Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, recently analyzed medical claims submitted in 2007 to find the most expensive insured conditions commonly suffered by dogs and cats. VPI ranked conditions based on the average fees attached to common claims from among its more than 460,000 pets insured nationwide.
The data revealed that the costliest conditions affected pets of all ages and breeds and often required diagnostic tests and emergency surgery. Average claimed fees for the priciest conditions ranged from $500 to nearly $3,000. In dogs, Intervertabral Disc Disease (Average fee: $2,844), Lung Cancer (Average fee: $2,032) and Gastric Torsion (Average fee: $1,955) were the most costly conditions, with Foreign Body Ingestion, Cruciate Rupture and Cataracts coming close behind.
In cats, Foreign Body Ingestion (Average fee: $1,629), Urinary Tract Reconstruction (Average fee: $1,399) and Rectal Cancer (Average fee: $1,011) were the most expensive conditions. Bladder Stones, Intestinal Cancer and Hyperthyroidism were other conditions in cats that ranked highly in the list.
While treatments for many conditions not listed are routinely even more expensive than those ranked, VPI only considered commonly claimed conditions. Low frequency claims, no matter how expensive, were not included. For example, in 2007 VPI processed about two claims a day for intervertebral disc disease, about five claims a day for surgical removal of an ingested foreign body and about 15 claims a day for cruciate rupture.