Me-ouch! the Top 10 Most Common Pet Injuries to Look Out For

KittyKittyI remember a long time ago, my beloved cat Puff swallowed a needle when I wasn't looking. I wasn't sure how it had happened or why it had taken me so long to figure out what was wrong, but surgery followed and it was kinda scary for me. Pet accidents happen and as much as we try to keep them all safe, sometimes things just happen.

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Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), a leading pet insurance company, went through their database of more than 500,000 insured pets and found that their policyholders spent more than $37 million treating medical conditions related to pet accidents. "While skin allergies, ear infections, vomiting and bladder infections are among the most common claims processed by VPI each year, conditions caused by pet accidents also contribute to a sizable percentage of the claims we receive," said Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. "Although many pet accidents cannot be prevented, there are some steps that pet owners can take to decrease the risk of exposure or lessen the impact that their pet will have a serious medical condition as a result of an accidental injury. Some conditions we receive can be avoided altogether by taking precaution to remove a pet's exposure to potential health hazards." Here are the top 10 most common pet injuries:

10. Torn or Injured Nail
I have heard this happen to pets who are running from something too quickly or you're playing too rough with a cat and it's the 10th most common condition associated with pet accidents.

9. Gastric Foreign Object(s) Ingestion
This is what happened to my cat and it was a scary time. VPI suggests that we, "store household and personal items out of sight and/or put them out of reach from your pet. Ingestion or other physical contact of inappropriate foods, plants, human medications, clothing, gardening or household items can result in intestinal blockage or severe toxicity."

8. Abrasion(s) or Superficial Wounds
Cuts and scratches are not usually dangerous, but they do sometimes require treatment from a qualified vet.

7. Sprain or Joint Injury
Sprains and joint injuries can be painful for us and can be the same for pets. VPI suggests that as pet owners we, "supervise your pet's physical activity and interaction with other animals."

6. Mouth Trauma or Fractured Tooth
A pet can lose a tooth a few ways and VPI suggest that knowing your pet's surroundings can help minimize accidents.

5. Cruciate Ligament Injury Surgical Repair
The 5th most common and according to VPI, the "cost an average of $1,981 per leg to surgically repair. Some effective ways to minimize the risk of cruciate ligament injuries in dogs is to keep pets at a healthy weight, get plenty of regular exercise (ideally long leash walks), and take pets to the veterinarian after the first signs of lameness".

4. Scratch or Wound on Eye
There are many ways your pet can get a scratch or wound on the eye and it's the 4th most common injury from an accident.

3. Lacerations or Bite Wounds
If you take your pet out on walks where they can be around other animals, lacerations and/or bite wounds are sometimes just not preventable.

2. Cruciate Ligament Injury (without surgery)
Unlike the 5th most common, this injury didn't require surgery so it's not as expensive, but it is a lot more common.

1. Soft Tissue Trauma (bruise or contusion)
According to VPI, they received "more than 22,000 claims for soft tissue trauma, the most common condition associated with pet accidents. The average claim fee was $169 per office visit. Causes of soft tissue trauma included injuries resulting from falling, running and jumping and are more commonly seen in large breeds or overweight pets."

- By Devan McGuinness

For 13 hilarious photos of cats caught in weird places, visit Babble!

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