Nov 06 2012

#1 reason why dogs and cats visit their veterinarian.

What comes to mind when you hear “visit to the veterinarian?” You may automatically think of pet vaccinations or annual shots. You aren’t alone; many people make the same associations. While these are routine veterinary procedures, they aren’t on the list of the most common reasons why pets go to the vet. Those reasons, based on nationwide studies, may surprise you.

Based on information reported* in 2011, the top 10 reasons why dogs visit their veterinarian are:

  1. Ear infection
  2. Skin allergies
  3. Skin infection
  4. Non-cancerous skin growth
  5. Upset stomach
  6. Intestinal upset/diarrhea
  7. Arthritis
  8. Bladder infection
  9. Bruise or contusion
  10. Underactive thyroid


What about cats?
Cats are, literally, a whole different ball of fur than dogs. Their physiology is considerably different from dogs, as are their health risks and the diseases they may face. While ears and skin are the most pervasive problems for dogs, feline bladder infection was the most common reason for cat visits to veterinarians in 2011.

What are other reasons why cats go to the veterinarian?
The 10 most common reasons* why cats visit their vet are:

  1. Bladder infection
  2. Chronic kidney disease
  3. Overactive thyroid
  4. Upset stomach
  5. Periodontitis/dental disease
  6. Diabetes
  7. Intestinal upset/diarrhea
  8. Ear infection
  9. Skin allergies
  10. Lymphosarcoma


Aren’t pets healthier than they used to be years ago?
Chronic diseases in pets are actually on the rise, according to the State of Pet Health 2012 Report from Banfield Pet Hospital (TM). With better nutrition and care, many pets are living longer. Unfortunately, many of these same pets are not seeing a veterinarian on a regular basis. And that means many conditions that could be prevented or managed are going unnoticed and untreated.

How can a trip to the vet prevent trouble?
“Some pets try to hide pain or discomfort. So even the best pet owners may not realize their dog or cat has a health problem until there’s a crisis,” said Heidi Lobprise, DVM, Virbac Animal Health. “Regular visits to the veterinarian help to detect and identify problems early, which can spare a pet from pain and also be easier on the family budget in the long run.”

Overlooking preventive steps or delaying visits to the vet can make treatment more difficult. Delaying care can even lead to chronic conditions that can severely impact the quality of a pet’s life and become costly to treat and manage. With regards to cost, in the long run prevention is less expensive than treating a severe illness. For example, you can purchase 11 years supply of heart worm prevention medication for the same cost of treating heart worm disease.

How do I keep my pet off the top 10 list?
I believe “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. If it’s been more than a year since your dog or cat has been to the veterinarian, do your pet (and yourself) a favour. Make an appointment and follow through on your vet’s advice.

All the best, Dr. Fulop.


*Veterinary Pet Insurance 2011 claims data.

Source article: Virbac AH Inc.


Veterinarian Blog 2012
Amberlea Animal Hospital serving Durham, Pickering, Ajax, and Whitby, Scarborough, and the GTA

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