Pet insurance SHOCK: Poorly cats and dogs run up £775 million in vets’ bills

SICK pets cost insurers a staggering £775 million last year as worried cat and dog owners made claims at the rate of two every minute.

With average vets’ bills rising by four per cent to £757 per single treatment, animal lovers are being warned to keep an eye out on warning signs of illness and injury to keep future costs down.

The big major rises in vet treatments for both cats and dogs were for mouth problems, with claims for abscesses, ulcers and wounds rising by 25 per cent between 2016 and 2017. In contrast, claims for pets being poisoned fell by a third.

While the nation’s cats are also running up high clinical fees for having wounds healed and gastrointestinal disorders treated, dogs are more likely to see the vet for growths or musculoskeletal problems.

It’s not only old pets that are running up veterinary bills. The new figures show medical care can be required at any age, with 13 per cent of claims being for dogs under five and nine per cent for younger cats.

ear on year, the overall of cost of veterinary insurance claims rose by 10 per cent on 2016 levels, reveals analysis from Direct Line Pet Insurance, while the average claim per animal treatment went up by four per cent.

But with increasing numbers of new treatments becoming available, the long-term trend for vets’ fees is to continue rising, say experts.

Prit Powar, head of pet insurance at Direct Line, said with the release of the new figures: “Our analysis reveals the importance of insuring your pet against illness and injury, as owners can be left footing bills running into thousands of pounds.

“Many conditions can be easily treated so it is important to get your pet checked out as soon as you suspect something is wrong.

“Comprehensive pet insurance provides the vital peace of mind that a trip to the vet won’t always result in a trip to the bank.”

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