Dermatitis in dogs, cystitis in cats most common veterinary diagnoses two years running


VPI top veterinary conditions list shows common problems are costlier to treat.

For two years now, atopic or allergic dermatitis in dogs and cystitis or lower urinary tract disease in cats topped the list of the most common veterinary conditions in pets. In 2013, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) policyholders spent more than $66 million treating the 10 most common medical conditions affecting their pets, up $8 million from 2012—a 14 percent increase.

In 2013, VPI received more than 77,000 canine claims—an increase of 9,000, or 13 percent, from 2012—for atopic or other allergic dermatitis, the most common reason for taking a dog to see a veterinarian. The average cost per office visit for these conditions was $187, almost double the $96 average charge per visit in 2012. For cats, feline cystitis or FLUTD was the most common reason for a visit to the veterinarian. VPI received more than 4,600 medical claims—up 600, or 15 percent, from 2012—for diseases related to the feline urinary tract, with an average cost per office visit of $422, 68 percent higher than 2012’s $251.

The most expensive canine condition on the list, benign skin neoplasia, cost an average of $342 per visit. In 2012 the priciest canine condition was osteoarthritis, which cost $258 per visit. For cats, lymphosarcoma or lymphoma remained the most expensive condition. However, in 2013, the average cost per visit was $2,004—almost five times as much per visit as it was in 2012.

Here’s a look at the other medical conditions that made the list in 2013, compiled from VPI’s database of more than 500,000 insured pets:


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


  • Feline cystitis or FLUTD
  • Periodontitis or dental disease
  • Chronic renal disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Gastropathy
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Enteropathy
  • Lymphosarcoma or lymphoma
  • Feline upper respiratory infection
  • Atopic or other allergic dermatitis

“To prevent the discomfort that so many pets experience with common diseases, we encourage pet owners to examine their pets regularly for developing problems and seek veterinary attention immediately,” says Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Clearly, many of the conditions on our Top 10 list each year can be resolved or successfully managed by early partnership with their veterinarian.”

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