VPI claims data educates on link between pet obesity, knee injuries

Healthy knees

In the last couple of years, we’ve upped our commitment to share information from our databases in the interests of educating pet-owners and helping veterinarians to make the case for the importance of preventive care. VPI is a partner in the Partners for Healthy Pets program, which makes the case for preventive and wellness care, and of course we have wellness programs such as our Preventive & Wellness Services that make providing this essential care easier by breaking the costs into manageable bites.

As a preferred provider with the American Animal Hospital Association, we’ve also been able to make the case for wellness in their newsletters and blogs, including this piece I wrote on preventing knee injuries by discussing the effect of excess weight on this critical joint:

As pet weights have crept up in recent years, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) has seen a corresponding increase in the number of claims for cruciate and/or meniscus injuries, from 6,825 in 2009 to 8,198 in 2013, with incremental gains shown every year in between. So far in 2014, we have an average claimed amount of $2,490 for cruciate surgeries, making these one of the more expensive of our most common claims. While we don’t know how many of these claims were for pets that were overweight or obese, given the prevalence of overweight pets, it’s a good hunch that many were.

You can read the entire article here. We all know the problems of pet obesity, and this information from our claims data can provide one more argument to help make the case that a thin pet is more likely to be a healthy pet. I look forward to continuing our work sharing information on pet health in our combined effort to prevent disease through wellness care, helping pets live not only long but better lives.