Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet insurance, just revealed that dog obesity is on the rise for the fifth straight year. In 2014, Nationwide members filed for more than $54 million in pet insurance claims for conditions and diseases related to obesity, a 10 percent growth over the last two years. Obesity is not about looks – it’s about health. Nationwide went through their database of more than half a million insured pets to give dog owners a head’s up on the 10 most common illnesses your dog’s obesity could cause.
#1 – Arthritis
Carrying around extra weight is hard on joints, which leads to bad arthritis. According to Nationwide, they had 42,000 claims for arthritis in canines in 2014, with an average treatment of $292 per pet.
#2 – Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
The second most common issue with overweight dogs is bladder or urinary tract diseases, which are very uncomfortable for your dog and an ongoing vet bill for you. One reason for this is that obese dogs often have skin folds around their urinary opening, which can lead to infection that spread up into the bladder (doghealth.com). Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $273.
#3 – Low Thyroid Hormone Production
Since weight gain is a symptom of low thyroid production, definitely get your dog checked if he seems to be gaining weigh despite your best efforts to shed those pounds. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $166.
#4 – Liver Disease
One of the liver’s functions is to store fat. When your dog gets overweight, the liver builds up an excess of fat that can lead to a decrease of the liver’s function and disease. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $367.
#5 – Torn Knee Ligaments
Just look at the amount of weight this dog’s thin legs are having to support. Obese dogs are more likely to sustain leg injuries, the most common being torn knee ligaments, because of the extra weight. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $2,001 (surgery required) / $608 (non-surgical).
#6 – Diabetes
It’s a well-known fact that weight and diabetes go together. Keeping your dog slim will help him avoid this awful illness as he gets older. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $954.
#7 – Diseased Disc in the Spine
Again, excess weight puts excess pressure where it shouldn’t be, and that can cause problems in the spine, include disc disease. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $1,117 (surgery required) / $576 (non-surgical).
#8 – Fatty Growth
Most overweight dogs develop lipomas, or fatty growths, on their body. Of the items on this list, they are probably the least worrisome. However, it’s always good to get a growth checked out because it can be tricky to tell a fatty growth from cancerous tumors. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $188.
#9 – Chronic Kidney Disease
Keeping your dog at a healthy weight can help keep his kidneys healthy. And while kidney disease isn’t always fatal, having to manage it for the rest of your dog’s life is no fun and can be costly. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $653.
#10 – Heart Failure
The heavier your dog is, the more work his heart has to do to keep the blood flowing. This can lead to heart failure and death. Keeping your dog slim can help him live longer. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $646.
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