Working at a pet insurance company, I see such a wide variety of health conditions every day. If you were to ask me which conditions seem to be the most common, I’d have no idea where to start.
Fortunately, veterinarian Ann Hohenhaus and expert blogger for WebMD recently compiled information and put together the top 5 health conditions that American pets face today. The following list is adapted from the original article.
- Pets are not receiving timely veterinary care. More pet owners are choosing to skip their annual veterinary visit for one reason or another. The frequency of veterinary visits has declined since 2008, according to the article. It’s important to see a veterinarian regularly in order to catch any medical conditions before they become serious.
- Pet obesity continues to increase. Studies have linked overweight dogs with overweight owners, so as the human obesity rates increase, so do our pet’s. Just like humans, pets need a good diet combined with regular exercise to stay in good health. Keeping a healthy weight will also reduce the risk of many conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes!
- Diabetes. Most likely due to the increase of pet obesity, diabetes rates have been increasing. According to Banfield State of Pet Health, dogs and cats have seen increased diabetes rates by 32% and 16% respectively from 2006 to 2010.
- Cancer. 1 in 4 dogs dies from cancer, according to the Morris Animal Foundation. In the article, Dr. Hohenhaus says that “breed is strongly associated with specific types of cancer. Golden retrievers commonly develop lymphoma, German shepherds a splenic tumor called hemangiosarcoma, and Pugs a skin tumor known as a mast cell tumor. Cats get cancer too, most commonly lymphoma.”
- Dental disease. Unfortunately, many pet owners are reluctant to maintain their pet’s dental hygiene whether it be regular brushing or their routine veterinary dental cleanings. Putting your pet’s teeth on the bottom of the priority list will put your pet at risk for periodontal disease which can lead to bone loss in the jaw, kidney problems, and heart muscle issues.
Now that you know, I encourage you to do your best at knocking these top 5 problems off of your pet’s list by taking the proper preventive methods: exercise, diet, brush your pet’s teeth regularly, and make your annual vet appointments!