Pets: Most common medical conditions that prompt veterinary visits

Pets require medical attention just like their human counterparts, and while common issues such as ear infections and skin allergies are rarely life-threatening, they can be unexpected and expensive. Last year, Nationwide members spent more than $119 million to treat the 10 most common medical conditions affecting dogs and cats. The nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance analyzed its database of more than 725,000 insured pets to determine the top medical conditions that prompted veterinary visits. Below are the results:


1. Skin Allergies 
2. Ear Infection
3. Non-cancerous Skin Mass 
4. Diarrhea/Intestinal Upset 
5. Skin Infection 
6. Vomiting/Upset Stomach 
7. Arthritis 
8. Dental Disease 
9. Anal Gland Inflammation 
10. Bladder Urinary Tract Disease 


 1. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
 2. Dental Disease
 3. Chronic Kidney Disease
 4. Vomiting/Upset Stomach
 5. Diarrhea/Intestinal Upset
 6. Excessive Thyroid Hormone
 7. Upper Respiratory Infection
 8. Skin Allergies
 9. Diabetes
10. Heart Valve Malfunction

Skin allergies were the most common health issue among Nationwide-insured dogs with more than 180,000 individual claims at an average cost of $279 per dog. Bladder/urinary tract disease accounted for the most common medical condition among Nationwide-insured cats with 8,700 claims received at an average cost of $515 per cat.

Dental disease accounted for the costliest canine medical condition on the list with an average expense to treat of nearly $450 per dog. The most expensive feline medical condition on the list was diabetes, which carries a significantly higher cost of $871 per cat.

« Pet owners are encouraged to schedule regular medical checkups as recommended by their veterinarians to prevent many common, yet problematic medical conditions, » said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide. « Early detection can be key. The majority of medical conditions on the top 10 list can be successfully managed if treated promptly by a veterinarian. »

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