Common reasons dogs visit the vet and average cost of treatment

When you bring home a new dog, especially a puppy, it may seem like the picture of health and energy, with unexpected accidents, short-term illnesses, or long-term health issues being the key. last thing on most homeowners’ minds.

However, health problems can be extremely common, just as they are in humans, with numbers of Association of British Insurers showing that the average value of pet insurance claims in 2020 for all pets was £ 817, up 2% from 2019.

Despite this increase, and with an increase in pet insurance searches of over 40% in the last year alone, it is perhaps surprising that out of 12 million dogs in the UK, only 3, 4 million have pet insurance. , one of the UK’s leading financial services comparison sites, conducted a survey to find out the most common causes of vet visits and how much they could end up costing owners.

The most common reason dogs visit the vet is due to skin conditions such as yeast infections, mange, or allergic reactions, which account for over 20% of all complaints, with treatment often requiring ongoing prescriptions. .

Skin conditions account for 20% of all vet visits (Image: Getty Images)

The average cost of treatment can reach up to £ 800 depending on the size of the dog and whether it is a one-time or recurring problem.

Stomach problems rank second, with conditions such as vomiting, diarrhea, gastroenteritis, parasitic infections and pancreatitis, followed by infections of the eyes and ears, which, while generally easy to clear, can lead to higher bills if the problem persists and can cost homeowners dearly. at £ 400 per year.

Chis Morris, owner of English Bulldog Boris, discovered how expensive vet bills can get, after what initially appeared to be relatively mild health issues.

“Bulldogs are prone to a range of health issues, as we discovered early on,” he said.

“In the first six months we had made numerous vet visits with Boris suffering from a cold, puppy acne and cherry eye – a common condition for this breed.

“Boris’ cherry eye continued to be a problem and resulted in surgery, pain relievers and several tests.

English Bulldog Boris had a whole host of medical issues growing up
English Bulldog Boris had a whole host of medical issues growing up

“When your pet isn’t feeling well, you don’t ask questions and will do anything to improve it, no matter the cost. Boris’ treatment in the first six months cost almost £ 1,500, but luckily we had taken the advice of another bulldog owner and insured Boris from the day we got him. “

The costliest causes of vet visits can be related to musculoskeletal issues, which cover ligament, joint or tendon injuries as well as other sprains and strains.

Tears or ruptures of ligaments can often involve surgery and post-operative care which can drive bills up to £ 1,349 .

Older dogs, especially in certain breeds such as Labradors and Bulldogs, are more likely to develop arthritis or other joint problems, which can also be costly later in life.

When looking for an insurance policy, it’s important to shop around, read the fine print, and consider all aspects of your pet’s lifestyle, habits, and breed to make sure the policy is right for you. to its needs and potential needs.

Salman Haqqi, Personal Finance Expert at Leading Pet Insurance Comparison Site, , explains: “It can be difficult, if not impossible, to deal with unexpected veterinary bills. The type of illness and injury will affect the cost, with chronic illnesses tending to cost more than just infection.

“Other factors such as age, background, and previous conditions can also impact costs, which is why it’s so important to include pet insurance in your budget when deciding to buy. ” bring a dog or pet into your home.

“Comparing the best pet insurance for you, allows you to cover the cost of potentially costly issues, while providing the peace of mind owners so badly need, so owners can focus on enjoying their family.” dogs, from puppy to senior. “

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