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Understanding and Preventing the Top 20 Dog Diseases
Happiness begins with good health. This is as true for dogs as it is for us. Being healthy means enjoying the basic processes of life – a good meal, a restful night’s sleep, playtime and, yes, answering nature’s call.
Unfortunately, good health is highly valued because there are times when our dogs may suffer from a sickness or injury. The worst part is not knowing when your dog is sick or hurt. A dog is so overjoyed to play that he will often ignore the pain.
We’ve compiled the 20 most common pet insurance claims companies receive. Pet Insurance covers thousands of medical conditions related to accidents and illnesses.
3. Ear infection
4. Ruptured Cruciate Ligament
5. Urinary Tract Infection
7. Gastroenteritis (Vomiting and Diarrhea)
8. Pyoderma (Skin infection)
9. Ear infection
11. Allergic Dermatitis in Dogs
15. Giardia (Diarrhea caused by the organism giardia)
17. Urinary Incontinence
18. Corneal Ulceration
19. Hip Dysplasia
Dr. Debra Primovic, Editor in Chief of Petplace.com, said many of the top 20 claims are expensive to treat, especially for the more serious conditions, such as cruciate ligament tear and allergies. Primovic recommends that dog owners take advantage of pet insurance policies that can help you do the best for your dog in the case of an accident or illness. Pet insurance can be simple to use and really gives you, the pet owner, the ability to do the best thing for your dog.
Close examination of your dog can help protect your pet. It is important for pet owners to regularly check for irregularities in a dog’s appetite, water consumption, urination and defecation, attitude, energy level, and monitor for any skin masses or tumors. Spotting changes in your pet early is really critical to his or her long-term health.
Primovic elaborates on early detection, “Even the easy things such as keeping pets’ ears clean and doing a weekly exam to identify changes or redness early will help dogs avoid more irritating, painful, and expensive ear infections. The longer a problem is allowed to persist, the more difficult it is to treat.” Skin irritations, or dermatitis, are preventable with good grooming and use of medicated shampoos.
Other problems require some policing of the dog. “Dogs love to get into food that isn’t necessarily good for their health,” notes Primovic. “To prevent stomach irritation, feed pets high quality diets – not table scraps – and make sure they don’t eat chocolate, bones, toys, or get into the garbage. Pets getting into garage, sudden food changes, and feeding table scraps are common causes of visits to veterinary emergency rooms.”
Primovic says there’s a lot dog owners can do to identify urinary tract infections in their pets. “If you observe your dog urinating more frequently than normal, promptly contact your veterinarian so that treatment with antibiotics can begin as soon as possible,” she says. Be alert to the symptoms of frequent urination and house-soiling, and contact your veterinarian at the first signs,” she adds.
Frequent urination and increased water intake can also be a sign of diabetes. Again, a proper diet can also lower the incidence of diabetes and kidney disease.
Some conditions aren’t preventable, of course. “There’s not much a pet owner can do to prevent arthritis,” said Primovic. “In the case of arthritis, dog owners are in the best position to spot early symptoms of this painful disease. If you notice your dog lagging behind on walks or having difficulty climbing stairs, jumping, or getting up from a resting position, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. While osteoarthritis is incurable, there are medications available to relieve the pain and give dogs a new lease on life.
A Pet Insurance policy will help reimburse the pet owner a percentage of the costs accrued when treating or managing conditions such as arthritis and diabetes. In any event, it’s important to take your pets in for routine check-ups. Dr. Primovic recommends Wellness Coverage as it helps to significantly offset the costs of annual vaccinations, routine checkups, spaying and neutering, dental cleanings and more, with no added deductibles applied.
“We want our pets with us as long as possible,” adds Primovic. “But we want them to be enjoying their lives with us too. That means keeping them healthy and happy with good diets, a lot of love and regular veterinary care.”
Is Pet Insurance Right For You?
The best pet insurance offers coverage that’s broad enough for whatever care your pet needs and with enough options to get the perfect coverage for you and your pet.