The 10 Most Expensive Pet Health Problems

First, the bad news: There are 10 pet accidents and illnesses that can cost you up to $2,000 to fix. But the good news is the treatments usually work.

Healthcare costs aren’t just skyrocketing for humans. The cost of treating your pets can easily top $1,000 – and there’s no Obama health care plan in the works for Fido.

So be prepared to shell out big bucks to fix a torn knee ligament and/or cartilage. That’s the No. 1 health problem for pets, and it can cost nearly $1,600 to treat, according to a new study.

VPI, provider of pet health insurance, tallied its claims from 2010 and made a list of those requiring more than $1,000 for treatment.

“While surgical treatment for a torn knee ligament/cartilage occurred with the greatest frequency,” the report said, “the condition with the highest average cost per claim was intervertebral disc disease, for which pet owners paid an average of $3,282 in 2010.”

Here’s the entire list…

Condition Number of
Average cost
per claim
1. Torn knee ligament/cartilage 6,831 $1,578
2. Intestinal – foreign object 1,005 $1,967
3. Stomach – foreign object 954 $1,502
4. Intervertebral disc disease 879 $3,282
5. Stomach torsion/bloat 372 $2,509
6. Broken leg (plate) 350 $1,586
7. Laryngeal paralysis 126 $2,042
8. Tumor of the throat 124 $1,677
9. Ear canal surgery 104 $1,285
10. Ruptured bile duct 102 $2,245

“Pet owners should be aware that these $1,000 accidents and illnesses can happen to just about any pet – indoor, outdoor, young or old,” says Dr. Carol McConnell, VPI’s vice president and chief veterinary medical officer. “Though the cost of care for these conditions may be high, the prognosis is usually positive, and many of the pets that are treated will recover.”

So what can you do to keep your costs down? Obviously, VPI wants you to buy pet insurance from them. But before you do that, check out Money Talks News’ Insurance for Pets?

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  • Linda Marie Harrison

    I think the cost for the torn knee ligament is very low. I know someone in New Mexico who paid well over $3,000 to have her doggie’s knee fixed from this. I wonder if the other estimates are low, too. The good news is that you can insure your furry friend for less than $20/mo in most cases. I know it was worth it to insure my bunnies!

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