Top Ten Reasons Dogs Have To See A Veterinarian

Every year, one of the large pet insurance companies puts out a report on the top accidents and illnesses that made dogs visit the vet that year. Here are the conditions that made the list in 2019.

One – 26% of canine veterinary visits resulted from stomach issues, including inflammation, or the dog eating something toxic or dangerous. These include foods toxic to dogs such as grapes or the artificial sweetener xylitol and intestinal obstructions caused by ingestion of bones and toys. Keep an eye out on what your dog eats!

Two – 17% of visits were for skin conditions such as allergies, insect bites, hot spots, bacterial infections, mange and rashes.

Three – 14% of visits were because of pain, usually caused by aging and arthritis. But pain can also be caused by genetic conditions and accidents causing injury.

Four – 10%of canine veterinary visits were for ear infections secondary to a rash, allergies, yeast or bacterial infections and sometimes a cyst or even cancer. 

Five – 7.7% of visits were for eye problems including glaucoma, dry eye, cataracts and abrasions and infections.

Six – 5.8% of visits were because the dog had a growth or lump on the skin of some kind. These could be cysts or a tumor, either benign or cancerous.

Seven – 5% of veterinary visits were for cancer. Signs could be seeing or feeling a tumor or mass, weight loss, pain and other symptoms. Surgery and/or chemotherapy may be needed.

Eight – 4.8% of canine vet visits were for injuries to the cruciate ligament in the dog’s knee joint (similar to the ACL in humans) and requires surgical repair.

Nine – 4.8% of visits were for treatment of urinary infections. Be sure to allow your dog out several times a day to urinate and also provide plenty of fresh water to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections.

Ten – 4.5% of canine vet visits were for heart conditions including heart enlargement, valve disease, heart worm heart disease and congestive heart failure.

Good nutrition, maintaining a normal weight for your dog, regular exercise and regular vet checkups can go a long way in the prevention of any of these common ailments.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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