A veterinary bill of several hundred dollars is a choker, but an analysis of 14,000 claims submitted last year to Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) showed the average treatment cost exceeded $1,000.
In the analysis of its database, VPI found that most of the priciest insurance claims were the result of 10 conditions.
Here are the top 10 conditions ranked by frequency of claims and their average cost per claim.
- Torn knee ligament/cartilage: $1,578
- Intestinal, foreign object: $1,967
- Stomach, foreign object: $1,502
- Intervertebral disc disease: $3,282
- Stomach torsion/bloat: $2,509
- Broken leg (plate): $1,586
- Laryngeal paralysis: $2,042
- Tumor of the throat: $1,677
- Ear canal surgery, ablation: $1,285
- Ruptured bile duct: $2,245
Veterinarians estimate the average dollar amount at which most clients opt to stop treatment of a sick or injured animal is $1,451, according to a DVM Newsmagazine 2009 State of the Profession survey.
"Pet owners should be aware that these $1,000 accidents and illnesses can happen to just about any pet--indoor, outdoor, young or old," VPI Vice President and Chief Veterinary Medical Officer Dr. Carol McConnell said in a press statement. "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."