Hyperthyroid and Otitis Externa: Commonly Claimed Medical Conditions for Pets

Dr. Jacquelyn Chorba Discusses the #3 Most Commonly Claimed Medical Condition for Cats and Dogs

Pet health insurance (PHI) really does pay. From unexpected accidents to seasonal conditions, PHI enables pet parents to secure the best care possible for their pets instead of basing decisions on economics alone. To tell the story behind PHI and let pet parents know how others are using insurance, NAPHIA has interviewed veterinary practitioners to get their thoughts on the most commonly claimed medical conditions, including tips on preventative care for your pet.

While the #2 conditions, respiratory issues and allergies, are common enough even to humans, you may not have heard of these next two. Dr. Jacquelyn Chorba of Bartels Busack Pet Hospital Resort & Spa in Parma, Ohio talks about the causes and symptoms of the #3 most commonly claimed conditions, and offers useful tips on preventative care that can help pet parents address cases before they become too serious.

#3 Most Commonly Claimed Condition for Cats: Hyperthyroid

For those of you unfamiliar with this condition, hyperthyroid is caused by excessive functional activity of the thyroid gland, resulting in excessive secretion of the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine. This often results in a cat experiencing weight loss without a decrease in appetite, vomiting, and yes, you guessed it – hyperactivity, especially at night time.

Dr. Chorba notes that “hyperthyroid can be a compounding illness” that often shows up alongside kidney disease and heart disease, and these two diseases are also very common in her practice.

Treatment options for hyperthyroidism include medication and blood monitoring, as well as a special diet option that must be strictly adhered to. Many pet parents shy away from the diet option as it is hard to ensure that a cat does not get access to additional food or treats, especially in a multi-cat household. In some cases, Dr. Chorba recommends a radioactive iodine procedure that can bring the thyroid back to normal levels.

#3 Most Commonly Claimed Condition for Dogs: Otitis Externa

“Definitely, we see a TON of this condition,” says Dr. Chorba. “Otitis externa often has an allergy-basis to it, as allergies often manifest as skin and ear issues with dogs. We also see it a lot in swimmer dogs or dogs who recently got bathed.”

Otitis externa is a chronic inflammation of the external ear canal, often resulting from a change in the normal environment of the ear canal which causes the glands to enlarge and produce excessive wax.

For Dr. Chorba, the most common symptoms seen with otitis externa in dogs are scratching their ears or shaking their heads. Although this may sound like normal dog behavior, pet parents are encouraged to watch for any excessive or out of character scratching and shaking. If your dog has a history of ear infections, she recommends cleaning the dog’s ears on a regular basis and ensuring prompt treatment at a veterinary clinic.

Is Your Pet Covered?

If your pets are already covered, we’d like to give you a furry high-five. Now, go out and spread the word! Don’t have coverage yet? Well, what are you waiting for?! Explore the Pet-Parents section of our website to learn more. With providers across the US and Canada, there is sure to be a company that’s just right for you and the ones you love.

Stay tuned for Dr. Nichole Agarwal’s insights on the number 4 through 7 conditions. To see all of the Top 10 Most Common Medical Conditions for cats and dogs read our full article.

The Most Commonly Claimed Medical Conditions has been compiled from NAPHIA’s annual State of the Industry Report, providing everything you need to know about the marketplace in North America.

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