricular hematoma, cost an average of $296 per claim.

For cats, the average cost for the most common surgical claim of extracting cat teeth was $924, while the least common, cancer of the nasal cavity, cost policyholders an average of $927.

Collectively, VPI policyholders spent more than $30 million in 2009 on the 10 most common health conditions requiring surgery for dogs and cats.

Top 10 Medical Conditions Requiring Surgery:

Feline Conditions   Claim Total
1. Tooth extraction 1,627
2. Skin abscess, inflammation or pressure ulcer 1,015
3. Benign skin mass 454
4. Bladder stones 185
5. Cancer of the abdominal wall 126
6. Malignant skin mass 124
7. Multiple bite wounds 92
8. Cancer of the liver 85
9. Cancer of the mouth 79
10. Cancer of the nasal cavity 77

Canine Conditions Claim Total
1. Benign skin mass 22,386
2. Skin abscess, inflammation or pressure ulcer 11,178
3. Tooth extraction    9,476
4. Torn ACL or cartilage 6,782
5. Malignant skin mass 4,120
6. Cancer of the spleen 2,224
7. Cancer of the eyelid  1,848
8. Bladder stones 1,823
9. Cancer of the liver 1,588
10. Auricular hematoma 1,577

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Insurance Group Lists Top 10 Surgery Reasons for Cats and Dogs

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Reader Comments

Pat    Omaha, NE

10/26/2010 4:51:00 AM

Gees, shoulda known it costs more to extract a cat's tooth than mine!

Clara    Fort Collins, CO

10/25/2010 6:35:40 AM


Sheryl    Casa Grande, AZ

10/24/2010 3:24:18 PM

Interesting info.

karen    cheektowaga, NY

10/24/2010 12:44:31 PM

Interesting !!!

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