Atopic or allergic dermatitis most common canine health condition in 2012


VPI reveals top 10 canine, feline veterinary diagnoses.

The top condition in dogs that prompted a visit to the veterinary clinic in 2012 is a bit unexpected, according to recent research by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI). For the first time in five years, atopic or allergic dermatitis claimed the No. 1 slot, knocking the usual otitis externa down to second place.

VPI researched its database of more than 485,000 insured pets and found that policyholders spent more than $58 million in 2012 treating the 10 most common medical conditions affecting their pets. The insurance company received more than 68,000 canine claims for the No. 1 condition: atopic or allergic dermatitis. The average claim fee was $96 per office visit. Feline cystitis or feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) was the most common reason pet owners brought their cats to the veterinary clinic. VPI received more than 4,000 medical claims for this ailment with an average claim of $251 per office visit.

The most expensive canine condition on the list, osteoarthritis, cost an average of $258 per visit. For cats, the most expensive condition—lymphosarcoma or lymphoma—cost an average of $415 per visit. Take a look at other the medical conditions that made the list.


  • Atopic or allergic dermatitis
  • Otitis externa
  • Pyoderma/hot spot
  • Benign neoplasia
  • Gastropathy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Enteropathy
  • Cystitis or urinary tract infection
  • Periodontitis/dental disease
  • Soft tissue trauma


  • Feline cystitis or FLUTD
  • Periodontitis/dental disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Chronic renal disease
  • Gastropathy
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Enteropathy
  • Cystitis or urinary tract infection
  • Lymphosarcoma or lymphoma
  • Feline upper respiratory infection

“Although a few of the top 10 dog and cat conditions can be associated with an animal’s natural aging process, many of the conditions listed above can occur in any pet,” says Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. Regardless of the age or breed of the patient, she suggests telling clients, “Familiarize yourself with your pet’s daily routine in order to identify abnormal behaviors that might indicate an injury or illness.”

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