Top 10 Reasons Pets Go Under the Knife

According to Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the top 10 reasons for surgical procedures on family pets in 2009 were the following:



  1. Tooth extraction
  1. Benign skin mass
  1. Skin abscess, inflammation or pressure ulcer
  1. Skin abscess, inflammation, or pressure ulcer
  1. Benign skin mass
  1. Tooth Extraction
  1. Bladder Stones
  1. Torn ACL or cartilage
  1. Cancer of the abdominal wall
  1. Malignant skin mass
  1. Malignant skin mass
  1. Cancer of the spleen
  1. Multiple bite wounds
  1. Cancer of the eyelid
  1. Cancer of the liver
  1. Bladder stones
  1. Cancer of the mouth
  1. Cancer of the liver
  1. Cancer of the nasal cavity
  1. Auricular (ear) hematoma

Pet cat undergoing dental operationSurgery to remove a canine non-cancerous skin mass, the most common procedure performed, averaged just under $1,000. For kitties, the average dental surgery with tooth extraction ran $924.

While these relatively less costly surgeries are among the most common, according to Carol McConnell, DVM, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI:

"Surgical claims are typically some of the most expensive received at VPI, with the average claim routinely costing thousands of dollars. It's not only important for pet owners to realize the surgical choices open to them but to take steps to be financially prepared should their pet require surgery."

According to VPI, pet owners with health insurance coverage for their dogs and cats spent over $30 million in 2009 on the top 10 most common pet surgeries.