Dermatitis, gastroenteritis among top reasons for veterinary visits, report shows

Helping veterinary professionals educate clients on some common (and uncommon) conditions their pets might be prone to, and discussing average treatment costs associated with the condition, is the goal of a recent pet claims report.

Released by Nationwide, an insurance and financial services company, the top claims report represent the most common conditions of more than 40 percent of the 3.5 million pet claims of the company. Nationwide analyzed its database of more than 1.2 million insured pets.

“We know that veterinary healthcare teams are well aware of how common many of these conditions are and how costly it can be to manage them,” says Jules Benson, BVSc, MRCVS, chief veterinary officer at Nationwide.

Some key takeaways from the report include:

  • In 2023, Nationwide members filed more than 1.5 million individual claims to treat top 10 medical conditions affecting dogs and cats
  • For the 12th year, atopic or allergic dermatitis is most the most common health issue for dogs, 410,500 individual claims received in 2023 (up from 373,000 the year before)
    • Skin allergies represent 20 percent of total unique claims for canines in 2023
  • Gastroenteritis tops the list for felines with more than 25,000 individual claims received in 2023
  • Conditions common among cats and dogs:
    • Gastroenteritis ranks among top two conditions for both species
    • Degenerative arthritis is a top-five condition among both species
    • Dental disease shows up among top six conditions for both species
    • Other conditions common among both species include urinary tract infection and respiratory infection
      Top canine conditions Cost within 30 days of treatment*
      1. Dermatitis $240
      2. Gastroenteritis $614
      3. Otitis externa $280
      4. Degenerative arthritis $446
      5. Trauma $629
      6. Dental disease $1,072
      7. Urinary tract infection $499
      8. Valvular heart disease $565
      9. Respiratory infection $548
      10. Liver disease $500
      Top feline conditions Cost within 30 days of treatment*
      1. Gastroenteritis $747
      2. Urinary tract disease $904
      3. Kidney failure $694
      4. Dental disease $1,300
      5. Degenerative arthritis $447
      6. Hyperthyroidism $547
      7. Respiratory infection $1,575
      8. Diabetes mellitus $967
      9. Inflammatory bowel disease $967
      10. Atopic or allergic dermatitis $289

      *These were calculated by analyzing the 80th percentile of costs Nationwide pet insurance policyholders reported within the first 30 days after diagnosis for a given condition.

The annual claims report aims to bring awareness to pet families, and Dr. Benson adds how the company’s digital resource—Pet HealthZone—aims to boost that effort with information on individual pet risk data, costs, breed info, and fun facts.

For more information on the report, visit the Pet HealthZone website.