Top 10 Medical Conditions Requiring Surgery for Dogs and Cats

Nation's Largest Pet Insurer Reminds Pet Owners Surgery Is Common - and Costly

Oct 21, 2010, 09:00 ET from Veterinary Pet Insurance

BREA, Calif., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) policyholders owning dogs and cats spent more than $30 million in 2009 on the 10 most common health conditions requiring surgery for each species. In fact, 1 in 20 VPI-insured dogs and cats required surgical treatment for these conditions. VPI, the nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, recently examined its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat surgery claims submitted to the company last year. Following are the results:

Top 10 Conditions Requiring Surgery

Canine Conditions



Feline Conditions



1. Benign Skin Mass


1. Tooth Extraction


2. Skin Abscess, Inflammation,

or Pressure Ulcer


2. Skin Abscess, Inflammation,

or Pressure Ulcer


3. Tooth Extraction


3. Benign Skin Mass


4. Torn ACL or Cartilage


4. Bladder Stones


5. Malignant Skin Mass


5. Cancer of the Abdominal Wall


6. Cancer of the Spleen


6. Malignant Skin Mass


7. Cancer of the Eyelid


7. Multiple Bite Wounds


8. Bladder Stones


8. Cancer of the Liver


9. Cancer of the Liver


9. Cancer of the Mouth


10. Auricular Hematoma

(swollen, fluid-filled ear)


10. Cancer of the Nasal Cavity


The most common surgical claim for dogs on the list, benign skin mass, cost VPI policyholders an average of $999 per claim. The least common, auricular hematoma, cost an average of $296 per claim. For cats, the average per claim for the no. 1 condition requiring surgery on the list, tooth extraction, was $924, while the least common (cancer of the nasal cavity), cost an average of $927.

"Veterinary medicine has made considerable advancements in recent years, providing pet owners surgical options that weren't available to them even five years ago," said Dr. Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. "While this is certainly good news, pet owners are often unaware of the cost of these surgeries. Surgical claims are typically some of the most expensive received at VPI, with the average claim routinely costing thousands of dollars. It's not only important for pet owners to realize the surgical choices open to them but to take steps to be financially prepared should their pet require surgery."

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

With more than 485,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency is the No. 1 veterinarian-recommended pet health insurance company and is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies. Providing pet owners with peace of mind since 1982, the company is committed to being the trusted choice of America's pet lovers and an advocate of pet health education. VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Optional Pet CareGuard® for routine care is also available.

Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 2,000 companies nationwide offer VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and in all other states by National Casualty Company, an A+15 rated company in Madison, Wisconsin. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

SOURCE Veterinary Pet Insurance