Dr. Nichole Agarwal Discusses the #5 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.
Dr. Agarwal is a huge supporter of PHI, especially when it comes to treating ongoing conditions, which can be incredibly costly. On top of reducing the financial burden, she also finds that pet parents with PHI are more likely to run the necessary diagnostics right form the start, which leads to better overall care for their furry friends.
#5 Most Commonly Claimed Condition for Cats: Diarrhea
When asked about the difference between diarrhea in cats and dogs, Dr. Agarwal explained that cats tend to get more chronic, long-term cases, which can be very challenging to diagnose and treat. She recommends more extensive testing in the beginning to rule out worms or allergies. She has a number of reccomendations for pet parents bringing in a cat for diagnoses, including:
- A hypoallergenic diet
- Antibiotics and probiotics to eliminate harmful bacteria and promote healthy ones, respectively, and
- Blood panel testing for intestinal issues, a B12 deficiency or pancreatitis.
“If it’s a kitten, I wouldn’t do all that though,” she explains. “They are more prone to infectious diseases than parasites. For a 10-year-old cat I would do all of the testing, and even an ultrasound to test for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. For preventative measures, I recommend probiotics on a routine basis and a hypoallergenic diet when the condition first starts to save time.”
#5 Most Commonly Claimed Condition for Dogs: Gastroenteritis
Pets commonly suffer from stomach and digestive issues throughout the year and pet owners know that they can come from a wide range of causes.
Gastroenteritis could be caused by pancreatitis, parvo in puppies, bacteria, parasites, dietary indiscretion, toxins or foreign bodies. In dogs symptoms will typically appear in the form of vomiting and diarrhea at the same time, resulting in a pet that is very dehydrated. If this occurs, Dr. Agarwal recommends IV therapy, 24 hours in hospital, antacid injections and not giving them anything to eat for several hours.
Pet insurance can really make a difference with this condition, because “it can be a big bill to curb dehydration and also find the cause,” she explains.
Preventative care is difficult for this condition because of the complexity of causes. “I’m heavy on diagnostics because I really want to know what’s going on. I want to rule out any serious diseases before treatment,” says Agarwal. For concerned pet parents “I would say if they vomit more than once or more than one bout of diarrhea, I would bring them in right away.”
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. Agarwal’s insights on the number 6 and 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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