Posts Tagged ‘heart disease’

Dental disease is the most common disease
in dogs and cats.

Does your pet have it?

It’s time to schedule their yearly check-up,
and find out!

It’s that time of year again. Love, hugs and chocolate are on everyone’s mind. For your pet, the first two come out way on top! (Chocolate is a no-no, but you already knew that!)

Dental disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats, affecting 78% of dogs and 68% of cats over the age of three. Although most dogs and cats will develop some sort of dental disease, small dog breeds, such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Dachshunds and Toy Poodles, are more prone to developing periodontal disease than larger breeds.

If your pet has bad breath, it may mean there is a problem with their teeth and gums. This can also contribute to more severe medical conditions. If dental issues are left untreated, you may put your pet at risk for problems in their mouth (periodontitis) or with internal organs (heart disease). The challenge most pet owners face is that even if their pet’s breath smells fine, some dental issues are hard to spot.

Early preventive measures, such as at-home pet dental care and teeth cleanings by a veterinary dentist will help to reduce the frequency and severity of dental disease later in life. The dentist will perform a comprehensive examination of your pet’s teeth and gums. Just like when you visit your dentist, we use special tools to remove tartar from below the gum line and smooth the surface of each tooth to prevent tartar buildup.

Keeping your pet healthy from toe to tooth shows the world how much you love them. The best way to keep your pet in tiptop shape is to schedule your pet’s yearly checkup with us. We’re committed to your pet’s well being every step of the way. (Because we love them too!)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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New Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight Applies to Our Pets As Well

Brea, Calif. (Jan. 1, 2015) The number one New Year’s resolution in America is to lose weight and data shows that pet owners should extend that resolution to their dogs and cats. New data released by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., (VPI), the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, reveals that pet obesity is on the rise for the fourth straight year. In 2013, VPI policyholders filed for more than $52 million in claims for conditions and diseases that can be related to pet obesity, a 7.3 percent growth from 2012.

    Table scraps and excessive treats are major contributors associated with disproportionate weight gain in pets. Similar to their human counterparts, excessive body fat increases the risk of preventable health problems and shortens the life expectancy of pets. VPI, a Nationwide company, recently sorted through its database of more than 525,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat obesity-related conditions. Below are the results:

Most Common Dog Obesity-Related Conditions Most Common Cat Obesity-Related Conditions
1. Arthritis 1. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
2. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease 2. Chronic Kidney Disease
3. Low Thyroid Hormone 3. Diabetes
4. Liver Disease 4. Liver Disease
5. Torn Knee Ligaments 5. Asthma
6. Diabetes 6. Arthritis
7. Diseased Disc in the Spine 7. High Blood Pressure
8. Fatty Growth 8. Heart Failure
9. Chronic Kidney Disease 9. Gall Bladder Disorder
10. Heart Failure 10. Immobility of Spine

 

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

“Pet owners need to be aware of the damage excessive weight gain can have on their pet,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Pet lovers need to be conscious of the calories in food and treats they are giving their pets. The New Year is a perfect time for pet owners to start managing their pet’s eating habits and establish a regular exercise routine to avoid obesity. Regular wellness visits to your veterinarian are the most effective way to monitor your pet’s weight, along with being aware of signs of weight gain.”

    In 2013, VPI received more than 39,000 canine claims for arthritis, the most common joint disease aggravated by excessive weight. The average claim fee was $300 per pet. For cats, bladder or urinary tract disease was the most common condition that can be aggravated by obesity. VPI received 4,700 medical claims for this ailment – with an average claim amount of $420 per pet.

    In addition to taking pets to the veterinarian for regular wellness visits, below are simple tests you can perform to determine if your pet needs to lose weight: 

  • You should be able to lightly feel your pet’s ribs without pressing.
  • You should see a noticeable “waist” on your pet, between the back of the ribs and the hips, when viewing your pet from above. When looking from the side, your pet’s belly should go up from the bottom of the ribcage to inside the thighs.

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

    With more than 525,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI) is a member of the Nationwide family of companies and is the first and largest pet health insurance company in the United States. Since 1982, VPI has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

    VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. CareGuard® coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 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 petinsurance.com.

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     We can’t say it enough:  pet insurance can be a lifesaver when a medical crisis and financial hardship intersect.  For Virginians, the good news is, there are at least 6 pet insurance companies registered to provide coverage in this state.  The flip side to such a large offering is that it is up to pet owners to research the companies and their available plans, in order to make the best choice.

(Pets Best Insurance reveals its Top 5 Costliest Pet Insurance Claims)

     Veterinarian Frances Wilkerson has dedicated her website, Pet Insurance University, to sorting through the pet insurance providers for you.  (Find a list of reviewed companies under the Research Library heading in the left margin.)

     Make no mistake:  You still have to read the information provided, as well as contact the companies for premium quotes, but many questions have been researched for you.  Dr. Wilkerson recommends looking for these components when choosing pet insurance:

  • Coverage for cancer
  • Coverage for chronic disease
  • Continual coverage for chronic diseases
  • Coverage for hereditary and congenital diseases
  • Coverage for medical conditions common to your pet’s breed and species¹

Dr. Wilkerson also provides links to organizations which can provide financial assistance to pet owners, based on specific guidelines.  Emergency financial assistance may be your best option if you are unable to purchase pet insurance.

     Don’t wait for an emergency to arise – check out your insurance options today.  ~~  Jen

¹Practice Insights, Vol.1, No.1; Pet Insurance 411

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This article was originally posted on May 17, 2011. 

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